We are living in challenging, grotesque times and feel for those who have lost a person or live in fear during these difficult times.
Why do many people behave so strangely right now? Is it even okay to still behave “normally” – going to work, meeting other people? Where exactly does this subliminal, undefined fear come from, which penetrates into every crack of our thinking and spreads there?
There is one thing we lack above all: clear information. Prospective analyses, as the rules of good science clearly state, should usually be carried out by neutral and impartial people who have no personal interest in the results. Distorting variables must be identified and named before results are presented or even interpreted – then also in full. Annoyingly, this is currently not the case in public perception: analyses or partial analyses with which the media are currently covering us merely provide individuals with their own advantages (audience ratings, advertising revenues, attention).
Why do we only ever hear about the infected? Where are the data about the many people who have been tested positive with the virus, who are and remain healthy? These data are not communicated – they are not even possible to find. Why not?
As an independent scientific institute, we demand that highly complex facts be communicated transparently and openly, despite the caution and seriousness of the situation. We also demand that the principles of good clinical and scientific practice be observed in the evaluation of scientific data before panic is spread, and here we call on the media in particular to take action! The damage to health that is currently being caused by panic does not seem responsible to us. This is a matter for politics!
Each individual can ensure that viruses do not spread, hand washing and a hygienic coexistence are useful for this. Hoarding toilet paper is not! We call on each and every one of you to look at the facts beyond the shrill glaring blogs, articles and press releases of big news channels, to take necessary recommendations for action seriously, to stand up for our legally established rights AND to show a humane coexistence!
We are reassured by the fact that, away from the mass panic, people are forming up to help others quietly and in silence. We behave responsibly and try to look straight ahead with a clear view in order to continue to conduct clinical studies according to ethical principles and to make innovations available to our fellow human beings safely and quickly.