Coronavirus expert: This will last months, wearing a mask won't help

US infectious disease expert who predicted the spread of coronavirus across the world says pandemic will last SIX MONTHS and a mask and gloves probably will NOT stop you catching it

  • Michael Osterholm was interviewed on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast 
  • He told listeners Tuesday: ‘This is going to unfold for months to come. We’re gonna be in some hurt for the next few months’ 
  • Osterholm told Rogan the ‘whole issue of using your hands and touching your face’, data is ‘very weak that the virus is going to be transmitted this way’ 
  • He added that ‘just breathing air’ is likely the primary way to contract it
  • The public health scientist said the N-95 respirator is very effective compared to a surgical mask however there is a shortage 
  • Osterholm believes putting cruise ship passengers in quarantine on the vessels is a bad idea because the same air is being circulated via ventilation systems
  • The self-labelled ‘medical detective’ told Rogan that he doesn’t think COVID-19 is being used as a weapon of war as some conspiracy theorists have claimed
  • He said we’ll have to ‘wait this out’ and offered general health advice for immunity because a vaccine is unlikely to be ready soon

An infectious disease expert who predicted the spread of coronavirus has claimed the epidemic will go on for up to six months and says it’s pointless wearing a face mask and gloves amid the outbreak.

Michael Osterholm told the Joe Rogan Experience podcast listeners as there were 125,743 confirmed cases worldwide and 4,160 deaths Tuesday, that things would only get worse.

In the US there had been 1,135 confirmed COVID-19 infections and 36 deaths by the evening and in New York subway workers were seen cleaning surfaces, while in Colorado drive-thru tests were being done to limit potential exposure.

‘It’s just beginning,’ Osterholm said. ‘In terms of the hurt, pain, suffering, death that has happened so far is really just the beginning,’ he told host Joe Rogan. ‘This is going to unfold for months to come. We’re gonna be in some hurt for the next few months.’

Michael Osterholm told the Joe Rogan Experience podcast listeners Tuesday: ‘It’s just beginning’

In the US there had been 1,135 confirmed COVID-19 infections and 36 deaths by the evening and in New York subway workers were seen cleaning surfaces

In Colorado drive-thru tests were being done to limit potential exposure to coronavirus

Comparing the novel coronavirus to strains, Osterhol said this has the potential to be ’10-15 times worse than the worst seasonal flu season’.

The public health scientist opined that the precautions being advised by governments around the world are unlikely to prevent the spread.

Asked by Rogan whether wearing gloves and a mask is ‘nonsense’ he nodded in agreement and replied: ‘Largely’. 

Osterholm told Rogan the ‘whole issue of using your hands and touching your face’ is likely not the main way the infection is passed. ‘The data is actually very weak that the virus is going to be transmitted this way.’

He added that ‘just breathing air’ is likely the primary way coronavirus is spreading but warned surgical masks don’t block small airborne particles from passing through and entering the nose the mouth.

Osterholm did hail the benefits of wearing more protective version of the mask but noted the availability is low.

‘The N-95 respirator is very effective, but the problem is that we have a shortage,’ Osterholm continued. ‘Hospitals don’t have the budgets to stockpile them.’

Osterholm – who is Director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) at the University of Minnesota – agrees with advice that those over 55 and with underlying health conditions should be extra careful.

He noted that children have been contracting coronavirus however they have not been getting sick. It’s something that his research cannot explain.

However he believes that putting cruise ship passengers in quarantine on the vessels is a bad idea because the same air is being circulated via ventilation systems.

Osterholm – who in 2017 released a book titled Deadliest Enemy: Our War Against Killer Germs – told Rogan that he doesn’t think COVID-19 is being used as a weapon of war as some conspiracy theorists have claimed.

Host Joe Rogan (pictured) listened as he said: ‘This is going to unfold for months to come. We’re gonna be in some hurt for the next few months’

Osterholm believes putting cruise ship passengers in quarantine on the vessels is a bad idea because the same air is being circulated via ventilation systems. Jana Harrelson, left, Ronny Young, and Karla Weston, right, all of Port St. Joe, Florida, disembark from the Caribbean Princess at Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on Wednesday

‘This thing clearly jumped from an animal species to a human probably in the third week of November,’ Osterholm told Rogan. ‘Pangolins, these scaly anteater-like animals, are a very good source because we have coronaviruses just like those in these animals, and it got into a human.’

During the interview Osterholm claimed that friends working in hospitals in Italy told him medical professionals have been ‘deciding who they are going to let die’ as the situation worsens. 

In Italy 12,462 had been confirmed to be carrying the infection by Wednesday and 827 people had died. The Trump admin was expected to announce travel restrictions between the US and some European countries worst hit by coronavirus.

