The professor that had predicted the coronavirus crisis in Europe is now calling for an end to the lockdowns and he’s got a 3-point plan to do it.
Professor Alexander Kekulé is the head of microbiology at Halle University in Germany. He saw the warning signs of a possible pandemic and had publicly urged Chancellor Angela Merkel to screen international travelers at ports of entry for the virus as early as January 22. His appeals on television fell on deaf ears, however.
Prof Kekulé is now concerned that the lockdown is in danger of going on too long and will cause significant damage to the economy that would be worse than the virus itself. He says that it is unreasonable to lock down hoping for the development of a vaccine because that could be at least six months away.
“It’s impossible to wait for a vaccine,” Prof Kekulé told The Telegraph. “The quickest we could have a vaccine ready is in six months. Based on experience, I’d say the reality is closer to a year. We can’t stay under lockdown for six months to a year. If we did that our society and our culture would be ruined.”
If Professor Kekulé had been heeded in his early warnings, the COVID-19 situation in Germany might have been very different.
He said that if testing had been done earlier the epidemic could have been contained. “If you can get to people by the time they’ve infected 20 people you can stop it. But by the time it’s 400, there’s no chance,” he said.
Of course, hindsight is always 20/20.
When it was clear that the virus had spread throughout Germany, Professor Kekulé called for the border to be closed and schools to be shut down.
“At that stage a lockdown was the only option to slow the spread and prevent hospitals being overwhelmed,” he says. “But now we have to consider the possibility that a long lockdown may end up doing more harm than the virus.”
Now, Professor Kekulé thinks that there is a simple way to end the lockdown while keeping people safe. His plan has just 3 points.
1. Isolate the Vulnerable
He says that it’s important to encourage the elderly, those with pre-existing conditions, and those who are vulnerable to the virus to stay at home while finding ways to make it bearable “such as apps that will allow them to order their shopping or continue their social life,” he says.
Professor Kekulé says that if they are determined to go outside, that they must wear full medical standard masks, not just a basic surgical mask.
2. Move From “Social Distancing” to “Smart Distancing”
He says that we should all get used to wearing masks for a while, especially when in an enclosed space with lots of people. He adds that proper protection like masks and gloves should be worn by those in jobs that are in contact with a lot of people, like a checkout clerk at a supermarket.
3. Allow Young People to Contract the Virus
This is Professor Kekulé’s most controversial point–allow those below the age of 50 to contract the virus to develop immunity to it. He says that people under 50 “are very, very unlikely to die or get seriously ill from the coronavirus.”
This is the “herd immunity” plan that has been discredited lately, but Prof. Kekulé stands by it arguing that once the outbreak is under control and the hospitals are not overwhelmed, there is a place for it.
Professor Kekulé says that children are at the lowest risk so the lockdown from schools should be lifted immediately starting with Kindergarten. Denmark has already planned on opening schools after Easter.
He did admit that there have been instances of younger people who have gotten seriously ill or died from the virus. He says that occurs when the immune system overreacts to the virus and starts attacking the whole body.
“But this only happens with a very small number of people. I know it sounds heartless but we may have to live with these deaths. Herd immunity is our only option now. We cannot wait for a vaccine. We have to find a way to live with this virus.”
Source: Telegraph UK
So, is this professor right or ridiculous?
He was spot on in January when everyone dismissed the “pneumonia-like illness” that showed up in Wuhan as an illness that should have been taken seriously.
Perhaps it’s time to take him seriously now.