One of the most troubling aspects, for me, of the ongoing covid mania is the louder calls for more frequent boosters. There seems to be almost no attention paid to the possibility of immune exhaustion, where the immune system stops responding to the vaccine (or potentially the virus) due to excessive vaccination.
Currently, some members of the US healthcare establishment are recommending that even if you’ve received two shots plus two boosters, people at higher risk should go for another booster now then again toward the end of the year when an omicron-specific booster is released. For some people, that would be three booster shots in one year. Are we really expected to be boosted every four months going forward?
The other aspect of the vaccines I believe is underreported are side effects. I reacted very strongly to my mRNA booster shot and within a few weeks developed a mild autoimmune condition. My reaction so scared my wife she has not gone for a booster. I have spoken with relatives and friends and I know my experience is not unique.
Yes indeed, side effects, including severe adverse events, are far more common than one would glean from the MSM. One only needs to have a cursory look at the VAERS database in the US and the Yellow book database in the UK to realize this. But exactly the same as been observed in the EU database.
Still at it, Johan? For newcomers to the debate: Those databases record all adverse events that anybody claim to have happened after a COVID vaccination. There was one example of someone recording a death by car accident. When you vaccinate people in hundreds of millions, there will be a *LOT* of bad things happening just by chance. These records are useful to have to check for unexpected patterns, but you need some fairly careful checks for coincidence before you can draw any conclusions. Giving ‘ a cursory look’ at a VAERS-type database and concluding that severe adverse events are very common, is like giving a cursory look inside the nearest prison and concluding that the world is chock full of murderers and rapists.
I tried to hit ‘thumbs up’ for this response – several times, without success. In my irritated prodding, I accidentally hit the ‘thumbs down’ which instantly recorded my disapproval. I’m so sorry!
Thumbs down was the correct response to such an idiotic cult covidian post.
Was not the issue with the data in the first place that it recorded all deaths after a positive Covid test regardless of cause
Yeah. At one stage in the process doctors in the USA were getting a bonus if a death was classed as a Covid death. There was and still is something fishy going on. Why the cancellations of opposite views on Twitter, Facebood and some Youtube channels?
Doctors are still getting bonuses if they get people to have these infernal jabs. The rest you can therefore work out for yourselves.
It is always difficult to get accurate causes of death or adverse events, and various approaches have different shortcomings. But the problem is obviously bigger when you look at vaccine side effects. First because you get many more people in the net when you are vaccinating the entire population. Second because counting a heart attack as COVID-related only inflates the COVID death toll a little. Counting a heart attack as vaccine-related changes the death toll from zero to significant and moves the vaccine from safe to dangerous.
So I guess there were no car accidents before covid then? What’s startling about VAERS is the difference between pre and post covid vaccines. Any issue that is orthogonal to the vaccines: e.g. Car accidents, is automatically taken care off as they should be unchanged.
Are we talking about the same thing? The databases I have seen are free reporting, people are supposed to report any unpleasant effect that happened after vaccination. They are not a complete record of everybody vaccinated. Now just why would anybody take the trouble to report to a database that someone had a car accident or a heart attack *before* they got vaccinated?
There was actually a Nature study that managed to get pretty complete coverage – looking at UK health records for everybody who got vaccinated and everybody who had been hospitalised etc. As I remember that investigation did not find any serious side effects.
I dont understand your negative score. What you’ve said is eminently reasonable and should be noncontroversial. I can only assume some zealot fired up a vote-bot or something.
It is a standard reaction. The herd believes that COVID vaccines (and any other anti-COVID measures) are bad, useless, and cause untold damage. If you go against their narrative and present a contrary opinion you get voted down, whatever the quality or otherwise of your argument. My guess is a lot of individual zealots rather than a vote bot.
Thanks for the support, though.
Wrong again. It’s precisely the quality of your argument (do you even have one, other than blind faith or some undeclared financial incentive?) that leads to so many downvotes.
Be thankful you are not shut down and vilified in your personal and professional life just for voicing an unpopular opinion.
I hardly knew or met anyone who got Covid… perhaps 4 at most? Did it affect people with beards especially badly? perhaps that explains it?
Yes, data can be misleading. We know for example that some so-called covid deaths were also accidents that happened to people who were subject to a positive PCR test for covid within 28 days of the accident. It is widely admitted that covid death stats are misleading… deaths with (or after) covid rather than deaths from covid. You can still be censored for saying this online. Misinformation on this subject comes mostly from governments, health officials and the pharma industry.
Of course you have to look carefully. But at least get your facts right. Your statement that “there was one example of someone recording a death by car accident” is COMPLETELY false. That was reported as a Covid death not an adverse event resulting from vaccination. Entering information into the VAERS database is a huge burden, largely entered by health professionals, and if done by a private individual requires one to basically sign one’s life away on risk of perjury or jail time. Detailed analysis by a group at Harvard prior to the pandemic indicated that averse events in VAERS were way underreported (by a factor of something like 50 I believe which doesn’t mean that that is what it is with regard to the COVID vaccine).
Incidentally, if you consider all the childhood vaccines, those add up to a very very large number of people that is not incomparable to the number vaxxed with the COVID vaccines.
Your problem is that “a little knowledge is dangerous” especially when tied up with ignorance.
How about dropping the insults and trying to give a proper analysis? I have seen it done – but it takes a lot more than that ‘cursory glance’ that you recommend. The question is not whether the databases catch all adverse events that happen after a vaccination – of course they do not. The question is whether those events were likely to be caused by the vaccination, or whether it is just a coincidence. And to sort that out you need to consider first how common those events are in the general population in the first place, for comparison. Next you need to check how the groups that got vaccinated differ from the groups that did not and the average population, how the timing of vaccination in different cohorts, disease waves, how people are combined into groups etc. etc. might skew the result. If you do it properly you end up with the standard, Bayesan result: How likely are these data if the vaccine is harmless? How likely are these data if the vaccine cause harm X? What can we conclude about the vaccine , and how reliable is our conclusion?
There are several pitfalls here, but I would accept a lot of simplifications from people who are trying to do it right. People who simply say ‘obvious at a cursory glance’ and use insults instead of arguments are somewhat less convincing.
I don’t doubt you Johann. I have studied these data bases on VAERS. It’s something the mass media do not want to know it appears. Maybe it affects the massive profits of Big Pharma.
saw an astonishing letter yesterday, on twitter (but in a video so undownloadable) sent to someone by the UK government about the jabs. Saying that they won’t release info about why companies are free of comeback on the effects because it might affect their commercial viability.
