When the world was confronted with Spanish flu in 1918, they had no medication or vaccines to help them fight. The only tools they had were masks, social distancing, and quarantine. Hmm! Sounds oddly familiar, doesn't it? But wait, it gets better. They were also faced with job losses, severe economic damage and protests. In other words, just as we see today, there was incredible pressure to break the quarantine and open it as soon as possible. And as we see today, every city, state and country has reacted differently to this pressure. Some resisted; some gave way; and some even accused of reopening their economy.
What they found out was that those places that withstood the pressure and held the quarantine a little longer and then disappeared from the quarantine in a controlled manner ended up with far fewer deaths, far fewer disturbances, and far less damage to their economy The problem was that those who quarantined too early were again faced with the virus, which killed even more people than in the first round, and were forced to quarantine far longer than in the areas where they were were to re-implement the course and thus had much more serious economic consequences. Guess which way much of the world, and especially many areas in the United States, have taken this pandemic?
If you believe what you hear from many of the world's leading figures and the media, we have turned COVID-19 around the corner. The lock not only flattened the curve, but magically defeated the virus. The blockage is dismantled to varying degrees worldwide. In the United States specifically:
- For the first time in weeks, people are appearing and exercising their constitutional right to free movement, freedom of assembly and freedom of religion.
- Many have given up their sissy masks.
- Images of people gathering in bars and beaches fill the air waves.
- Restaurants are reopening in many states.
- Professional sport announces its return soon.
- And the stock market is booming again.
Everything is fine, isn't it? If only.
Look, I don't want to be a Donnie Downer, but maybe not that fast.
As the Spanish philosopher and poet George Santayana once said: "Those who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it." Apparently he was talking about us.
I'm not a virologist, but I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express
Let me first say clearly that I am not afraid. Over the years, I've dealt with SARS anxiety in 2003, bird flu in 2005, swine flu in 2009, and Ebola in 2014 and 2019. In any case, health authorities warned of the upcoming epidemic. The media jumped on the bandwagon and tried to beat the next one with garish headlines announcing the impending end of life as we know it. Even many alternative health bloggers have felt the need to join the choir and scare you with stories about the upcoming zombie wars. In any case, I suggested that the threat was nowhere near as bad as outlined, and that the ultimate impact of any "epidemic" is more economic and psychological than health-related.
For example, I said in 2014, when many websites and experts worldwide predicted 1.4 million deaths as a result of the Ebola epidemic, “The bottom line is that there is little likelihood that Ebola will spread outside Africa if there are not enough people in Africa West distrusts the intentions of its own governments, and then fears make the same misguided decisions as people in West Africa, turning a small outbreak into a full-blown epidemic. The only thing we have to fear is fear itself. "
In other words, when I found that we were facing a pandemic earlier this year on February 27, two days before the first death of COVID-19, it was the first time in almost 50 years that we had been talking about health and nutrition wrote that I had ever used these words. And it turned out to be true. In fact, almost everything I said in this newsletter happened exactly as I predicted.
How did I do this?
To be very clear, I'm not a virologist (not even a doctor), but I've been studying pandemics and immunity for almost 50 years, so I'm one extremely knowledgeable "amateur". Yes, specialists like Dr. Fauci know far more than I will ever dream of knowing about viruses and pandemics, but that means I've spent the years of my studies knowing far more than 99% of the experts you see on TV now ( or read on the Internet) who come up with it over time. And maybe that's why they have to continue their predictions in the 180s, while the predictions I made in February turned out to be just right.
I think I'm trying to tell you that what I'm going to explain in the rest of this newsletter is based on rational, science-based projection, not scaring.
And one more note before we start: I don't do politics in these newsletters. Do I have a political opinion Absolutely! But I will not express it on this website. The purpose of this website is to provide honest health and nutritional information from a natural health perspective. and turning off half of our readers by expressing political likes and dislikes would be bad service. The only time I mention anything political is when this politics directly affect your health. For example: When I called the current administration in 2018 for:
- Removing most of the State Department emergency funding (including health and social services) and disabling our ability to respond to pandemics.
- Orchestration of the departure of the National Security Council's chief health security officer, counter-administrator Timothy Ziemer, who was responsible for coordinating the response to a possible pandemic.
- And we've closed our entire pandemic prevention office so the United States has no clear authority to respond to an outbreak
It was about health, not politics. And as we have seen in the past six months since the virus first became aware of the virus outside of China, it has proven remarkably forward-looking.
And why the political disclaimer? This is because everything about COVID-19 has been politicized. It is now impossible to speak about any aspect of COVID-19 without treading on anyone's toes – on both sides of the political spectrum.
- Quarantine has become fascist, socialist, communist and a violation of constitutional rights. Of course it is not one of them. And it is impossible to be everyone because most of these terms contradict themselves. But hey!
- Both masks and social distancing are a denial of masculinity, our individual freedoms and a violation of constitutional rights.
- Correctly counting the number of deaths from the corona virus has become a political debate and a denial of our constitutional rights.
- Tracking down people who may have been in contact with someone who is infected is now considered an Orwellian program involving George Soros and the Clintons – no joke.
- Even uncovering the number of deaths in some states has become a political issue and a denial of our constitutional rights.
- Heck, we're now renaming those who die from COVID-19 as "warriors" and "fallen heroes" to make their deaths more politically acceptable, and claim that anyone who says otherwise violates their constitutional rights.
How did we get here? (If you are not from the United States, replace your demonstrators and your constitution with ours in the following paragraphs.)
Is there a constitutional right to oppose quarantine?
