Pieter Loridon may no longer be scoring in top flight basketball matches, but on Instagram has nearly 38,000 followers. He shared with them the news that he “rammed” saliva from an infected person up his nostril and has now tested positive for coronavirus. Loridon has the reputation of being an antivaxxer. On Instagram he says he hopes to acquire a Covid Safe Ticket as a result of his infection allowing him to travel abroad.
There has been a furious reaction from the scientific world. “This is particularly stupid and against all guidelines. In the Czech Republic singer Hana Horka had the same brilliant idea. She died of Covid on Sunday. You’ve no idea how many virus particles this saliva is bringing into your body. The dose can be astronomical making you seriously ill. For sure if you are unvaxxed like Loridon” says Prof Van Ranst.
The scientist says it’s irresponsible of Loridon to share this practice with his followers. “I fear he hasn’t given this much thought. Don’t do this. … Loridon is acting as if anything is better than a vaccine that is checked by several organisations and whose composition can accurately be checked. You won’t convince me Loridon knows which substances are in the ink of his many tattoos”.
Addressing Loridon on Twitter Flemish health minister Beke says “our excellent health care service will treat you if you end up in hospital, but this shows an incredible lack of respect towards the many health care workers who for two years now have been giving their best in particularly difficult circumstances”.
In a later post Loridon explains his actions using “the milder omicron variant” were a conscious personal choice. He denies being an antivaxxer. He says his doubts are motivated by reports of heart problems linked the jab.