It doesn’t matter? Oh yes it does!
As the good Prof. points out in his article here, COVID19 is far far FAR from over. Despite the seemingly desperate attempts by the mainstream media, employers, and seemingly even governments (all capitalist organisation that need money rather than humanity to survive, it should be noted) to push the “It’s over! Back to (work as) normal!” message, it ain’t at all so.
All that’s changed is that no-one’s looking at the figures, and pushing them to the back of the desk, and covering them over with sports results.
Meanwhile, just in my state of Victoria, Australia right now, we’ve had –
deaths from it in the last 24 hours…
(EDIT: I’ve just been told it’s 65 but even that is shocking, we had that down to zeroes and then the narrative was changed and now here we are again.)
This is much higher than many daily totals during the height of the pandemic when it prompted lockdowns and strong action from government and drew such stinging criticisms from anyone anywhere sitting in their isolated office and watching their businesses bleed profits.
The Real Nature Of COVID
In the intervening time we’ve found out that (and oh! – imagine the surprise! NOT!) COVID is a virus and as such it mutates just like the flu at every infection, and thus evades the vaccines. Like the flu, each infection causes some damage to the human body. And unlike the flu, it has deadly effects on the human body.
So far there have been close to a hundred aftereffects from COVID infection, some lasting only until the body repairs the damage, but others leaving long-term to permanent damage.
Immunisation does NOT protect from the worst effects, it only protects from the effects that the original COVID viruses it was developed from – because it actually does stop those. But with the slightest mutation from the OG virus, that protection becomes null and void. Either you keep taking a booster every few months (and hope the vaccine manufacturer has kept up with all the latest variants) and accept that these new vaccines each come with a new risk that the vaccine will itself cause ill effects, or else accept that vaccines can’t protect you from all the variants that are coming up.
One of the hidden issues of COVID is the Health systems of all countries. When I say we had 107 deaths in 24 hours, that is 107 out of many times that number in that 24 hours period that found out they had COVID, were made ill enough by COVID that they needed to go to hospital, and that is in addition to the already high number of emergency admissions that are also still happening just as much as ever.
That creates a stressed Health system, where staff themselves are becoming infected, falling ill, and unable to work. That, in addition to the strains and stresses that the Health system already put them under before we let COVID run rampant but got our eyes turned away by The Organisations I Mentioned.
We Are So Screwed, Are We not?
Actually – no.
Several things still DO work in our favour, but EVERYONE needs to be doing them, and for a seriously long time. The reasoning is: Every time the virus passes between hosts (even back and forth between two hosts) it will mutate slightly. Most of those mutations won’t make the virus worse or a lot more likely to not be covered in the latest vaccine.
But because those Organisations I Mentioned have minimised the risks, marginalised the effects of it, and buried public awareness of it, there are so many transmissions every hour now that it only takes a week to breed a new variant that will evade the vaccinations, cause more damage to the host, and be that little bit faster at infecting new hosts. After all, that’s the definition of success if you’re a virus – avoid the vaccines, infect people faster, and find lots of new hosts to give your offspring the chance to become THE perfect virus…
To summarise: If we do nothing then there are more transmissions per day, therefore there are also more mutations, therefore more chance the new variants won’t be stopped by vaccines and will be more infectious and more deadly.
But what WILL work is what almost worked for Victoria and Western Australia when they hard-locked down everything and their borders too – once the virus is dead, there can’t be any retransmission. That is called Elimination Strategy.
What Tools We May Have Thought We Had
In the past, we thought that bleaches and sprays would kill loose virions laying on surfaces. But in fact the virus a) didn’t give a shit about sprays and bleach quite as much as we’d hoped, and b) was airborne, which was awkward for people in apartment buildings with common duct HVAC systems and shared toilet vents and pipes.
(Oh yes, forgot to mention that – there’s COVID in them thar stools! And flushing and agitating the stools releases clouds of new virions into the air, which our HVAC systems obligingly pump into other people’s apartments. I hate to think of the last time someone passed wind in the supermarket aisle just in front of us. . .)
