(Continued from Part 2. This concludes the article.)
Despite the unclear science, there are several other things that I think one can do of practical value in this environment. This is very important, since, as previously noted, coronavirus may have always been a bigger issue than the flu that everyone has been talking about for decades. And it may continue to be a bigger issue.
First, stay flexible and keep a close eye on the vaccine situation. Watch the current vaccines. Look for new vaccines. Collect what data you can including data from personal friends on their safety and effectiveness. Above all, be flexible. If you are unvaccinated and over time a new vaccine comes around or the old ones appear to be working, get vaccinated. If you are vaccinated, and what you were vaccinated with appears to be dangerous or ineffective, don’t get vaccinated again or wait for a new, better vaccine.
Perhaps if you are young, it may make sense to forego the vaccine for a number of years but then start getting it later on as you get older and perhaps your risk from the disease gets higher in relation to vaccine risk. There might be a “crossover point” between the disease risk and the vaccine risk. The virus is mutating and will continue to which will change the vaccine decision-making process. The vaccines available will possibly change which will change the decision-making process.
Don’t get trapped by any of the arguments or your previous course of action. In my opinion, time will reveal the truth one way or the other but that time is not here yet. Remember the first point of this article. “Believe nothing you hear, and only one half that you see.” Be skeptical about both sides of the issue but keep watching. Don’t shut down. Eventually, you will “see the half” that will reveal the truth.
As an aside, with the apparent dominance of coronavirus in the human population, a good, strong, safe coronavirus vaccine could be quite a game-changer, perhaps akin to antibiotics. I do not think we have one good enough to be that game-changer yet, but I would remain on the lookout despite all the controversy regarding the current vaccines. The same can be said about antiviral drugs, both existing and in development. And BTW, do we need a supply of antiviral drugs in our preps?
To summarize my point regarding vaccines and treatments, despite all the uncertainty and fighting about them make sure to keep an open mind particularly as the virus mutates, vaccines change and therapeutics change. Most on both sides of the vaccine/therapeutic argument are politically biased even if they are citing scientific information. Our political divisions are intense and we need to be sure we separate our health decisions from our political decisions. And don’t stress too much about which decision you make. Nothing is for sure and you might be unlucky, but all evidence says the odds are overwhelmingly in your favor for being OK whichever route you choose.
Second major point and perhaps more important especially in the long run. Treat “colds” seriously. As evidenced from the Fort Benning study, you could have virtually anything including earlier versions of coronavirus. And since we were not doing body counts in previous years, who knows how dangerous they really were statistically? Many have noted the apparent games in the way COVID 19 deaths have been counted or possibly over-counted during the pandemic but we do not know how many coronavirus and other respiratory deaths were undercounted and/or ignored pre-pandemic.
A personal (semi)hero of mine, fitness guru Jack LaLanne, died of respiratory failure (Coronavirus? Flu? …?) at 96 in 2011. According to his family he had been sick for a week but had continued to work out right up to the day before he died and perhaps more importantly, he refused to go to the doctor and get examined. Granted he was 96 and you have to go sometime but was it easily preventable? Could a week of rest and maybe a trip to the doctor have given him a few more quality years since he was still in good shape? Did he actually die of stubbornness?
Here is another story supporting taking colds seriously. Recently my brother-in-law and his wife had COVID that manifested itself as a nasty head cold. My brother-in-law, when he found out what he had, went to bed and rested. He felt better initially but then had to make an emergency room visit because he felt very poorly. He was in fact okay and was rapidly sent home, after imaging his lungs, with no expected long-term damage. His wife decided to “power through” the illness like many of us do, ended up briefly in the hospital, was sent home on oxygen and steroids, and possibly has lung scarring. They were both very ill, both were given quite a scare and both will probably be okay in the long run, but resting worked better in this case than “powering through”.
As a data point, my brother-in-law is 59 and his wife is about 50. They are both fairly fit. They operate a horse ranch, a trail-riding business, and a small hay business. To my knowledge, they were both unvaccinated. I do not know their current vaccination status.
Along with keeping up on rest, I believe now is the time to research ways of maintaining your immune system through diet and supplementation. There are many references regarding this subject on SurvivalBlog and elsewhere. I personally think Vitamin D is crucial especially since the mainstream medical world is emphasizing protecting yourself from the sun all the time. People may not be getting enough through supplementation since they get less from sun exposure. However, that is just one option for study. There are many more. Now is not the time to allow yourself to get run down. Actually, no time is a good time to allow yourself to get run down.
Lastly, HCQ and Ivermectin are available on the Internet through telemedicine groups, should a person want to maintain a stash of them. America’s Frontline Doctors offers them. Others likely do. There is debate on the effectiveness but it is available and certainly something one should research with a qualified MD.
