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As long as the information about aerosols isn't taken seriously, RIVM and the virologists will keep unnecessarily forcing the 1.5-meter social distancing rule onto our society. In addition, a source of contamination is being ignored, which may have dire consequences by the time our schools open up again.
This will be a short blog. Maybe that will help the media and the general public to understand my findings better. I’m not a virologist and I don’t pretend to be one. However, I am academically educated and able to assess scientific research. My background as a social geographer and my experience with data and statistics help me to arrive at well-founded insights into the COVID-19 crisis.
I have long argued that aerosols indoors play an important role in the spread of the virus and that the risk of infection is significantly lower outdoors. This means that 1.5 meters distance indoors is not sufficient under certain circumstances, but also that 1.5 meters outdoors need not always be necessary (effective if possible, but not necessarily).
I have also long argued that worldwide evidence shows, that so called super spread events played a very important role in the exponential rise of the virus at the beginning of the outbreak. Because there are hardly any such events in the world anymore, we see a strong deflection of the exponential growth everywhere and there are no large second outbreak waves. Unfortunately, it is not yet understood that aerosols also play a role in the spread within healthcare institutions, as I communicated to responsible authorities 5 weeks ago. As a result, situations have sometimes arisen in which virtually everyone within these institutions became infected.
Instead of believing me on my word, I advise you to read this article dit artikel te lezen by a professor from Colorado, who gives the best description of aerosols I have read so far. Very accessible and very balanced. See the end of this article.
Also read this summery of a recent Japanese study:
RIVM and adjoining experts, who regularly appear on TV, think that the role of aerosols is minimal. They ignore my input from relevant scientific sources. What’s more, it leads to my findings being marginalized in the media. Time and again, what I have said appears to be confirmed by new studies and new examples. (Like the risks I described of the virus spreading among workers in the meat processing industry, that have now materialized in the Dutch city of Velp).
I find this interview last Saturday with the Dutch governments Corona fighters Van Dissel and Wallinga staggering. After two months we only hear that the is still not enough information to design an exit strategy. Even the most basic information about how many percent of the population is infected appears to be lacking. Also the calculation of the R0 is not based on hard information and is partly based on assumptions that have not been made public. Nevertheless, much more is already clear. It is only high time that all relevant scientific insights are included in the considerations for policy and measures.
As long as the information about the aerosols isn’t taken seriously, RIVM and virologists are unnecessarily pushing us into the “new normal” of the so called “1.5 meters society”. In addition, they ignore a source of contamination that may be relevant when schools reopen soon, with all its possible consequences.