Slaughterhouses and why our (RIVM) policy is so wrong

If you don’t know why something goes wrong, you can’t take the right measures to prevent it.

That was and is my great criticism of the Corona policy in the Netherlands (and in many other countries, by the way).

What is happening now with the slaughterhouses in the Netherlands will hopefully be a wake-up call, which will make everyone realize which mistakes are being made in our policy and how things can be done better and safer.

It has been known since the beginning of April that things went wrong at slaughterhouses in the US. From the way I look at the COVID-19 virus spreading, it was immediately clear what the reason was for these new “superspreading events”. On May 1st I wrote this blog about it.

Because of the low temperatures in the slaughterhouses, even at high humidity, the specific humidity is well below 6g/kg. Optimal conditions for aerosols, allowing the virus to hover in the air for a long time.  And that is why Covid-19 has broken out in slaughterhouses in many places in the world, as I also described on May 1st.

But the aerosol contamination is not recognized by the WHO/RIVM as a way of infecting people on a large scale.

Contamination happens by direct contact and only if you keep a distance of 1.5 meters, you don’t get infected.

So every infection is explained from the point of view that people have not kept that 1.5 meter distance.  In the nursing homes (by the lack of mouth caps) and now in those slaughterhouses. (foreigner workers living together in same house, traveling to work in the same van, working close to each other).

But if you look at other industries worldwide with a comparable workforce (such as agriculture and horticulture), you have to ask yourself at least once, why there are no superspread effects there.

If you look at the global outbursts in this particular industry from the latest insights, you will understand exactly what is going on.

“Superspreading events occur because the virus floats for a long time and is inhaled by those present. This happens in confined environments, with poor ventilation and a too low specific humidity (below 6g/kg)”.

Remember that at a temperature of 7 degrees and a relative humidity of 70%, the specific humidity is only 4.5 g/kg. Optimal conditions for the virus to float. If people are speaking loud (which is apparently the case in those slaughterhouses) then you have a “perfect storm”.

And that’s why you see a lot of outbreaks in this industry all over the world.

Everywhere you see similar discussions as last night on Dutch TV. All kinds of possible causes are mentioned. The circumstances in the factories are mentioned, but mostly from the point of view of “not being able to keep the 1.5 meters”.

Because that must and shall be the reason, because WHO/RIVM and our Cabinet have imprinted that in the population: “Keep 1.5 meters and you’ll be safe.”

But again: that’s not the reason. The virus remains floating in these slaughterhouses for so long, that many employees are easily infected. Research is showing that time after time.

But finally there is a prominent virologist who acknowledges that the aerosols are much more important than previously assumed by WHO/RIVM and virologists: Prof. Christian Drosten. He explains that in this interview. Regional newspaper Nieuwsblad van het Noorden is one of the few Dutch media that has recognized the importance of this. In their article Drosten literally says: “But if you put everything on the scales, direct contact probably plays less of a role, than the spread via aerosols’.

And under what conditions the aerosols continue to float, the readers of my now 50 blogs in the past 2 months, already know for a long time. And all the experts could have known that a long time ago as well, if they hadn’t looked at all those superspread events that have been there so far from the point of view that you can only be infected if you’re within 1.5 meters of an infected person.

It has very little to do with living and working conditions in the meat processing industry. There are other industries where such conditions are comparable. But it has everything to do with the floating aerosols (something that I also got confirmed via mails after my previous blog by people who know this industry up close).

And I dare to say even stronger than Prof. Christian Drosten: the vast majority of the infections (if not all) happens because of aerosols. In the context of this blog I won’t go into that in depth, but I refer to these two studies/articles:

  • A study of May 13th: The airborne lifetime of small speech droplets and their potential importance in Sars-COV-2 transmission.

The conclusion is: there is a substantial probability that normal speaking causes airborne virus transmission in confined environments.

  •  Based on this study, the Daily Telegraph concludes “Superspreader events may be responsible for 80% or more of all coronavirus cases”.

In these blogs I also came to the conclusion, based on numerical analysis, that superspreading events are much more important than other types of contamination.

The conclusion I drew from this, is that by far the most important reason why the exponential growth of the virus has stopped in areas above the 30th latitude and has turned towards a decline, is because meetings with larger numbers of people have been banned.  All other measures (including social distancing) have hardly any additional effect compared to this intervention.

In addition, the entire focus on the 1.5 meter society is not only unnecessary, but also harmful because of the seriously negative economic and social consequences. And that such a society will not prevent outbreaks such as in the meat processing plants, care institutions and the churches that have reopened, such as in Frankfurt, and for example in Georgia.


You would think: “we now know what we have to do”. The RIVM (CDC) and the virologists, who appear everywhere in the media, will finally embrace these findings and ensure an adequate approach.

