14 Months Later: A Pathway Forward

by Paul Alexander

Is there a chance to recover and to effectively vanquish Covid-19, at least to end the pandemic and return to normal lives again? We function here as prognosticators and contrarians that seek to inform and share and to learn, and we thus argue yes, and while we were blindsided and there were grave initial mistakes and some very consequential such as the very flawed and botched initial testing by the CDC that left the United States vulnerable and flying blind and allowed the virus to seed for 4 to 5 weeks initially, the following are the key components of the Covid-19 response that should have been enacted from inception (save 3-4 weeks initially to understand the pathogen) and which should be urgently implemented based on the experiences over the last 14 months or so. In our opinion.

We offer this as a pathway forward and ask that we consider these as we try to deal with essentially failed approaches thus far, and use our common sense and deductive reasoning and logic to interpret the science and make informed decisions. We call on the medical experts who inform governments to likely for the first time, use some common sense and logic and some critical thinking; if it is all about the science, we implore the medical decision-makers to follow the data and science and to use it and use critical analysis of the data; we argue they have not; these decision-makers must understand the impact of their policies and stopping Covid ‘at all costs’ is not a policy and not attainable; if a policy is devastating and causing great harm to the population, you stop it, you do not harden it and reapply it as that is patently absurd and harmful; as such, we also ask our decision-makers to conduct the appropriate hazard analyses and cost-effective analyses.

Our pathway forward is as follows:

  1. Properly and strongly protect the high-risk elderly persons with medical conditions and vulnerable persons e.g. frail persons with comorbid conditions, obese persons; elderly persons in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, long-term care facilities etc. are most at risk for severe illness or death from Covid-19 and they must be protected as a basis for any response to work; staff infecting nursing home residents remains the key breach in transmission and the rate-limiting step and has to be focused on immediately; stop staff from entering the nursing homes and infecting residents (sequester staff on site for one to two weeks at a time with no prejudice if they cannot, or use nursing home students or nearby hotels for residence to control transmission); we have failed to secure our nursing home residents and we have caused tens of thousands of deaths and we still continue to not secure the nursing homes

  2. Immediately end all societal lockdown, shelter-in-place, mask mandate, and school closure policies; we must reopen all of our economies in the US, Canada (provinces such as Ontario), UK etc. as there are tremendous harms to these economic closures; there are catastrophic costs to these policies and evidence accumulated across one year now strongly suggests that these are highly ineffective and do not work; they are absolutely baseless and without merit; stop relying on hypothetical ‘worst case scenario’ projection models, as they have been incredibly inaccurate and grossly flawed; the crushing harms and devastation from these far outweigh any benefit and the harms are most pronounced among the poorer in society who are least able to afford the restrictions; the lockdown itself kills people, destroys families, prevents education of our children; child abuse is being missed by closed schools and the lockdowns promotes child abuse; lost jobs cause stress in the household and with closed schools, children are vulnerable as the visibility is gone and this is catastrophic; there is near zero risk to children from Covid and we are harming them by school closures, it was one of the most devastating misapplications of public policy; most of the decisions made by the governments and their medical advisors including Dr. Fauci who I have much respect for, are illogical, absurd, irrational, nonsensical, specious, and in most part reckless and have caused far greater harms with their policies

  3. Isolate ONLY the sick/symptomatic persons (no isolation of asymptomatic persons); stop contact tracing where the virus has already spread extensively as it confers no benefit; stop isolating persons who are not sick/not symptomatic (are asymptomatic); stop wide testing of asymptomatic persons

