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“Before we get into definitions we need to establish some basic common grounds”
What I believe is irrelevant to the point I made about the use of “denialist,” with its connotations of Holocaust denial, to shut down discussion. If the meaning isn’t evident without discussion, you shouldn’t use it. But since you you have recognised the validity of my point with your remarks about conspiracy theorists, I will answer your questions.
1. Do we both believe that there is a pandemic ….
Yes, all flu viruses spread throughout the world and are therefore pandemics.
… caused by a novel corona virus new to man with no immunity to the virus …
Yes, all viruses mutate into varieties that are novel to their hosts. That’s what viruses do, mutate to new forms which their hosts don’t have antibodies to fight, thus the virus prospers and spreads until enough of the host has immunity at which point it would die out if it didn’t mutate into a novel variation, then the whole cycle repeats. All viruses have done this for a billion+ years.
… and this is an animal virus that has jumped species?
Don’t know. I’m not an expert. As I understand it : viruses mutate by mix-and-matching the DNA in the cells they invade … they can do this in animal and plant cells … if the mutation did involve DNA from an animal cell, this wouldn’t be unusual and wouldn’t necessarily make the virus more dangerous.
2. Do we both believe that this virus is highly infectious with an exponential curve of infection resulting in a very quick spread around the world with infections documented in most countries in the world over 2-3 months?
Yes, I believe if you tracked any viral infection in real time, you would see it spread as you describe.
3. Do we both believe that this virus can cause death, Although this lethality is more commonly associated with older individuals and those with other co-morbidities?
Yes, in that respect this virus acts like any flu virus.
4. Do we both believe that although the above is true, that some younger people are also severely affected and that there have been many deaths in healthcare workers and bus drivers and others who were previously healthy?
Yes, a very small number of younger people are severely affected, same as other flus. For all ages, death nearly always involves pre-existing conditions. For example, in Italy, only 0.8% of the deceased had no pre-existing chronic illnesses.
5. Do we both believe that even if the mortality rate from this virus may not be more than 1%, there is still a high number of people suffering from the disease at the same time that this is likely to swamp healthcare systems?
Yes, our NHS has been run down to the point where it has no spare capacity for anything. Our health services have prioritised a routine problem – vulnerable people catching flu – and thrown far more resources than they would do normally at every case. That is why the services are overwhelmed.
Examples occur in Italy and Spain and probably now in US although there are other problems there too which obscure the real situation and there is a threat of it happening here.
Yes, for the same reasons – no health system can cope if you demand huge resources are thrown at a very common health problem.
6. Finally do we both believe that there is still little understanding of various aspects of this virus …
Yes, as is the case for every new variation of a virus. Until we get the data – how it spreads, mortality rate, symptoms, recurrence rate, etc – we don’t know what we’re dealing with or how dangerous it is. In the case of Covid-19, we took unprecedented extreme measures before we had this data.
…. including that many infections may cause no symptoms …
Yes, the vast majority will have no symptoms, or very mild ones, as is is typical with flu.
… and that unfortunately we do not have tests for immunity?
I don’t understand what you mean. We haven’t tested widely for infection, therefore we don’t the total infected, therefore we don’t know the mortality rate.
Do we both believe that we do not know whether individuals infected with the virus will have immunity against reinfection?
Yes, recurrence is possible with all flus.
Now, I’ve fully answered all your questions. Please answer one of mine:
Do you believe the figures released as coronavirus deaths in the UK and many other countries, including the ones you mentioned – Italy, Spain, Germany, the USA – are deliberately and hugely exaggerated?