Science

Errors about the pandemic have become commonplace; learn to defend against some of them – 06/03/2021 – Reinaldo José Lopes

Anger and insurrection are currently perfectly understandable responses to the disastrous implementation of the fight against the pandemic in Brazil. Those who are not in the mood to kick the door are very uninformed or very inhuman. But this visceral response won’t get us very far without a little clarity in the ideas.

The ongoing genocide in the country is based on ignorance, lies and brutal errors of logic. In this column, I would like to offer, as a small contribution, a list of antidotes to some of the most common errors that have drawn us down the hole. I hope it’s useful in some way.

1) It has been proven that “locks” don’t work: well, there was even medical advice out there telling the governor so. First off was the fact that even in Brazil there was never a lockdown, which hinders testing of the effectiveness of the measure here (to say the least).

The measures taken to distance and restrict circulation here never lasted more than a few weeks; Very few Brazilians face fines or imprisonment for leaving their homes for non-essential reasons. Serious obstacles to travel between cities and states have never been placed. and of course the measure never had a national effect. We just can’t compare our Chinese measures with those of Italy or France, countries that actually stopped between March and May last year (two month lockdown, note).

Did it work? By the places that did the right thing, yes, although the positive effects are temporary so long as there are no vaccines (the ones that the federal government has made available for purchase).

2) Our restaurant / gym / church / hotel follows all protocols: OK, so what? In a situation like last week and the next, “all logs” and “nothing” are strictly the same in closed environments. Customers or believers can shower in gel alcohol every 5 minutes, but that doesn’t change the fact that Covid-19 is a disease that spreads from person to person primarily through the air.

The same applies to the “hygiene theater” for disinfecting streets and buildings, which is just a brutal waste of public money. Delivery of food, exercise equipment or outdoor services with few people and everyone wearing the PFF2 / N95 mask (the most protective) at all times? It may be, but staying indoors with strangers without this protection is enormously reckless at this moment.

3) Mask is bad: no, it doesn’t. There are practically no contraindications to its use. Unless you are a young child, there is no excuse for not invariably using it outside the home, including exercising. Enough of Mimimi, as the President says, this lamp.

4) Until Brazil isn’t that bad, many people died because the Brazilian population is large: this fallacy ignores two critical factors. First, our age pyramid: we have a lot more young people than Europeans and the United States (and Covid-19 is currently still mainly killing the elderly).

According to this criterion, 95% of the countries in the world fought the pandemic better than we did. Second, we have an unfortunate variable called time: the more it passes without controlling transmission, the more people will die. You can get a lot worse before you get better.

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