Follow The Science

Candidly Speaking

The charts below are from Our World in Data, a global data tracker that combines the CDC, Johns Hopkins, WHO and the IMF world data to create a daily update of cases and deaths.

Since the U.S. media focuses on new cases, which are riddled with all kinds of misleading inconsistencies, including repeat testing (multiple testing per person), new cases also do not indicate level of sickness, only a positive result, and new cases are most likely from a PCR swab known to be 40-50% inaccurate depending on adjusted cycle thresholds which can produce false positives.

Fatalities are the truest measure real-word impacts of COVID-19.

So while the rest of the media is using new cases as a way to instill continued panic, let’s follow the science on the data that actually counts: how many people are dying in each State, on average per day. Below and current daily…

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Why Is The CDC Quietly Abandoning The PCR Test For COVID?

Candidly Speaking

(Courtesy Zerohedge.com)

BY TYLER DURDENMONDAY, JUL 26, 2021 – 06:11 AM

We have detailed(most recently hereandhere) thecontroversy surrounding America’s COVID “casedemic” and the misleading results of the PCR test and its amplification procedurein great detail over the past few months.

As a reminder, “cycle thresholds” (Ct) are the level at which widely used polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test can detect a sample of the COVID-19 virus. The higher the number of cycles, the lower the amount of viral load in the sample; the lower the cycles, the more prevalent the virus was in the original sample.

Numerous epidemiological experts have argued thatcycle thresholds are animportant metric by which patients, the public, and policymakers can make more informed decisionsabout how infectious and/or sick an individual with a positive COVID-19 testmight be. However,as JustTheNews reports,health departments across the country arefailing to…

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Covid-19 tests have high false positives

The article below from Epoch Times reveals the problem that inflates Covid-19 case numbers. PCR tests are great diagnostic tests for confirming the source of an illness; PCR is a terrible screening test for non-symtomatic people. You may also read the original article using the link at the end.

World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus gives a press conference at Geneva's WHO headquarters on Feb. 24, 2020. (Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images)

World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus gives a press conference at Geneva’s WHO headquarters on Feb. 24, 2020. (Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images)PUBLIC HEALTH INFORMATION

WHO Changes CCP Virus Test Criteria in Attempt to Reduce False Positives

BY MEILING LEE January 23, 2021 Updated: January 24, 2021 

The World Health Organization (WHO) has cautioned experts not to rely solely on the results of a PCR test to detect the CCP virus.

In updated guidance published on Jan. 20, the WHO said that lab experts and health care practitioners should also consider the patient’s history and epidemiological risk factors alongside the PCR test in diagnosing the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.

The new guidance could result in significantly fewer daily cases.

“Most PCR assays are indicated as an aid for diagnosis, therefore, health care providers must consider any result in combination with timing of sampling, specimen type, assay specifics, clinical observations, patient history, confirmed status of any contacts, and epidemiological information,” the guidance says.

It’s unclear why the health agency waited over a year to release the new directive. The WHO didn’t reply to an inquiry from The Epoch Times.

Scientists and physicians have raised concerns for many months of an over-reliance on and a misuse of the PCR test as a diagnostic tool since it can’t differentiate between a live infectious virus from an inactivated virus fragment that is not infectious.

Additionally, the high cycle threshold values of most PCR tests—at 40 cycles or higher—increases the risk of false positives. A higher threshold value indicates less viral load and that the person is less likely to be infectious, while a person with a lower cycle threshold value has a higher viral load, or is more infectious.

The WHO did not specify what the threshold value cutoff should be for a positive diagnosis, but said to only “determine if [a] manual adjustment of the PCR positivity threshold is recommended by the manufacturer.”

Epoch Times Photo
A medical staff member prepares and processes PCR and antibody tests of people who think they may be infected with the CCP virus, at the laboratory of the Karolinska Hospital in Solna near Stockholm, Sweden, on Dec. 7, 2020. (Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP via Getty Images)

However, it clarified that when the prevalence of the CCP virus is low, “the risk of false positive increases” meaning that “the probability that a person who has a positive result (SARS-CoV-2 detected) is truly infected with SARS-CoV-2 decreases as prevalence decreases, irrespective of the claimed specificity [of the PCR test].”