And the answer is: maybe, and it depends. The standard constitutional argument to contest state quarantines is based on two quotes.
The first change
Congress cannot pass a law that respects the founding of a religion or prohibits its free practice. or restrict freedom of speech or the press; or the right of the people to assemble peacefully and to submit a complaint to the government.
Article VI, paragraph 2
This Constitution and the laws of the United States to be enacted under this Constitution; and all contracts that are or are to be concluded under the authority of the United States are the highest law of the country; and the judges in each state are bound by it, regardless of any contrary provisions in the constitution or laws of a state.
In other words, the first amendment gives us the right to go to church and gather in groups of any size wherever we want (for example, at work, in restaurants, in public protests, and in sports stadiums). 19 be damned. And Article VI paragraph 2 states that no state can override these rights. So ipso facto any A quarantine that hinders these rights is a violation of our constitutional rights.
However, there are several problems with this argument. First, taking things out and putting them together can lead to bizarre conclusions. For example, the proverbs "look before you jump" and "who hesitates are lost" contain wisdom. Combine them with each other: "Look before you jump, because who hesitates is lost" and you have learned nonsense. Second, and more importantly, the courts have already decided on this issue. A highly relevant example would be the 1905 Supreme Court ruling in Jacobson v Massachusetts, which upheld the Cambridge, Mass, Board of Health's authority to require smallpox vaccination during a smallpox epidemic. In particular, in paragraph 6 of their judgment, they stated:
The state's authority to enact this statute is referred to as so-called police power – a power that the state did not give up when it became a member of the Union under the constitution. Although this court has so far made no attempt to define the limits of this power It has clearly recognized the power of a state to enact quarantine and health laws of any kind; “Indeed, all laws that relate exclusively to matters on their territory and that are not affected by their necessary application affect people in other states. According to established principles, the police force of a state must at least include such appropriate regulations, which were directly established by law and which protect public health and safety.
And no decision in the past century has challenged this sovereign power of states to pass laws of all kinds. However, what has changed since Jacobson versus Massachusetts is the Court's recognition of the importance of individual freedom and its limitations. but will not be overwritten, That power. In order to maintain public health, respect for personal freedom must now be respected – but here too the right of states to enact laws to protect public health and safety does not have to be abolished.
Let me offer a hypothesis
Let us see if we can circumvent the legal back and forth here and get to the point with a hypothetical scenario. If you are an advocate of constitutional rights related to quarantine, how do you think about the following?
A family infected with the Sudanese strain of the Ebola virus and highly contagious and who has a death rate of 71% appears in your community and insists on resisting quarantine and their constitutional right to visit a church (which happens to be your church is) meeting with your family and all the families of your neighbors. Do you support them in exercising their constitutional rights, even if this means that your spouse and all of your children will die? Does Fox and Friends invite them to the studio to join them on the couch and tell America how they exercise their constitutional rights?
If not, then you recognize the limits of your personal constitutional rights and thus the right of the state to carry out forced quarantines and even vaccinations. at least in some caseson behalf of its citizens. The argument then depends on whether or not the COVID-19 pandemic qualifies as "one of these cases".
But more to the point
Complete quarantine should never be a problem. We should never have been able to quarantine large sections of the population indefinitely. Unlike the 1918 pandemic, we had one thing they didn't have then: the ability to test for a particular virus. Quarantine of the general population only became a necessity in countries where there was never an adequate testing, tracing, and isolation program – in fact, after six months, the United States still has insufficient levels. If the United States had given the warnings as a country, only those who tested positive for the virus and those who were directly contracted with them would have to be quarantined – and then only for a fortnight. The only reason we were forced to do a nationwide ban is because we flew blind (and still are). If you don't know who is infected and have no idea who they may have been infected with, your only alternative is to quarantine everyone. And if you don't know when people are free from infection, you don't know when to quarantine, so you'll get stuck in an undetermined quarantine.
If you want to blame someone, blame the government officials who ignored the warnings, and blame the media for giving these officials a free passport and even promoting their inaction. And even if you want to loosen them up a little bit because they don't act fast enough (after all, who knew exactly what was going on in the early days), there is no conceivable excuse that six months after the pandemic there were no adequate tests were. If you want to complain that the quarantine violates your constitutional rights, at least blame the elected officials for bringing us into this position. As Keith Humphreys from Stanford University points out, the obstacles to the introduction of a nationwide "test, trace and isolation program" are not technical – Germany and South Korea have done so. The challenges are political and cultural in a country that has been trained to distrust the government since the Reagan administration.
Where are we now?
We have now recorded 100,000 deaths in the United States, more deaths than in any other country in the world – far from it. By the way, a few months ago, many experts called the COVID-19 pandemic a joke from a certain perspective and compared it to the flu. They pointed out that the flu kills more people than the corona virus every year. Doesn't this statement look a bit wrong now? And keep in mind that the flu kills an average of 55,000 a year in the U.S. and the coronavirus has only killed 100,000 people so far, which bypasses an important point. For the flu, this sum applies for a whole year. For the corona virus in the United States, it only took three months to get from one death to 100,000. In other words, that number will continue to grow for nine months before we can compare it to the annual flu total. To understand how high this number could be, we first need to understand the difference between simple and effective reproduction numbers. (Fortunately, this happens to be part of a chapter that I just finished rewriting the miracle doctor's lessons so I could just cut and paste it here. But I digress.)
