“We are only at the beginning”: chemist explains how long corona measures have to take

Photo: screenshot tagesschau.de

Exit restrictions and ban on contact: Because of the corona crisis, we have been in an emergency for several weeks. But how long should this go on? The chemist Dr. Mai Thi Nguyen-Kim warns that the measures will be eased too quickly.

It’s not yet time to go back to our everyday life, says PhD chemist and Youtuber Mai Thi Nguyen-Kim in a commentary in the Tagesschau. Because: “We are only at the beginning of a long epidemic”.

In the past few days, various ways of ending the crisis more quickly have been discussed – for example, by deliberately creating “herd immunity”. In the Tagesschau, Nguyen-Kim explains why these ideas are not feasible or even negligent.

Nguyen-Kim: Herd immunity means 50 million people infected with corona

The basic idea of ​​herd immunity: If a large part of the population becomes infected with the virus, many people are immune to it. As a result, the virus no longer spreads as quickly as it currently does, which would also protect non-immune people better.

Nguyen-Kim says: “For natural herd immunity, roughly 50 million people in Germany would have to become infected. If our health system is not to collapse, this would only be possible with severe restrictions over a period of about one year. Unthinkable.”

Here is the video of Nguyen-Kim on Twitter or at the daily News:

Isolate only the risk groups?

Another suggestion that is being discussed in public: The virus is particularly risky for the elderly and people with previous illnesses. If the exit restrictions only applied to the risk groups, the rest of the population could live in normal everyday life again – and “build up herd immunity in a controlled manner”.

But Nguyen-Kim doesn’t think much of that either: “This idea is not only unsound, but grossly negligent. In practice, you cannot protect risk groups 100 percent. And any contact with a society that is just about to infect itself courageously would only be all the more dangerous. “

“Don’t be distracted by false solutions”

The only way out of the pandemic is therefore: “We have to stay focused and reduce the number of infections to such an extent that we can properly understand the infection chains again. […] Only then can we loosen up measures in such a targeted manner that we can all keep going until a vaccine arrives. ”We must not allow ourselves to be distracted by pseudo-solutions, after all, there has not been a pandemic in this force since the Spanish flu.

However, the situation could also unexpectedly ease – if many people have already been infected with the virus. You would then be unwittingly immune and contribute to herd immunity. In order to find out whether this is the case, extensive tests in the population would be necessary, which has not yet been possible.

“We won’t be able to do without a long time without giving up.”

Almost a week ago, Nguyen-Kim published a video on her YouTube channel MaiLab, in which she deals in more detail with the course of the corona crisis. The video has now been viewed more than 4.5 million times (as of April 8th). The chemist describes the two phases of pandemic control:

  • 1st phase: containment – The aim is to nip a disease as early as possible. This works through the isolation of sick people and contact persons as well as tests in the population
  • 2nd phase: Mitigation (damage limitation) – Germany is currently in this phase. Infection cases and contact chains are not clearly understandable. The infected can no longer be isolated in a targeted manner, so comprehensive measures (such as exit restrictions) are required instead. The goal is no longer to curb the pandemic, but to slow the spread.

Nguyen-Kim’s forecast: “We are working to relax the measures and regain normalcy. But for a long time we will not be able to do without it completely. ”

The video of the chemist on Youtube:

Read more on Techzle.com:

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  • Because of corona virus: 9 tips on how to make good use of your time at home
  • Coronavirus: Warning, these hand sanitizers don’t help

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