  4. Foster improved hand-washing hygiene and improved sanitation

  5. Promote and offer early ambulatory outpatient therapeutics including combined and sequenced antivirals and anti-infectives and for some drugs as prophylaxis (hydroxychloroquine, ivermectin, doxycycline, bromhexine, colchicine, favipiravir, quercetin etc.), corticosteroid (budesonide, dexamethasone, prednisone and methylprednisolone etc.), and antithrombotic drugs (aspirin, enoxaparin etc.) as needed for those who do become ill, especially high-risk persons and those in congregate settings such as nursing homes, assisted living facilities, long-term care facilities etc.; we recognize that future research would clarify and define the benefit of these early treatments; we believe that it is not possible to overstate the philosophy that since early in-center treatment with already available medications (repurposed) in nursing homes and similar settings is associated with a large reduction in mortality among nursing home residents, there can be no scientifically sound reasons, nor moral rationale for not utilizing these forms of treatment; we are trying to prevent hospitalizations and save lives and strongly believe that this approach can be impactful and merits strong consideration; the accumulating early treatment evidence is compelling and deserving of very serious consideration and study as a therapeutic option, given this emergency. To do otherwise is to fail our patients 

  6. Vaccines should be mainly available to those over 70 years of age who are high-risk and only after shared decision-making with their clinicians whereby patients can make informed decisions and consent to being fully informed; offer vaccines to high-risk front line medical staff who interact with high-risk persons; we however believe that this pandemic could have been and can be ended without vaccines e.g. via the simultaneous use of combined strong protections of the elderly and high-risk, early outpatient treatment, isolation of the sick only, hand-washing hygiene, and allowing the low-risk portion of the population to become infected naturally and harmlessly with reasonable precautions as part of normal living; a vast amount of our views on this is based on the lack of safety data and testing for these vaccines, leaving us unable to judge the future impact; we are already seeing adverse effects and even deaths recorded due to the vaccines

  7. Thus, vaccines are not to be given/prioritized for those under 70 years of age who are healthy, and not to young persons e.g. those under 19 years of age; no vaccines are to be administered to pediatric/children age e.g. 6 months to 19 years or so as there is no evidence to support vaccinations; the benefits do not outweigh the risks. It is also important that we remind that this issue of asymptomatic spread and recurrent infection is a false narrative in our opinion. These two are extremely rare and are being used to drive fear and thus the need for vaccine. These happen very rarely and was used to drive the fear so as to impose the illogical and unscientific lockdowns. Our review of the evidence indicates that the issue of asymptomatic spread and recurrent infections (re-infections) is a false narrative and cannot be backed up with evidence.

  8. Begin immediate testing for T-cell immunity before vaccinating the designated group, if we are vaccinating the higher-risk persons; we do not vaccinate persons who have active infection or who have recovered from infection

  9. Routine public service announcements (PSAs) are to be given on the benefits of Vitamin D supplements for persons with darker skin colours and those confined within congregate settings for prolonged periods, as well as messaging about the benefits of weight loss for those overweight and obese

  10. Use a more reliable test other than the RT-PCR test and if this is to be used, use a positive threshold cut-point or cycle count threshold (Ct) of 25 cycles/amplifications and below to denote a positive case (infectious and possibly pathogenic); above Ct of 25 denotes nonculturable, nonviable virus and essentially prior infection or viral dust or fragments

  11. Allow and foster the low-risk persons in the population e.g. infants, children, teenagers, young adults, middle-aged adults and all those who are reasonably healthy with no serious medical conditions, to live unfettered normal lives with sensible precautions so as to allow for natural exposure immunity; it is this portion of society that will substantially help develop population level ‘herd’ immunity (either via natural exposure, a vaccine, a combination of both, or even from therapeutics such as early treatment that reduces symptoms and thus transmission)

  12. Recognize that asymptomatic spread is rare if at all and urgently provide messaging to the public that all persons who get infected are not at equal risk of severe illness or death; that there is an age gradient to severity of outcomes e.g. 25-year old David who is a healthy male is not at the same risk of severe illness or death if infected with SARS-CoV-2 as 80-year old Janet who is very sick with 2 underlying medical conditions such as renal disease and cardiovascular disease and who is obese

  13. Recognize that a more ‘focused’ pandemic response (Great Barrington Declaration) approach that is targeted to age and risk is the best approach; ‘one size does not fit all’ when we are devising a pandemic response

