Posted on Jun 09, 2020, 5 p.m.
W.H.O has announced that COVID-19 very rarely spreads through asymptomatic carriers, which was the entire reason why global authorities imposed shut downs, lock downs, social distancing, and masks.
Asymptomatic carriers are also why some are pushing for mandatory vaccinations and contact tracing. If the spread of this virus were limited to those with obvious symptoms it could therefore be identified and avoided. The entire point of vaccines, contact tracing, lock downs, and social distancing is because of the fear of infection spreading from unknown asymptomatic carriers, of which according to W.H.O the risk is very low.
“The highest estimate was a transmission rate of 2.2%, suggesting “asymptomatic spread is unlikely to be a major driver of clusters or community transmission of infection.” WHO’s guidance also notes that some studies that have found evidence for asymptomatic transmission had small sample sizes, which would make their findings less statistically relevant. Additionally, some of these studies did not rule out alternative explanations for how some patients may have contracted the virus, like touching a contaminated surface.
W.H.O may just have ended all arguments that lock downs and social distancing needs to continue until there is a vaccine. This may mean that everyone can go back to work safely, except those who are actively showing symptoms, which is a small percentage of the population. A low cost handheld thermometer may be all that is needed to check temperatures for those entering establishments, employees and patrons alike. This announcement comes as good news to many economically struggling families, communities, and countries.
No symptoms could mean no risk of spread, so checking for symptoms may now be synonymous with achieving a safe workplace for all. Does this also mean that occupancy limits should be removed to allow all bars, movie theaters, tattoo parlors, gyms, restaurants, beauty salons, barbers, casinos, and clubs to operate at full capacity? Some would argue that the only rules that should remain is that those who have fevers or other symptoms be asked to leave/denied entry to an establishment, and they should also see a doctor to seek medical attention.
This announcement may have just ended the need for contact tracing as well, because if there is a “very rare” risk of an asymptomatic carrier why is this sort of tracking even needed? Those with obvious symptoms can easily be identified and avoided. Will all these surveillance apps that have been added to our mobile devices that we have been forced into installing with needed operational updates be removed?
To add to this the CDC recently announced that COVID-19 spreads mainly through close person to person contact, and that it doesn't spread easily in other ways, meaning that we don’t need to wear gloves, sanitize grocery bags, and packages anymore. Unless a person is showing symptoms we don’t even need to worry about shaking hands either. This is not to say to stop practicing proper hand hygiene, this we should have been doing all along and should not stop as there are many gross things we need to keep in check that our hands come into contact with.
This announcement does bring up several questions such as, if it is not spread by asymptomatic carriers how did it spread across the Diamond Princess, and how did it sneak into countries and nursing homes after testing and isolation measures were adopted? Some argue that the measures were not put in place quickly enough allowing enough people to enter before these measures were in place to cause the exponential spread.
Still there are skeptics for good reason: “Even if truly asymptomatic spread is very rare, pre-symptomatic transmission is likely to be important,” Carl Bergstrom, a biologist at the University of Washington wrote on Twitter. “We still need to wear masks and distance to avoid spreading the virus during this period, probably concentrated in days 3-6 after infection.”
After her press briefing in which Van Kerkhove said that the asymptomatic transmission appears to be “very rare” in an interview with TIME she said “I did not say that asymptomatic cases cannot transmit; they can,” Van Kerkhove says. “The question is, do they? And if they do, how often is that happening?” Her answers here really just add to the confusion, and offer no real clarity. According to her the W.H.O analyses suggest that symptomatic individuals are responsible for the majority of transmissions.
“We’re not ruling anything out,” says Maria Van Kerkhove, the World Health Organization’s (W.H.O) technical lead for COVID-19. “We’re not saying that [asymptomatic spread is] not happening. But we’re saying more transmission is happening among symptomatic individuals. People are looking for a binary, and it’s not that.”
Bergstrom however, was more clear and direct. The WHO’s statement “seems to suggest that people without symptoms don’t spread COVID19,” Bergstrom tweeted. “Does this mean shoppers, students, protesters, etc., don’t need masks/ distancing? No.”
"There remains scientific uncertainty..." says Liam Smeeth, professor of clinical epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine who was "quite surprised" by Van Kerkhove's original comments. "It goes against my impressions from the science so far that suggest asymptomatic (people who never get symptoms) and pre-symptomatic people are an important source of infection to others."
This excitement seems to be for not, as this appears to be yet another public case of flip flop announcements. What we have learned from this whole ordeal is that it is hard to know what we can trust to believe as being true when announced from any authority, and we especially can’t believe the mainstream media. What we can trust is our own immune system which can be enhanced with simple nutritional supplements, and by making more healthy lifestyle choices such as avoiding inflammatory processed junk foods, getting plenty of sleep, regular physical activity, and keeping stress levels in check.
After months of confusion, global economic devastation and mass death we are starting to reopen, and may be able to return to some form of normal, but will things ever be the same? As we begin to emerge from our homes we will have to make a choice as to what we believe, and what we are willing to risk.
Even without this announcement emerging research is suggesting that we can conquer this virus with vitamin C, vitamin D, zinc, Ivermectin and a handful of other already approved drugs, so the idea of staying on lock down until a mandatory vaccine is released just seems pointless to some.
So let’s sum this up: to be clear here we have yet more, no but yes, but mostly no, but maybe? It may be best to keep doing whatever routine you are doing to enhance your immune system for the time being, as staying healthy is after all the most responsible thing that anyone can do at any time, especially during a pandemic, whether it be exaggerated or not. All this flip flopping and inconsistency has done one thing rather accurately, which is to cause confusion along with creating a divide and civil unrest at a time when we should be coming together to support one another.
Materials provided by:
Content may be edited for style and length.
This article is not intended to provide medical diagnosis, advice, treatment, or endorsement.