Basic VS effective reproduction numbers: R0
One measure by which scientists measure how a disease spreads in a population is the "Basic reproduction number, “Otherwise known as R0 (pronounced“ R naught ”). In epidemiology, the basic reproductive number of an infection can be viewed as the expected number of cases directly generated by an individual / a case in a population in which all individuals are susceptible to infection and there is no attenuation. This number indicates how many people will infect each infected person on average. While it doesn't tell us how deadly a particular virus (actually, any type of disease) is, R0 is a measure of how contagious it is, and therefore helps governments and health organizations implement containment strategies. The "effective reproduction numberOn the other hand, reflects the R0 after it has been mitigated by factors such as increased natural herd immunity, social detachment and wearing masks. As governor, Cuomo is so happy to remind us of COVID-19 when the Effective R0 is less than 1, the disease becomes less and less. An effective R0 of more than 1 means that each sick person infects more than another person on average, who then infects others, causing the disease to grow and spread at an ever increasing rate in the population. For example, a typical seasonal flu strain has an R0 of around 1.2, which means that the disease spreads to an average of six new people per five infected people who pass it on to others. COVID-19, on the other hand, has a base R0 of 2.5, which makes it 66% more infectious than the flu, but with a slowdown, its effective rate can be pushed below 1, as is currently in a number of states and countries around the world World. (Incidentally, COVID-19 is far more deadly than the flu, but that's a side effect of the R0, so we'll leave this point for now.)
As we just explained, it is important to remember that R0 is a statistical estimate of the spread of a disease in a given population if it is not checked. For example, SARS has a higher R0 (3.5) than seasonal flu, but never spread far enough to become a worldwide epidemic as governments acted aggressively to “effective reproduction number”Under 1.0. On the other hand, despite a relatively low basic reproductive rate, the flu is always widespread – the CDC estimates that between 3 and 11 percent of the U.S. population gets flu every year – because governments take no further action than vaccination to deal with it Lower number. It is common for people with colds and flu to go to work and infect everyone around them who is not immune.
The bottom line is that all of these diseases would be catastrophic without mitigation.
Note: There is another damage limitation factor that needs to be considered: weather. President Trump suggested that the virus would magically disappear in warmer weather. That will not happen. But then he was on something. According to public health expert Ali Mokdad, chief strategy officer for population health at the Institute of Health Metrics and Assessment at the University of Washington, it says: "For every 1 degree Celsius increase in heat (equivalent to 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit)) we see a 2% decrease in transmission. We find this relationship in our data and it might be more if the weather warms up this month. “In other words, when the temperature rises, you see a slowdown in the virus, but nothing close to the magical disappearance. And when the temperatures cool down in the fall, you'll likely see an acceleration factor – and a resurgence.
The bottom line is that this virus infects so many people with asymptomatic to mild symptoms that it is almost uncontrollable. As I said in February, there are all signs of settling in the human population. In a few years, we are likely to consider an annual cold, flu, and COVID-19 season for the foreseeable future unless an effective and updated vaccine is used every season.
So how many deaths are we talking about?
That's the big question, isn't it?
Some experts claim that the current "official numbers" are far too high, that a number of flu deaths have been incorrectly identified as coronavirus, and that is true. However, it can be argued even more that we are counting coronavirus deaths and that the actual number could be twice the official number. In fact, a study published on May 14 in JAMA Internal Medicine found that the number of coronavirus deaths reported was 20 times higher in the week to April 21 than in the deadliest week of the flu season (over an average of seven years) ). Based on this analysis, the researchers concluded that the current number of COVID-19 deaths could "significantly underestimate" the actual number of deaths.
For now, let's just use the official numbers.
The first officially declared death from the virus in the United States occurred on February 29. Yes, it is likely that many people have died before, but since we do not have an official list of these deaths, we cannot use these numbers in our calculations. In any case, the basic point is that it only took three months to get from 1 to 100,000. Now it is important to recognize that these deaths are weighted with infections that occurred in the first few weeks before states took measures to reduce the infection rate. In other words, the infection rate (and ultimately the fatalities) was higher when there was no attenuation and the virus was spreading at its basic reproductive rate. The infection and death rate (with a delay of two to three weeks) started to slow down as the weakening resulted in a lower effective reproductive count. And what do we mean by damage limitation? Vaccines can of course be an important mitigating factor (and we'll talk more about that in a moment), but since there are no vaccines, these are the main mitigating factors (and those that have been used to fight the pandemic so far) are the same 1918 were employed: quarantines, social distancing, hand washing, persecution and masks.
Let me translate that. In the first three months, we lost an average of 1,000 people a day. If we continued to block across the country, we would expect this number to trend down as we go. Surprisingly, an important coronavirus model from the University of Washington's Institute of Health Metrics and Assessment (IHME) believes the number has dropped to around 688 deaths per day just when quarantines were lifted. The researchers were surprised and said, "We expected that we would likely increase due to the sharp increase in mobility." They believe that the difference is in the number of people who wear masks and that people take care to keep their distance from others.
While some states have announced slowly and cautiously easing their quarantines, other states have been pretty much opening the gates, driven by political and economic factors. Not surprisingly, many citizens, encouraged by the carefree stance of these politicians, have decided to "see" the open gate policy and raise it to the "let's party" level. In other words, they decided to give up masks and social distancing and pretend COVID-19 was either retreating or kidding.
Tens of thousands recently came to the nation's beaches as if the virus had never existed.
(embed) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SSftFwol5M4 (/ embed)
And then there's the fact that Carnival Cruises reopened a limited number of routes for bookings from August in early May. Not a big deal in its own right, but according to a TMZ report, cruise reservations made through an American Express travel franchise are 200 percent higher than at that time last year.