  14. Ensure hospitals are equipped and do not get overwhelmed

  15. Understand that the immune systems of children are developing and being set for life and as such, we must allow them to engage freely with the environment; we may be damaging their immune systems long-term and we must allow their immune systems to be taxed and tuned up daily; children must not be confined indoors as transmission is far greater when confined indoors and it is just common sense

  16. End masking and social distancing in any manner for children given their near zero risk of infection or spreading COVID virus as well as their exceedingly low risk of severe illness or death if infected; there is no evidence of any benefit; the science behind 6 feet social distancing was not there and pseudo-science, embarrassingly weak and fear based; there are increasing reports of harms due to the use of these COVID face masks. We have looked at all of the mask evidence and the blue surgical masks and cloth masks are all ineffective. There is no evidence definitive that they are effective in stopping transmission (see the Danish RCT and the Marine recruit study as well as the Swedish data on the 1.95 million Swede kids <16 years with no mask mandate and no school closures, and there were zero deaths, ‘0’). Mask mandates in all states in the US and all nations, based on our analysis, showed that mask mandates have all failed, and cases spike after imposition of such mandates. They do not work. Outdoor masks are nonsensical, as there is little to no transmission outdoors. Less than 10% of transmission happens outdoors as there is ventilation. You are 19 times less likely to be infected outdoors than indoors, due to the sunlight, the heat, and the ventilation. Come on, it is time you used your common sense. You do not need a mask when you go walking or riding or hiking outdoor or even driving in your car. Think. Moreover, if you have had COVID and cleared it and recovered, you are essentially immune. Toss the mask in the garbage, you do not need it. Natural exposure immunity is far more broad, durable, and protective and long term than even vaccine immunity.

  17. Stop the drive to keep our people in fear, cowering under their beds needlessly; stop the mass media hysteria and fear about variants and mutations, as this is a good aspect, as when viruses mutate they typically mutate to much milder versions; moreover, there is no credible available evidence anywhere that the variants are more lethal, none; the vast majority of people who are infected do not have a serious problem with COVID, near 100%; ‘infections’ are not important and they are not a serious problem and one may argue ‘who cares’ about that number; it is not that we do not care about ‘infections’, for we do; but the message we are trying to get across is that a) the PCR test with its high false positives impact these numbers, thus making interpretation sub-optimal and b) one may test positive but have no symptoms or are mildly symptomatic with no real problematic sequelae which is the vast majority of instances; what is critical is not the fear that the media and television medical experts drive over ‘infections’, but rather it is the hospitalization, ICU use, and deaths that may result (in a minor portion of instances), not the number of infections; we need to get a grip and stop the fear mongering; if the infections do not result in consequential cases that need hospitalization or end in death, then we must stop the misinformation, hysteria and fear to the public. Stop it, allow people to live their lives, secure the elderly high-risk properly, use early outpatient treatment that exists, and let us go on with life. There is more to life than COVID and this insanity! There are much more serious pathogens, chronic diseases, and situations and risks in life that we have learnt to live with and accept.

  18. We close by reminding, that asymptomatic mass testing causes harms and drives fear and it is useless, and lockdowns, school closures, and business closures cause sufferation all the way around. We saw real evidence of business owners in the US and children in the US committing serious self harms and suicides by mid of 2020 due to the lockdowns. Not the virus. Asymptomatic testing is non-sensical and not needed. It is important as we close this op-ed, to remind people that our precious elderly have lost the rhythm and rhyme of life with these lockdowns and restrictions and many do not even get to shower in their aged homes they are residing in. Their dementia escalates and they lose hope and die miserably. Our precious elderly that we have failed to properly secure as staff infect them by bringing pathogen from the outside, and we suffer them in the last months with this crushing isolation. They want their autonomy back in the last few months and years of life. When we inquire how our seniors want to live the last few months of their lives and even year (s), they just want to be left in peace and to leave the world on their terms. They are not being fully informed on the vaccine and are being pushed and coerced and do not give informed consent and this is immoral and unethical and even illegal. Maybe they do not want protection, and we must not impose this on our seniors. If they want protection, yes, then we aid them, but we must take their needs and views into account. They are not ‘chattel’. We are here because of them and all they have done for us in the prime of their lives. We need to appreciate they are human beings that gave their best years and in this last period, must be afforded the gracious mercy and understanding and respect. We must allow them their dignity. They simply want their dignity and to live it out how they wish, not locked in their 2 x 2 room and with no freedom, no bath, no interaction, even after they take the vaccine. Why not allow things to be optional for them? Why force the vaccine on them? 

