Coronavirus: visionaries, hoaxes and science

Coronavirus: visionaries, hoaxes and science

Despite the fact that the network is full of texts on the subject of the moment, we have had the opportunity to speak with an expert in Biomedicine, who has explained some very interesting points about the virus.

Vanesa Quintano is a Seville chemical researcher, doctor in biomedicine, whose focus of study is regenerative molecular medicine.

Vanesa has spent the majority of her career in Northern Italy, one of the areas of the world most affected by COVID-19. For this reason and for being an expert voice and with enough experience we have decided to publish a letter from him in which he explains very well some things that really must be made very clear.

SARS-COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by a SARS-type coronavirus (such as the one that caused 774 deaths in 2003). Both the new virus and the disease were unknown before the outbreak in Wuhan (China) in December 2019. There are currently 474.204 cases, with 21.353 deaths, with Spain being the second most affected country in the world with 3.647 deaths.
The hoaxes over the coronavirus are another epidemic; misinformations that create alarm, from false methods to prevent contagion, inaccurate figures or videos and images that have nothing to do with reality and can even be harmful to health; To clarify some of the great "fakes" we will highlight three aspects:
A person can get SARS-COVID-19 from contact with someone who is infected with the virus. The disease can spread from person to person through droplets from the nose or mouth that are thrown out when an infected person coughs or exhales. These droplets fall on objects and surfaces around the person, so other people can get Covid-19 if they touch these objects or surfaces and then touch their eyes, nose, or mouth. It is not known for how long the virus causing Covid-19 survives on a surface, but studies (including available preliminary information on the Covid-19 virus) indicate that coronaviruses can subsist on a surface from few hours to several days. This time may vary depending on the conditions (that is, the type of surface, the temperature or the humidity of the environment).
In turn, and in view of the global shortage of medical supplies, a healthy person only needs to wear a mask if they are caring for someone suspected of having Covid-19 infection, or if they have symptoms.
Lastly, Covid-19 causes pneumonia that can be severe requiring hospitalization. In some cases, they can be fatal. What you want to avoid is the collapse of the health system. 10 cases in 10 days are not the same as 100 in one day. Hence the total justification for a state of alarm and, consequently, confinement. The risk map created by Spanish researchers is the result of a mathematical model based on mobility data, which allows us to predict when the system will collapse, which is scheduled for this week, around March 26. These computational calculations give us the keys to flattening the curve, and all we have to do is obey the authorities and respect the state of confinement.
Another great controversy that is emerging about the coronavirus is its politicization. This is not the time to politicize a pandemic, as we fight against a common enemy of all humanity. We are witnessing how many countries, regardless of their ideology and government, are facing the same situation. Under a common denominator, cuts in healthcare and insufficient investment in scientific research.
Curiously, it seems that the population knew little about SARS-like coronaviruses, so much so that there is news about how Bill Gates predicted the coronavirus in 2015. Nothing further from reality, the only “vision” by the billionaire was the listening to scientists in two main ways:
1. The Ebola epidemic that, between 2014 and 2016, claimed about 10.000 lives and mainly affected three countries in West Africa before spreading to other countries, including the United States, Italy and Spain. This epidemic was a global failure, there were no epidemiologists ready to go to the focus of the outbreak to analyze the disease, its diagnosis and its spread. This epidemic showed how poorly prepared we were for a possible biological warfare.
2. More than 4.000 scientific publications available online, in which they warn, and I quote one of them verbatim from 2007: “Should we be ready for the resurgence of SARS? Coronaviruses are well known for undergoing genetic recombination, which can lead to new genotypes and outbreaks. The presence of a large stock of SARS-Cov-like viruses in horseshoe bats, coupled with the culture of eating exotic mammals in southern China, is a time bomb. The possibility of the reappearance of SARS and other new viruses from animals or laboratories, and therefore the need to be prepared, should not be ignored. "
So we can deduce that this health crisis was an open secret, anticipated by scientists who were not heard. Just as all warnings about climate change are being ignored. Perhaps this period of reflection helps us to understand that the survival of our species does not depend on power, nor on oil. In contrast, climate change, the globalization of pathogens, and population density make for a very dangerous cocktail. We must seriously rethink our relationship with nature, the anthropization of spaces where there was no human presence before, since our actions facilitate the appearance of pandemics such as Covid-19. And above all, we must listen to our experts and invest massively in science. That is the weapon we need, since only through science can we fight these battles.
Vanesa Quintano Ramos.
Dra. Biomedicine from the Universidad Emilia-Romagna / Lda. Chemistry from the Universidad Sevilla / CNR Researcher.
Source: "Coronavirus severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) as an agent of emerging and reemerging infection" doi: 10.1128 / CMR.00023-07
Source: WHO, World Health Organization -
Also I leave you a link to the TED conference to which Vanesa refers, an interesting document where the billionaire and philanthropist Bill Gates anticipates again and explains the risks that the appearance of a pandemic could cause and how little prepared we are before them (something quite evident nowadays).
I hope that this article has served you at least to deny any hoax or disclose information that was not known to be very truthful. From my humble opinion, it is essential that during this crisis, and with the amount of time available, we review all the files, whether audio, video or written, since as Vanesa says, the hoaxes and fakes are continuous and vitalize even faster than at COVID-19, so we can also contribute as non-transmitters and avoid harmful false information.

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