Keep calm and carry on… publishing

In the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic, my ‘doktorvater’ Steffen Roth managed to find the eye of the hurricane to write two interesting pieces on the current crisis:

Weak evidence for strong pandemic interventions. A 2019 WHO warning for the current COVID-19 crisis

Social distancing. Travel bans. Confinement. The purpose of this research note is to document that more than 50% of the world population are affected by WHO (World Health Organization) recommendations for the 2020 coronavirus crisis for whose effectiveness the WHO admits that the evidence quality is low or very low. This self-contradiction is confirmed by a WHO document published in October 2019 as well as supporting documentation from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. The research note concludes that an obvious resolution of this self-contradiction would be to limit restrictions to those for whose effectiveness the WHO’s document reported that there was at least moderate evidence. Available for download at SSRN.

COVID-19. Scenarios of a Superfluous Crisis

Case fatality rates (CFR) have been critical in the emergence and management of the current COVID-19 crisis. This article presents a comparative map of CFR for the coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) and influenza (H1N1 and H2N2). The mapped data shows that current CFR of SARS-CoV-2 are considerably lower than, or similar to those, of hospitalized patients in the UK, Spain, Germany, or international samples. We therefore infer a possible risk that the virulence of the coronavirus is considerably overestimated due to sampling biases, and that increased testing might reduce the general CFR of SARS-CoV-2 to rates similar to, or lower than, those of the common seasonal influenza. We conclude that governments, health corporations, and health researchers must prepare for scenarios in which the affected populations cease to believe in the statistical foundations of the current COVID-19 crisis and interventions. Available for download at SSRN.

Image borrowed from Techcrunch.

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