But I predict that this will not happen (soon). They will say something like “this is something to research, but…”  or “these are incidents, we can’t draw conclusions from them yet” or “interesting, but the studies haven’t been peer-reviewed yet”.  And then the standard slogan follows, “keep 1.5 meters distance” and the daily threat, “beware of the second wave”.

They understand very well that if they do fully acknowledge the role of aerosols in the contamination process, then the basis of our 1.5 meter society will collapse.

And that is apparently the last thing that both the virologists and our government want. Because that would be too big a turn of policy. So they will want to continue to push social distancing to the limit, despite the major negative economic and social consequences on the one hand and the risks of a large-scale outbreak of the virus on the other hand.

And unfortunately, most media in the Netherlands are not yet ready to ackn

9 antwoorden
  1. Troubadour
    Troubadour zegt:

    When I learned English at school, the coal-stove in the class-room coloured red and the sealings were high.
    After that the central-heatings came with radiator temperatures of 80 degrees. Both killed virusses
    Nowadays we have superinsulated rooms with floorheating on temperatures of 23 Celsius!
    Virusses are pampered in this way and stay alive longer when airborne.
    Filtering, moisturing and ionisation are the only ways to prevent our teachers from getting sick .

  2. Wim Stolk
    Wim Stolk zegt:

    In the first place, thanks for your work in this case. It’s a hell of a job to convince WHO, the government and RIVM. Everyone who understand the theorie of airosols agrees with it. But the most important thing is how to change the most concerted participants and in the first place the RIVM who advises the government, how to change their policy? And the answer is simple, just go on! Use the power of iteration! That’s the only thing you can do! Only honest and reliable studies will the world make turn to other thoughts!

  3. Ton
    Ton zegt:

    Hoe dankzij de #corona test de pandemie nooit meer stopt
    Wodarg schrijft:”Zelfs als er geen SARS-CoV-2 virusinfectie in Duitsland zou voorkomen en alle mensen zouden worden getest dan zouden er toch 1.148.000 covid besmettingen zijn. Men heeft bij zulke testen zelfs geen virus meer nodig om de bevolking schrik en angst aan te jagen. Het is slechts nodig om voldoende vaak die dure nietszeggende testen te gebruiken. En omdat men met deze testen veel geld kan verdienen is het zeer waarschijnlijk dat dit ook gebeurt.”
    “Als het testen op deze manier doorgaat kan de wereld zich op eindeloze pandemieën instellen. De werkelijke veroorzaker van deze pandemie is dan niet een micro organisme, maar voortschrijdende blindheid van de verantwoordelijke wetenschappers, journalisten en politieke beslissers.”

  4. Henk van der Stoep
    Henk van der Stoep zegt:

    They still have not picked up the correct theory. The company that runs the slaughter houses is now hiring touringcars which will not make any difference. Its unbelievable !!!!

  5. Martine
    Martine zegt:

    Er is een grote fb-groep tegen de 1.5 meter opgezet. Bijna 100.000 leden! we zoeken naar mensen om dit kracht bij te zetten. Maurice wil je lid worden en/of andere mensen ook op de hoogte brengen van deze groep? We moeten hier tegen in opstand komen. Willen rechtszaken aan gaan spannen tegen de staat, omdat ze hun boekje te buiten gaan. Zelf heb ik ook kleinere subgroep opgezet om de grote groep te ondersteunen waar we het wat rechtlijniger houden en geen politieke standpunten innemen

  6. Christel Hartkamp-Bakker
    Christel Hartkamp-Bakker zegt:

    Ik hoorde je in een interview net, en je sprak daar over de slachthuizen, en hoe de omstandigheden in die slachthuizen primair voor een uitbraak zorgen. Ik denk dat je daar absoluut gelijk in hebt. Je zei ook dat het feit dat mensen bij elkaar op de lip wonen en vervoerd worden geen oorzaak is. Maar kan het zijn dat de combinatie van die dingen samen maakt dat de omstandigheden werk-vervoer-wonen die uitbraken in die slachthuizen versterkt? Ik ben geen voorstander van die 1,5 meter, maar ik kan mij toch ook voorstellen dat als je met elkaar samen eet, woont, slaapt, douched, reist en werkt in omstandigheden die gunstig zijn voor verspreiding van het virus, de combinatie ook nog effect kan hebben.

    • Maurice
      Maurice zegt:

      In 400 slachthuizen in de wereld is het gebeurd en gebeurt het. er zijn ook diverse andere sectoren met slechte omstandigheden.
      Door met name de nadruk op die omstandigheden te leggen hoeft het RIVM niet onder ogen te zien dat het komt door aerosols die bij 10graden binnentemperatuur lang blijven vliegen.


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