SARS-CoV-2 is the scientific name for the CCP virus that causes the disease COVID-19.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says its PCR tests have a cycle threshold cutoff of 40 cycles. The federal agency finally included information on cycle threshold value in its Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19 for laboratories on Nov. 12, 2020.

But many medical experts consider a threshold value cutoff of 40 cycles to only return false positives since samples that go through many amplification cycles will pick up negligible RNA sequences regardless if the virus is inactivate or the viral load is exceedingly low to pose any problem.

Prior to the CCP virus pandemic, for individuals to be considered a case, they must test positive and show clinical signs and symptoms. But to be counted as a CCP virus case, only a positive PCR test is required. And no matter how many times an individual is tested, each positive test is counted as a separate case.

The WHO is now advising that a positive PCR test that does “not correspond with the clinical presentation” should be verified by taking “a new specimen” and retesting it.

This advice may also help lower CCP virus cases in hospitals as it more clearly defines who is considered a hospitalized case.

The UK’s National Health Service (NHS) Director of International Relations Dr. Layla McCay confirmed to talkRADIO that a percentage of hospitalized patients officially counted as positive cases were actually being treated for different illnesses not related to COVID-19. They had only tested positive for the disease at the hospital without displaying any symptoms.https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?creatorScreenName=EpochTimes&dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1346363750006317056&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.theepochtimes.com%2Fwho-changes-ccp-virus-test-criteria-in-attempt-to-reduce-false-positives_3668064.html&siteScreenName=EpochTimes&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ed20a2b%3A1601588405575&width=550px

Dr Layla McCay, NHS Confederation director, confirms to Julia that the hospital figures for “Covid patients” include patients who are not being treated for Covid but have simply tested positive while being treated for something else.@JuliaHB1 | @LaylaMcCay pic.twitter.com/xSud6LW13M

— talkRADIO (@talkRADIO) January 5, 2021

“It is correct that in hospital, people who tested positive for COVID will be the full range of symptoms,” McCay said. “Some will have it as an aside to some other problem for which they’re in the hospital.”

The day after the WHO released its new guidance, Chief Medical Adviser to President Joe Biden, Dr. Anthony Fauci, said the United States would rejoin the organization.

“As such, I am honored to announce that the United States will remain a member of the World Health Organization,” Fauci said. “Yesterday, President Biden signed letters retracting the previous administration’s announcement to withdraw from the organization, and those letters have been transmitted to the secretary-general of the United Nations and to you Dr. Tedros, my dear friend.”

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus is the director-general of the WHO.

“The United States also intends to fulfill its financial obligations to the organizations,” Fauci added.

In July last year, the Trump administration pulled out of the WHO over its alleged role in helping the Chinese communist regime cover up the severity of the CCP virus.

There have been mixed responses from Congress over Biden’s decision to rejoin the WHO.

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) introduced a bill (pdf) on Jan. 21 to “prohibit the availability of United States contributions to the World Health Organization until Congress receives a full report on China and the COVID-19 pandemic, and for other purposes.”

She said in a statement: “The WHO is China-centric and panders to Beijing at every turn. There is no reason U.S. taxpayers should contribute more than $400 million annually to an organization that covered for China and failed to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Prior to former President Donald Trump withdrawing from the WHO, the United States contributed the most money to the health agency, according to State Department statistics.

Covid-19 Vaccines – truth, lies and conspiracies

What can we believe about Covid-19 vaccines?

What is real and what is agenda driven misinformation, disinformation and confusion?  Here are the basic facts in plain language, followed by a few of the lies and conspiracy theories that you may be concerned or confused about.