Osterholm believes the battle against coronavirus ‘is going to be challenging, but we are going to get through it’.

Osterholm said the longer it’s around, the more people will get it but on the positive side, it means they will build up a resistance to COVID-19. It’s likely we will have to ‘wait this out’, the self-labelled ‘medical detective’ said, as a vaccine is not coming anytime soon.

Chinese studies have been treating some infected people with high doses of vitamin C due to its anti-viral properties. An easy way to vastly increase intake is via intravenous injections.

But the man – who has worked with the Centers For Disease Control (CDC) a lot in the past – claimed: ‘We don’t have any data that those substantially impact on your immune system to make it better.’

Osterholm claimed that friends working in hospitals in Italy told him medical professionals have been ‘deciding who they are going to let die’ as the situation worsens. Pictured, medical staff in protective suits treat coronavirus patients in an intensive care unit at the Cremona hospital March 5

Osterholm – who has served as science envoy for the Trump admin and several governors in the past – offered general advice to eat a healthy diet, take regular exercise and limit alcohol consumption in order to help build up an immunity.

Vitamin Injections London recommends vitamin C a part of preventative measures. According to the website Vitamin C is highly absorbed when delivered via IV, in comparison to the 15 percent the body receives when taken orally. 

The clinic administers IVs starting at 1,000mg and up to 10,000mg per day, no more than twice a week, in a healthy person.


Like other coronaviruses, including those that cause the common cold and that triggered SARS, COVID-19 is a respiratory illness.  

  • The most common symptoms are: 
  • Fever 
  • Dry cough 
  • Shortness of breath
  • Difficulty breathing 
  • Fatigue 

Although having a runny nose doesn’t rule out coronavirus, it doesn’t thus far appear to be a primary symptom. 

Most people only become mildly ill, but the infection can turn serious and even deadly, especially for those who are older or have underlying health conditions.  

In these cases, patients develop pneumonia, which can cause: 

  • Potentially with yellow, green or bloody mucus
  • Fever, sweating and shaking chills
  • Shortness of breath 
  • Rapid or shallow breathing 
  • Pain when breathing, especially when breathing deeply or coughing 
  • Low appetite, energy and fatigue 
  • Nausea and vomiting (more common in children) 
  • Confusion (more common in elderly people)
  • Some patients have also reported diarrhea and kidney failure has occassionally been a complication. 

Avoid people with these symtpoms. If you develop them, call your health care provider before going to the hospital or doctor, so they and you can prepare to minimize possivle exposure if they suspect you have coronavirus.  


‘We create bespoke intravenous cocktails,’ Vitamin Injections London founder Bianca Estelle said. Estelle adds that the UK government recommendation is 490mg per week for women or 630mg for men, but says the advice is too general.

‘It does not consider factors such as age, environment, stress levels and other individual factors when determining needs. These things a far more important than gender,’ she says.

Since this injection has a very low toxicity level, there is no risk of damaging vital organs, as long as the correct dose is administered. states that when IV and IM supplements directly enter the bloodstream, ‘not only are they absorbed better, they are more suitable for individuals with sensitive stomachs’ as oral supplements can irritate the stomach lining.

A global study of more than 11,000 participants in 2017 found unequivocal evidence that vitamin D, also found in fatty fish such as salmon and eggs, helps the body fight acute respiratory infection.

The study conducted an analysis of 25 randomized controlled trials, and was published in the prestigious peer-reviewed medical journal The BMJ.

It found daily small doses of Vitamin D were more effective in protecting from acute respiratory infection than larger weekly doses. 

Carlos Camargo of the Department of Emergency Medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital, the study’s senior author, told the Harvard Gazette: ‘Our analysis has also found that it helps the body fight acute respiratory infection, which is responsible for millions of deaths globally each year.’

People with dark skins need more vitamin D that pale-skinned people as the same melanin which protects the skin against UV rays also hampers its ability to make vitamin D in response to sunlight.

But coronavirus is unlikely to slow down with the warmer weather.

Osterholm noted on the Joe Rogan Experience that Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) – another form of coronavirus – had no problem spreading in the heat.



Someone who is infected with the coronavirus can spread it with just a simple cough or a sneeze, scientists say.

More than 4,000 people with the virus are now confirmed to have died and more than 110,000 have been infected. Here’s what we know so far:

What is the coronavirus? 

A coronavirus is a type of virus which can cause illness in animals and people. Viruses break into cells inside their host and use them to reproduce itself and disrupt the body’s normal functions. Coronaviruses are named after the Latin word ‘corona’, which means crown, because they are encased by a spiked shell which resembles a royal crown.

