Over 2 years into this pandemic I’ve learned not to treat all experts with the same respect! Be particularly careful of those who offer advice and comments that would lead to reduced caution! They may be right about many things but not always! Experts need ‘common sense’ as well as their scientific qualifications.
Example: The CSA for England recommended at the very start of the pandemic that as many children should get infected as soon as possible to give lasting protection. [I will note that to my knowledge no coronavirus – neither the 4 which produce the common colds nor SARS1 – have ever resulted in ‘herd immunity’.]
Example: ICU Consultant Good Hope Hospital, Sutton Coldfield stated on 10 Aug 2020 that there would be no second wave!
Example: There are still experts suggesting that herd immunity is the way out of this pandemic even though the experience in June 2022 is that reinfections are growing at an alarming rate, and that a preprint now suggests that reinfections result in significantly worse outcomes.
Example: several South African doctors described their experience with Omicron as ‘the vaccine we’ve all been waiting for’!
Example: I’m alarmed that several prominent medics approved of by the UK govt presently ignore and fail the mention the ‘epidemic’ of Long Covid now experience in the UK (ONS state over 2m suffering currently), and there’s no known cure, just some treatments for some of the symptoms.
This is not to infer that experts are wrong all the time. The thing to look out for is those making suggestions that things are getting better (when not enough time has elapsed to warrant it) and other suggestions which lead the viewers to assume that they can relax on the cautionary measures. In general, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine have had a good record, but on 25 Oct 2021 they came out with the unqualified prediction that UK daily cases would be down to 5,000 by Christmas. We all know what actually happened (Hint: Omicron). And we need to listen carefully. Far too often experts, particularly those representing the govt position, give only a limited view (such as hospitalisations and fatalities) but ignore longer-term problems. It is worth noting that even those who’ve only experienced asymptomatic infections, one year later on are experiencing a marked increase in the incidence of diabetes.
Even Prof Danny Altmann (Immunology Prof, Ed at OUP Oxford Open Immunol, associate ed Vaccine. ICL Research group with RJ Boyton) put out this warning tweet:
“Noting some of my friends (and professional colleagues who should know better) disbelieving that we have a BA4/5 wave, around 1 in 40 infected. often feeling really ill, time off work, some destined for #longcovid. Please remember masks, consider the CEV. 14:25 • 25/06/2022 • Twitter for iPhone”
Let’s still be careful out there.