Vaccines Available

So far, there are three vaccines approved under Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the FDA for use in the US, and one approved for England, EU and other countries.  Many companies in several countries entered the race to develop vaccines when President Trump made the funds available and announced Operation Warp Speed to develop vaccines as quickly and safely as possible.  Several other companies are still doing research or trials.  Merck dropped out when it determined that its vaccine was not as effective as the others that were being developed, but partnered with Johnson and Johnson, which lacked capacity, to manufacture their vaccine.  Other independent efforts include Sputnik 5 from Russia and Convidicea from China.

Pfizer and Moderna (US) used gene sequencing techniques to create a short segment of the Covid-19 single stranded mRNA (messenger RNA) molecule that codes for the Covid-19 surface spike protein. To produce immunity, the vaccine mRNA first uses ribosomes inside the host’s cells to build the Covid-19 spike protein. Ribosomes are molecular machines that build proteins by reading the genetic information of mRNA.  When injected, the mRNA enters the host’s cells and uses ribosomes, to read the genetic code and make copies of Covid-19 spike protein. The new copies of the Covid-19 spike protein then can be used by your immune system to evoke an immune response that produces antibodies and other defenses to Covid-19.  Note that, contrary to rumors and scare stories, the small segment of mRNA never enters the nucleus of the cell so it cannot interact with or change the DNA, which is protected inside the nucleus.

AstraZeneca (UK & EU) and Johnson & Johnson (US) developed their vaccines using a more conventional method. Each used a non-replicating, weakened adenovirus combined, through recombinant gene engineering techniques, with laboratory created Covid-19 genes coded for Covid-19 spike proteins.  The Covid-19 spike proteins are expressed on the adenovirus surface, giving them the ability to evoke an immune response in the human body and produce antibodies to Covid-19.  An adenovirus is a double stranded DNA virus that normally causes the common cold. The corona type viruses like Covid-19 are single stranded RNA viruses.

Research and Approvals

The research itself was expedited because the companies already had the information provided by China, WHO and CDC for the virus RNA genetic sequence and the protein structures, including surface and spike proteins.  Each company used well established genetic sequencing techniques to build copies of genes and/or proteins to make their vaccines.  In addition to gene recombinant technology and gene and protein sequencing techniques, Pfizer and Moderna took advantage of a very recent patented breakthrough in stabilizing the Covid-19 spike protein against early immune system attack in order to design their mRNA molecules.  None of this would have been possible just a few years ago.  

Each of the vaccines went through a series of tests and double-blind clinical trials to determine safety and effectiveness. Even for FDA Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), the complete series of trials (in vitro, animals, humans in three phases) double blind clinical trials were completed on tens of thousands of volunteers and thoroughly documented. All possible negative effects were thoroughly documented on the various populations involved.  The trial participants included a wide range of ages, races and backgrounds.  No shortcuts were taken. The only reason they were approved so quickly is that they got priority by the government agencies, and the documentation was expedited, so that they did not wait months or years to get approval of each trial design and permission to run each phase of the trials.

The process was further expedited by running some of the trials concurrently, not in series, which would have required waiting between trials for approval and permission to run each new phase.  After early trials showed promise, bulk manufacturing was begun so that vaccines would be available immediately if and when they were approved. Manufacturing before final approval was a gamble the Warp Speed team was willing to fund in order to get the vaccines out as quickly and safely as reasonably possible.  At the same time, a distribution system was developed to make the vaccines available throughout the country.

Efficacy

The efficacy of all three US approved vaccines is high, compared to flu shots. Fifty percent is considered a good result. Pfizer’s or Moderna’s COVID vaccine was 80% effective in preventing infections. That number jumped to 90% two weeks after the second dose.  Moderna’s vaccine reported 94.1% effectiveness at preventing COVID-19 in people who received both doses. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was said to be 95% effective.

J&J/Janssen vaccine was 66.3% effective in clinical trials at preventing COVID-19 illness in people who had no evidence of prior infection 2 weeks after receiving the vaccine.  Analyses of secondary endpoints demonstrated vaccine efficacy against central laboratory confirmed and blind-adjudicated severe/critical COVID-19 occurring at least 14 days and at least 28 days after vaccination of 76.7% (54.6, 89.1) and 85.4% (54.2, 96.9), respectively.

