Should we be afraid of COVID-19?

Saulius Čaplinskas. Photo Julius Kalinskas 15min

Conspiracy theorists say that the coronavirus does not exist at all and Bill Gates staged a pandemic to take over the world through computer chips that people will receive through vaccinations.

In turn, we decided to address the same question to a specialist in our country, Professor Saulius Čaplinskas, former head of the Centre for Infectious Diseases and AIDS. And our question is this: now you can hear a lot of conspiracy theories related to the coronavirus. So does COVID-19 exist?

The fact that there are different forums of conspiracy theories and so on, is nothing new. This always happens when a new disease appears. Even more so, if it leads to the people dying. And whenever we find some new disease – no matter what it is – Ebola, HIV infection, or this new coronavirus – it is clear that in the beginning, in general, the most difficult cases fall into the field of view of doctors. 

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Mortality is much terrible

Therefore, mortality seem much higher and much more terrible. Now, one thing is clear – this virus is easily transmitted by aerosol and airborne droplets. That is, if we stay close enough and long enough … how long “long enough” is – it’s hard to say. But it is clear that the closer, the longer without protection of the lungs, respiratory tract, without a mask, both from a potentially infected person and from someone who can become infected, the likelihood of infection is quite high. Moreover, the virus is transmitted in an asymptomatic form. While a person may have no symptoms, without knowing themselves, they can transmit the virus.

But now it is clear that, let’s say, if we compare it with the flu, then the infection – that is, how quickly you can get infected – is somewhere about 8 times faster at infecting than the flu. And the mortality rate is about ten times higher than from the flu. Here’s a comparison of the consequences, as they say. But this is only one part of the problem. Another part of the problem is that among many recovered people – the likelihood that they will have some kind of long-lasting repercussions to their health makes it much more dangerous than, say, with the flu. With influenza, if you are successfully treated, there will be no problems, as it were. Another thing is that the flu also causes complications. But with the coronavirus infection, the likelihood of later complications, long-term complications, is much higher.

In the end, despite some attempting to compare them, the flu and the coronavirus are incomparable things. They are completely different viruses and the consequences of one, namely COVID-19, can be far worse.

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