Search for adverse effects associated with other vaccines. Myocarditis, pericarditis, thrombocytopenia, Guillain Barre syndrome, transverse myelitis all make an appearance including after flu vaccination & smallpox vaccination (Military personnel have this) amongst others. Most of the adverse effects are due to the recipients own immune system.
Can’t agree with you more. The term MSM silenced experts use is immune imprinting. But where is the data on natural immunity? It’s never discussed but other countries keep reporting really good stats. I had covid in March of 2020 and had long haul symptoms until November. Had a 3 day sneezing attack after a conference in Vegas this year where 75% of my colleagues came down with omicron. I was one of two colleagues that had to get tested before the show because I was unvaxed.
People are offered boosters but aren’t forced to take them. It should be left to individuals to decide, and to a large extent this is what governments have done. How you want to deal with covid is your business. Other people get to make their own decisions and their actions shouldn’t be interfered with by anyone else. There’s no reason why it should trouble you that some people want additional boosters. That’s their business. Each to his or her own.
Introducing hugely inconvenient restrictions on travel and access to facilities and deliberately creating a mass hysteria about the dangers of the unvaccinated is hardly giving people a free choice
Being an adult means that your decisions have consequences. Rights must be balanced against responsibilities. Everyone has a responsibility to the human society in which they live. That’s not very fashionable today is it. People only want to talk about their rights.
Not sure what you’re getting at here. If the vaccine and boosters prevented infection and transmission, then one might have public health arguments to encourage people to be vaccinated providing the risk/benefit ratio was favorable. But as the good Dr. Fauci has even admitted, the vaccine + boosters (and he had 2 boosters) neither prevent infection nor transmission. So the choice is entirely a personal one. But to make a choice, one has to be fully informed of the risk/benefit ratio and the potential risks and severe (albeit relatively rare but orders of magnitude higher than for any other regular vaccine) adverse events. Otherwise one is making a personal decision based n ignorance.
That is true but the problem was nobody seemed to know the true facts at the time. It was pushed as a total solution and it didn’t turn out to be.
OMG, the vaccines never even predicted to “prevent” infection. It’s 2.5 years into this, you still don’t grasp that basic fact?
If you don’t understand what these vaccines are yet, what their intended function is, let me try to explain to you: they introduce the bodies immune system to the “programming” of the virus, so it may more quickly & effectively quickly mount a response when encountered. Literally by definition the benefits of the vaccine only kick in after infection, after it is already in the body and the immune system encounters it! The purpose of the vaccines are to reduce consequences, not prevent infection. All these posts by you on this thread, and you don’t even understand that most basic concept …
You are correct, but that is not what we were told.
“You’re not going to get Covid if you have these vaccinations.” Joe Biden, 21 July 2021
“Vaccinated people do not carry the virus..don’t get sick.” Dr Rochelle Walensky, CDC Director, 29 March 2021
“When people are vaccinated they can feel safe they will not be infected.” Dr Anthony Fauci, 17 May 2021
Thank you for reminding many people on here – not to mention the authors of the piece – of that essential fact. It’s precisely this kind of over-simplification & ignorance that leads to the ridiculously polarised pro/anti vaccines arguments. Though I wouldn’t, anyway, be looking to a history wonk and a journalist for an expert assessment of virus treatments…
Another “basic concept” of immunology is that you never vaccinate with a leaky “non-sterilising” vaccine into a pandemic.
The two mRNA coronavirus vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech prevent 90 percent of infections, according to a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The results show strong evidence that the vaccines work against preventing all infections, including asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic infections.
According to the CDC, both vaccines prevented 90 percent of infections two weeks after receiving the second of two doses.
ML Manville, I suspect I understand a lot more immunology than you do and I also suspect I’m a lot more credentialed and published and far more highly cited in the medical science literature than you are. That doesn’t mean that I know everything or that I’m right about everything but you can rest assured that I’m very familiar not just with the basic facts but well beyond that. So I wouldn’t assume anything about me. The general idea of conventional vaccination is to prevent infection (and by this I mean development of disease) and stop spread. The later is the key point as far as public health is concerned and the only basis for mandating any type of vaccine. As it turns out the current COVID vaccine’s do neither. In fact because of immunological imprinting (also known as original antigenic sin), they do indeed ensure that antibodies are produced against the original strain upon infection with the new strains. However, these antibodies are no longer strongly neutralizing against the new omicron strains (as there have been so many mutations within the spike protein). The net result is that the generation of new effective neutralizing antibodies against the new strain is actually slowed down. As a consequence, not only are the majority (per capita) of infected individuals vaccinated and boosted, but the very high incidence of rebound following paxlovid treatment is invariably in boosted individuals, as their immune system has failed to clear the virus within the period of the 5 day course. (Paxlovid doesn’t kill virus, just prevents maturation for a short period of time by inhibiting the main SARS-CoV2 protease).
Pfizer DID state, publicly, that the jab would stop you getting it.
Biden said publicly, the jab would stop you getting it.
Johnson said publicly, the jab would stop you getting it.
The list goes on, and on, and on.
There is no ‘responsibility’ to submit to a medical experiment on the grounds that the vaccine will not work unless absolutely everyone gets it.
That is absurd and ignorant.
They said that those who did not get the jab were a liability to others. It turned out from what I read that the opposite was in fact true in that vaxed people were more likely to be the spreaders..
Some of us actually believe that the vax were detrimental to our health. Isn’t that a right? Health is a precious thing.
Outright liars are so easily caught in their lies.
“It should be left to individuals to decide”
“Rights must be balanced against responsibilities”
In under an hour. Who is paying you?
it is clear, and has now been admitted, that the jab doesn’t stop you getting covid. Therefore it IS entirely up to you whether you have it or not. Current figures show that the jabbed are getting it again and again, and far more hospitalisations than in the unjabbed group (90% from only 66% of the population).
They’re even trying to deny that anyone ever said the jab stops you getting it, despite both Pfizer and Biden and Johnson saying this clearly. Why?
I agree it should be your decision but governments around the world have become rather dictatorial as a result of all this.
If you can’t travel without a booster, if you can’t access this or that service or event because you are not a card carrying member of the “I’m fully vaxed” brigade then you lose that personal choice.
Politicians of all persuasions are drunk on the power they got through the lockdowns – if you’d asked before covid if a government cold do what they did they would all say no – but the genie is out of the bottle now and they all think they can control our lives at their will now.
“Politicians of all persuasions are drunk on the power they got through the lockdowns”
If you believe that politicians are sitting around thinking up new ways to exercise power over the public then I’m afraid you’re in conspiracy theory territory and I can’t go there.
IMHO Politicians are responding to the (often wrong) advice they are being given by the “experts” and the wild predictions they are being given. I imagine they would rather be criticised for doing too much rather than too little.
