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“Russian “and” German ” miracle: Can Soviet BCG vaccination protect us from coronavirus

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For once, we were lucky! The coronavirus clearly spares us and this is evident from the numbers. Don’t believe in morbidity: look at the mortality rate. Everyone talks about the “German miracle” and is silent about the Russian: but in Germany, 2,800 deaths per 82 million people, while in Russia – less than 100 per 145 million. At the same time, we are testing in absolute numbers no less than Germany. And death from coronavirus today can not hide: here the statistics are accurate, pathoanatomic testing is mandatory. Maybe it’s really all about BCG vaccination? After all, in the same Germany, the low numbers are partly due to the large number of East Germans, in the GDR BCG was also mandatory. I don’t know, and no one knows yet. We will have to learn a lot about this infection and most importantly – how stable the immune system is in this disease.

What we know for sure: COVID-19 in the vast majority of cases claims the lives of the elderly (70+) and chronically ill people (heart diseases, including hypertension, diabetes, Oncology, severe lung and kidney diseases). Statistics from the sad record holders-the United States and Italy-show that the vast majority of people who died are over 75 years old, with a gap of 65-70 years. 55-64 make up 1-3%, 20-54 – less than 1%. As of the end of March, there are no deaths in the United States of 19 years or younger (“MMWR” 18 March 2020). This partly explains the lower mortality rate from influenza in the same Italy during this season – both the flu and the coronavirus collect their victims in the same population of people (something like the principle of communicating vessels or the law of conservation of energy: “where as many in one place will die, as many in another place will arrive”).

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I will not now make fun of the health care system in the United States and Europe (countries that spend unthinkable money on medicine for us), which literally collapsed from a small (let’s call a spade a spade) in relation to the total death rate of severe cases. In the world, 160-180 thousand people die per day. Small, but not expected.


Our cumbersome and, as it seemed to me, outdated health care system with an emphasis not on primary outpatient care, but on hospitals, may actually be more adapted to extreme conditions. We have many times more hospital beds per capita than in the West. The world was surprised to learn that we have more ventilators and protective equipment than they do.

God grant that we will not have to take advantage of all these advantages, but rather we will help them for the time being. What we shouldn’t do is relax. Doctors can treat, but not stop the spread of the disease. Only we can stop it ourselves, taking all measures not to infect each other. Yes-the quarantine will not completely stop the spread of the epidemic. Just because a real quarantine is not possible today: doctors and other employees go to work, we go to stores and pharmacies, continuous production can not be stopped.

But it is possible and necessary to get as close to the ideal as possible. Remember – “small, but unexpected”? There is such a concept: “controlled infection”. Not she us, and we it. Today, our mortality rate from coronavirus is much lower than from influenza and orders of magnitude lower than from other pneumonias. This is also ensured by quarantine measures. One way or another, in a certain period of time, we will get sick in the mass and so acquire collective (herd) immunity. But the main thing now is to survive the presentation of a new virus and its implantation from the animal world into our human world as painlessly as possible. And it is always stormy – far from the first (and – alas-not the last epidemic!).

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Also, panic kills more people than the infection itself. We can see this in the surge in heart attacks and strokes, because all these horrors on TV primarily affect the same vulnerable group of people as the coronavirus.

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