Virologist and epidemiologist Klaus Stöhr has called for an end to all protective measures against coronavirus among minors, due to the fact that the course of the disease in this age group is not severe. When asked by the “Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung” whether – like the head of the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians (KBV) Andreas Gassen – he would support a so-called Freedom Day, Stöhr replied: “Yes, in the case of children and young people immediately. They should “all be treated as vaccinated or cured”. Masks in schools and mandatory testing for this group should disappear.
Stöhr also called for significant facilities for vaccinated adults. In his opinion, this should also apply to quarantine. “For those who have been vaccinated, this has to stop, they can no longer be prevented from working and obliged to undergo isolation,” – said the longtime director of the World Health Organization (WHO). He added that about 74 percent of adults in Germany are vaccinated against coronavirus and they need to start living normally again.
“Wasting money” on testing
According to the virologist, the testing of healthy, vaccinated people should also be “immediately stopped”. This includes mass testing in schools of children who show no signs of illness. “This is just a waste of money that is much more needed for really important things,” he criticized.
At the same time, he said it was too early to lift all restrictions for adults because of the risk the coronavirus poses to older, unvaccinated people. More than three million German residents over the age of 50 have not yet been vaccinated, and booster doses for those over 60 are not yet ready. “Over the next winter, we will still have to drive with our hand on the brake because of people over 50,” with these words Stöhr opposed the idea of completely abolishing pandemic restrictions.
Masks in schools are ‘torture’ for children
Berlin pediatrician and spokesman for the Professional Association of Pediatricians Jakob Maske accused virologist Melanie Brinkmann, who called the abolition of mandatory masks in schools stupid, of seeing only “viruses and not people.” He came out strongly in favor of abolishing the requirement for children to wear masks and undergo coronavirus testing, deeming it as hazing them: “This is the one group that has to endure this because they can’t protect themselves.”
He said that he does not want to “downplay” the virus and that there are “isolated cases of severe disease, there is no doubt about that, but at the moment it is an infection that is harmless to children and we need to return to normality.” He stressed that among adults this normality has already returned to a large extent, as evidenced by the organization of events where it is not necessary to wear masks. He added that there are hardly any groups made up of adults who are tested twice a week, as is the case with children.
He also criticized the fact that it is the teachers’ associations that defend the requirement to wear masks: “So there are teacher associations that are afraid for their teachers, and they don’t care much about the rights of children. You have to admit that this is very depressing.” He added that the obligation to wear masks in schools is a heavy burden on children.
The pediatrician reminded that other infections “sometimes cause exactly the same damage” as coronavirus in children, or just as much. Therefore, for the moment, this infection must be considered “relatively harmless.” According to Maske, the fact that there is currently a high level of disease in children is due to the fact that “they are tested twice a week.”