I upvoted you William but the minus vote went up for some reason? I think they dod respond to the wrong advise in some ways.
I agree and a very dangerous and undemocratic point of view it is too.
Firing people from their jobs and excluding them from public facilities is rather coercive.
Very much so.
You are quite right but there were mandates in the UK and especially in the US to get the boosters. My daughter in law a doctor was mandated to have the vax by April 2022 but thankfully was reprieved. She did get Covid for a day over Christmas and spent that day taking her children up to Warwickshire. I got it over Christmas through the grandchildren for about three days.
Coercion to take ANY medical treatment experimental or otherwise is against international law.
The only conclusion to be gained from this is that the concept of “international law” is nonsense, and to be used by governments only when it suits them.
Utterly delusional and/or utterly dishonest.
Cult covidians are hell-bent on further mask mandates, further lockdowns and increased vaccine coercion.
Lockdowns and vaccines kill people.
“t should be left to individuals to decide, and to a large extent this is what governments have done. “
We’ll ignore the desperate attempts to terrify the nation that the clot shots our are only saviour
my mRNA made me feel much iller than Covid did (delta variant 2 months before). I had fever for 2-3 days and swollen lymph nodes.
Poor you, It must have been awful; fortunately for me, I had very little reaction to my mRNA vaccine shot.
So commiserating with someone and saying that, fortunately, I didn’t have the same problem gets up someone’s nose. Who’d have thought it?
Saying “poor you” and bragging about how well you handled the shot doesn’t sound like you’re commiserating. It sounds condescending and derisive.
I am glad that I did not have the boosters. One can mess around with one’s God given immunities too much.
The adverse effects of the jabs have been played down massively by the mass media. Thousands are suffering from them it turns out. This hurts big pharma and people like Gates who profit massively from the mRNA jabs, even though the inventor Dr Robert Malone has advised not to get them as safety lines were crossed. I’d put it on a par with WEF (Davos – Klaus Schab) trying to close down production of food in the Netherlands and many places in the world because of globalist aspirations to weaken the west through lies about global warming. These truths are beginning to come out but still the main media persists with the deception. They are either gullible or in on the deception.
That makes sense – as with penicillin, use sparingly.
“The usual suspects have been out in force demanding greater health restrictions as the story of rising covid cases is peddled through the media.”
Tenacious buggas aren’t they? Well, credit where it’s due as I always say. Perhaps what they haven’t noticed is that there is a stage in the life of any campaign where its proponents start to look a tad unhinged, and I think that we are there.
“Who will rid us of these turbulent experts?”*
*(Thank you Henry II.)
or just deport them to country which is amenable to their beliefs e.g. China?
Or meddlesome p(ri)ests.
My trust has gone way down with the mass media and pharmaceutical industry I’m afraid.
Very well said and so true. The fear mongers amongst the expert class and elites has done and is continuing to do untold societal damage. It’s time to get over COVID given that the current strain is really nothing more than a cold.
As for long covid, long term post-viral infection syndromes associated with extreme fatigue are well known but their pathophysiological basis is unknown.
Excellent, courageous article. Proper journalism: balanced, clear, and fact-based. Thank you.
Tedros is clearly a threat to the wellbeing of billions of people on this planet, a charlatan placed where he is now by the CCP. He could be granted extraordinary powers by an internationally binding, “game changing” (his words) pandemic treaty now under negotiation at the WHO that is due be finalised by no later than May 2024. This would potentially (purportedly) allow him to impose his craven policies on the world if and when he decides to declare the next “inevitable” (again, his words) public health emergency of international concern, which he has said should be done on a “precautionary” basis. Serious people in positions of authority within national medical establishments, universities, politics, and mainstream media need to step up now, swallow their pride, put aside their personal or party politics, group identities, and take his nonsense about masking and contact tracing etc down, and prevent our national leaders signing away our basic freedoms to a crooked, power-hungry communist.
One quibble with the article: just because an affliction might be purely psychological does not mean it is not “serious”. Indeed, some of the most serious problems that we as humans suffer are in our minds, not (only) in our bodies; and psychological problems can have physiological manifestations and ramifications.
The WHO is not far behind him.
The only thing of value to come out of this debacle is learning that the experts we’re supposed to trust lied to the world. They did so knowingly. Profit, power, professional intimidation – I don’t give a damn. They lied about its origin. They lied about treatment. They lied about infection numbers. They lied us into economic disaster while they partied maskless. And now, since their scary variants and monkey pox panic haven’t frightened us back into the basement, they’re going for the “long Covid” lie, so the easily suggestible among us can blame it for every backache, sore throat, and funny-tasting hamburger.
And so it’s sensible to ask: What’s next, China? Klaus and Company? Bill and Melinda? Cuz, folks, they told you: The future is created by them.
You’ll own nothing but you will be happy. The globalists will own it. The latest thing is closing down farms because nitrogen affects global warming even though it greatly causes the crops to grow. While they are at it get rid of the cows and sell your land so we can use it for mass immigration and weaken your country. In New Zealand they are putting masks on cows because they might burp affecting gloabal warming. I think I prefer the so called global warming than the destruction of the world’s food supply. I think it’s contrived personally.
Me too. We are living in an age of manufactured disasters.
Thank you for your excellent article.
It’s worth mentioning how highly qualified physicians have been demonised and silenced for using repurposed drugs to treat early symptoms of Covid. With success.
All one needed was one glimpse of the ghastly, tedious little creature ” Malter Whitty” on the Cretin’s Lantern to realise that he and his ilk were on a government gravy train…
Many of them lost their jobs for having a different view and many just cowered under to keep their jobs. An open argument? It doesn’t look like it.
These treatments were controversial, yes, but some scientists believed initially (and still believe) that effective treatments exist for early-stage Covid; surely, this is an avenue worth exploring?
This has been thoroughly explored and there are a wide range of effective early treatments. The problem is these have been almost universally ignored or suppressed in mainstream media and ignored by healthcare providers.
So you are telling us there is a solid series of clinical trials that prove how well these treatments work? If so, could you please share them? Johan Strauss is telling us the opposite – he is saying that there have been a lot of trials that did NOT find any effect, and that this is because those making the trials wilfully refused to use the exact correct conditions?
Could the two of you maybe discuss this, and see if you could agree on a shared version?
Rasmus, you are truly obstinate and you really appear to be unwilling to open your eyes and look at the literature. There are many observational studies in favor of early treatment using various combinations of repurposed drugs. Drugs I might add with very long and excellent safety records. There are also clinical trials some of which show a real positive effect (e.g. the RCT in Brazil on ivermectin) and others than don’t. The problem with randomized clinical trials is that they are completely inflexible and the RCT is wed to a specific protocol that can’t be changed wonce set. RCTs are simply not suited to looking at large drug combinations, especially when one is at the stage of trial and error to obtain the best combinations and dosages. Nor are they suited for situations that require initiation of treatment within 24-48 hrs of symptom onset. Where RCTs shine is when one has a good combinaion of drugs, one can then use the RCT to look at variations in that combination (whether adding drugs, or using slightly different dosages, etc….).
