Fully referenced facts about covid, provided by experts in the field, to help our readers make a realistic risk assessment. (Regular updates below).
“The only means to fight the plague is honesty.” (Albert Camus, 1947)
Lethality: The overall infection fatality rate (IFR) of the novel coronavirus in the general population (excluding nursing homes) is about 0.1% to 0.5% in most countries, which is most closely comparable to the medium influenza pandemics of 1936, 1957 and 1968.
Age profile: The median age of covid deaths is over 80 years in most Western countries (78 in the United States) and about 5% of the deceased had no medical preconditions. In many Western countries, about 50% of all covid deaths occurred in nursing homes.
Vaccine protection: Covid vaccines provide a very high, but rapidly declining protection against severe disease. Vaccination cannot prevent infection and transmission. A prior infection generally confers superior immunity compared to vaccination (in part due to mucosal immunity).
Vaccine injuries: Covid vaccinations can cause severe and fatal vaccine reactions, including cardiovascular, neurological and immunological reactions. Because of this, the risk-benefit ratio of covid vaccination in healthy children and adults under 40 years of age remains controversial.
Excess mortality: In most countries, the pandemic increased mortality by about 5% to 25%. Some of the additional deaths were caused not by covid, but by indirect effects of the pandemic and lockdowns (including an increase in drug overdose deaths).
Symptoms: About 30% of all infected persons show no symptoms. Overall, about 95% of all people develop at most mild or moderate symptoms and do not require hospitalization. Obesity, in particular, is a major risk factor for severe covid.
Treatment: For people at high risk or high exposure, early or prophylactic treatment is essential to prevent progression of the disease. Numerous studies found that early outpatient treatment of covid can significantly reduce hospitalizations and deaths.
Long covid: Up to 10% of symptomatic people experience post-acute or long covid, i.e. covid-related symptoms that last several weeks or months. Long covid may also affect young and previously healthy people whose initial course of disease was rather mild.
Transmission: Indoor aerosols appear to be the main route of transmission of the coronavirus, while outdoor aerosols, droplets, as well as most object surfaces appear to play a minor role.
Masks: Face masks had no influence on infection rates, which was already known from studies prior to the pandemic. Even N95 masks had no influence on infection rates in the general population. Moreover, long-term or improper use of face masks can lead to health issues.