And then came the virus (3/3): All over with a vaccine?
[Part 1 of the series is here]
“Microbial organisms are tightly interwoven into the ecological fabric of this planet and on this planet there is no escape from global ecology. This virus, and a great many other things, are trying to explain our error to us. They will get more insistent.” - Stephen Harrod Buhner
Lady liberty gazes over the harbour at a city on lockdown being ravaged by the Angel of Death. “It’s over whenever you have a vaccine,” announces Governor Andrew Cuomo, echoing the hopes of people all over the world:
“We want to use New York as a laboratory. We are ready, willing, in any way. Do you need a place to test it in large numbers?”¹
The first vaccination was performed in 1796 by Edward Jenner on his gardener’s son using material from a cowpox ulcer (vacca means ‘cow’ in Latin). When the expected fever passed, the boy proved to be immune to smallpox, a much more serious virus that used to kill one in three victims.² The WHO declared it eradicated in 1977, and today philanthropists are reaching for their chequebooks in the hope of doing something similar with C-19 — but some are uneasy that the man who brought us Windows is being charged with protecting us from viruses and bugs.³ ⁴ How do you feel about it?
Some are uneasy that the man who brought us Windows is being charged with protecting us from viruses and bugs
A vaccination programs a particular cell (the memory T-cell) to recognize a particular virus. The strategy makes sense, especially to programmers looking at worlds made up of variables interacting predictably, and Bill Gates put his money where his mouse was by part-funding a ten-year program to eradicate measles by 2020 <RunProgram>. Measles <variableA> is benign = 99.9% of cases. If not treated well it can develop into encephalitis <if statement: f=0.001>. A vaccine prevents this eventuality <J>, but it also causes encephalitis once or twice in every million jabs <L>. It is a tiny fraction <f=0.000001>. Gates computed the variables and decided that several thousand brain-damaged children was a fair price for people of the world to pay for virus protection.⁵
10yrs and billions of $$$ later, and the initiative has failed, with measles spiking in Latin America and the Middle East and circulating in 29 European countries <SyntaxError: Unexpected end of file>.⁶ ⁷ ⁸ ⁹ The WHO initiative to eradicate polio by 2000 also failed (though it is still being funded to the tune of $2.6 billion).¹⁰ The polio vaccine had a corrupted file from the outset, and therefore causes the disease it is designed to prevent once in a million shots. Again it is a tiny fraction, but these vaccine-derived cases are infectious and have caused twelve polio outbreaks across Africa, as well as the first in the Philippines since 1993.¹¹ As virologist Vincent Racaniello puts it:
“It’s actually crazy because we’re vaccinating now against the vaccine in most parts of the world.”¹²
Smallpox was brought under control by monitoring and containing outbreaks, not by mass vaccination. The idea that a disease can be eradicated by vaccinating 95% of the global population to achieve herd immunity is a nice hypothesis with no evidence to support it; every test has failed, and smallpox remains the only feather in the vaccinator’s cap. The compulsory vaccinations, fines and school exclusions introduced by Italy had no measurable impact on immunization rates, and if we can’t stamp out measles in peacetime Europe then surely it is hubristic to imagine it happening in the mountains of Yemen during a <SyntaxError: Unexpected token> proxy war.¹³ There are better ways to protect Yemeni children <abort military-industrial complex?>.
The Italian policy also proves the bleedingly, feverishly, phlegmatically obvious point that vaccines don’t protect people from pandemics, because pandemics are caused by new mutations <unexpected error>. All viruses mutate, and coronavirus codes out new scripts fairly regularly, COVID-19 being a 2019 version. Many common colds are coronaviruses, as were SARS 2003 and MERS 2012 that struck with vicious mortality.¹⁴ C-19 had mutated into over 90 strains between December and March, and its slippery nature may complicate the search for a vaccine.¹⁵ Even if we do get a C-19 vaccine, we still won’t be protected from C-20 or C-21, just as last year’s flu jab doesn’t help this winter.¹⁶
Even if we do get a C-19 vaccine, we still won’t be protected from C-20 or C-21, just as last year’s flu jab doesn’t help this winter.
