30 April EXIT strategies, vaccines, fake medicines

Thu, 04/30/2020 - 21:07

Dear colleagues,

I have a maybe slightly different letter for you today with 2 “lighter” topics first, but then some serious questions about how we reorganize ourselves in the New Earth, called “COVID 2.0”:

  1. As you know, one of our tasks is to fight against fake news and fake remedies.  To the latter category belongs a product Viroprotect an oropharyngeal spray, promoted for acute and prophylactic treatment of respiratory virus infection and common colds, but now also for COVID-19.  It contains trypsine and is inactive at best or even potentially dangerous, as it could active the SARS-CoV-2 viral spike.  With some colleagues, we try to warn against this product by a Letter in the Eur J Clin Pharm (see first two attachments)


  1. Please find a very didactic overview of vaccines in the 3rd attachment: just ready for a presentation to your undergraduate students.  Very complementary to the series I presented on Tuesday


  1. A colleague (AB) sent me this provocative opinion in the Lancet (4rd attachment), stating that we should just test everybody for SARS-CoV-2 on a regular basis to keep the epidemic under control, keep the economy and the social life going and safe many lives.  Please read and consider it.


  1. Ann also called attention for this typical British phenomenon Lockdown TV, with long thoughtful interviews with prominent scientists. . The first interview is with Johan Giesecke from Sweden, the second a kind of reply by Neil Ferguson of UK. They discuss the pro’s and con’s of the lockdown measures. The interviews and the accompanying article are quite interesting as they address very pertinent questions. Which choices should we make as a society? What is the price we are prepared to pay to get back to our previous lifestyle?



  1. Our colleague Anne Laudisoit made a nice summary of the evidence that SARS-Cov-2 could be a “reverse zoonosis” (see  attachment).  I guess you heard the stories on the Hongkong dogs, the Belgian cats, the New York tigers? But we should also be careful not to infect our already endangered cousins, the non-human primates, not only in zoos, but even in sanctuaries. Maybe there is also a risk for minks  in farms. And on the other hand, remember also that Christian Drosten suspects the raccoons dogs, also kept in farms,  as the potential “intermediate host” where the bat virus that cannot infect humans directly “transformed” into the SARS-CoV-2.  


With all the zoonoses, we already suffer from, because we either penetrate into animal sanctuaries for hunting and bush meat (think of SIV and HIV), because we want to eat meat from pigs (Influenza) and cows (various GI bacteria) and chickens (Salmonella), with the unbearable greenhouse gas emission, and now again the new zoonosis SARS-CoV-2, dear colleagues isn’t it high time to seriously reconsider our relationship with the animal world?  Should we really hunt animals, eat animals, keep them in zoos? With a more rational use of agriculture and food technology, there is no good reason for any more in the 21st century. And it would be much better for our own health and for that of our planet….

Best wishes,