In this video, complex systems expert and physicist-turned-epidemiologist Yaneer Bar-Yam claims that according to recent findings, about half of the people that have been infected with COVID-19 will encounter serious permanent heart damage, which will often only become visible a few months after being effected.

I have a few related questions:

  • Does someone know a reference to the original research paper (or preprint) itself where this was found?
  • Is this a reliable study?
  • How should this be interpreted? Is this truly such a frightening finding about COVID-19 , very different to other diseases such as the flu?

For context, I have a scientific, but no medical background. Lately, I have noticed that at least in Belgium where I live, the tension has been increasing between two groups: on one hand biostatisticians and most epidemiologists, who insist to keep enforcing strict measures to keep the spread of the virus as low as possible at all costs; and on the other hand quite a number of other people, including even medical doctors working in the field, who claim that the fuzz is overrated, the disease can easily be treated, and strong measures to stop the virus do more harm than good. If the above finding is correct, it seems to me that it would debunk most of the arguments from the latter group.

  • Have you visited the referenced website? Have you written to the authors of the video? What study are you referring to in your second question? What measure of reliability are you considering?
    – Thomas
    Sep 6, 2020 at 19:11
  • @Thomas yes, no, obviously the one from the recent findings where Bar-Yam talks about, and all of them.
    – Wouter
    Sep 6, 2020 at 20:08
  • What is the study called?
    – Thomas
    Sep 6, 2020 at 20:41
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    @Wouter Yes, I think it probably is as terrible as it sounds. Young people are largely ignoring guidelines because they've been led to believe COVID is a mild disease in the young, but that may turn out not to be true for a sizable percentage of them.
    – Carey Gregory
    Sep 7, 2020 at 15:44
  • 1
    I don't know but I suspect the answer is yes. I don't think anywhere near the percentages of heart involvement are associated with flu as with COVID. But that's really what your question is all about. Let's see if it gets an answer. It might not because so many things about COVID just aren't known yet.
    – Carey Gregory
    Sep 8, 2020 at 4:15


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