Or what about the spontaneous 3,000 person block party that got violent in Florida when the governor eased the quarantine?
(embed) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=glpIslGIyu0 (/ embed)
After all, on Memorial Day weekend, the beaches from coast to coast and along the southern tip of Florida, Texas and more were full. Boaters and parties flocked to the lakes. Although many practiced social distancing, not all of them did, and the large crowd contested the six-foot rule in many cases.
People gather on the beach for the Memorial Day weekend in Port Aransas, Texas, Saturday, May 23, 2020. Beach visitors are encouraged to practice social distancing to protect themselves against COVID-19. (AP photo / Eric Gay) AP pictures
Yes, a large majority of people in the United States are rightly concerned about the virus and will continue to distance themselves regardless of what the president and governors say about opening the economy. But as we see now, there is a significant minority that will do things differently. In the name of freedom, bad courage, or simply the belief that the whole thing is a joke. You will brazenly try to fight the virus face to face – which is exactly the wrong way to fight a virus.
Not surprisingly, the number of COVID-19 deaths on May 19, contrary to the IMHE prediction, rose to 1,552 instead of falling. Even if we use the conservative IMHE model of 688 deaths per day, which is believed to be responsible for people, we still look at 244,000 deaths at year-end. And if we use the May 19 numbers as our model, we see 415,000 deaths. And if the virus actually re-emerges in the fall, as most health experts predict, we expect over 700,000 deaths by the end of the year. To give you perspective, the main causes of death in the US are:
- Heart disease: 647,457
- Cancer: 599.108
- Accidents (accidental injuries): 169,936
That means COVID-19 will be either 1st, 2nd or 3rd place in 2020 as the leading cause of death, depending on what numbers we hit. And remember that it will reach this mark in just nine months, not 12!
And when it comes to resurrection, Lothar Wieler, President of the Robert Koch Institute, said: “We know with great certainty that there will be a second wave. The majority of scientists are certain of this. It is also expected that there will be a third wave. "He continued," This is a pandemic, and a pandemic will keep this virus on our list of medical concerns until 60% to 70% of the population has been infected (or vaccinated). "
Is the cure worse than the disease?
I have to admit that I wasn't a fan of Fox’s coverage of COVID-19.
- You compared it to the flu, but the flu doesn't kill 100,000 people in 90 days.
- You called it a joke, but only if you ignore all dying people.
- They claimed that the number of deaths was greatly exaggerated, but the number of deaths, if any, was greatly underestimated.
- You have claimed that quarantine violates our constitutional rights, but the Constitution clearly allows states to take certain steps that are necessary to protect their citizens.
- They promoted mock healings and then doubled, even after it turned out that these “healings” are mock healings.
Aber eine Sache, die sie nicht falsch verstanden haben, ist, wenn sie sagen: "Die Heilung darf nicht schlimmer sein als das Problem." Wie ihre Experten die dieser Aussage innewohnende Frage beantworten (Wie viele Todesfälle sind wie viel Geld wert?), Ist möglicherweise fraglich, aber nicht die Frage selbst. Und wie die meisten anderen Netzwerke zu antworten, dass es zumindest unaufrichtig ist, auf diese Weise zu denken, dass dies hartnäckig und unmenschlich ist, dass sogar ein Tod zu viel ist. Tatsächlich beschäftigen wir uns ständig mit diesem Problem. For example:
- In den USA sterben jedes Jahr etwa 38.000 Menschen bei Autobahnunfällen, weltweit etwa 1,35 Millionen. Und doch schlägt niemand vor, dass wir Autos von der Straße nehmen und die Leute vom Fahren abhalten. Ja, wir versuchen, das Fahren sicherer zu machen, aber wir haben den Kompromiss akzeptiert, dass der Wert des Autotransports 1,35 Millionen Todesfälle pro Jahr überwiegt.
- Mehrere epidemiologische Studien haben ein erhöhtes Risiko für Blasen-, Dickdarm- und Rektalkrebs durch mit Chlor behandeltes Trinkwasser festgestellt. Wir haben jedoch festgestellt, dass die Verwendung von Chlor im Trinkwasser zur Verringerung des Todesrisikos durch bakterielle Infektionen, die Cholera, Typhus, Ruhr und Legionärskrankheit verursachen, die Todesfälle durch die Verwendung von Chlor selbst mehr als ausgleicht.
- Und natürlich die Tatsache, dass wir Unternehmen erlauben, fettreiche, natriumreiche und zuckerreiche Lebensmittel zu vermarkten, die jedes Jahr hunderttausende Todesfälle durch Herzkrankheiten, Diabetes und Krebs verursachen, einfach weil sie für große Unternehmen massive Gewinne erzielen und weil Menschen buchstäblich süchtig nach ihnen geworden zu sein, ist bestenfalls ein Kompromiss von zweifelhaftem Wert, aber ein Kompromiss, den wir trotzdem eingehen.
Die Frage, ob die Heilung schlimmer ist als das Problem, ist also nicht unangemessen. Wenn ich fragen würde, ob 3 Billionen Dollar und 39 Millionen Arbeitslose es wert sind, nur ein Leben zu retten, würden die meisten Leute nein sagen. Was ist mit zwei Leben? 10 Leben? 100? 1.000? Was ist mit 500.000 – der mögliche Unterschied in den verlorenen Leben, wenn wir die Quarantäne zu früh brechen und dies ein Wiederaufleben auslöst? Ist das eine Wendepunkt-Heilung gegen Problemfrage?