This all makes no sense and CDC and Dr. Fauci and Dr. Birx have made no sense and have really suffered our elderly and their families who cannot even visit their elderly. These are smart people and we cannot speak for what is going on in their heads but what these Task Force people have done to the American people is reprehensible. The guidance by the CDC also remains non-sensical at best and utterly absurd at worst when you read it. One minute you do not carry the virus if vaccinated, the next day you do carry the virus if vaccinated. This is so horrible and there are no words to describe what Fauci and these unscientific absurd television medical experts have done and fostered in their nonsense. They leave the public so confused and dismayed. These ‘medical experts’ have been flat wrong on most everything to do with this pandemic and now the vaccine. It is emerging as a serious problem and people are not being properly consented or told the facts on the vaccine. Case in point the recent CDC study on vaccinating pregnant women is very flawed as it bases its conclusions on 78 pregnant women who took the vaccine and have COVID. How can you make a policy or inform the population based on 78 persons? And they, CDC, did not even conduct a comparative analysis of the alternative cohort of similar but unvaccinated pregnant women to assess the impact of the vaccine on sequelae to the pregnant woman and the developing child in utero (and even post delivery). This is a live human being in there, why take this unprecedented risk? It is outrageous and particularly this push to vaccinate persons recovered from COVID or with present active COVID when there is no benefit from this and there could be a harmful reaction. Why not test these persons for antibody/T-cell immunity etc. to ascertain status and do not offer vaccine to those who are recovered as these people have natural immunity which is much more robust, broad, comprehensive, and durable (some may even say ‘sterilizing’) than a vaccine induced immunity due to a very narrow ‘spike-specific’ immunity? Why this rush with a vaccine that has no credible safety data? We have none and safety will be collected in the coming years. This raises serious concerns. Why even consider vaccinating children? We are against this, children must not receive any vaccine for COVID as there is no risk to them (getting infected, spreading it, or getting seriously ill) and I will go on record stating we could have dealt with this pandemic with zero vaccine. This is very problematic and I argue for no vaccines. Only for high risk persons and situations once fully consented. 

To end, we must come to the population and the Faucis et al. must tell us once and for all, that ‘we are not all at equal risk of severe outcome if infected’. This was the one message that Fauci et al. put out day one and it is the image and belief in the minds of all that leaves us unable to emerge fully. People remain scared and uninformed for they believe this tripe, this utter unscientific nonsense. And it has crippled us. It is 100% untrue. It must be corrected on the record. Also, do all we can to end censorship, for this COVID disaster caused by Fauci and Birx, the hysterical uninformed media cartel, and the illogical, academically slopping, cognitive dissonance medical experts on television, with their utter garbage day in, day out, have shown us that without debate, without open discussion, then there will be no path forward. With no questioning and push back on their verbal nonsense, then the public is the ultimate loser as we have seen as we look around and try to emerge form what has been done the last near 15 months. This madness will never end. Science and medical advancement demands and requires open debate and questioning of those making decisions. As Kuldorff and Atlas have said (Barrington Declaration), we have lost the 300 years gained from the Age of Enlightenment. 

Contributing Authors

  • Paul E Alexander MSc PhD, McMaster University and GUIDE Research Methods Group, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada elias98_99@yahoo.com
  • Howard C. Tenenbaum DDS, Dip. Perio., PhD, FRCD(C) Centre for Advanced Dental Research and Care, Mount Sinai Hospital, and Faculties of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada howard.tenenbaum@sinaihealth.ca
  • Dr. Parvez Dara, MD, MBA, daraparvez@gmail.com

Published by the American Institute for Economic Research