Give your body the best chance possible to fight whatever comes your way.
Coronavirus is real and has always been with us. One can argue whether the current version is more dangerous than average, but it has, likely, always been dangerous. Putting aside all the current arguments, I feel like the longer I look at this, the more I am being transported back in time. In historical writings, I have run across numerous accounts where people died from a “cold”. Those were the days before antibiotics and likely antibiotics could have saved many because many likely died from secondary bacterial infections. But “back in the day” I think they took respiratory infections more seriously than we do today. We need to regain that attitude, treat our bodies with care and give them every opportunity to fight these old threats.
I would like to briefly share one more thing. It is only opinion.
To this point, my research has led me to believe this pandemic will likely soon be over (biologically if not politically) and was never as advertised. Not to say it was not very serious, but that it was not unique. I came to this conclusion after initially being quite concerned in the beginning and then following the data (not pundits) religiously. I still hold that view. I believe we have had similar events in the past with various viruses and in fact have them fairly frequently. The Delta variant gave me a momentary pause for a very specific reason. I was not entirely sure that our unique actions in response to this pandemic may have not changed the game and created a unique situation where one did not previously exist. That “flattening the curve”, like we have never done before, may have given the virus time to mutate like never before. Those fears appear to have been misplaced. Omicron appears to be mutating in the standard manner. It appears to be getting more contagious and less deadly.
That has previously been the normal end state of a respiratory virus and will likely be the end state of this one. In my opinion we will all get it, we will get it repeatedly, our bodies will become ever more adept at protecting us from most serious effects and it will fade into the normal biological background with several other common viruses. We will get it as children when it seldom kills and then get it repeatedly through life, keeping up our immunity enough to usually avoid serious consequences. It will continue to kill occasionally, just as all respiratory viruses sometimes do. When we get old and our immune systems, as well as other systems are more fragile and failing, it may be what eventually kills us but with less frequency.
It will pass into the background. And then another will come.
Whether it will be advertised like this one will depend on the intentions of our political leaders and whether they think they can benefit from playing it up or playing it down. But it will come nonetheless. It will kill our elderly and some of our young more frequently than normal. It may kill you or me. We will need to deal with it and it will be important to remember the lessons from this episode. We will need to be skeptical, but at the same time curious and attentive to gathering all the information possible and keeping an open mind. We will need to remain open-minded regarding the pluses and minuses of different vaccines, treatments, and medical actions. We will need to physically fit to give ourselves that best possible chance to survive it. We will need to rest and use whatever means are available to fight it should we get it. We will not be able to hide from it. At least not forever. We will need to remember that it is nothing new in the human experience despite possibly being told every day how “novel” this is. And we will need to remember that it will also end. Like all previous pandemics.
And it will pass into the background.
The cycle will not end. We will always be faced with this (and other) threats, both biological and non-biological. In my opinion more than anything else, we need to face the fact of this world being imperfect and forever dangerous with courage. We cannot let fear dominate. To me, that is the number one actionable item of COVID19.
Addendum regarding Fear and Courage
I finished this article/essay and had not yet e-mailed it when I ran across a news article that disturbs me. I would like to comment on it. This might be behind a paywall for those who are not subscribers. The comments are almost certainly hidden from those who are not subscribers, which is unfortunate as there are some interesting ones. If you encounter a paywall, then here is another account of this story.
We have a fully vaccinated crew of a US Navy Littoral Combat Ship stuck in port due to COVID19. From the accounts I have read, all have minimal symptoms and from the accounts, there is a fair chance many are asymptomatic.
Again, we have a US Navy warship, with a young, medically screened, otherwise healthy crew sidelined. They are quarantining (effectively placing on restriction) personnel on board, separating them from the rest of the crew. This is almost certainly forcing the rest of the crew into extra watches and extra work. All the data from all sources say this crew is at minimal risk. In their age group the statistical chance of death or serious health consequences is miniscule. They almost certainly have mild colds or less. As they weather the infection, they will develop greater immunity, which will actually be a benefit to themselves, their shipmates, the Navy and everyone surrounding them. And yet here they are welded to the pier not doing their jobs.
As a sailor, this makes my blood boil.
I honestly do not blame the Commanding Officer and possibly even his bosses. In fact, I feel sorry for them, because our system likely has them trapped. Institutional, perhaps you might say mandated fear has them trapped. I doubt they have any recourse in their actions at this point short of resigning and being replaced by those who will do the same thing or worse.
The institutional cowardice on display is breathtaking. This is a warship. It belongs at sea. Our enemies are almost certainly ecstatic over this warship being welded to the pier by a virus that virtually never kills or even harms the age group that crews this ship.
Fear is so damaging and powerful and debilitating. We need to revisit and contemplate the virtue of courage on a personal and societal level. We are severely lacking.