Coronavirus

That’s what 178 doctors think about the corona measures

Two of the most prominent German medical professionals: RKI boss Lothar Wieler and the virologist of the Berlin Charité Christian Drosten.

Two of the most prominent German medical professionals: RKI boss Lothar Wieler and the virologist of the Berlin Charité Christian Drosten.

Sean Gallup via getty iamges

The University of Tübingen and the University of Hamburg asked 178 medical professionals about their assessments of the measures taken.

Most consider the distance of two meters in public space and a ban on large events to be sensible, but they view the daycare and school closures critically.

It is also striking that approval of the measures taken by the government has dropped by 30 percent since March – and there are other criticisms.

Some doctors, such as Lothar Wieler, the head of the Robert Koch Institute, and Christian Drosten, head of virology at the Charité Berlin, have been the focus of public attention since the beginning of the corona pandemic. Politicians are guided by their assessments and thus coordinate the measures to be taken against the spread of the new corona virus.

But how do all the other experts assess the situation, for example in the areas of virology, microbiology, hygiene, tropical medicine, immunology and internal medicine or intensive care medicine? What do you think makes sense – and what measures may you be unable to take?

The University of Tübingen and the University of Hamburg asked experts online about their assessment. They then compared the anonymized answers from 178 doctors with those from a similar survey among 197 doctors in mid-March.

Distance and ban on major events yes, mouth protection and daycare and school closures no

The majority of doctors consider some of the applicable rules, such as a minimum distance of two meters in public space and a ban on major events, to be sensible as a measure (around 70 percent).

In contrast, the approval of daycare and school closures is thin: According to the survey, only around five percent of those surveyed are behind these measures. Wearing mouth-nose protection in public spaces is also viewed as ambivalent.

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While most people advocate a face mask in local public transport, for example – at the same time, however, only a few experts state that they are aware of scientifically hard evidence of the benefits of this.

“Scientists are also just human beings and seem to trust their gut feelings on some subjects,” commented the Tübingen virologist and co-author Professor Michael Schindler of this somewhat contradictory result.

Approval for the measures has dropped by 30 percent since mid-March

Compared to the information in mid-March, approval of the measures taken by the government has dropped significantly. Only 50.1 percent of physicians are in favor of the funds taken by the federal government in the fight against the pandemic – in March it was 80.7 percent.

With some measures, such as the controversial mouthguard, the approval also increased. 62.9 percent now agreed that “public and economic life should be restored, but breathing masks should be worn as far as possible in everyday life” – in March it was only 16.8 percent.

Read also: Home office? This is not a reality for 59 percent, the results of the Mannheim Corona study show

The doctors apparently also take a critical view of the media coverage of the topic. Only 59 percent perceive it as factual, compared to almost 80 percent in March). In the meantime, 82.6 percent lack balanced reporting.

The experts repeatedly criticized the fact that the same experts spoke too often. 62.9 percent agreed that there was no constructive discussion with different opinions and experts.

A third of the scientists consider freedom of expression to be threatened

Many physicians see problems even in the field of university research. At least ten percent of the respondents complained about a very restrictive information policy of some universities in their research area. Around 30 percent of all experts even see freedom of expression in science as threatened.

Michael Schindler finds this last finding very problematic. He comments: “From our point of view, this is a questionable result. If a third of your colleagues feel threatened in your freedom of expression, we should fundamentally question our culture of discussion. “

The only result that has hardly changed in comparison is that of the estimated course of the pandemic: on average, they assume that up to 50 percent of the population is infected with the corona virus. The need for intensive medical treatment is seen in around 5 percent with a mortality rate of 1 percent.

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