Coronavirus, the virologist Silvestri: “The lockdown is likely to do more damage than the virus”


Rome, May 27, 2020 – While in Italy we are still screwed in the debate on the limitations in moving from one region to another, in the rest of the world we look at overcoming the concept of lockdown. The immunologist says so Guido Silvestri. “We are on the twenty-second day since the reopening of May 4, no sign of the virus’s flashback,” writes the researcher, who teaches at Emory University in Atlanta, USA. “I have a vague feeling that the profession of catastrophist is becoming tiring.” Silvestri believes that the heat could play a role in mitigating the expression of the Sars-CoV-2 virus, excluding apocalyptic scenarios – now clearly busted – such as the one that hypothesized 151 thousand hospitalized in intensive care in Italy by June 8 in case of reopening (actually intensive care has emptied). Rather a return of the Coronavirus in December, monitoring and preparation will be essential in view of the winter season. In the pills of optimism, the American professor replies to his friends who ask him why, two months later, he changed his mind declaring himself against the drastic closings. “Given that there are many types of lockdowns, defining oneself for or against closing makes little sense, it is normal to update oneself in the light of knowledge”.

The key facts, in addition to the seasonality of the virus, concern natural immunity in the population, therapies, and the fact that total closures have not always given better results than partial or limited solutions, see the example of Florida. It fits into the debate Michael Levitt, Stanford professor, Nobel laureate in chemistry, according to which indiscriminate closures can cause many more breakdowns than the virus has done, even in terms of human lives. The most significant outbreaks have occurred in rest homes, hospitals, families: in other contexts they are rare. On the other hand, we have enormous psychological and socio-economic damage. Israel, Germany and Sweden have chosen more complex solutions. Lockdowns linked to Coronavirus have managed to destroy livelihoods for millions of people, says a study signed by JP Morgan. The author of the report, Marko Kolanovic, a physicist, claims that governments have been frightened by analysts and models based on questionable premises. The balance sheets will be made in the end, but the advantages in the restart will be evident in the realities that have limited the lockdown to a minimum. So far foreigners.

To conclude, an outburst of the professor Matteo Bassetti, President of the Italian Society of Anti-Infectious Therapy, which alludes to the new measures of social containment, entrusted to unspecified volunteers: “Italians do not need guardians – observes Professor Bassetti – we have already had enough. Just tell them what they need or instead they don’t have to complicate things with multiple and different ideas regarding the protection tools, from physical distancing to the mask. To get out of the impasse just be very simple: few rules, clear and shareable. Without needing to have other policemen they say what you don’t have to do. ”

The debate is therefore open. But, really, it still makes sense to return to closures how to measure bolt to deal with a possible second wave? There is a growing awareness that we can live with the virus by following the known hygiene rules, without changing the foundations of our society.

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