I’ll give you an example. About 3 months ago I had Covid (which, judging from the timing, I must have got at the airport while traveling to California). Since I had a PCR test to confirm the at-home antigen test (which incidentally has a 40-50% false positive rate) at a hospital associated with Johns Hopkins University Hospital, I got a call from Johns Hopkins the following day asking me whether I was interested in participating in a clinical trial. I told them I was an NIH doc and asked what they were testing: it was fluvoxamine which supposedly is pretty effective. Now this was 84 hrs after the onset of symptoms so had I participated and started to take fluvoxamine at that stage of the game it would have already been too late, which would obviously bias the trial results. I told them that no I didn’t want to participate because I had already started taking fluvoxamine immediately I tested positive on a home antigen test, some 3 days prior. Whether fluvoxamine, ivermectin (at 200 ug per kg; i.e. the regular human dosage), Z-pak (azythromicin), prednisone, albuterol (to reduce any bronchospasm resulting from the accompanying bronchitis), vit D, vit C, baby aspirin and zinc did me any good or shortened the symptoms I’ve got no idea. All I can say is that my symptoms were not severe (with no fever, no significant change in pO2, no difficulty in breathing, and overall no worse or if anything not as annoying as a common cold) and lasted no more than 5 days total (although the cough persisted for a few more days but not particularly bad). My wife, who tested positive 2 days after me decided to only take ivermectin, Z-pak, vit D and zinc. She too did fine, although she had somewhat worse bronchitis than I did. What I can also say, and this is purely observational on a very limited scale is that the symptoms experienced by both myself and my wife who had been doubly vaccinated a year prior but not boosted, was quite a bit less (in terms of both severity and duration) than those experienced by colleagues of ours who came down with Covid and who had been boosted. I will also say that I did want to get a prescription for Paxlovid but was told by the Chair of the ER department (where I got the PCR test) that paxlovid in his experience (and he’d seen a lot of cases coming through) was only good if given in the 1st 24 hours (just like Tamiflu for influenza). And of course we all now know about rebound following a course of paxlovid from the experience of the good Dr. Fauci, although, again from a small observation number, it looks to me as the rebound rate is upwards of 50% (about 75% in my limited circle of acquaintances).
I’ve answered in more detail elsewhere. I quite agree that you cannot do proper clinical trials on drugs where you do not know which combination is supposed to work, and where you need to give the drug before you have time to enroll the patient. I just draw a different conclusion: with such drugs, you do not know, cannot know, and never will know whether the drug works or not. Anecdote is all you will ever have. Of course, you feel better about yourself when you feel you are in control of what happens and something useful is being done to cure you. And it is good for you health to feel better about yourself. But if we had stuck to that kind of practice, we would still be treating diseases with powdered unicorn horn and herbs picked by a virgin at the full moon.
Just so we know what we are talking about: The Brazilian trial that shows a ‘real positive effect’ is that this one:
Or this one?
Anyway, I do not deny that there have been positive studies – or that ivermectin was a promising candidate to start with. Just that the evidence does not add up.
Please examine https://c19ivermectin.com/ and https://ivmmeta.com/. These are sites referenced by https://covid19criticalcare.com/ivermectin-in-covid-19/. Given the effects of Event 201 in creating the Trusted News Initiative which is still operating it’s quite hard to deviate from the official position of only vaccinate.
Thanks. That looks both big and serious. It would take me a while before I could do anything with it – I’d have to read a lot there and then read some of the people who disagree to get a balanced picture, and that is a lot more work than it takes to answer e.g. John Sullivan. My suspicion is that I would still end up preferring the anti-Ivermectin version, but at least this deserves a serious and unprejudiced look.
These early treatments did not merit backing as the patents had run out and they were too cheap. Backing the vax was far more financially profitable.
I am a physician in Canada. Every day I get several “educational” emails from companies who summarize the latest research headlines and provide online education for busy doctors. These go by names such as “MD BriefCase” and “MedPage Today.” If you watch these publications over time, you notice that they tend to highlight research and “expert commentary” about whatever disease has a new and expensive drug associated with it. So right now it is things like “tardive dyskinesia” and “overactive bladder”. Ominously, these publications have also been relentlessly pushing the “long COVID” narrative. Some of this “education” is overtly sponsored by Moderna (you have to put on your reading glasses and take note of the very fine print to be aware of this). Some of it is more subtle.
All of these “medical education” companies are funded primarily by Big Pharma, and Pfizer is the biggest of all. Pfizer’s PR budget is enormous and you can bet that they are pumping the long covid story like mad behind the scenes. Press releases which will be printed almost verbatim in major newspapers. Shoddy research with predetermined outcomes, disseminated widely. Armies of internet trolls. These people are the masters of misinformation, they are very powerful, and “Long COVID” is much more manipulable than a concrete thing like “death.” Much like the cigarette companies did regarding lung cancer back in the 1960’s, big pharma will continue to distort the truth about long covid. The more they can keep the fear ramped up, the bigger their bottom line. The fact that they are destroying people’s lives in the process doesn’t seem to matter to them.
And Pfizer fund academic studies, and if they say … woah – then, no grants
This is so true. well said.
I too read Medpage, and have noticed a distinct shadow over the pieces. I am glad it isn’t only me, being a little paranoid.
The media bears a lot of responsibility for stoking panics. Right now, extreme heat means most of us are going to be broiled to death according to the media. In most parts of Southern Europe 40 plus degrees has been normal in the summer for at least 20 years. They are at it again, whipping up Covid hysteria. Nothing pleases them more than a scared, frightened, panicked population.
After Chicken Little spreads the rumor that “the sky is falling”, doesn’t FoxyLoxy offer all the animals shelter in his lair?
Dr Fauci has had four vaccine shots, worn a mask (sometimes two), and had a course of paxlovid. He has had covid at least twice (once as a reaction to paxlovid). I have had no vaccines, hardly ever worn a mask (and when I did it was a useless bit of cloth so as to be allowed to shop for food), traveled to and from South Africa twice and have never had covid, yet vaccines are the single best way to avoid covid apparantly… My wife is in the same position as me, her father, who is 93 lives in Africa, is unvaxxed and has not had covid. Two African friends both over 80 and slim and well even though one has lung problems, are also unvaxxed; they did get covid but were ill for just two days before recovering fully. Meanwhile in England several of my tri-vaxxed mask-wearing friends have had covid, some twice. Now this is hardly a scientific study, but you don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.