Ich werde diese Frage übrigens nicht beantworten. Es liegt über meiner Gehaltsstufe – zumal ich nicht für das Schreiben dieser Newsletter bezahlt werde. Ich schreibe sie, weil ich will und weil mehrere hunderttausend Menschen auf der ganzen Welt sie lesen wollen. Ich sage nur, dass Kosten / Nutzen eine legitime Frage sind, selbst wenn es um menschliches Leben geht – und etwas, das wir ständig tun. Oh, und noch etwas. Wenn Sie ein Regierungsbeamter sind, der mitbestimmt, wann die Quarantäne aufgehoben werden soll, und nicht bereit sind, die Frage, wie viele Leben Sie bereit sind, gegen X Dollar einzutauschen, explizit zu beantworten, haben Sie keine moralische Autorität zu sagen dass die Heilung schlimmer ist als das Problem.
Letztendlich ist dies die 3-Billionen-Dollar-Frage: Wie viele leben für wie viele Dollar? Und bis jetzt habe ich noch keinen einzigen Regierungsbeamten oder Experten gehört, der darauf geantwortet hat. Ich habe sprechende Köpfe tanzen hören und versucht, die realen Zahlen zu verbergen oder diejenigen, die sterben, als „Krieger“ zu bezeichnen, um ihren Tod als etwas Berechtigtes neu zu definieren. Aber ich habe nicht gehört, dass einer von ihnen vom Präsidenten abwärts tatsächlich eine Zahl ausspricht. Deshalb diskutieren wir die Frage in theoretischen Begriffen, die es jedem ermöglichen, sich selbstgerecht und moralisch bestätigt zu fühlen, ohne jemals seine Überzeugungen auf die Skala der öffentlichen Kontrolle stellen zu müssen.
Übrigens verzeichnete Schweden, das nie eine formelle Sperrung des Coronavirus verhängt hat und stattdessen die Bürger lediglich dazu ermutigt hat, zu Hause zu bleiben, wenn sie krank sind, und in der Öffentlichkeit soziale Distanz aufrechtzuerhalten, Mitte Mai die meisten Todesfälle durch Coronaviren in Europa pro Kopf in der vergangenen Woche. Nach Angaben von Our World In Data, einer Online-Forschungspublikation an der University of Oxford. I mention this because Sweden has been frequently singled out for praise by many in the anti-quarantine movement for their handling of the pandemic. Again, if you are not willing to answer the question of how many deaths are worth how many dollars, you have no moral authority to judge whether Sweden’s approach is good or bad.
By the Way
A question may occur to you right about now. How is it even possible for everyone to ignore so many deaths? I mean, if we looked out our windows and saw carts hauling away dead bodies every day, would we even be having this discussion? And the answer is simple: out of sight, out of mind. Think about this for a moment. How many people die every year in the United States from the flu? As I mentioned earlier, it is 55,000 people at the high end. Over the last 10 years, we are talking about 500,000 deaths give or take in the U.S. alone. That is a lot of people. Now, let me ask you: how many people do you personally know who have died from the flu in the last 10 years? I don’t mean celebrities you heard about in the news but people you personally know—friends, family, coworkers. As for myself, I can only think of one—the landlord for where we used to rent our Baseline Nutritionals offices (a really sweet guy). I have to go back 35 years to think of a second, my mother. That is two people in 35 years. For Kristen, it is only one really as she had not actually met my mother at that time, only talked to her on the phone. Over the years, I have asked many people that question, and the answer is almost always: one or none. In a country of 330 million people, a half million people represents only one in every 660 people. In other words, you have to personally know 660 people to have an even chance of personally knowing one person who has died from the flu in the last 10 years—and over 1,300 people to know just two.
And that is why it is so easy to accept so many deaths—since we do not personally know them, and those that do die, die in hospitals, out of sight, out of mind. And that, by the way, is something politicians count on when they make decisions that affect our lives. And if that were not enough, states are beginning to jigger the numbers downward for political reasons to hide the true number of deaths. For example:
- The state of Georgia’s Public Health Department chart wrongly reported coronavirus cases that made it look like its COVID-19 cases were trending down by putting the dates out of order on its chart. May 5 was followed by April 25, then back to May again, whatever made it look like a downslope. When called out on it, Gov. Brian Kemp’s office issued an apology. Then again, the error was at least the third in as many weeks.
- In Florida, Rebekah Jones, the architect and onetime manager of Florida’s COVID-19 dashboard, announced that on May 5th she had been removed from her post after she would not censor data. She said that she had refused to “manually change data to drum up support” for Florida’s plan to reopen amid the coronavirus pandemic. Once she was removed, well, you can guess how that went.
- Arizona’s governor tried to sideline analysts whose data predicted the state’s outbreak peak was still to come.
- According to news reports, at least three states—Texas, Virginia, and Vermont—are deliberately mishandling their COVID-19 data by combining results of active illness tests and antibody tests so as to inflate their perceived testing capacity. This, however, renders their results functionally meaningless.
- Meanwhile, the White House has treated COVID-19 data as campaign fodder, recently releasing a model created by a top administration economist that showed deaths dropping to zero by May 15, which, of course, they did not.
- And in possibly the biggest deception of all, the White House is no longer requiring nursing homes to count COVID-19 deaths that occurred before May 6th. Since nursing homes are a focal point for coronavirus deaths, this will severely understate any data designed to measure the impact of the pandemic on older Americans. And nursing homes will be happy to assist in this deception since it helps them cover up their death rates. The reason you didn’t hear about this is because the government’s decision not to require reporting of deaths prior to May 6 was buried in Question 10 of the FAQs section of a May 6 Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services memo.