Mr. Microsoft’s system would require security updates whenever a new threat came online, along with a C-19 style system crash while each new script was developed and installed. It would provide plenty of business as novel viruses are proliferating faster than ever, but hastily-developed vaccines are not without their dangers. Pandemrix was withdrawn after 30 million vaccinations when studies in Finland and Sweden found that it made children more likely to develop narcolepsy (an autoimmune disease caused when T-cells destroy brain cells).¹⁷ ¹⁸ This may partly explain why the Swedes preferred to skip lockdown and play nature at its own game in their bloodstreams with C-19 rather than to wait for a vaccine.
Along with novel pathogens we may have older diseases to deal with, as ancient nematodes are not the only nasties waking up hungry as the permafrost melts. A boy died during an anthrax outbreak in Siberia in 2016 after an infected reindeer carcass thawed out after 75 years on ice.¹⁹ An ice sample from Tibet was found to contain 33 different ancient viruses, of which 28 were unknown to science.²⁰ Bubonic plague is thought to be lying dormant in Siberia, as is smallpox. Was the feather in the vaccinator’s cap claimed too soon?
The pathogen responsible for Spanish Flu of 1918 may also be preserved in mass graves above the melting snowline in Alaska. Spanish Flu was the first truly global epidemic, transported around the world during the first truly global war by servicemen travelling to kill each other with more heroism. The initial wave was a normal flu, but the second wave after it mutated was more deadly, striking an estimated half billion people and killing between 50 and 100 million, or 3–6% of the world’s population.²¹
The Spanish Flu was virulent but it was still just a flu. The 10–20% mortality was partly because it tore through cities and bodies weakened by years of war and rationing, and the wide contagion was a function of troop movements. The victims, however, were European and Asian populations that had developed some natural immunity over millennia tangling with flu.²² It was a different story when Old World diseases were introduced to the Americas by conquistadors. Flu and measles killed many more than steel and gunpowder, and the conquest wiped out 90% of the indigenous population — about 50 million mostly unbaptized souls.
This unprecedented genocide preceded the only period in human history when greenhouse gas concentration fell. A drop of 7–10 parts per million of CO2 cooled the earth by 0.15°C, and one theory is that the carbon was stored by forests reclaiming farmlands suddenly untended across the Americas.²³ Could modern humans cause another blip on the chart without such a body-count? Despite the best intentions of XR and tens of thousands of scientists, reducing emissions a few months ago seemed unthinkable, and most of us have been too busy pursuing our dreams to rise to the challenge.
But then came the virus.
And we stopped to dream of different futures.
What nightmares might we awaken into from our slumber?
If C-19 mutates into something deadlier, as the Spanish Flu did, a vaccine for C-19 might not give us much protection (though a bare-knuckle tussle with C-19 may do). Nor would a C-19 vaccine protect us from some horrid new pathogen incubated in a battery farm, or from a cryo-plague from another aeon revisiting the face of the earth.
If specifics for yesterday’s pandemics can be part of a broad public healthcare plan for the diseases of tomorrow then I’m all for the plan, but where is the rest of it?
If specifics for yesterday’s pandemics can be part of a broad public healthcare plan for the diseases of tomorrow then I’m all for the plan, but where is the rest of it? It seems that we are fixated on a single stitch in a vast tapestry of health and wellbeing that stretches way beyond the limits of our understanding, and that monomaniac failure of the imagination could lead to a medieval style plague.
C-19 — like measles, polio and most viruses — is not dangerous during the initial skirmish as the invader establishes a beachhead. A successful assault on the capital can be catastrophic, but there are many lines of defence before that. Interferon Alpha 2B, for example, supports various cells in those battles, and has been requested by 45 countries after promising results in China with C-19²⁴ It was developed in Cuba under an economic blockade that is still in place today, still blocking international donations for public health.²⁵ The Gates remain closed to investment.