The coronavirus from Wuhan is one which has never been seen before this outbreak. It has been named SARS-CoV-2 by the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses. The name stands for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2.

Experts say the bug, which has killed around one in 50 patients since the outbreak began in December, is a ‘sister’ of the SARS illness which hit China in 2002, so has been named after it.

The disease that the virus causes has been named COVID-19, which stands for coronavirus disease 2019.

Dr Helena Maier, from the Pirbright Institute, said: ‘Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that infect a wide range of different species including humans, cattle, pigs, chickens, dogs, cats and wild animals. 

‘Until this new coronavirus was identified, there were only six different coronaviruses known to infect humans. Four of these cause a mild common cold-type illness, but since 2002 there has been the emergence of two new coronaviruses that can infect humans and result in more severe disease (Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronaviruses). 

‘Coronaviruses are known to be able to occasionally jump from one species to another and that is what happened in the case of SARS, MERS and the new coronavirus. The animal origin of the new coronavirus is not yet known.’ 

The first human cases were publicly reported from the Chinese city of Wuhan, where approximately 11million people live, after medics first started publicly reporting infections on December 31.

By January 8, 59 suspected cases had been reported and seven people were in critical condition. Tests were developed for the new virus and recorded cases started to surge.

The first person died that week and, by January 16, two were dead and 41 cases were confirmed. The next day, scientists predicted that 1,700 people had become infected, possibly up to 7,000.

Just a week after that, there had been more than 800 confirmed cases and those same scientists estimated that some 4,000 – possibly 9,700 – were infected in Wuhan alone. By that point, 26 people had died. 

By January 27, more than 2,800 people were confirmed to have been infected, 81 had died, and estimates of the total number of cases ranged from 100,000 to 350,000 in Wuhan alone.

By January 29, the number of deaths had risen to 132 and cases were in excess of 6,000.  

By February 5, there were more than 24,000 cases and 492 deaths.

By February 11, this had risen to more than 43,000 cases and 1,000 deaths. 

A change in the way cases are confirmed on February 13 – doctors decided to start using lung scans as a formal diagnosis, as well as laboratory tests – caused a spike in the number of cases, to more than 60,000 and to 1,369 deaths.

By February 25, around 80,000 people had been infected and some 2,700 had died. February 25 was the first day in the outbreak when fewer cases were diagnosed within China than in the rest of the world. 

Where does the virus come from?

According to scientists, the virus almost certainly came from bats. Coronaviruses in general tend to originate in animals – the similar SARS and MERS viruses are believed to have originated in civet cats and camels, respectively.

The first cases of COVID-19 came from people visiting or working in a live animal market in Wuhan, which has since been closed down for investigation.

Although the market is officially a seafood market, other dead and living animals were being sold there, including wolf cubs, salamanders, snakes, peacocks, porcupines and camel meat. 

A study by the Wuhan Institute of Virology, published in February 2020 in the scientific journal Nature, found that the genetic make-up virus samples found in patients in China is 96 per cent identical to a coronavirus they found in bats.

However, there were not many bats at the market so scientists say it was likely there was an animal which acted as a middle-man, contracting it from a bat before then transmitting it to a human. It has not yet been confirmed what type of animal this was.

Dr Michael Skinner, a virologist at Imperial College London, was not involved with the research but said: ‘The discovery definitely places the origin of nCoV in bats in China.

‘We still do not know whether another species served as an intermediate host to amplify the virus, and possibly even to bring it to the market, nor what species that host might have been.’  

So far the fatalities are quite low. Why are health experts so worried about it? 

Experts say the international community is concerned about the virus because so little is known about it and it appears to be spreading quickly.

It is similar to SARS, which infected 8,000 people and killed nearly 800 in an outbreak in Asia in 2003, in that it is a type of coronavirus which infects humans’ lungs. It is less deadly than SARS, however, which killed around one in 10 people, compared to approximately one in 50 for COVID-19.

Another reason for concern is that nobody has any immunity to the virus because they’ve never encountered it before. This means it may be able to cause more damage than viruses we come across often, like the flu or common cold.

Speaking at a briefing in January, Oxford University professor, Dr Peter Horby, said: ‘Novel viruses can spread much faster through the population than viruses which circulate all the time because we have no immunity to them.

‘Most seasonal flu viruses have a case fatality rate of less than one in 1,000 people. Here we’re talking about a virus where we don’t understand fully the severity spectrum but it’s possible the case fatality rate could be as high as two per cent.’

If the death rate is truly two per cent, that means two out of every 100 patients who get it will die. 

‘My feeling is it’s lower,’ Dr Horby added. ‘We’re probably missing this iceberg of milder cases. But that’s the current circumstance we’re in.