I don’t for one second believe that Fauci has had anything stronger than saline injected into him.
“ In fact, the most recent study on the subject, published in the world-leading New England Journal of Medicine, shows that prior Covid infection conferred better protection against symptomatic Omicron (BA.1 and BA.2 subvariants) more than a year after infection than three doses of vaccine more than one month after the final dose.”
The solution, as the CEO of Pfizer would surely agree, is to take a booster dose on a daily basis, perhaps even twice daily.
I suspect ‘long covid’ is in fact long term serious damage caused to people’s immune systems by repeated, unneccessary covid ‘vaccines’.
Put simply, it isn’t ‘long covid’; it’s Long Pfizer.
I had LC, never been vaccinated.
“Now that it is clear that vaccines do not prevent infection.”
I have been reading UnHerd for awhile now and haven’t contributed to any discussions, but thought I would jump in on this point. As I have never been one to be a beta tester, I certainly wasn’t interested in being a guinea pig for mRNA, and lean towards believing the idea that the mRNA drugs are more immunotherapy than they are “vaccination.” And I’m not anti-vax. I just got the 2-course shingles vaccine. My wife, aged 56, had shingles recently. I’m 59. I decided better safe than sorry.
I had other reasons for not getting “vaccinated” which I won’t belabor here. I’m sure most of you have heard them all. But, when I first learned about Novavax sometime earlier last year (after excellent reported results from the trials), I told myself I would certainly consider it if it ever gained approval here in the US. As such, I have been tracking its progress and reasons for the FDA’s “slow-walking” its approval, and at this point I am fairly convinced of a fair degree of corruption with regard to Pfizer’s undue influence on the FDA. I also won’t belabor this either, but I believe it would make for an excellent piece for an investigative journalist.
In any event, I am curious whether the authors or any of you readers have heard of Novavax. It seems to me from all reports I’ve read to be a much safer and more efficacious vaccine (in the classical sense of the word) than having to take multiple boosters of mRNA. I do wonder what long term effects will result in so doing. It’s never been studied, but Pfizer et al don’t seem to mind.
I don’t entirely agree with your POV, but appreciate and respect you have come to it after due diligence.
Novavax is something I was following early on (2020) along with the other promising ones such as those from Merck and most particularly) AstraZeneca. I confess I lost interest in it after it “lost the race” for being relevant to my personal choice (I have few/no qualms about mRNA). I guess my question for you is, if you didn’t want mRNA, why didn’t you just get the J&J vaccine (and/or find a way to get the AstraZeneca)? Like I said I haven’t followed Novavax for a while, but my recollection is it pretty much the same technology as these other alternatives (protein-based)
As I said, “I had other reasons for not getting ‘vaccinated’ which I won’t belabor here.” It was (and still is) a constellation of reasons, including the “beta-testing” one, even for Novavax. I may not even get that one, but do consider it an option.
The “beta-testing” reason is rooted in a broader epistemological view wherein I believe we as humans are fearful of uncertainty and as such act as if our subjective certitude is epistemic certainty. Thus it’s easy for us to listen to “the science” and the experts, assuring ourselves that just because they said it (or more often than not the media who literally mediate (filter) what the experts say), then it’s gospel truth to our psyches, replacing the uncertainty we fear.
As I was considering whether to write any more, I noted a reply from J Poynton to your comment about being diabetic. I am very sorry to hear this, and understand your reasons for getting the mRNA. It it were possible I would rather be able to get into a face-to-face discussion with you because even these discussions are mediated to the degree in which I wouldn’t be able to fully express my perspective or truly understand yours (which is part of the reason I don’t attempt to belabor my reasons. It would take hours!)
That said, I will add this: My wife was diabetic (technically and admittedly she still is), but she reversed her diabetes solely through a complete dietary change. Her doc recently said after her latest checkup, “I wish I could bottle you,” on the basis that ALL of her labs now indicate NO diabetes, have been for the last couple years, and she stopped taking diabetes-controlling meds two years ago (she’s Type II, but didn’t get to the point of requiring insulin).
From the research that she has done and clued me in on, we are now absolutely convinced that the food industry, “Big Pharma,” the ADA, and any others who stand to gain financially by foisting junk sugar and carbs on us, and then the medicines because of all of that, are definitely not our friends. The “experts” tell us that diabetes is a progressive disease. It is not or it doesn’t have to be (so said with subjective certitude, and not epistemic certainty!)
And no, my wife also did not get vaccinated. And yes, we both got COVID last year. It knocked us both down pretty hard for 2-3 weeks, but I imagine the massive change we underwent with our diet could have played a role in it not being worse than it was.
The AZ/J&J, mRNA and novovax vaccines use quite different technology, all to eventually deliver the same spike protein. AZ/J&J use a DNA vector in the form of an adenovirus and the DNA has to be transcribed into mRNA and then translated into spike protein. The mRNA vaccines have to be translated into spike protein and therefore skip the DNA to mRNA step. And lastly the novovax vaccine comprises purified spike protein embedded in a lipid nanodisc couple with a proprietary adjuvant to enhance the immune response directed against the spike protein.
The good thing about Novovax is that, in principle, you know what dosage of spike protein you are giving in so far that you don’t need to rely on the cellular machinery to translate the mRNA vaccines into spike protein. However, Novovax has a few issues. (1) The spike protein in Novovax is the spike protein of the ancestral Wuhan strain which no longer exists; (2) manufacturing the spike protein in massive quantities is really hard so actually one doesn’t really know how much of the spike protein in the vaccine is folded and how much is unfolded and useless; (3) they had a lot of problems with manufacturing and are now on their third company to produce the vaccine which obviously points to technical difficulties; (4) adverse events in the Novax trial, including myocarditis, were not insignificant. This is hardly surprising as it’s probably the spike protein that is responsible for myocarditis in the first place.
I’m going to take the opportunity of your response, Johann, not to argue your points, but to use it to illustrate my point about subjective certitude. In fact I am an idiot when it comes to scientific discussions, as are the vast majority of folks when you get into the weeds. And even within the scientific community, I’d be willing to wager that, for example, your average astrophysicist wouldn’t likely be able to speak knowledgeably about the reasons for the appendix.
I’ve attempted to read various research papers for various reasons over the years (include throughout the pandemic), and can generally or sometimes understand the gist of the abstracts. That’s usually as far as it gets. One common element I have seen in the abstracts is the language of equivocation and qualification (“possibly,” “likely,” etc.) indicating varying degrees of uncertainty. I don’t recall ever seeing a statement along the lines of, “We have determined such and such as 100% fact.”
