Have we really lost our collective minds?
If you follow mainstream media, you’d be forgiven if you thought COVID was done and dusted – but it isn’t, far Far FAR from it . . .
COVID Now Kills Three Times More People than influenza and pneumonia combined.
I deliberately made that BIG – it deserves to be known. COVID has made it to the status of the second largest cause of deaths in Australia. Even freakier is the leading cause of deaths – it’s dementia. I think there’s some kind of a message in that.
That news comes on top of China battling a mammoth wave of COVID because herd immunity is impossible to attain – and in my opinion (and let me be the first to say that I’m not a medical expert nor an epidemiologist before someone else points it out smugly and tries to say therefore everything I say should just be discounted, but I am someone that stops and thinks every so often, and I’m not usually far from the truth of a matter.) the only option we have is going to be complete eradication.
EDIT: next day: With regard to the China/Shanghai lockdowns – A) there’s a good reason China is attempting eradication and I tell you that a bit further down the page, and B) hundreds of Aussies are caught in those lockdowns and pretty annoyed at our government for not ‘rescuing’ them (which is the second thing that led me to write this article) and C) The Singapore gov’t is physically putting cages around people’s doors if they don’t comply willingly. (Which was the first thing.) And THAT should show you how seriously they’re taking COVID even now.— 03 May 2022
Which we’ve shot ourselves in the foot for, by giving COVID so many chances to mutate by transmission. If you know an anti-masker or an anti-vaxxer, you’re looking at the reason COVID will still be the cause of a species (US!) mass near-extinction event, if not this year, then next year at the latest.
Every time you acquire (or re-acquire) a case of the virus, this virus mutates. There are more common mutations that happen the most often at the time you acquire a new infection, so most of those will result in a strain of COVID-19 closest to the variant that you caught this time. You feel like it’s that variant, genetic sequencing will show it as being *almost* identical or identical, and that’s that.
But every so often, a mutation outside of that small change will occur, and then one of the other known variants (since those small mutations are the next most likely to occur) will appear to be what you now have. But it also won’t be *quite* the same as the parent virus you caught.
And then every far more rare time, the virus will become quite mutated as it crosses to you. Even then, we can often still cop a lucky break – the particular variation could cause the virus to be less infectious, or less harmful, or incapable of reproducing. And the line of that particular branch of the virus ‘family tree’ ends there.
At the other extreme, the virus you catch could mutate at acquisition to be a mega-killer – and you’d be dead, with little chance of passing it on, and that branch of the tree ends in disaster for the virus and for you.
But more likey, when the mutation is in the right range, the virus changes as you get infected just enough to be better at infecting more people or taking a bigger toll on you than the virus you caught, and a new strain emerges.
And then you pass that strain on and it too does the ‘slight variations’ thing as it jumps from you to the next victim to the next and the next, etc.
Why Is Not Getting Infected So Important?
As I’ve just shown (and you can check that out yourself with a Google search) the mutations can only happen when the virus moves to a new host. Virus in existing hosts will remain the same until your body either fights it off and kills it, or it fights off your body’s defences and kills you.
People who’ve said that vaccines will confer immunity or that catching COVID and surviving it will, have been proven wrong millions of times over by now as wave after wave of fully vaccinated people and people who’ve survived an infection are infected again and again and again.
The single most effective and important way we have of fighting the virus is elimination. That means no re-transmission – ever. If you have it – isolate. Preferably don’t go out at all until your body’s eliminated the virus. If for some reason you absolutely have to go out make sure you sanitise your hands at every change of location and make sure you wear an effective mask (and wear it properly!) and make it as brief as possible.
If we can all do that for about two to three months (and we’re talking 100% of the populations of 100% of all the countries on Earth) then we could reasonably presume that all viable reservoirs of virus would have been inactivated. But there wouldn’t be ANY COVID-19 coronavirus left anywhere that was still capable of infecting.
And that is the only way we’ll ever be rid of this wave of COVID.
Why Not Eliminate COVID Another Way?
Because there currently isn’t one. Vaccines are too specific to particular variants. Think about the ‘flu vaccine. You need to get one every year to keep up with past variants – and flu is deadly and flu has multiple variants every year but it’s not anywhere near as deadly or variable as COVID. COVID is a champion at doing what it does, which is to infect hosts, set itself up with a new variation, and manufacture that new variant of itself and spread it among us or a dog or friendly bat or whatever. But the virions (particles of virus, equivalent to cells in living creatures) tend to lose potency after several weeks, and 9 – 10 weeks seems to be the point to aim for in order to be certain.
Sure There Isn’t Another Way?
Sure. 100% masks 100% of the time we’re in any danger of exposure gives us a fighting chance to reach elimination – if everyone – EVERYONE – does so and does so properly. Given the irresponsibility shown by the press and various governments – and a large percentage of the general population – this is unlikely to be achievable.
We could develop a bigger better antiviral vaccine that will clobber it – but it would have to be a fairly wide spectrum vaccine, and we still can’t even eliminate the much less variable influenza virus yet. But the fact that so much more focus has been put on COVID vaccines may, if we keep the impetus up, result in a wide-spectrum antiviral.
COVID could just spontaneously go extinct all by itself. That’s unlikely because any mutations that result in less fitness won’t really get passed along, will they? It’s about as likely as aliens landing and giving us a worldwide stock of medical tricorders designed specifically to eliminate COVID-19.
That leaves just a few, very controversial, options.
Option one is a worldwide, ironclad, lockdown.
Nothing moves from one location to any other except food and medicines.
In every location, everyone is locked down except for couriers who are required to be Government workers and constrained to full biohazard gear.
Every person receives food and essentials for free.
And all this must be backed by a unanimous pan-planetary-governments’ decree.
And yeah – THAT is the least likely scenario I can think of. Our governments are more unlikely to start acting like a single planetary organisation than the chance I mentioned above of COVID committing suicide…
Option two is doing the same thing country by country.
Hard borders, each country deals with COVID as best it can.
Only countries that can offer proof of not one single positive test result in a period of nine weeks can open their borders.
And ONLY to other countries that similarly have achieved elimination status.
Now that you’ve seen Option two and thought about it, you can see how hopeless Option one was.
Option three is unfortunately the most likely.
COVID sweeps unchecked through the world and ends up mutating into The One That Ended Humanity and much much much later the scattered remnants manage to get some infrastructure back up and slowly start a new society. But I can’t even imagine what that would look like. Certainly nothing like we currently have.
What Should We Each Do?
I’ll lay this out in the bluntest fashion I can.
Wear an N95/2.5 respirator or mask anytime you’re out or with people you’re not sure of in close proximity.
Wash / sanitise your hands after touching something you can reasonably suspect has been handled by others before touching your face or items you’ll later handle again.
As far as possible wash or sanitise anything you bring home from the outside.
Wash your hands when you get home.
Wash your hands again after sanitising the things you brought home.
And look – those were the same instructions issued at the beginning of the pandemic three years ago and they are still the best advice.
If the virus can’t transfer to you, you’re not going to develop the species-ending mutant variation in your body.
If the virus can’t hop to another host in six to ten weeks, it becomes harmless dust.
And if ever there’s that moment when everyone you know of or can contact doesn’t have COVID, we’ll have eachieved elimination by concerted action.