G Man at Large- Citizens Journal
It is time to stop the madness. It has been two years since the COVID-19 virus hit our collective consciousness and became part of our vernacular. Some strange illness which started in China in the Fall of 2019. China can deny that it started there but there was already peer reviewed medical articles from China published by the time we started our American ‘2 weeks to flatten the curve campaign”.
Of course, it came from China. Many of the weird viruses come from eastern Asia. I remember a few airlines in San Francisco which were held on the tarmac over the last 30 years with a strange breakout of symptoms. Avian Bird flu, SARS, Hong Kong flu just to name a few. This virus; called a novel virus because it has not been seen before has caused more panic than all the others. It also has created more dissension as well as destruction of our communities than any of the others.
Corona viruses historically have caused about 20-25% of the common colds that we have suffered over our lifetimes. The symptoms are self-limiting and resolve after several days. The odd part of this virus is the fact that the virus does not kill you. It is your body’s response to the virus that makes you severely ill. The inflammatory cascade of cytokines and leukotrienes is what causes the lung damage that results in respiratory failure and in some cases, death. Children have been resistant to the worst cases of COVID-19 due to the immaturity of their immune system.
The Omicron variant which is raging though the population now is mild as far as symptoms go. It feels like having a cold. The preposterous claims that any of these viruses are more contagious than the next is pure theater. Each one is transmitted in droplets and enter usually through your eyes or nose. They can enter through your mouth, but the oral cavity is a particularly hostile environment for microbes and viruses are neutralized by the stomach acid.
The current surge had been accentuated by a mad rush to get tested by people with minimal symptoms. In the same way that we cannot turn away from an auto accident about to happen, we are drawn like flies to the flame of COVID-19. We have been conditioned to think this plague with symptoms varying between nothing and death will be our doom. We must know if our scratchy throat or running nose is the great plague that will be our demise. Yesterday two of my employees went to get tested and were turned away because the site ran out of tests. In the same week, an acquaintance who was feverish and had a cough was turned away from a testing site because they had symptoms of the disease they wanted to be tested for. How does this make any sense?
I have written before about the COVID test in use during this pandemic. It is approximately 60% accurate and has a 20% false negative rate. The best kept secret during the pandemic was the false positive rate. Why would the authorities hide such information? I could tell you, but you probably already know. Divulging the false positive rate of the COVID-19 test would cast doubt on the rate at which the pandemic was spreading. A rapid spreading pandemic would be a useful tool to unseat a popular president perhaps.
Also, the rapidly increasing positive tests for COVID-19 in the early days of the pandemic gave the governor of California the power to destroy numerous small businesses, close churches, and impose mandates that have little scientific bases.
To add to the panic, nursing homes and skilled nursing facilities in my area are screening all their patients in the last few weeks. If they were positive, they were admitted to the hospital for observation. This was told to me by a hospitalist who admits the asymptomatic patients. Admitting asymptotic COVID patients for observation may result in a small increase in hospitalized patients. Regardless of the circumstances of admission, the press reports this as a record increase in COVID hospitalizations, further worsening the panic.
The mad push to vaccinate children 5 years old and up is total lunacy. Children have not been shown to get severe symptoms from COVID. They are much more likely to get RSV, Chickenpox, fifth disease and a variety of other febrile childhood ailments. The mRNA vaccine is useful and safe in elderly patients who are at risk of dying. The is no data regarding safety in giving experimental gene therapy to a 5-year-old. It will be decades before we see the results of the mRNA experiment done on the children today. If there is an increase in autoimmune disease in this generation linked back to the COVID vaccine, there will be no recourse for those afflicted. Only misery.
President Joe Biden said this week that thirty-five million people are not vaccinated. That would mean that 90% of America is vaccinated. The last 10% should not matter epidemiologically. An unknown number of those may have recovered from COVID in the last 2 years. Still the herd, which should have achieved herd immunity, is rushing to get tested in a great stampede. COVID is not going anywhere. The symptoms are getting milder. This would suggest scientifically that it is moving from pandemic to endemic. Stop panicking, stay home if you are sick, and let us all get on with our lives.