But now we know that. And aren’t doing anything about it. Because mass burials will always be cheaper than redoing a whole plumbing and HVAC system in an apartment block.
…And What Tools We Now Know
- We now know that, being mainly airborne, masks are the king of countermeasures.
- We also know that when it settles on something, the second most common route of transmission is from surfaces to hands to mouth nose or eyes.
- We know that air purification traps the virions in airconditioning and ventilation systems.
- We also know that having an air purifier running in spots where people cluster helps by removing virions from the air.
- We know that it seems as if far UV light (222nm seems to be a key colour of UV) deforms the virions’ DNA so they can’t reproduce any more.
Can you see a strategy here?
I’m in! How Do We Kick Its Ass?
- Number one: WEAR MASKS!!! Everywhere when outside your home and garden!
– N95 masks protect both the people around you AND YOURSELF. The mask needs to fit closely.
– Respirator style masks (yeah the rubber kind you see people wearing in zombie and outbreak movies with the two canisters sticking out from either side – for once the movies were RIGHT, y’all!) are even better, and some now come with pressurisation and exhale relief so they’re less of an issue to breath in than N95s.
– the good old surgical mask, worn by EVERYONE, will prevent you from infecting others and offers some protection against inhaling any yourself – IF you keep it over mouth AND nose, and keep it as sealed to your face as possible.
- Get an air purifier in your home, get several, make sure they have good 2.5micron (or N95) type filters in. (Also, activated charcoal filters will grab a fair proportion of organic particles so they may also grab virions.)
- Stay outdoors where possible, stay distanced wherever you are when outside your home, and ask any place you go if they have updated their ventilation systems to the newest standards, have them filtered, etc.
– If you have to go into such places, keep the mask on firmly, avoid close proximity, don’t hang around any longer than necessary.
- Get a far-UV light. Portable illuminators let you shine them on anything you want to bring home and thus reduce the number of viable particles on them.
- Ask your work (if you still have to go into work) to update ventilation and also install far-UV illumination.
– The virus is mainly airborne -it’ll swirl up into the field of the illuminators if ventilation is up to scratch- and the virus rapidly loses its ability to infect or reproduce.
- The last step – quarantining those that have caught it. This is vital, because that way we KNOW where the otherwise invisible virus is.
How Does This Kick Its Ass Again?
Well – the virions lose their potency to infect, quite quickly in the open where the sun produces just enough far-UV among the may UV colours it emits.
Indoors in public and work spaces, with far-UV and good air circulation/extraction, the virus also doesn’t stay active very long.
In general, it was worked out way back in late 2019 that the virus lying around on surfaces lasted anywhere between a few days and a few weeks before it became too degraded to infect anything.
When Victoria (and WA) came sooo close to totally eliminating the COVID19 virus, it took about eight weeks. It would have taken only four to six weeks if the Federal government had built promised quarantine facilities, hadn’t mucked up the improvised quarantine facilities it did put in place, and then didn’t apply extreme pressure on the State governments to open borders again. “for the sake of the economy, you know? NOW GET THEM OPEN!!!!!!!”
If you can get your government, wherever that is, to accept that money is no good to the increasingly large numbers of dying, and won’t be much good if the virus manages to mutate into “The One” – then we could lick it in a worldwide six week lockdown, or in a few weeks with the above safety systems and those same eager public health crews running around shining far-UV light into every nook and cranny.
But! But! Now Monkeypox!
And you know what? Those same measures will work for monkeypox, almost guaranteed. (I say this because there’s no real data yet on far-UV and monkeypox, but it has been shown to work on a range of viruses.) But the masks and social distancing and sanitisation will work. If you’d had hetero sex with a new partner, you’d quite likely have caught COVID from them if they had it, same will apply to MP as well. In either case you’d quarantine and call for medical help, you don’t go spreading it like clap at a 60s rock revival concert.
In addition to writing these articles I’m also experimenting with ways of recycling waste that can be done at the cottage industry or community hub levels, not so much because it’ll magically convert 100% of local waste into recycled useful articles, but because people who are doing these sorts of activities are likely to talk about them to people in their community, and so raise even more awareness of the issues and dangers.
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