Common Sense Model professor:
'COVID-19 management's wrong; learn from the haredim'

'Common Sense Model' to treat COVID proponent Prof. Motti Gerlic explains where health system erred, suggesting alternative.

Mordechai Sones ,

Prayers in Tzfat
Prayers in Tzfat
Flash 90

Tel Aviv University Faculty of Medicine Department of Microbiology and Clinical Immunology immunologist Prof. Motti Gerlic is part of an initiative by doctors and scientists called the 'Common Sense Model', and criticizes the "war on coronavirus".

"Management looking at the epidemic is wrong in general. The tests that give us a measure of people who have probably met the virus do not give us a true measure of sick people. A person who tests positive for the virus should be distinguished from a sick person," said Gerlitz in an interview with Arutz Sheva.

"The system, in the end, is run according to the numbers of people who encountered the virus and not according to the state of the patients in the economy and tends to lean towards the side of panic. It's stuck in the same concept as in February and March."

Prof. Gerlic argues that the health care system creates pressure on the public while the situation should be much less stressful. "Today we're talking about a third lockdown and the collapse of the health system, and I just want to mention that at the height of the second closure, 800 critical patients were treated and we aren't close to that number at all. The numbers that were defined four months ago as a red line have gone down. What we dealt with before is now a problem to deal with, and already with 2,000 verified patients a day there's talk of closure. The conduct is extreme. We know more about the virus every day and the treatments are better; we should have been less panicked."

The team of researchers and physicians who established the Common Sense Model include:

  • Dr. Uri Gavish, physicist, expert in algorithms and models inspection, and a consultant in the field of biomedicine.
  • Prof. Ariel Munitz, immunologist in the Department of Microbiology and Clinical Immunology in the Faculty of Medicine at Tel Aviv University, and head of the Coronavirus Laboratory at Tel Aviv University.
  • Prof. Motti Gerlic, immunologist in the Department of Microbiology and Clinical Immunology in the Faculty of Medicine at Tel Aviv University.
  • Prof. Udi Qimron, microbiologist and head of the Department of Microbiology and Clinical Immunology at the Faculty of Medicine at Tel Aviv University,

and they are joined by several prominent Israeli physicians.

The program is based on several principles:

  • First, "government identification and recognition of people belonging to at-risk groups and helping people from these groups protect themselves" on the one hand, and lead a normal life on the other. For example, allocating hours designated for them only in pharmacies and food stores, giving priority in line, allocating space on public transportation, and providing full compensation to those whose work cannot be done remotely.
  • Second, "stopping the enormous waste of resources currently spent on mass testing and forced quarantine", and directing them to protecting nursing homes and medical staff, thus increasing hospitalization capacity and training staff.
  • In addition to these, "the whole economy needs to be re-opened", including cultural and sports activities, and regular flights. Above all, re-opening the educational system, from kindergarten to universities.

Prof. Gerlic presents the Model he and his friends have created: "We know the virus severely attacks very defined populations - the elderly, and those with background diseases. Once this figure is in front of us and we know how to map this population, we can use the benefits of the Israeli health system. It's probably 15%-18% of the population and once we make efforts to protect them, the rest of the citizens can return to work and school better. All the capsules that prevent schools or businesses from actually opening regularly can be avoided.

"As I explained, the morbidity is not in percentages that scared us in February or March. If we knew then the data we know today, no country in the world would go into lockdown because it doesn't really work. We think we did something, we open the lockdown, and then go back and repeat it.

"In our opinion, one can look and learn from success stories like those of haredi society. They haven't been shut down for two months, the education systems are back in full operation, and the fears of health system decision makers that there will be a total collapse haven't materialized. At the moment we're still captive to the same concept and the Health Ministry wants to see fewer verified people a day, and I don't know why this is the index," he concludes.



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