Lies, Conspiracy Theories and Confusion

Claim #1. – Aborted Baby Parts – None of the vaccines contain aborted baby parts as claimed by conspiracy theorists. The truth is that before going on to animal and human tests, the vaccines were tested in vitro on a cell line, originally derived from an aborted fetus in 1966, to determine if the vaccine is safe before testing on animals and then humans.   Some of those spreading this lie produced a video and apparently did some study of the AstraZeneca trial documentation, but misunderstood or intentionally distorted the information.  The MRC5 cell line was mistakenly claimed to be part of the vaccine, and the word “recombinant” was misinterpreted as “human recombinant.” It really refers to combining the vaccine adenovirus genes with genes coded for Covid-19 spike protein.  This may be one source of the next conspiracy theory.

Claim #2. – Vaccines will change your DNA – None of the vaccines change human DNA, but ordinary viruses do. Because viruses lack the ability to reproduce on their own, they hijack the host cell’s DNA to make copies of themselves.  Unlike viruses, the vaccines never enter the cell nucleus where DNA is found.  The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines were created by gene sequencing techniques to produce short segments of mRNA (messenger RNA) coded for the Covid-19 virus coat spike protein.  The vaccine is designed to enter the cell cytoplasm and use the cell’s ribosomes (outside the nucleus) to make the virus coat protein, which then causes an immune response, forming antibodies. 

The AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines use nonreplicating, weakened adenoviruses whose DNA have been modified to include Covid-19 coat protein instructions. The vaccine adenovirus carries the protein on its surface to produce the immune response. It never needs to enter the cell so it can’t affect the cell’s DNA. Note that “nonreplicating” means it has been “killed” by heat or other means and cannot reproduce by making copies of itself. 

Claim #3. – Experimental Vaccines – The claim is that the vaccines are experimental so they haven’t been tested and can’t be trusted. See above for a brief summary of testing and trials. No steps were skipped or ended early. The only part that is not completed is long term follow up for length of time that the immunity lasts, and any possible rare, chronic or extended reactions to it.

Claim #4. – Vaccines kill people – Some people have died days of weeks after getting the shot. In each case, investigations found no clear cause-and-effect link between the deaths and the vaccine.  The high number (25) reported from Norway were among elderly, frail nursing home residents and could not be linked directly to the vaccine. Other deaths investigated are found to have other causes, but may continue to be associated statistically even weeks after the injection.

There is a US database called VAERS (Vaccine Adverse Effects Reporting System, https://vaers.hhs.gov) that documents any adverse reactions to vaccines. In the Covid-19 part of the databases, I chose to study the first two weeks in January, 2021 as a manageable sample. In that time, there were 9676 adverse reactions and 106 deaths reported of 444,753 vaccinations administered. Most of the adverse reactions were either allergic reactions (treated with Benadryl or epi pen) or mild flu-like symptoms or injection site soreness, infection or itch. Adverse reactions were 2.2% of those vaccinated, and deaths were 0.02%. These percentages are higher than those in later periods because of the age and condition of people permitted to get the vaccine at that time. To assure myself that this was representative of the overall pattern, I later checked late March entries and found a similar pattern.

I went through many of the reactions and all of the deaths reported in these time periods to determine any links, if present. All but a few of the deaths were among the elderly with other serious conditions, many in long term care facilities or hospice.  The average age was 74, with a range of 40s to 90s and one 104 for the January set. The one exception was a 25-year-old man that died 20 days after injection; His death is unlikely to be vaccine related because of the elapsed time.  Although there were no details, he may have been chronically ill, judging from the fact that he got the vaccine very early when mostly vulnerable people were getting vaccinated.  Unfortunately, details of factors contributing to death for some were sketchy or missing.  Also company identification was uncertain for the second set.   Some listed one company in that column but stated a different company in the text, so no conclusions could be drawn connecting any one company to deaths or adverse effects. The VAERS reporting system is voluntary and transcribed from entries by healthcare personnel and untrained family members. 

