The logic of surviving the Coronavirus pandemic – executive summary

The fol­low­ing is a brief sum­ma­ry of our orig­i­nal arti­cle “The log­ic of sur­viv­ing the Coronavirus pan­dem­ic”. The sci­ence-mind­ed may refer to this arti­cle, any­one sim­ply inter­est­ed in how to pro­tect him­self from poten­tial­ly seri­ous con­se­quences of a COVID-19 infec­tion may sim­ply read on.

The goal: to sur­vive your­self and to see the pan­dem­ic end soon, so that the econ­o­my as well as health-enhanc­ing social life can restart as soon as possible.

If the risk of dying from the infec­tion is dras­ti­cal­ly reduced, the Coronavirus pan­dem­ic is imme­di­ate­ly reduced to the sta­tus of a nor­mal wave of influen­za; life can return to nor­mal, the econ­o­my can con­tin­ue to run almost nor­mal­ly, multi­bil­lion-dol­lar val­ues are being preserved.

How does one die from a Coronavirus infec­tion? With rare excep­tions, of pneu­mo­nia. What brings peo­ple into inten­sive care units, over­crowd­ing the lat­ter in a short peri­od of time (we know what we are talk­ing about)? Pneumonia.

What caus­es pneu­mo­nia? In the case of COVID-19, accord­ing to cur­rent evi­dence, it is pre­dom­i­nant­ly caused by aspi­ra­tion (inhala­tion) of pha­ryn­geal mucus con­tain­ing large viral loads. This was dif­fer­ent in the case of the SARS virus of 2003, which pri­mar­i­ly entered the lungs direct­ly as an aerosol and (prob­a­bly for this rea­son, among oth­ers) was con­sid­er­ably more dead­ly than COVID-19.

When is the risk of such aspi­ra­tion great­est? During sleep, for oth­er­wise healthy and for sick peo­ple alike, and the deep­er the sleep, the greater the risk.

Is it impor­tant how much virus the pha­ryn­geal mucus con­tains? Absolutely. The out­come of the immune system’s strug­gle against pathogens is essen­tial­ly always also a ques­tion of quan­ti­ty, in sim­ple terms: how many pathogens hit the body’s defense mech­a­nisms (mucous mem­brane, cil­ia, immune cells)?

Would it be help­ful to sim­ply slow down the course of the infec­tion, even if what can be called an infec­tion were not pre­vent­ed alto­geth­er by what we pro­pose below (and we believe it should be pre­vent­ed in most cas­es)? Absolutely. Consider that symp­toms typ­i­cal­ly start around day 5 of an infec­tion with COVID-19, when the virus pop­u­la­tion in the throat hits its peak. By day 10, the immune sys­tem typ­i­cal­ly has already gained the upper hand – if no sig­nif­i­cant amounts of virus have entered the lungs in the mean­time. So even if we were to only slow down the course of a pos­si­ble infec­tion to the effect that our immune sys­tem has enough time to devel­op its sus­tained response, we may have lost the ini­tial bat­tle but have won the war.

What to do? 

Regardless of whether you (already) have symp­toms or not, as a pre­ven­tive mea­sure dur­ing the COVID-19 pan­dem­ic, dis­in­fect your throat reg­u­lar­ly, at least before going to bed, and up to 4 times a day in total, sim­i­lar to the way it has been done for decades in inten­sive care units of hos­pi­tals to pre­vent pneu­mo­nia and also in den­tal prac­tices. Normally only in the evening after brush­ing teeth. According to stud­ies, dis­in­fec­tion once a day has no neg­a­tive influ­ence on the NO-pro­duc­ing oral flo­ra. Additionally dur­ing the day, for exam­ple before you are due to meet peo­ple who are par­tic­u­lar­ly at risk, in order to avoid infect­ing them if you are already infect­ed your­self, which can be the case with­out you expe­ri­enc­ing any sig­nif­i­cant symp­toms. Never more than 4 times on a giv­en day, because of the oth­er­wise expect­ed irri­ta­tion of the mucous membrane.


By gar­gling with a solu­tion of hydro­gen per­ox­ide dilut­ed to 1 %. While this may sound haz­ardous to some peo­ple (“isn’t that how you bleach your hair?”), it is com­mon prac­tice and not dan­ger­ous. Just as effec­tive against the virus is >60% alco­hol. Gargle for 60 sec­onds (divis­i­ble into 4 times 15 or 6 times ten if you can­not keep your head inclined back­wards for this long). Do not swal­low the gar­gle solu­tion after­wards, but spit it out (also when using alco­hol, see below). Hydrogen per­ox­ide is avail­able in super­mar­kets and/or phar­ma­cies, so far as it is not already sold out, because it is already rec­om­mend­ed and bought to a large extent for dis­in­fect­ing sur­faces in house­holds (it is still avail­able at least from online shops). The con­cen­tra­tion on offer is typ­i­cal­ly 3 % or 6 %, so you have to add either two or five parts of water to one part of the pur­chased solu­tion. Gargle with a small amount of the one per­cent solu­tion of 10 to 20 ml.

(Hydrogen per­ox­ide destroys pro­teins. These pro­teins are also found on the sur­face of body cells, but the cells keep rebuild­ing these pro­teins. A virus does not live and can­not rebuild any­thing. Once its pro­tein shell is destroyed, it is ineffective).

The virus is pri­mar­i­ly trans­mit­ted through the air in small droplets by speak­ing and cough­ing, even by infect­ed per­sons who are still symp­tom-free. So any­one who reg­u­lar­ly reduces his or her (pos­si­ble) virus pop­u­la­tion in the throat down to small rem­nants by gar­gling with hydro­gen per­ox­ide min­i­mizes the risk of get­ting pneu­mo­nia and at the same time the risk of infect­ing oth­ers. The great­est risk of infec­tion is among house­hold mem­bers and in shared means of transport.

Because the risk of aspi­ra­tion of pha­ryn­geal mucus dur­ing the night is increased by par­tic­u­lar­ly deep sleep, for exam­ple due to tak­ing sleep­ing pills or drink­ing alco­hol, both of the lat­ter should be avoid­ed dur­ing the Coronavirus crisis.

In addi­tion, a zinc defi­cien­cy should be avoid­ed in any case, since such a defi­cien­cy shifts the gen­er­al state of the immune sys­tem in a dan­ger­ous direc­tion (Th2) in the case of a Coronavirus infection.

The more peo­ple fol­low the above advice, which I here­by per­mit myself to give as a doc­tor and med­ical sci­en­tist, and which of course I myself and my fam­i­ly also fol­low, the few­er peo­ple will die and the soon­er and with less dam­age done we will all have sur­vived this crisis.

It is not that we are help­less in the face of this dan­ger and can do noth­ing but shut our­selves away. We can become active and defend our­selves. We are humans.

We here­by explic­it­ly autho­rize all English lan­guage web­sites to repub­lish this arti­cle in its entire­ty, pro­vid­ed that the text men­tions the source and links to this page.

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