- Finally, it is probably worth noting that, on a global level, coronavirus cases spiked by more than a million in less than a week near the end of May, topping 5 million cases. And that included a 106,000 new cases in a single day, the highest daily spike in coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic.
Incidentally, large corporations are even more cold-blooded about the deaths VS dollars thing. For example, automobile companies do actuarial studies to determine the cost of having to do a recall to fix a defect in a line of cars VS the estimated cost of having to pay X number of families for the loss of someone who dies as result of the problem if they don’t fix it. And as often as not, they decide it is cheaper to pay for the dead.
When all is said and done, when all the calculations are made by politicians as to how many lives are worth how many dollars, it is crucial for our humanity that we not forget that each death we see tallied on our computer and TV screens was a real human being. And the loss of each person represents not just that one person but has devastating impact on all their family, friends, coworkers, and all the people who depended on them in their daily lives. Make no mistake, when the human costs of COVID-19 are finally added up, it will be a huge number–not just in the United States, but across the world. But we also must not forget that the costs of quarantines are huge, not just in economic terms, but in human terms. Not everyone will financially recover. Jobs will be permanently lost. Businesses will be permanently closed. Homes will be lost, families evicted. Lives will be Irreparably devastated. Make no mistake. These are human costs too. COVID-19 is not the flu.
At this point I need to say something about masks.
In the same way that protesters have argued that lockdowns infringe their freedom, much of the anti-mask rhetoric seems to draw from the same well—i.e., resistance to government mandates as an infringement on personal freedom. As Linsey Marr, an engineering professor at Virginia Tech with experience in airborne transmission of viruses, said recently “There’s such a strong culture of individualism that, even if it’s going to help protect them, people don’t want the government telling them what to do.”
Right now, thanks to encouragement from some politicians and media channels, according to a peer-reviewed paper published in the Harvard Kennedy School Misinformation Review, a staggering 30% of Americans believe in some type of coronavirus conspiracy theory. And masks have become a central part of it, with security guards even getting shot for telling people they need to wear a mask to enter a store. And it’s not just the conspiracy aspect. Some people view wearing a mask as an affront to their man- or womanhood, their courage to take on the virus “mano e mano.” Others see it as an assault on their Constitutional rights. And others have stated that their immune system can protect them better than any mask. And still others aren’t even pretending any justification but shamelessly trying to game the system by claiming immunity under laws written to protect the rights of disabled people and lying to store management they “have a medical condition that means they cannot wear a mask.”
But the truth is, wearing a mask has nothing to do with any of those things. Quite simply, wearing a mask in public is not about you. Despite what many people think, wearing a mask offers you almost no protection from catching the coronavirus. As I said in my March 12th newsletter, “In the end, a mask won’t keep you from getting infected, but if used properly, it should minimize your chances of infecting others and could push their infection down the road, which isn’t a bad thing.”
Or as Chris Hayes from MSNBC says, “If the stated goal here is to open up the American economy and get people back to work and achieve some level of normalcy, something we all desperately want, there is really good evidence that everyone wearing a mask can really help us in that project.”
Criminally Negligent Manslaughter
In a recent opinion piece written for USA Today, Rand Paul and Andy Biggs wrote:
“Freedom allows us to judge the risk and reward and determine a course we think best. If we feel going to a certain retailer, barber shop, restaurant, or some other business is risky, we have the judgment to decide to not go there. If we want to stay home, we can.”
But that so misses the point. It is not about your personal freedom to put your own life at risk. It is about whether you have the freedom to put other people’s lives at risk.
And with that in mind, let us wrap up this part of our discussion with a question. How would you feel under the following scenario?
In an exercise of his Constitutional rights, and in the name of a good time, Citizen A decides to head down to the local bar that has just reopened to mingle with his friends. And also, as an exercise of their “Constitutional rights” they decide to not wear masks and not to maintain social distancing as they celebrate the evening away.
- Now, Citizen A does not catch the virus that evening for one simple reason: he already has it, but being asymptomatic, he does not know it.
- But he does infect one of his drinking buddies who is partying in the bar with him.
- And his friend then goes home and ends up infecting his sister who works at a nursing home where your great aunt resides.
- The sister then goes to work asymptomatic, but infectious, and infects all the seniors where she works, killing 20 of them, including your great aunt.
How do you feel knowing that Citizen A is responsible for the deaths of 20 people including your great aunt simply because he chose to celebrate his defiance of government authority for an evening? There is actually a term for what he just did. It is called “criminally negligent manslaughter”—death resulting from a high degree of negligence or recklessness. And although he and his friends could never be prosecuted for it, you would hold them morally culpable, wouldn’t you?
Something to think about if you are one of those who feels that your state’s guidelines do not apply to you.
Vaccines and Drugs
Many people have suffered from an illusion/delusion—that “flattening the curve” meant that at the end of the quarantine, the virus would be “magically gone” and life would return to normal. That was never going to happen. All that flattening the curve meant is that you were going to spread out the same number of infections and deaths over a longer period of time. This would accomplish three things:
- Although the same number of people would ultimately be infected and have to go to the hospital, since those infections would now be spread out over a longer period of time, hospitals would not be overwhelmed and unable to care for patients. Italy missed the mark on that goal, and conditions for several weeks were horrific with patient beds lining hallways in crowded Italian hospitals. And New York came right up to the edge but was able to avoid crossing over into disaster. Most other states and countries acted in time to avoid the worst of it.