Claim #5. – Vaccines will sterilize people – Not sure where this one came from, but it is pure fantasy. There is no mechanism for it to do this.   There is no secret ingredient added to sterilize people. By the way, this is a common propaganda theme used by population control and anti-vax activists to scare poor people in developing countries from getting much needed vaccines such as polio and measles.

Claim #6. – Vaccines contain specific antibodies that overwhelm and deactivate natural nonspecific antibodies.  This is totally false and is probably just anti-vaccine propaganda to prevent people from getting the protection of vaccines.  Our bodies make and retain in reserve antibodies for hundreds of substances, both specific and nonspecific.  There is no way that antibodies from any vaccine can deactivate any antibodies naturally produced by our bodies. 

Claim #7. – Microchips are inserted with the vaccine – this conspiracy theory gets quite elaborate with Bill Gates, Anthony Fauci and Moderna sometimes woven into the narrative about tracking, monitoring and controlling every person on earth. Every word of it is false, including Gates and Fauci as roommates at Harvard (attended a decade apart), Fauci founding Moderna (not), and Gates, a software guy, inventing RFID microchips. 

An RFID (Radio Frequency Identification Device) chip is a radio receiver and transmitter. It transmits only when it receives a signal from a reader that then reads the transmitted signal. RFID technology has been used to track shipments for over 70 years.  RFID chips are attached to the vaccine containers to track them and make sure they are delivered to the correct facilities. Maybe that’s where this story came from. Microchips that are used in animals are about the size of a grain of rice and need a special applicator to insert under a pet’s skin, not the tiny needle used for vaccinations. 

NOTE:  Tiny RFID chips, called Smart Dust, that are the size of a grain of sand are being developed for the military. These are experimental (read expensive and unavailable) and require other equipment such as external sensors, antennae, communication nodes and networks to operate.  A larger version, ¼ – ½ inch, which contains a tiny computer is called a Mote. It also requires other equipment to operate.

Claim #8. – Nanoparticles are in the vaccine and may contain tiny robots or machines – The “nanoparticles” in the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are actually very fine lipid (oil) droplets that protect and help the mRNA segment enter the cell in order to make Covid-19 proteins. Nano is a measure of size and does not imply functionality or complexity. From Wikipedia: “A nanoparticle or ultrafine particle is usually defined as a particle of matter that is between 1 and 100 nanometers in diameter.” A nanometer is 1 billionth of a meter. Although many nanoparticles are solids and may be made of metals, etc., the “particles” in these vaccines are simply very fine oil droplets, similar in size to the colloidal fats in milk, (ranging in size from 1 to 1000 nanometers). Like the colloidal fat in milk, the tiny size of the oil droplets in the vaccines helps keep the oil suspended without separating and settling out.  For comparison, the Covid-19 virus is 120 nanometers in diameter, which is large for a virus.

Claim #9. – Nanoparticles are on the testing swab and are inserted into the blood brain barrier – one version says the swab used to take the sample deep in your nose is used to insert nanoparticles in the “blood brain barrier” there. First of all, sterile swabs are mass produced and readily available from medical supply companies. They are not specific to the test.  The blood brain barrier is not a membrane located in your nose. It consists of membranes covering all of the capillaries of the brain that protect the brain from contaminants. From Wikipedia: “The blood-brain barrier (BBB) is a highly selective semipermeable border of endothelial cells that prevents solutes in the circulating blood from non-selectively crossing into the extracellular fluid of the central nervous system where neurons reside.” (“Solutes” refers to solids.)

Claim #10. – 5G cellphone radiation either causes Covid-19 or makes it worse – This is related to anti-technology fears and is totally unfounded.  An earlier claim that cellphone radiation causes cancer has been thoroughly debunked by numerous scientific studies, but is still believed by many.  This new iteration claims that the 5G, which operates at higher radio wave frequencies, is more harmful to health than previous cellphone Generations, e.g. 4G, 3G.  Current 4G networks, operate in the 700 MHz-2500 MHz range, and 5G operates in a higher frequency range in two bands, either less than 6GHz or greater than 24 GHz.  (Hertz means cycles per second, MHz is million and GHz is billion cycles per second). Radio waves are non-ionizing “radiation” and are harmless at frequencies and power levels encountered. The 5G broadens the band width so it can support more users and transfer data faster. Since the higher frequency radio waves don’t travel as far, more cell towers are needed to fill the gaps in the 4G network. 