‘Two per cent case fatality rate is comparable to the Spanish Flu pandemic in 1918 so it is a significant concern globally.’

How does the virus spread?

The illness can spread between people just through coughs and sneezes, making it an extremely contagious infection. And it may also spread even before someone has symptoms.

It is believed to travel in the saliva and even through water in the eyes, therefore close contact, kissing, and sharing cutlery or utensils are all risky. 

Originally, people were thought to be catching it from a live animal market in Wuhan city. But cases soon began to emerge in people who had never been there, which forced medics to realise it was spreading from person to person.

There is now evidence that it can spread third hand – to someone from a person who caught it from another person.

What does the virus do to you? What are the symptoms?

Once someone has caught the COVID-19 virus it may take between two and 14 days, or even longer, for them to show any symptoms – but they may still be contagious during this time.

If and when they do become ill, typical signs include a runny nose, a cough, sore throat and a fever (high temperature). The vast majority of patients will recover from these without any issues, and many will need no medical help at all.

In a small group of patients, who seem mainly to be the elderly or those with long-term illnesses, it can lead to pneumonia. Pneumonia is an infection in which the insides of the lungs swell up and fill with fluid. It makes it increasingly difficult to breathe and, if left untreated, can be fatal and suffocate people.

Figures are showing that young children do not seem to be particularly badly affected by the virus, which they say is peculiar considering their susceptibility to flu, but it is not clear why. 

What have genetic tests revealed about the virus? 

Scientists in China have recorded the genetic sequences of around 19 strains of the virus and released them to experts working around the world. 

This allows others to study them, develop tests and potentially look into treating the illness they cause.   

Examinations have revealed the coronavirus did not change much – changing is known as mutating – much during the early stages of its spread.

However, the director-general of China’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Gao Fu, said the virus was mutating and adapting as it spread through people.

This means efforts to study the virus and to potentially control it may be made extra difficult because the virus might look different every time scientists analyse it.   

More study may be able to reveal whether the virus first infected a small number of people then change and spread from them, or whether there were various versions of the virus coming from animals which have developed separately.

How dangerous is the virus?  

The virus has a death rate of around two per cent. This is a similar death rate to the Spanish Flu outbreak which, in 1918, went on to kill around 50million people.

Experts have been conflicted since the beginning of the outbreak about whether the true number of people who are infected is significantly higher than the official numbers of recorded cases. Some people are expected to have such mild symptoms that they never even realise they are ill unless they’re tested, so only the more serious cases get discovered, making the death toll seem higher than it really is.

However, an investigation into government surveillance in China said it had found no reason to believe this was true.

Dr Bruce Aylward, a World Health Organization official who went on a mission to China, said there was no evidence that figures were only showing the tip of the iceberg, and said recording appeared to be accurate, Stat News reported.

Can the virus be cured? 

The COVID-19 virus cannot be cured and it is proving difficult to contain.

Antibiotics do not work against viruses, so they are out of the question. Antiviral drugs can work, but the process of understanding a virus then developing and producing drugs to treat it would take years and huge amounts of money.

No vaccine exists for the coronavirus yet and it’s not likely one will be developed in time to be of any use in this outbreak, for similar reasons to the above.

The National Institutes of Health in the US, and Baylor University in Waco, Texas, say they are working on a vaccine based on what they know about coronaviruses in general, using information from the SARS outbreak. But this may take a year or more to develop, according to Pharmaceutical Technology.

Currently, governments and health authorities are working to contain the virus and to care for patients who are sick and stop them infecting other people.

People who catch the illness are being quarantined in hospitals, where their symptoms can be treated and they will be away from the uninfected public.

And airports around the world are putting in place screening measures such as having doctors on-site, taking people’s temperatures to check for fevers and using thermal screening to spot those who might be ill (infection causes a raised temperature).

However, it can take weeks for symptoms to appear, so there is only a small likelihood that patients will be spotted up in an airport.

Is this outbreak an epidemic or a pandemic?   

The outbreak is an epidemic, which is when a disease takes hold of one community such as a country or region. 

Although it has spread to dozens of countries, the outbreak is not yet classed as a pandemic, which is defined by the World Health Organization as the ‘worldwide spread of a new disease’.

The head of WHO’s global infectious hazard preparedness, Dr Sylvie Briand, said: ‘Currently we are not in a pandemic. We are at the phase where it is an epidemic with multiple foci, and we try to extinguish the transmission in each of these foci,’ the Guardian reported.

She said that most cases outside of Hubei had been ‘spillover’ from the epicentre, so the disease wasn’t actually spreading actively around the world.

Source: Read Full Article