Leading immunologist warns the next three months will be frightening
How bad is the Coronavirus pandemic about to get? A lot worse, according to one of Australia’s leading immunologists. And that spells bad news for just about everyone.
I have just returned to the office after attending a presentation from leading immunologist, Professor John Dwyer AO.
His comments on the Coronavirus were largely restricted to Australia, and included the following:
- He thinks the next three months will be frightening; and he would not be surprised if one person in five in NSW, for example, becomes infected unless the Government enforces self-isolation – which he supports as it would reduce harm in the longer run;
- Australia still does not have enough testing capacity and is unlikely to have that for some weeks. It currently takes three days to get the test results;
- 16 million Americans got the ‘flu over their winter and it was regarded as a bad one. Australia’s winter normally follows suit. Professor Dwyer believes free ‘flu vaccine should be made available immediately for the entire Australian population (not from mid-April when usually only 40 per cent of the population get the ‘flu vaccine);
- If you stand up on public transport you are 6 times more likely to pick up the virus (as it remains on solid surfaces for twelve hours). Consider walking, riding or driving;
- The concept of “flattening the curve and lengthening the tail” will benefit the health authorities and health workers who will be under enormous pressure, but the entire community needs social distancing/ self-isolation for three months, not two weeks, for serious harm reduction;
- Assuming social distancing/ self-isolation is not enforced, Professor Dwyer believes we need to avoid places where people congregate, including restaurants, clubs, bars, cinemas and where possible, public transport. Try to ensure a 1.8 metre distance from your “neighbour”;
- Assuming there is no enforcement in terms of social distancing/ self-isolation, Professor Dwyer believes on balance children are better off at school, as they bounce back quickly and are less likely to pass the virus on to the older generation; and
- Professor Dwyer is very optimistic a vaccine will be available in 2021.