- It would buy time for the development of a vaccine that provides full, long-term immunity against COVID-19, which is the obvious crown jewel that the medical community is striving for. If you can get enough people inoculated (through a combination of people getting the vaccine and those who have developed antibodies to COVID-19 by having had the virus), you can make life return to normal. For example, smallpox, once the scourge of the world, is not even a consideration anymore. Likewise, outside of Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Pakistan, the same can be said for polio. The problem is that no such vaccine will be available anytime in 2020. The normal development time for a vaccine is 10-15 years. The hope is that we might be able to cut that to 12-18 months for the coronavirus.Incidentally, no one knows how long the protection from any vaccine in development might last. However, a study was done back in 2007 with the SARS coronavirus. The results, published in Emerging Infectious Diseases, were that among 176 patients who had had severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), SARS-specific antibodies were maintained for an average of 2 years, and significant reduction of immunoglobulin G–positive percentage and titers (the concentration of an antibody) occurred in the third year. Thus, SARS patients were likely susceptible to reinfection 3 years after initial exposure. That might be an indicator for the extent of protection any COVID-19 vaccine—or natural immunity from having had the virus—might offer. Incidentally:
- Moderna potentially jumped the timeframe with its announcement on May 19th that their vaccine seemed to generate an immune response in Phase 1 trial subjects. This caused the company’s stock to surge to a $29 billion dollar valuation, an impressive feat for a company that actually does not sell anything yet. On the downside, they presented almost no data with their announcement. And even the limited data they did release was far more ambiguous than was reflected in their announcement. Bottom line: do not count on anything from Moderna this year. Even Dr. Fauci who has expressed optimism about the vaccine has talked early 2021 as an effective release date. And no other pharmaceutical company has announced anything that even looks likely to jump the 18-month timeframe.
- Something to keep in mind about a vaccine is that even when a vaccine becomes available, it does not guarantee 100% protection in everyone that receives it. When it comes to vaccination, there are all kinds of variables such as the duration of prevention and uptake. In other words, as Deenan Pillay, professor of virology at University College London, said, “So I would like to also suggest that when we’re talking about how the future looks and guiding that scientifically, we’re actually thinking for a long-term pandemic with ups and downs, an endemic infection that will come up and down for maybe years to come, with perhaps interventions such as maybe vaccines, maybe partially uptake and so forth.”
- And one other complication when it comes to a vaccine is mutation. A vaccine developed for one strain of COVID-19 may not be as effective when confronting a different strain, and the coronavirus has already shown an ability to mutate. To be sure, many mutations lead to no discernible changes in how a virus behaves. However, some changes in the genetic structure can lead to both changes in the virus structure and how the virus behaves. With that in mind, 13 mutations have already been identified, and one of those new strains has become dominant worldwide and appears to be more contagious than the versions that spread in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- PS: According to a recent survey, only 55 percent of Americans say they are willing to get vaccinated if/when a vaccine arrives. The rest—a significant minority—say they won’t get vaccinated (19 percent) or they’re not sure (26 percent). If those results were to hold, tens or even hundreds of millions of unimmunized Americans could ultimately undermine any vaccine’s ability to stop the spread of the virus. It is estimated that for COVID-19, we need to cross the 70% threshold for herd immunity. jedoch, that final 15% required to cross the threshold could come from all those people who have gained natural immunity by having had the virus and overcome it. The confirmed count is that 1.7 million people have had the virus in the US, but the real number may be 10 to 30 times that, since only a tiny percentage of people have been tested.
- And finally, flattening the curve can buy time for the development of drugs that might lessen the severity of symptoms and hopefully even reduce the number of deaths. So far, there is little in this regard:
- Hydroxychloroquin. There is zero reliable evidence that hydroxychloroquine can help with COVID-19 in any way. On the other hand, there is reliable evidence that, at the dosages used for treating COVID-19 (1,200 mg a day VS 400 mg a day for preventing malaria), it can kill you. In fact, a massive new study published in the Lancet just found the chances of hydroxychloroquine improving COVID-19 outcomes is very low, while at the same time, seriously ill patients treated with the drug almost doubling their risk of dying or developing dangerous heart arrhythmias., In other words, despite Fox’s advocacy for this drug, you want to stay away.
- Remdesivir has demonstrated in vitro and in vivo activity in animal models against the viral pathogens MERS and SARS, which are also coronaviruses and are structurally similar to COVID-19. Preliminary data from a government-run study of remdesivir showed a 31 percent faster time to recovery than those who received a placebo—11 days versus 15 days, on average. The findings also suggested that patients given remdesivir were slightly less likely to die. But that effect was so small that you would need to treat 28 patients with remdesivir to save one life. The bottom line is that while remdesivir may be helpful and may marginally reduce mortality, and is therefore worth taking, it is not a cure. It is not a game changer. The other problem is that supplies are currently limited, and it will not be widely available until sometime in 2021.
- According to the Israel Defense Ministry, the Israel Institute for Biological Research (the IIBR) has made a “breakthrough” in antibody treatment for COVID-19. Unlike other proposed antibody treatments, which are polyclonal (derived from two or more cells from different origins), the Israeli breakthrough is a monoclonal antibody, meaning it was derived from a single recovered cell. This makes the Israeli antibody potentially more potent and potentially less “harmful.” However, it is experimental and nowhere near ready for use in humans.
Essentially then, none of these options will be of significant use to you any time before the end of the year.
- Hydroxychloroquine will never be useful
- Remdesivir is marginally helpful but will not be widely available until next year
- The Israeli antibody is promising but experimental, has not been fully tested, and is unlikely to be widely available until sometime next year, if ever
The bottom line is that for the foreseeable future, you are on your own. You are going to have to take care of yourself.