Your own response as well as this article we are responding to necessarily has this language of uncertainty (“one doesn’t really know…” and “it’s probably…”) Having read some of your other posts, I believe you attempt to be truthful in what you write. And yet for each one of your points I have read reports which suggest that your knowledge is incomplete, exaggerated, or outdated. Again, I’m not arguing with you; I have no basis—other than seemingly reputable sources suggesting differently—or ability to do so. I’m just saying that most of our so-called knowledge has been mediated, often twisted and distorted in the process, and so much of it is sourced in these (often conflicting) research papers which start off with uncertainty. But that uncertainty is intolerable to us, especially when faced with the prospect of death via an invisible virus, and that fear so engendered is the tool used to subjugate the masses.
Quite correct. Science is about probability, not certainty (mathematics is different). That is simply the best that can be done, when you are in the business of generalising from specific cases to general rules. And, yes people have a tendency to overestimate how certain they are – and that includes scientists. For all that, it is still science that has given us the computer, the nuclear bomb, radar, the contraceptive pill, etc. When the probabilities get high enough, they are not that different from certainty. Science seems to be working pretty damned well, over time.
That makes the second post of yours that I entirely agree with. Worth noting 😉
I’m in the same boat waiting for the novavax vaccine. My reasons, though, are pretty simple to state. It’s based on an older technology that has been used in more vaccines for longer. I don’t know jack about medicine, but I know the first version of anything, from new software, to a new TV show usually isn’t as good as what comes later after the makers have had time to perfect their technique and improve their product. Hearing mRNA was an entirely new tech was a dealbreaker for me because for all their talk of trials and safety, they were basically using the entire world as guinea pigs. I considered the J&J vaccine but noted it had a higher incidence of serious problems and also used a new technology with some history of use for flu shots but not much longer than that. The Novavax vaccine, to my understanding, uses a method that has been in use for much longer. That’s really it. I don’t claim to know more than the experts, but I stand by my simple reasoning. I generally ask for the oldest cheapest thing to treat whatever condition I have. I take a medicine for Crohn’s so old most nurses don’t even recognize it and can’t say the name, but my current doctor did, and we had a good conversation about it, which is a big part of the reason he’s my current doctor.
When the risk from (not of) being infected with something is high, then the case for vaccination is strong: when the risk is low then the case is weak. Nothing tells me that the risk of serious complications is high, even though the risk of infection is high. I don’t think I’ll bother with another jab and I don’t think kids need it either. Shame about all those unused doses, though.
Come On! That makes two posts of mine to this article that have been disappeared. Both were polite and free from swear words, they just disagreed with the anti-COVID-measures trend of the article.
I know that your IT system is rubbish, but this is getting kind of frequent to be just cosincidence. Are you Unherd, or are you just herding in the opposite direction?
Even though I disagree with your paean of SAGE, it must be allowed to stand.
So long as it is an honest view it should stand even though I disagree with it. I don’t want to go Woke with their cancel culture.
Don’t worry, they will be back. What has happened is probably that someone flagged your comments for moderation, which means someone at Unherd needs to review them before reinstating them. It is annoying though, and I wish people wouldn’t flag comments for moderation just because they don’t agree with them or don’t share the same understanding of the veracity of facts that may be presented in them. Really, the flagging should just be for spam or comments that directly incite violence or would be obviously libellous.
I often don’t agree with a lot of what you have to say, but I strongly agree with your right to say it!
It is annoying. It also seems counterproductive. After all, how can they downvote me if my posts are removed 😉 ?
Ha yes, very true
That seemsa pointless and time-wast exercise, but might acount for the number of posts of mine which disappear only to reappear later. It doesn’t acount for those that disappear never to reappear even though they contain nothing particularly controversial and definitely no libel or bad language.
Yes. I’ve been ‘unherd’ a few times.
You must have been a naughty boy.
I probably would have agreed with you.
I suspect Long Covid fits in the same class of ‘disease’ as Gulf War Syndrome, ME and possibly even IBS ….
Patient to doctor .. ‘I don’t feel well’
Doctor … ‘You don’t have any measurable symptoms’
Patient … ‘But I’m still unwell’
Doctor … ‘Ah it must be LC/ME/GWS/IBS/… ‘ or any other answer that sounds reassuring and gets the patient out of the consulting room feeling their problem has been recognised.
Everyone needs an answer – even if its not very scientific, so long as they believe it…. like a not very effective placebo.
I never cared a damn about Covid, and still dont: ” Life is a terminal disease” as Worhol said…
I’m in a hotel in Budapest at the moment. Full of Chinese, who seemed to have been allowed to leave on China on two conditions
Freaks me out. Only just managing not to WTF them?
We already know that one of the simplest ways to avoid poor covid outcomes is to not be low in Vitamin D, which also, entirely coincidentally, helps with any number of other infections too because vitamin D strengthens the immune system
Rather than masks, lockdowns, enforced vaccinations and so on, the easy fix would be for the NHS to buy enough Vitamin D pills that everyone gets say 2000IUs daily for a month or two
Nice article. You’re so close to figuring it out. Let me join the dots for you, the effective early treatments were suppressed by the covid cartel with the help of big tech & the corporate media, so as not to detract from the hugely profitable vaccine only response.
If there was an effective treatment they wouldn’t have got the emergency use authorisation for the shots, big pharma wouldn’t have made countless billions, & the global elite wouldn’t have been able to implement digital ID infrastructure under the guise of vaccine passports.
It’s all a lie.
The pandemic, never that serious in the first place, has been over for 18 months. What we are seeing now is – indisputably – deaths from lockdowns and/or vaccines.
Yes, how interesting that MSM stopped publishing “covid porn” when government announced that “we need to live with covid”.
Looking at ONS data, excess deaths run at 15.9% in comparison to precovid average.
That is what you get when you shut down health service to “save NHS” and waste over 400 billions on moronic covid measures.
Known to us
Lovely old neighbour. 78 but out every days with his dogs. Can’t recall him having any obvious medical problems. Died of a Gastric Haemorrhage a few days after his booster.
Friend of my ma-in-law. Fit feller of 40 or so, Swollen and agonising b*****k few days after jab. Local hospital no clue. Sent to Addenbrooks. Opened s*****m up and there was nothing they could do. Now a living hell
Bonny 21 year old daughter of a neighbour two houses down. Three auto-immune problems after the jabs, and necrosis. She has the most fabulous head of thick hair, ideal for a Shampoo advert.
GP – “Rheumatoid Arthritis” (You WHAT?)
Mum – No it’s not, it’s what you vaccinated her with
We’ve given her five papers on measures to combat vaccine damage.