Another version of this conspiracy theory is that 5G cellphone technology is intended to track people with embedded RFID chips.  If you have a cellphone, you can be and are already “tracked” by GPS; no embedded RFID chip needed.  Although extremely unlikely, this is more likely than the scenario above, and is probably responsible for Hong Kong riots just before China’s 5G system was completed and turned on.  Unlike most free countries, China can require its people to get RFID chips embedded in order to access social services, hospitals, schools or employment. 5G short-range and closer towers could, in this case, locate people more accurately.

Antivaccine Movement

Over many decades, the anti-vaccine movement has done great damage and cost many lives, especially in poor countries. Celebrity activists such as Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and his Children’s Health Defense foundation, are either innocent true-believers or sinister liars with an evil agenda.  The antivaxxers join a cadre of antitechnology groups that want to scare people about anything that is not “natural.” Natural doesn’t make it’s safe; arsenic and death cap mushroom are “natural” but deadly. By “not natural,” they mean anything that was not practiced in ancient times. i.e., technology of any kind, including fertilizers, pesticides, hybrid and GMO foods, most modern medicines, electronics, vehicles, and industries. 

Their purpose is to control us by keeping us scared of everything from our food and water to electric lights, pollution and climate change.  Their goal is to cripple modern societies and take us back to simpler times of the past. Secret: the good old days were terrible, with high infant and childhood mortality, short, disease ridden and painful lives, hunger, filth, pollution.  Like all good lies, they are spiced with truths and half-truths as well as so-called “science” and “authority” to make them believable.  Our world is just fine without limiting population and life spans. Overpopulation and limited natural resources are myths, as are most of the climate change claims. Not that it does not exist, but that it is not an emergency, and we can do very little to change it other than adapt to it.

Among many targets of the modern anti-vaccination movement are vaccines of all types. MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine was among early targets, claiming that either the shot overwhelmed the immune system or the preservative thimerisol (containing an organo-mercury preservative) was responsible for autism and autoimmune diseases. This has been thoroughly studied and debunked but it is still claimed, even when the thimerosal was replaced by another preservative.  Every vaccine since then has been targeted by their scare stories and propaganda, and it has caused misery and death worldwide.

It makes no sense for pharmaceutical companies to invest billions of dollars and years of research to produce a product that will kill or maim their customers. Even most of the believers in the overpopulation myth and the zero-growth movement have not gone that far, but they may have spread the antivaxxers scare stories in poor countries to keep children from being protected.  Their usual methods involve providing or requiring abortion and physical sterilization of poor people, while keeping them poor, sick and ignorant by denying them modern development[1].

One thing is certain, once a conspiratorial claim is made, it never dies. Regardless of overwhelming scientific evidence to the contrary, some people will continue to believe and spread it.  Behind it is a general distrust of authority and government that has been fostered by these groups and promoted by actual government failures and misinformation.

 

[1] See my book Saving Africa From Lies That Kill: How Myths about the Environment and Overpopulation are Destroying Third World Countries, Kay Kiser, 2018, or my blog www.savingafricafromliesthatkill.com

 

 

WHO Admits High-Cycle PCR Tests Produce COVID False Positives — Principia Scientific Intl.

Were the ‘conspiracy theorists’ just proven right about the “fake rescue plan” for COVID? Did the ‘science-deniers’ just get confirmation that it was political after all? The short answer to both of these questions regarding the COVID-19 ‘casedemic’ and the fallacy of asymptomatic PCR testing is YES and YES! We have detailed the controversy surrounding America’s COVID “casedemic” and the…

WHO Admits High-Cycle PCR Tests Produce COVID False Positives — Principia Scientific Intl.

