Many countries are coming out of quarantine: how such experiments on humans are useful to us

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Many countries are coming out of quarantine: how such experiments on humans are useful to us
Many countries are coming out of quarantine: how such experiments on humans are useful to us

Most quarantine restrictions will be lifted in Armenia from May 4, 2020. In Russia, measures are being developed for a phased exit from there in the near future. Trump in the US promises to do something similar. The question arises: how is this combined with the increase in morbidity in all these countries? What are the hopes of politicians planning to lift the quarantine in the midst of the epidemic? What will the citizens of these countries pay for their hopes and will it not be necessary to introduce quarantine again? Let's try to understand the situation.

Iran, February 2020

Paraphrasing a classic, sometimes you read the news and think: "It can't be." But anyone who has worked in the media for at least a few years knows for sure: anything can happen, and that which cannot be happens twice as often.

Each of us felt the undeniable correctness of this thought many times during the coronavirus crisis of 2020. We ourselves are not without sin: readers often recall our January forecast, which said that the epidemic would be crushed inside China and it would not break out. Now, when she was crushed in China, but outside there are already hundreds of thousands of dead, it is more than understandable: with the new coronavirus, you need to be more careful in your estimates. Making decisions is not as usual, but only on reflection.

News that can't be

And the current pandemic provides plenty of food for thought. Since May 4, 2020, the Armenian authorities will remove all restrictions on movement around the country, open hairdressing salons, factories, zoos and even sports clubs (professional). Restaurants and cafes will be able to work, however, only in the open air.


One could only be glad for this country. If it were not for one nuance: the number of cases is growing in Armenia, by May 3, 2,386 people were already diagnosed. This is approximately one in 1,200 inhabitants. Approximately the same indicator per capita in Russia, where the lifting of quarantine measures has not yet been promised.

At the same time, Russia is far from a resort: it is in second place in the world in the number of newly diagnosed cases of the new coronavirus. And it is very likely that it will take second place in the total number of cases of the disease. Why - we think it is not even necessary to explain. It is enough to look out into the street, where in some places it is simply dark in the air from the masses of self-isolators hurrying about their business.

We would have found ourselves on the first, but not destiny: there are many times more people living in America, so we cannot catch up with her on the coronavirus front either. So far, most of the infected have not yet recovered, but soon this will happen, and then there will be at least many thousands of victims.

As we can see, the situation in Armenia is no less acute than in our country. The increase in the number of cases there is 6% per day. This may seem a small level, but only if you do not remember that 6% per day in 12 days will double, and after 24 days - quadruple the number of detected infected. To feel the complexity of the current situation, it is not even necessary to divide the number of cases by the number of residents - just look at the graph.


In other words, there is a powerful outbreak of Covid-19 in Armenia, and this outbreak is growing, and does not subside at all. What are the local authorities hoping for and what will come of it?

The question is also quite relevant because the Armenian authorities are not the only ones in the world with strange ideas “let's get out of quarantine, despite the epidemic”. Rather, they are at the forefront of global trends.Take Elon Musk, a person who, at first glance (as well as all subsequent ones), is far from stupid.

The businessman says bluntly: “Honestly, I have to call this the forcible detention of people in their homes, in violation of all their constitutional rights. This is not what people came to America for or built this country for, what…. … …? Sorry. But this is a disgrace. If someone wants to stay at home, that's great … But to say that people cannot leave their homes and will be arrested if they do is somehow fascist … Give people back their fucking freedom."


Of course, one must understand that Musk's unhealthy idealism is extremely far from the healthier mental world of a typical politician who remembers the rights of people only when he has nothing more to say in his next campaign speech.

On the other hand, the politician knows that voters who have lost money from partial economic downtime will be angry and may not vote for him. Armenia, like many countries of the world, does not have large reserves, such as Russian ones, and therefore a simple economy for it will mean an inevitable and severe cuts in government and social spending.

That is, the idea behind the desire to end quarantine is clear. Politicians confidently say that social distancing plus restrictions - such as refusing public transport and visiting closed restaurants and cafes - will prevent the epidemic from growing to its full extent, and lifting the quarantine will give a sigh to the economy.

Often, such theses are supplemented with others: they say, all the same, all these quarantines of yours do not help, take a look at Italy, over there, in the province of Bergamo among the population of up to 62% of those who have been ill. So why waste the economy? And in general, look at Sweden or Belarus. Your quarantine is not there - and everything is fine.

Sweden, Belarus and others: what happens without quarantine

Alas, examples of this kind of policy are given without a full analysis of the situation that is observed where there is no quarantine. In Sweden, in fact, not so many people died as, say, in Italy - only 2,669 people. But only ten million lives in Carlson's homeland.