I have no intention of leaving the health of my loved ones to monomaniac moneybags or anyone else, and so my kids have been chewing up lemon seeds and necking shots of garlic juice since they were old enough to scream in protest. Since the Wuhan outbreak we had soups and synergistic syrups to support a range of organs and target many different disease processes. Anti-virals, bronchodilators, diuretics and digestive tonics all help against C-19, and all are among the actions of elecampane, also named elfdock or horse-heal. Traditionally it was prescribed to expel melancholy, and it grows wild in the British marshes along with nine other herbs we took on a daily basis.²⁶ I wasn’t taking any chances with a daughter who has been hospitalized for asthma.
I’m 90% sure we had C-19. I had itchy eyes and a few nights of 11 hours sleep, which is completely out of character. Between us my family had dry coughs with foul tastes, body aches and light fevers, and the one I was worried about had a tight chest and sharp but mild chest pain, so I ran her up and down the road and gave her inhalations until it passed. We can’t be certain without testing. That said, people can’t be certain with testing either, as one test gives false positives up to 30% of the time.²⁷ There are no certainties, except perhaps that our leaders can’t be trusted with our health. We’re on our own, forced to draw our own conclusions and choose our own weapons, which may be horrific to contemplate but is also liberating.
The NHS could have helped flatten and even pinch the curve with information about medicines in the food isles and among the weeds in the park, drawing strength from the environment rather than retreating from it in a tardy panic of ablution and hyper-ventilatoration.²⁸ The only article in the C-19 media onslaught I saw mentioning herbs, however, was the Guardian lampooning the Venezuelan president’s excellent advice to drink tea of lemongrass, ginger, elderberry, black pepper, lemon and honey every two hours. El Presidente’s regime was found wanting once again by the British press.²⁹
Herbalism, being broad-acting and generally non-toxic, can be used to treat a wide range of problems that contribute to the mortality of C-19. We are in poor shape in 2020, with screens and refined sugars contributing to an explosion of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular problems that has made us the first generation likely to die younger than our parents. Vitamin deficiency afflicts half the world, and has a huge impact on disease outcomes between classes, races and countries.³⁰ Rising depression and drug dependency compromise immunity, and we have record cases of autoimmune disease.³¹ ³²
On the other hand, I’m yet to be convinced of the benefit my family stands to gain from a fast-tracked jab for a disease we’ve probably had and are not particularly at risk from. I’m happy to lick a hospital pan and isolate myself again for a few weeks if it will make people feel better, but I wouldn’t trust Bill Gates with my operating system let alone my immune system. 78% of people don’t trust Microsoft with their data protection, and one vaccine trial in India funded by the Gates Foundation was suspended over improperly obtained consent forms of young girls.³³ ³⁴ Maybe the fact that Jeffrey Epstein managed a multi-million dollar donation from Gates Foundation is irrelevant here. All the same, I’d rather look after my daughters myself.
I wouldn’t trust Bill Gates with my operating system let alone my immune system
While we dream dreams of magic bullets for C-19, a range of much graver threats is coming over the horizon between depleted soils and skies dark with the smoke of forest fires. Reality is returning with a vengeance as pathogens escape from glaciers, and the outlook is bleak indeed. It is bleaker still if our defence strategy hinges on patching T-cells to keep up with master replicators that have been shuffling genetic material for hundreds of millions of years.
Some look at immunity through familiar windows but I’m an apple user, a user of spices and root-cunning, and I’m not pinning my hopes on a prick full of weak code. From my perspective, a broad-acting immune system is one embedded into a diverse ecosystem. The wild spaces have been in decline along with the knowledge of the weeds that grow there since the days of the witches, and the wellbeing of our bodies is intimately connected to recovering our heritage and regenerating our environments.
There is much to research and to remember along forgotten tracks through the land, and perhaps this minor mortal threat can be the first step on a journey to a profound recovery.
The next instalment is this article, looking at the mendacious histories of some of the companies developing vaccines.
For the herbal medicines my family took, check out the Seed Sistas here.
References on my blog here.