COVID Tests Gone Wild Has World in PCR Prison — Principia Scientific Intl.

In the setting of COVID-19, almost every country in the world closed its borders, locked down its citizens, and forced businesses to close. Today, most governments still restrict travel, economic activity, and social gatherings. 22 more words

COVID Tests Gone Wild Has World in PCR Prison — Principia Scientific Intl.

Courage vs. Covid

The Age of UnReason, the Year of Fear.

2020: The Age of UnReason, the Year of Fear.Wed Dec 16, 2020 Jack Kerwick64

Shortly after word reached England that the Spanish Armada had embarked, the philosopher Thomas Hobbes, born in 1588, tells us that the terror induced in his mother labor pains that resulted in his premature birth. He memorably remarked that “fear and I were born twins together.”

Hobbes’ words will doubtless resonate in spades with anyone who was born in 2020.

The present year is the Year of Fear. It is the year of raw, wildly irrational fear. 

For sure, the inexhaustible fear-mongering on the part of opportunistic political partisans in the Government-Media-Industrial-Complex has exacerbated, exponentially exacerbated, the fears of tens and tens of millions of Americans. Yet the elites have not, strictly speaking, caused this fear.

They have only revealed it for all of the world to see.

To put this in terms with which most of us have long been familiar, the transformation of a cold virus into an existential crisis legitimizing the indefinite revocation of the United States Constitution and the reduction of the Land of the Free to an internment camp—and one in which its prisoners seem only all too happy to observe “Social Distancing” protocols while cowering behind their masks—has proven beyond the shadow of a doubt that most people really are ridden with fear.    

Fear is universal. It is at once necessary and desirable—as long as it is oriented toward objects that warrant its attention. 

In other words, when the fear is reasonable, when it is proportionate to the danger posed, it is fulfilling its natural function. 

And, as Aristotle long ago observed in his famous analysis of fear and courage, a person who habitually “fears the right thing, for the right motive, in the right way and at the right times” is a courageous person.

Courage or bravery is a virtue, an excellence of character. Aristotle said of it that it “is the first of human qualities because it is the quality which guarantees the others,” “the greatest quality of the mind next to honor.”

Courage is “the mean” between the emotional extremes of “excess” and “deficiency.” Fear is a morally-neutral emotion in itself. When, though, a person habitually possesses an excess of fear—when he possesses more fear than he ought to possess—he has the vice of cowardice. On the other hand, when a person habitually suffers a deficiency of fear—when he possesses less fear than he ought to possess—he has the vice of recklessness.

Both an excess and a deficiency of fear are simply irrational or unreasonable amounts of fear. The irrationality of the fear is determined by the nature of the object of the fear.   

Similarly, courage is the virtue that obtains when a person strikes upon the mean between excess and deficiency. To be courageous is to fear reasonably, to know what to fear, when to fear it, and how to do so.

Assuming for the moment (against the evidence to the contrary) that COVID-19 truly is a distinct virus that has been isolated from the gazillions of other stuff with which it co-exists in the bio-chemical soup in which scientists claim to have located it, even according to the official numbers (which even the CDC acknowledges is the result of inflating the death-by-COVID toll by some 94%), the dreaded Virus has a mortality rate in the United States of about one-tenth of one percent—about that of the seasonal flu (The real mortality rate is appreciably smaller than even this, for if only six percent of patients to have died from COVID, lacking any pre-existing conditions, actually died from COVID, then this amounts to about 15,000 people. This in turn means that for people who are not immunocompromised, COVID in the United States has a mortality rate of about five one thousandths of one-percent!).

Since the overwhelming majority of people to have died from “The Virus” suffered from multiple pre-existing conditions, they didn’t die from this virus at all; they died with it, perhaps, but not from it. The proof for this is that much stronger in light of a recent John Hopkins University study that was retracted within hours of having been published—despite the fact that, to the admission of those who retracted it, there wasn’t a syllable of it that was inaccurate.