That is, about one person per 3850 inhabitants died there. In terms of Armenia, the "Swedish level" would be much for 750 dead, and in terms of Russia - more than 35 thousand people (ten times more than we have now killed). Doesn't sound like everything is fine, does it?

An even more unpleasant detail: the Swedish model has very poor prospects. Social distancing works there, but it can only slow down the epidemic somewhat rather than stop it. Over the last nine days of April and the first day of May, the death toll there increased by almost 20%. The number of cases in Sweden is not informative, because the Swedes do not even try to conduct large-scale testing of the population without pronounced symptoms of coronavirus.

All this means that the epidemic will continue to grow there for a very long time. As we have already noted, the summer heat and high humidity actually inhibit the spread of viral diseases through the air, but the temperatures required for this lie well over 20 degrees above zero.

Stopping the spread is generally possible only after plus 30 and the non-use of air conditioners, even in cars. It is highly doubtful that the Swedish summer will bring such weather. Therefore, we are betting that Sweden is only at the very beginning of its epidemic, and the total number of victims there will be noticeably higher.

Belarus is also a pretty bad example. There are already more than 1 patient identified per 700 inhabitants. Per capita this is much higher than in Russia, where there is at least a semi-quarantine. The epidemic in Belarus is in the initial phase, so there are still few deaths (most of the cases have not yet reached a severe stage), but from international experience it is already clear that there will be at least hundreds of them. Given the moderation of quarantine measures, there are more likely thousands, and it is good if the matter is limited to only this.

It is not at all worth referring to the experience of Bergamo, where, they say, everyone had been ill, and are about to come out of quarantine.Yes, it is likely that the majority have been ill there, and the majority are asymptomatic. But in this city and province of the same name, about every two hundredth inhabitant died.

Even for small Armenia, a repetition of such a mortality rate is strong for ten thousand victims. We won't even talk about Russia. The United States, with their Trumps and Masks, who urgently want to "give people free rein" would also be worth thinking about: are they ready to lose 1.6 million lives, much more than in all wars in American history?

The economic losses from such an event are very high, but the emotional losses are even greater. People are not ones and zeroes in bank accounts. They have something in their heads, they feel, and some also think. When the population sees that their authorities not only cannot protect them, but also think more about the economy than about the lives of those whom this economy serves, their mood, to put it mildly, does not improve.

They begin to feel contempt for the state, and after such events outbreaks of social unrest, an increase in the level of crime, an increase in cynicism in society, and much more are inevitable. Including - and a sharp deterioration in the statistics of cardiovascular diseases, as in the 1990s in Russia, when mortality from them jumped by about half a million people a year.

What will come out of the Armenian "special path"?

In general, the development of the situation is a bit predictable. Great Britain - a country with not the worst medicine - has already tried not to introduce quarantine and quickly realized that it would have to pay too much for it. Therefore, quarantine measures were nevertheless introduced there, however, late - there are already more than 28 thousand dead there, in the coming days the British will overtake Italy and begin to take more and more gaping peaks.


Armenia, with which we began this text, is a small country in which the infection can spread quickly. In addition, she is going to remove restrictions not like Israel, gradually and after reaching the plateau, but almost immediately and while still in the phase of active growth in the number of cases. This is the value of Armenia as a laboratory country. If the local authorities really lift the quarantine on May 4 this year, the Armenians will unwittingly become participants in a large, albeit inhuman experiment: “what will happen if, in the midst of a strong outbreak, you just take it and just kill it”.

Of course, the possibility of some luck cannot be ruled out. For example, in the event of extreme heat, the epidemic in Armenia may decline. Then, until the fall, the situation there will relatively stabilize. However, taking into account the details of "suppression of viruses by heat" described earlier, the likelihood of such a development of events is less than more sad - that is, a sharp outbreak of a new disease.

The most likely prognosis for the development of such an experiment is obvious: the number of cases will increase dramatically. There will be not 2386 of them, as it is now, but at least many thousands in May. Well, or not, if the local authorities decide to play "smart" and limit the scope of testing. True, this decision does not help for long, and even then only for those who do not think very well and do not understand that a sharp and already untraceable peak of diseases will follow after a decrease in the number of tests. And behind it - and a sharp increase in mortality.

This growth, as the experience of the same province of Bergamo shows, can be up to five thousand people per million inhabitants. Such losses in a short time paralyze first hospitals, and then morgues. A full-fledged economic life with him is still impossible, at least remove the quarantine, at least do not remove it. However, it is very likely that official Yerevan, frightened by the outbreak, will once again return quarantine - only now for a long time.

No matter how events develop in this country, by the will of a cruel accident it has become a laboratory with human experimental subjects, they will undoubtedly serve as lessons to the rest of the world. At least for those of its inhabitants who generally want to learn lessons.

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