I’m 70. This is the worst thing I have ever witnessed in my life. People need to hang. Happy to be a hangman
COVID, and the people who think they will never die if only they follow “experts” advice is a God gift to global fascism. The experience from the last almost three years shows that there is no human rights violation, or the level of coercion that the dumb sheeple would not support if sufficiently scared. No matter how idiotic and ineffective are the government actions.
In Los Angeles the local Health Department is trying to bring back masking indoor. It will be interesting to see how the local population with strongly “progressive” bend will respond to that “Local idiots in charge” re-create the “pandemic” histeria.
Just got over covid. It was a two day cold. I followed the FLCCC early treatment protocol. Worked like a charm.
Congrats. Be happy that you are perhaps younger than me, and also not diabetic. My encounter was not pleasant, even after vaccination. But I’m not complaining, because the experiences of my brother-in-law, sister-in-law, cousin, school friend, and two work colleagues were worse — they died from their covid infections, all before the vaccines were available.
Maybe it’s not all about you & just you?
Diabetic? Have you tried stop eating carbs (in any form) and sugar (in any form)? May help. Both produce massive insulin resistance, which leads to diabetes. Hence the epidemic.
My wife and I both eat and cook with only animal produce. Skinny, fit and we will never get diabetes. Insulin is just like throwing coal on the fire.
Maybe it’s not all about you & just you.
As for you having 6 close family, school friends and colleagues who died? Erm, no.
Amazing. I didn’t and still don’t know a single person who has died from Covid. 2.5 years in.
Those deaths are tragic but “before the vaccines” indicates they were early deaths when doctors had few effective options and several of those options were in fact causes for death. A healthier immune system might have saved them given nearly half of those in the UK Challenge Trials never became ill, never infected despite direct placement of the pathogen.
Which begs the question why didn’t they concentrate on the early stage treatments from the get go? Because they had run out of patent cover?
No money. No profits. Not interested in a cure.
Several groups tried. And one drug that was out of patent and cheap got incorporated as treatment for hospitalised patients, so it is not just that. The mainstream view, let us say, is that none of the candidates ever came up with enough data to show that it definitely worked. Ivermectin and Oxychloroquinone were promising candidates, indeed, but they never went beyond promising.
It is not hard to see why this might be. It is hard to test a drug that has to be given right at the onset, when there is no time to check that you do indeed have COVID, find a doctor and sign a consent form. Of the trials that got done, some were positive but low quality, a couple were positive and apparently fraudulent, a number were decent quality and showed no positive result. If you ask Johan Strauss he will tell you that the unsuccessful trials were ‘set up to fail’. They did not use the right concentration, too high or too low, they did not give the drug together with the zinc of vitamin D or other drugs that had been used in the first positive-looking trials, they did not give it early enough or the patients were too sick or otherwise not the right ones.
There are two problems with this. One is that this is the kind of words you generally hear when somebody’s pet theory is failing the test of evidence (or somebody’s favourite football team is not winning). If every negative result just triggers another excuse you can never get to anything true. But even if you grant Johan Straus that these drugs do actually work when everything is exactly right – note just how fragile that result is. Normal people would never be able to take these drugs reliably on exactly the right day with the right amount zinc and vitamin D etc. – and who is to say that the right amount does not change from patient to patient? What would happen in reality is that a lot of poeople would gobble these drugs like vitamin pills, and that only a tiny fraction of those doses would come on the day and in the way that they actually helped. The rest would have no effect – give or take the side effects.
If you want a drug that can serve as a successful early stage treatment you need something that can be proved to work in trials, and that is robust enough that it is not limited to one single limited set of conditions. And we do not have that yet.
As usual Rasmus, you are talking out the back of your head and misrepresenting what I have said. The one drug that was used and shown to be helpful for in-hospital treatment was dexamethasone. But that’s a simple case because its purpose is not to deal with the virus but to deal with the 2nd phase of the illness related to the cytokine storm – i.e. excessive inflammation, and of course dexamethasone is a very powerful steroid which reduces inflammation very effectively. One can also take prednisone a little earlier which saves one having to go to the hospital and having dexamethasone administered IV, or a budenoside (steroid) inhaler.
The issue with the other drugs is that it’s not simply a question of using a single drug but multiple drugs and vitamins. So if you decide to do an RCT on HCQ but fail to administer zinc and a Z-pak (which was in the original Raoult protocol), one cannot exactly be surprised when you don’t get a positive result. Likewise, if one is deficient in vit D (which the majority are, and nearly all bad outcomes have been associated with low vit D levels), one likewise cannot expect a good result.
That’s why one needs to use trial and error to try and home in on a suitable protocol by something analogous to simulated annealing or MonteCarlo minimization (I only mention those as I recall you being familiar with those sorts of mathematical procedures).
But the key thing to realize is that there is absolutely nothing to lose and everything to gain by trying one of the early treatment protocols whether the FLCC one, Peter McCullough’s one, or other variations. That’s because all these treatment protocols (which are all variations on a theme) have basically zero adverse effects and involve repurposed drugs that have been around for decades (35 years for ivermectin; 55 years for HCQ) and have an incredibly good safety record when not overdosed, coupled with some rather harmless vitamins and minerals which again are extreemely safe providing one doesn’t overdose. And remember, even overdosing on something simple like ibuprofen, tylenol or paracetamol can be deadly (and it doesn’t take much in terms of tylenol, to irreversibly damage one’s liver – the UK paracetamol is a little better in that regard).
The original question was whether early-stage drugs were ignored because they were not on patent. Dexamethasone disproves that: it was not on patent, and it was not ignored.
For the rest we seem to agree on most of the facts. We disagree on two points:
Thanks guys for fulsome explanations. Money is always a factor. You would like to think that excess profits were going into research…
Downvoted but please more! -))) You can do it man! Did you take down your Ukraine decorations and replaced them with Taiwan?
This is fascinating and witty. A couple of seasoned medical pros losing their patience infront of the press…”In a press conference dripping with a mix of exasperation and dry-witted sarcasm, two officials at one of the largest hospital systems in Southern California threw a bucket of cold water on media and government efforts to whip the public into a state of fear over the latest Covid-19 uptick.” Lend me your (deaf) ears!
These COVID fearmongers are absolute pests
It boggles the mind to think that the same people wailing and gnashing teeth over abortion, which is about an individual’s right to bodily autonomy will turn right around and use every coercion short of the Gestapo going door to door to force people to put a foreign substance in their body. Their defense of the former is revealed as political expediency, a way to pander to their voter base (minorities, women, urban poor, the people most likely to seek abortions). Their justification for the latter, public health, social responsibility, etc. shows where their true loyalty lies. The left loves collectivist logic more than human rights, or, you know, actual logic.