Rather, the retraction was made on the grounds that it could be “misinterpreted” or otherwise used for the nefarious purpose of disseminating “misinformation” regarding COVID.

The study, which was performed by the university’s students, found that the number of overall deaths in 2020 remained continuous with that of years past. This revelation came as a shock as the authors expected that deaths would be significantly higher given that this year, unlike in the past, COVID deaths would add to the total death toll. So the researchers delved more deeply and discovered that, incredibly—miraculously—deaths in all other categories, in the categories of heart disease, respiratory illness, pneumonia, influenza, etc., decreased just as COVID deaths increased.

The explanation for this became at once self-evident: deaths in all of these other categories were being counted as COVID deaths (the paper can still be found in a PDF file).

The point here, though, is that the millions of American citizens who have radically upended their lives (and the life of the whole society) due to their fear of contracting a virus with a mortality rate no different from that of seasonal influenza and from which most people who contract it don’t even get sick are consumed by an excess of fear. The irrationality of their fear is staggering.

A reader recently brought to my attention an article that C.S. Lewis had written on the panic over the prospect of an atomic bomb attack that had seized the members of his generation. Lewis’s contemporaries at least had something truly dangerous to fear, for an atomic bomb, being an indiscriminate killer, was certain to leave in its wake widespread destruction and death. Nothing remotely similar can be said for COVID. Still, it is worth revisiting Lewis’s sagacious counsel, as his words resonate, or should resonate, more profoundly for those of us living today than perhaps at any other time within recent memory.

In “On Living in an Atomic Age,” Lewis shares how he is “tempted to reply” to those who question how life should proceed under the constant threat of nuclear attack. “’Why, as you would have lived in the sixteenth century when the plague visited London almost every year, or as you would have lived in a Viking age when raiders from Scandinavia might land and cut your throat at night; or indeed, as you are already living in an age of cancer, an age of syphilis, an age of paralysis, an age of air raids, an age of railway accidents, an age of motor accident.’”

Lewis elaborates, warning against the loss of perspective that arises “by exaggerating the novelty of our situation.” Death was “a certainty” long before the invention of the atomic bomb. What “the scientists” have done is simply add “one more chance of painful and premature death to a world which already bristled with such chances [.]”

This being the case, if and when it comes, “let that bomb…find us doing sensible and human things—praying, working, teaching, reading, listening to music, bathing the children, playing tennis, chatting to our friends over a pint and a game of darts,” and “not huddled together like frightened sheep and thinking about bombs. They may break our bodies…but they need not dominate our minds [.]”

Lewis concludes with a warning that all of us in the “COVID era” should take to heart:

“Nothing is more likely to destroy a species or a nation than a determination to survive at all costs.”

https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/2020/12/courage-vs-covid-jack-kerwick/

 

Covid-19 “Airborne” Confusion Clarified

Truth about “Airborne” Covid-19

IMPORTANT: “Airborne” confusion: Covid-19 is only “airborne” as droplets that quickly fall to surfaces.

Covid-19 is NOT “airborne” as an aerosol that hangs and drifts freely in the air for longer periods like flu.

If Covid-19 was like flu, your mask would offer very little protection. The virus could enter through your eyes.  Social distancing would be meaningless because the virus would float freely over greater distances and for longer times.

The best way to avoid Covid-19 is by avoiding sick people, social distancing, wearing masks in public and cleaning surfaces frequently, including your hands.  Also remember to avoid touching your face, nose, mouth or eyes. Once your hands have touched anything that could be contaminated, virus could be transferred to anything including your cell phone, wallet, steering wheel, child, dog, etc and be picked up by you or others later.

Straightening your mask with contaminated hands may transfer the virus to your face, nose, eyes.  Wearing a mask improperly or reusing it without washing it could be worse than not wearing it at all.

Gloves are not recommended. Wearing gloves only protects your hands, not your face, etc. from virus picked up on the outside of contaminated gloves.  Covid-19 virus can live on surfaces for several days, depending on the material. so frequent use of  hand sanitizers, disinfectant wipes and sprays are recommended.