Corona will stay

If you want to reduce the mistakes in pandemic management and communication strategy to one key point, then this is the idea that you can eradicate the Sars-Cov2 virus. For this you would need a sterile vaccine, but you do not have it and it is also quite impossible that there will ever be one. A rational policy would have recognized this at the very latest in the spring of 2021 and said goodbye to the goals of herd immunity or even a zero Covid strategy. But the corona policy in this country has nothing to do with ratio. Instead, slogans of perseverance are still propagated today, according to which one has to master "only this winter", after which corona would have been overcome. Cynically, one could say that the expected social burden of disease will actually decline noticeably next year – but only if the "containment strategy" fails and many people become infected. If this does not happen, then next autumn we will face a no less small problem than today.

Worldwide, the statistical data show one thing – Covid 19 is a disease in the initial infection, which can be a very dangerous disease, especially in certain risk groups. The burden of the disease is borne almost exclusively by the elderly and people with certain pre-existing conditions, with obesity in particular appearing to be a key factor. However, the disease loses much of the horror when there is a primary vaccination. Yes, there are vaccine breakthroughs, but they usually only lead to a "moderate" disease, which, however, in the case of the elderly and multimorbids, can be the famous drop that overflows the barrel. However, this also applies to other viral colds and bacteriological infections.

The primary vaccination can be done by vaccination. However, it can also be caused by infection. From the epidemiological point of view, it makes no sense to distinguish vaccinated and recovered. There are only immunized ones here. If there is an artificial or natural primary vaccination, the second infection proceeds in the vast majority of cases symptom-free or mild. The virologist Christian Drosten, who is otherwise not exactly known for epidemiological rationalism, sees such a second or third infection as a "natural booster that could probably generate a broad and further maturing immune response." So if you leave out the so-called vaccine breakthroughs, the entire pandemic management should actually only be about those who do not yet have a basic vaccination.

In Germany, at least 58 million people are currently vaccinated and, according to the RKI, 5.1 million are considered recovered, i.e. naturally immunized. However, the number of unreported cases is likely to be higher by at least a factor of two, if not even three. If the virus hit almost 80 million people without basic vaccination in the autumn of last year, today there are only a maximum of around 20 million, depending on the method of counting. Let's make a mind game: if half of these 20 million get infected within a year, there will still be 10 million people without basic immunization in the fall of 2022. In the fall of 2023 it would be five million, in the fall of 2024 it would be two and a half million, and so on. That's the perspective.

Even without vaccination, the number of immunized people will inevitably increase. If there is also progress in the medical treatment of the disease and its symptoms in the near future, Covid 19 could soon be a relatively normal disease, which is circulating again and again, especially in autumn and winter, usually as a mild to moderate cold disease and has lost its horror.

If you look at the pandemic with a little more ratio and from this point of view, you can also see that the currently regionally occurring higher burdens on hospitals could have been avoided. The virologist Klaus Stöhr expresses it in a worth listening to interview as follows: "Because no higher incidences were allowed in the summer," the infection pressure is now naturally greater in autumn and winter. Other countries have taken a smarter approach. And Stöhr is right.

Covid will stay forever

For example, while Sweden and the UK have allowed significantly more infections than Germany over a longer period of time due to their cessation of measures, these countries now have much more room for maneuver in the fall, where cold viruses are traditionally on the rise. Or to top it off: anyone who has become infected in the summer does not clog an intensive care unit in the winter. The figures support this thesis impressively.

Covid will stay forever

In the UK, new infections have already increased drastically shortly after the corona measures were discontinued in July and have since been at a high but controllable level. There was no disaster in the hospitals. Instead, the number of hospitalizations is at a consistently manageable level, which is very significantly below the sometimes uncontrollable level of the first three waves in spring 2020 and in the winter half of 2020/2021. Thus, the UK copes with both the natural primary immunization of the unvaccinated and the vaccine breakthroughs of the vaccinated. Basically, this strategy is nothing more than the famous "flatten the curve" of the early pandemic period. Only this time with a clear exit scenario and without measures that restrict people.

Covid will stay forever

Germany pursued a different strategy. Here, in the summer and early autumn, new infections were pushed to an extremely low level. Now, at the beginning of the cold season, there are unnecessarily many people who are not yet immunized. This is a problem with the announcement, but it cannot distract from the fact that the death rates – especially in the context of the "record values" for new infections – are also very significantly lower in Germany than in the previous waves, which hit a mostly not yet immunized population.

"The pandemic is only over when everyone has been infected," says Klaus Stöhr. The question that a rational pandemic management would have to ask itself is basically just how to distribute the infections over time so that there is no collateral damage. Or to put it with Klaus Stöhr - it's about the "pain tolerance of society". Corona will stay, that's for sure. There will be no herd immunity. But what will inevitably happen is herd immunization. When this is achieved, corona will finally become a "normal" disease among many. The phenomenon of "Corona", which has been keeping the world in suspense for almost two years, is then in any case history. How we design the way to it is open. What is certain, however, is that hysteria and alarmism block a rational way out of the dilemma. And last but not least: the hysterical debate about the vaccination status of people is the exact opposite of a rational approach. Everyone has the right to decide for himself which form of immunization he prefers and this should not be shaken.