As I said, in my March 12 newsletter:
“If you don’t actually have the virus when you’re under quarantine, after the quarantine, you’re no safer than you were before you went into lockdown. You haven’t gained any immunity to COVID-19 while hiding out in your wife’s she-shed. Unless you’re infected with COVID-19 while in exile, it’s not a one-and-done. The hard reality is that once you emerge from your quarantine, you’re even more at risk than before your act of self-sacrifice for the simple reason that this is now officially a pandemic, and it’s spreading rapidly. That means that after your lockdown has passed, there are that many more people with the virus walking about, so you’re that much more likely to come in contact, yet again, with someone who has the virus.”
In other words (with two caveats), the virus has not gone anywhere, and you are still at risk—as well as a risk to others. You will want to:
- Keep social distancing even as you are out and about and reintegrating with the world. Incidentally, the risk of spreading the virus is 30 times greater at 3 feet away from an infected person VS six feet.
- Wear a mask to protect others.
- Wash your hands regularly.
- Make use of a good echinacea-based immune building formula, or an equivalent, to have your immune system in its highest gear if/when you are infected by the virus.
- Optimize your intestinal bacteria with a well-designed probiotic formula since they provide 60-70% of your immune function.
- Have a supply of a natural antipathogen formula available to use at the first sign of infection in order to keep your viral load down until your immune system can “learn” the virus, build a defense against it, and take over for the final assault. This is your best bet to stay out of the hospital.
- And considering the latest information about complications from COVID-19, you might want to consider supplementing with a good proteolytic enzyme formula, not only for its ability to reduce systemic inflammation, but also for its ability to break up and dissolve blood clots.
Now as for those two caveats:
- If you have already had the virus, you are probably safe yourself and no threat to others. (Although not yet “proven” to be true, most virologists consider it a good bet.) If you have had the virus and have the antibodies, all of the above steps are essentially unnecessary—other than to reassure people who would be freaked out if you approached them without wearing a mask. In other words, even if you no longer need to wear a mask and keep a distance, you are still going to have to, at least until a viable vaccine makes everyone “feel” normal.
- Also, the only way to know for sure that you have had the virus is with testing, and despite the continual assurances that anyone who wants a test can have one, that simply is not true. For example, I believe that Kristen and I had the virus almost two months ago, and we still have not been able to get tested.
- The test needs to be accurate, producing a minimum of false negatives and positives.
- It needs to be highly specific for COVID-19 so it is not identifying other coronavirus antibodies, such as those you developed in response a common cold, as COVID-19 antibodies.
- And it needs to differentiate and identify what are known as “effective” antibodies.
- Note: Finally, a reliable version of this test seems available in our area. We have scheduled an appointment.
Quite simply, as things now stand, you are on your own until such time as an effective treatment or vaccine is widely available. And of the two, the vaccine is more important, assuming you are willing to get vaccinated or haven’t already had the virus. Afterall, who wants to go to the hospital for an intravenous “treatment” if they get COVID-19. In fact, who wants to go to the hospital for anything if they do not have to.
The Status of My Antipathogen Formula
Despite never mentioning it by name or where to buy it, people from all over the world heard about it from friends or figured it out and tracked down my antipathogen formula sold by Baseline Nutritionals. They literally scooped up six-months of inventory in a matter of days, leaving Baseline out of stock for 4 weeks. The stunning thing was that 40% of the people who bought the formula had never purchased anything from Baseline Nutritionals before. It felt like this formula had become the toilet paper of natural antipathogen formulas—subject to a high degree of panic buying, leaving the shelves bare for anyone who followed.
It also should be noted that there is no definitive evidence this formula works with COVID-19. Yes, Kristen and I are convinced that it worked for us, but thanks to the lack of accurate antibody testing, we cannot even prove that we had the virus. We do know that the formula has built its reputation over the last 20 years from people who have used it to deal with colds and flu. And although we are talking about many, many, many, testimonials over the years, it is still anecdotal evidence—definitely not a double-blind placebo controlled “medical” study. And other than Kristen and me, all the testimonials are for other viruses, not COVID-19.
Anyway, Baseline now has thousands of bottles in stock. In other words, there should be plenty to cover anyone who wants any through the end of the year. Then again, if a resurgence of the virus redoubles panic buying, all bets are off. And if Baseline does run out as the result of panic buying, you will need to be patient. It would take anywhere from four to eight weeks to restock.
Also, if you have never used the formula before, you really should read the instructions for using it before buying (listed at thebottom of the Baseline Nutritionals product page for the formula). You will realize that you need 4-5 bottles per person on hand for dealing with an emergency situation.
And one final note: if you are looking to purchase the antipathogen formula from Baseline Nutritionals and you live outside the US, you will want to check Baseline’s list of the countries they can ship to. And check it regularly as the list is constantly changing, with countries coming and going as their postal services figure out how to deal with the flood of international package deliveries.
I can see from many of the comments below there was a misunderstanding about some of the things I wrote. Let me clarify.
I never said that I did not have a political opinion (quite the contrary, in fact)—only that I try not to express it in my newsletters. My intent is to only deal with politics as it relates to health. Which brings us to COVID-19 and the key line in the newsletter that many of the commenters seem to have missed:
"Everything about COVID-19 has become politicized. It is now impossible to talk about any aspect of COVID-19 without stepping on somebody’s toes–on both sides of the political spectrum.”
A fact amply demonstrated in the comments below. And at this point, I bow out of that part of the discussion and wish you and yours good health and long life—and hope that at least some of the advice I’ve offered proves helpful–as we all just try to muddle our way through these difficult times.