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In the discussion about the measures agains the “novel coronavirus” which circulates around the globe since the beginning of 2020, critics of draconic measures like “lockdowns” are vilified as “corona deniers,” “covidiots,” and so on. Of these term, “corona denier” is the most characterstic as it represents best the state of mind of the person who uses it. Somebody who uses the term “corona denier” identifies themself as an anti-scientific dogmatist who has at some point developed a fixed imagination of the coronavirus and its danger and is no longer ready to correct that imagination in the light of scientific evidence.
Commonly, a believer calls a non-believer “denier” if the believer is unable to convince the non-believer of the alleged truth of their belief with rational arguments. For example a “God denier” is somebody who the believer in God cannot convince to change his conviction.
A virus is a natural phenomenon whose properties, including its danger, is subject to research by natural sciences. Scientific propositions are all-statements, statements which apply to all objects of a certain type. For example “all swans are white” states that if some natural phenomenon is to be classified as a swan then it has the property of being white. The truth of of such all-statements can never be proven als already the philosopher David hume argued: The fact that the sun went up today and all days before does not prove it will do so tomorrow.
In his “Logic of Science” (1935) Karl Popper solved the problem by the observation that it must be possible to establish the falsehood of a scientific statement. Scientific statements must be “falsifiable.” The proposition “all swans are white” is falsified by the observation of a single object which is to be classified as a swan, but is black. Such an observation removes the proposition from the set of potentially valid hypotheses.
Because of this scientific propositions are never final truths but they remain hypotheses which can be falsified anytime. Popper invited scientists to invent as many different hypotheses as they can think of and put them unter most rigid evaluation by trying to falsify them. The hypotheses that survives these tests best and has the greatest explanatory power will be considered the best hypothesis at a given time. Scientific hypotheses are never “true” and hence never a “truth” that can be “denied.”
Science is the exact opposite somebody does if they call somebody a “corona denier.” Such a person is a “corona believer” (“Corona’s Witness”) who does not want to give up with their imagined fantasy virus by scientific research. Thus, if a corona believer is confronted with scientific evidence, e.g. on the uselessness of face masks, they will typically react with “it has long been shown that….” But there is no “long been shown” in scientific progress. In particular not in the extremely dynamic corona research during the pandemic.
Of course, the criterion falsifiability does not cover the complex enirety of scientific research. For example one would not easily give up a hypothesis if some observations do not fit to it, but the hypothesis fits well into a greater system of propositions, a “paradigm,” and giving up the hypothesis would have wide ranging consequences for the paradigm.
The samew applies to the natural phenomenon novel coronavirus, its danger, and the efficiency of the measures: there should be many different hypotheses which should be examined critically. The assumption that the virus is particularly dangerous needs great empirical support since the well accepted knowledge about coronaviruses (the paradigm) is that they are usually not very harmful coldviruses.
In early January 2021, the following has been established as the best we know about the virus: the infection fatality rate is roughly that of the seasonal influenza, somewhat higher at places where the virus is new so that there is no population immunity. Almost only people are in danger, who are in danger by other pathogens too: old, sick, obese. Consequently there is no particularly (different from other years) situation in hospitals in most places. The current evidence thus supports what is known about coronaviruses in general (the paradigm) and the novel one at least since April, if not February: Covid-19 is “a comparatively harmless viral disease.” (Klaus Püschel, until September chief medical examiner in Hamburg, Germany, who autopsied all codiv deaths in that city).
All measures have been shown to be of no effect against the spread, they only cause great damage to the exconomy and society at large.
If one points corona believers to the current evidence they react with unbelieving refusal and counter “denier.” States which still enact non-effective but damaging measures with the help of media who vilify critics as “deniers” and keep the panic going elevate the corona belief to a temporary state religion with face masks as signs of affiliation.
The dogmatic “Corona Witness” who denotes a person a “corona denier” identifies that person as an enlightened, self-thinking person who is oriented towards present evidence for the best current hypothesis about the virus. This is why “corona denier” is actually a honorific title awarded by the anti-scientific, dogmatic, panicking corona believer.
According to the Deutsches Ärtzeblatt (2020; 117(51-52): A-2510 / B-2116) there is an additional reason to accept “corona denier” as a honorific title. It was unintentionally given by the vice president of the German Federal Physicians Chamber, Heidrun Gitter:
The president of the Chamber emphasized the responsibility of the physicians in the pandemic. She sees corona deniers among the medical profession “highly critical.” The scientific evidence is “a completely different one.” She expects that physicians act according to the code of medical ethics on the base of current scientific evidence and that patients are advised accordingly. Gitter said, a denial of the pandemic could otherwise have consequences for physicians according to the rules of professional conduct.
Now, the current evidence is that the virus is not particularly dangerous for people under 70 and that the “vaccines” were not tested for their ability to limit the virus spread but have well know negative side-effects. Somebody like Gitter, who needs to silence collegues who act according to that scientific evidence with Stalinist means of coercion, enobles any critique.
There are wideranging theories that try to explain why the pandemic exists. It is supposedly a “plandemic” with which a transatlantic (or globel, including China) power elite wants to create a “new world order” and suchlike. But these theories need to be falsifiable hypotheses too. And they need to be able to explain seemingly contradicting evidence, for example the rather different approaches states take in dealing with the pandemic. Take for example the map of US states: the measures range from virtually nothing by South “Belarus” Dakota, via “Great Barrington” Florida, to hard lockdown California or New York. If a theory cannot explain this divergence it is falsified.
Most critiques of the measures are quick to state that they do not dispute that there is a novel virus. But this may be a wrong strategy because it already concedes too much to the corona believer.
There are physicians, like the internist Köhnlein, or doctor and motion trainer Helmut Jäger, who use the everyday term “flu” for any more or less severe respiratory infection. Jäger for example: “Those who fear the flu (whether with corona or influenza) should in any case live good and delightful life and sleep much.”
This is the right strategy: The corona virus may be “novel” but as soon as it is endemic it is not more dangerous than other “flu” viruses. Therefore the everyday term “flu” can be used offensively towards a virus panic person.
weltexperiment.com・document 21002 (2021-01-06)・revision 21020 (2021-01-08)・Ulf Martin Mail Telegram