Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Corona Crisis, Vaccines, Bill Gates And Other Fun Things

That stuff is fascinating.

Well, we had a great discussion about vaccines, so I thought we should probably have another one:)

I watched a video by a young Dutch doctor yesterday who was wondering whether it's true that our normal life can't be resumed until we have a vaccine against corona virus, why doesn't the government promote healthy lifestyle more and whether a person without any medical education like Bill Gates should be in the business of promoting medical treatments like vaccinations. I would say that it sounds like reasonable questions.

We are now about 2.5 months into this crisis and it's evident that there are many things we still don't know for sure about this new disease. Before proceeding I'd like to put a disclaimer first. I'm not a doctor. I have some very basic medical education and I'm not licensed currently to practice medicine in any form. If you have any health problems you should seek help from qualified specialists anyway and not rely on stuff you read online. Below is my opinion based on my interpretation of facts (or what the news reports present as facts).

So what do we actually know? I think few would still doubt that this new sickness exists. It's also obviously different from flu in some ways and probably more infectious and more lethal. How much more? We don't know. Some say it has basically the same fatality rate, while others will claim anything from twice to 10 times as lethal.

The reason we don't know for sure it's because generally, only people with certain symptoms are tested, and then some will claim that the tests can give either false positives or false negatives, so they aren't 100% reliable. We also don't know exactly how many die as not everyone who dies with corona symptoms is tested, while on the other hand, some terminally ill patients who get covid-19 and who would probably die anyway are written down as the victims of the epidemic.

So as you all can see, it's a mess.

We do know about things like viral load (the more virus particles you get, the sicker you become) and that hand-washing and social distancing help, and also that the majority of new infections happen indoors, not outdoors (especially in care facilities), so the lockdowns in all probability helped slow the spread.

We also know that the primary risk group are the elderly (defined as everyone over 70 here) which some attribute to the vitamin D deficiency, chronically sick (especially heart and lung diseases) and obese/overweight (here they stated early on that 80% of fatalities were overweight, not sure if it changed later), so yes, the campaign about healthy diet and lifestyle definitely couldn't hurt.

As for vaccines, whether you are pro- or against them, a simple look at history will tell you that even before vaccines, most people didn't die during an epidemic. Even during plague, only about 1/3 of the population died. Some people are naturally not susceptible to (some) diseases while others will get only slightly sick. Otherwise, the mankind would have died out long ago. Also, when you look at the situation in the Third World countries where I doubt that everybody is up-to-date on their vaccinations, tetanus isn't the death case number one (but pneumonia is).

Again, from history we know that the infectious diseases come and go. Some circumstances like wars, natural disasters, overcrowding etc can cause outbreaks but after some time, they tend to subside and life goes more or less back to normal. Thus, stating that life could never ever be normal without an anti corona vaccine is probably somewhat exaggerated.

 However, modern liberal, open-borders, constant travelling, socialising and eating out society generally took a hit and without vaccine, we can't really say when it will get back to normal completely. Some people will still continue to be very cautious even after the restrictions are lifted, so in that sense, yes, without the feeling of safety provided by this vaccine life probably never will be the same again.

Should people be worried about potential vaccination campaign? Personally I could relate. It takes years normally to create a vaccine and establish its safety (and still many will complain about side effects, sometimes severe) and yet we are told in the news that an anti Covid19 vaccine could be on the market in a couple of months. How safe will it really be? And how effective?

There is still no effective vaccine against common cold (which they say is related to coronavirus) and and even though we have a malaria vaccine (again, something which is said to somehow resemble the covid-19 disease, they even use antimalarial medication to treat it) , it's relatively ineffective. In such a situation, I fully understand the reservations many people have about essentially, playing the role of a laboratory rat.

Do various political actors, including governments use the current situation to try and achieve some objectives/gains? Yeah, why not? Isn't it like this with basically everything that happens? Never let a good crisis go to waste. So if you are in the business of producing/selling vaccines, you'd naturally want to sell a new miracle cure, wouldn't you?

 If you are an opposition party, you could try and score some points by attacking the current government for its inaction or too zealous action, depending on the situation. One thing is sure, the common folk aren't given all the facts and they never will be, and another fact is that the opposition isn't always righteous and alternative media could try to spin the situation for some profit, too.

I think we should all try and behave reasonably in the current situation. Use your common sense, take rational precautions, don't go too deep into the rabbit hole. If you are a supporter of traditionalism, should you really be that upset about the current state of affairs?  Liberalism right now is taking a hit everywhere. Borders are closed. Bugman lifestyle cancelled. Pandemics happen, just like hurricanes and tsunamis. Natural disasters aren't a conspiracy. But taking vitamin D supplement can't harm, either:)

Anyway, that's my thoughts on the current events. You can share yours in the comments!


  1. Here is something interesting I found:

    Smallpox was officially declared eradicated in 1980 (I think). Anti-vaxxers claim that it was simply renamed monkeypox. (The virus could have mutated). When you google "monkeypox" you'll usually get an MSM article saying that the disease is much milder than smallpox, yet here is an article in a medical newspaper which says:

    "About 10% of those affected (with monkeypox) die -- a rate approximating the African death rate from smallpox."

    10% smallpox death rate is different from 90% peddled on some websites like Quora. So how dangerous smallpox really was? Because in Italy they calculated case fatality rate of Covid-19 as about 10%, too, and yet mostly people are still alive.

    There are too many questions and too few answers, imo.

  2. You have it right when you say it's a mess AND there are too many questions and too few answers!
    People are ridiculously frightened beyond sensibility. I think some of it is because we have become too soft and lazy. We want an easy life with lots of entertainment in our safe spaces.
    Do you agree that yearly flu shots are someone's best guess as to what the prevalent flu will be in the coming season? I read that all coronaviruses always mutate, so how could they develop a vaccine that was up to date with the latest mutation?

  3. Jo, here flu shots are only offered to the elderly (over 65? or 70, not sure), and immunocompromised. You can get one if you pay. We never do. Last year December we were both down with very strange flu/cold, which now I wonder what it really was. It started with me (11 days after we went to a very touristic place on German border) and I had it worse than my husband. High fever which lasted 5 days, shortness of breath (could hardly walk the stairs, and even asked my husband whether he thought I had pneumonia and should contact the doctor, he said, no:) and kept coughing afterwards for like 3 weeks. The cough started after I initially went better, by the way. In January, a friend's mother succumbed to pneumonia after coughing for 3 weeks (she was 90). Of course, we didn't know much about it all back then but makes one think.

    Yes, those viruses are relatives to common cold and constantly mutate, I heard about it, too. Many people over here and even government officials are skeptical we get a vaccine any time soon. I swear by cod liver oil. I got sick in December after I quit taking it, and then I bought a new one and this + paracetamol were basically all the medications I used.

  4. The point is, until we know how many really got infected, how many got sick and how many exactly died, we can't really determine how dangerous the disease is. And in the past they didn't even have such sophisticated equipment and the tests. all diseases were chiefly determined by the symptoms. They say smallpox had no asymptomatic cases, how can they know? Did they test everyone back then?

    Still we have had excess mortality so it can point to two things: either Covid-19 is more lethal than the seasonal flu, or it's simply more contagious and too many people got sick at once.

    I guess high state officials know more than what we do, they won't tell us though:)