F. Sawyers interviewed a danish professor a short while back.
Very interesting piece about specific and non specific effects of vaccines…..positive or negative.
It turns out that the like of Pfizer Moderna …..etc have more negative non specific effects like heart problems…..than old fashion or relatively old fashion vaccines like AstraZeneca.
Plus the Franco Austrian company Valneva just had its jab approved by the EMA…….very old technology of dead virus being injected…..fewer side effects than AstraZeneca.
I’ve had 3 shots….AstraZeneca twice and Pfizer as a booster.
I am not going for a 4 th one.
The interview I’m sure is still on YouTube. Very interesting and not likely to appear on a mainstream media.
Sensible and reasonable summary, this. Vaccine side effects do exist, and it is certainly not impossible that new technology like mRNA vaccines could have more of them.
Of course the real question is whether getting vaccinated is better than getting sick unvaccinated, and just how big the risk differences are anyway, but then you are saying nothing about that. Personally I prefer vaccination to disease, and will take any booster that comes my way, mRNA or not.
Long Covid possible reactivation of Epstein Barr virus or cytomegalovirus (both of which can cause infectious mononucleosis/glandular fever), both viruses, like all of the herpes viruses, remain dormant and can be reactivated. EBV & CMV take up residence in cells of the immune system. Symptomatically long Covid is not dissimilar to IM/GF.
Yes indeed. In fact, most anecdotal Covid sequelae (the dread “Long Covid” — and can’t you just see the pegleg and eye patch?) fit nicely with a known constellation of afflictions lumped under “Post-Viral Syndrome”. Immune systems, when riled up, react in various ways, a great deal of which is due to genetics. That Life Is a Crap Shoot should be no news to anyone.
how serious a condition is LC?
“Long Covid” is the new “ME” – more accurately named Skivitis. It’s pretty much non-existent among the self-employed, who only get paid for what they do, but common among public sector “workers”, who would rather stay at home and do nothing than come into the office and pretend to work.
There is an element of nostalgia in downloading all those ONS stats but one matter surprised me.
When we were all arguing this was a 65 + Comorbid issue the numbers of deaths were 92% over 65 and 90% Comorbid.
The first quarter of 2022 tells us that the total number of deaths were 11,832,
The total number of deaths of healthy people between 0-65% was 322 so 2.7%
So proportionately for whatever reason a greater share of the people dying are in the 65 plus Co Morbid group 97.3%.
As for Long Covid its self reported
Here is one extract from the ONS data .
As a proportion of the UK population, the prevalence of self-reported long COVID was greatest in people aged 35 to 69 years, females, people living in more deprived areas, those working in social care, health care, or teaching and education, and those with another activity-limiting health condition or disability.
So people who are employed rather than self employed and those who are already impaired. Interesting that Long Covid has more incidence in the younger working population than the elderly who normally talks longer to recover from illness.
Until its tested independently its meaningless and once again the other tell tale sign fatigue is the most frequent symptom with no medical reason attached to it.
Thank you. To a layman, this reads like the kind of calmly rational discussion which benefits us all.
I love Coronaphobics! They provided endless p…s post fun during ” The pandemic: I gained hours of fun going into shops and supermarkets wearing my welders mask, and causing untold worry and panic when I raised the window, as I could not be heard… or hear them.
It’s a bummer than Long COVID is so mysterious and unclassifiable. I had it for 8 months, lost a ton of money, as my job is extremely physical, and was pretty ill, only to discover now that it’s all in my head. (Not in this article, but lots of others)
More details please ….
This article gives every impression of having been written in the pub, by 2 angry taxi drivers.
Some quick comments on their polemics:
“How seriously should we take Long Covid? The first question that has to be answered is: how serious a condition is LC?”
The depends on whether you have it, or not; and whether you have it bad, or not. The key point here is that LC, like covid proper, varies in its severity from nothing at all, to pretty bad. So it all depends mate. If you are asymptomatic, and / or are one of the many people who do not get long covid, then I would suggest that you do not take it seriously at all, of course. My better half has tested positive twice, and she doesn’t even have a symptom. 2 of my old school mates, a married couple, had covid. The husband, an overweight and unhealthy guy, was asymptomatic – no effect on him at all. His wife, a healthy woman who played sports, was in hospital on life support. So people’s experiences of it legitimately can differ. I suspect one’s own experience of covid tends to inform one’s views on the matter. If you’ve had covid, and it was no big deal, for you, then of course you will scoff at those of us who dread it, particularly if you tend towards selfishness.
If, like me, covid gives you a right old wallop, and you get LC, you logically will perhaps be a little less angry, a little less gung-ho, a little less puffed up with the indignation of your rich-dude oppression Olympics. I’m a middle-aged, agnostic, corporate lawyer. I box and cycle. I have never been on any medication, and I had never been ill a day in my life. But Covid floored me twice. Here’s the trajectory – I stress this only is how it affects me, your experience of covid could be very different:
Phase 1: covid proper: 2 weeks of a bizarre flu, with symptoms occurring in a non-linear fashion. Debilitating, but not that big a deal, in itself.
Phase 2: covid double pneumonia, duration circa 3 months. Wheezing, extremely weak, debilitating fatigue, coughing so hard you black out. Hawking glue-like phlegm every 10 minutes, for 3 months, round the clock. Unable to sleep lying down.
Phase 3: long covid – which is my case only lasts about 10 months, and gradually clears up. Main symptoms are: (1) extreme fatigue – not a healthy fatigue like you get after exercising. More like being drugged. You gotta lie down. Hits you without warning, and can last from a couple of hours to half a day. This slowly gets better over c 6 months. (2) Heart disease – severe palpitations, chest pains, if you attempt even moderate exercise (a brisk walk, say), your left arm will feel like it’s been kicked and be sore for several hours. Stabbing pain at your heart if you try any exertion. Even taking a piss triggers it, if you try to force the flow! Very frustrating, if, like me, you enjoy being active. (3) Odd symptoms – any freckles you may have become swollen, and bleeding. That lasts about a month. After about 10 months, I am better – weak, and unfit, as you can’t train during that period, but otherwise feeling largely OK.
I’ve had covid twice, and it’s been the same trajectory on each occasion.
The major difference is that I was vaccinated for my second bout of covid, and the difference was obvious – phases 1 and 2 were much less severe, thankfully. Phase 3 was about the same though, and that’s consistent with the research which tends to suggest that if you’re one of the unfortunate minority who gets LC, the severity of your LC bears little relation to the severity of the primary covid bout itself.
Now let’s look at some more of these authors’ comments:
“as the story of rising covid cases is peddled through the media.”
“Peddled”? That’s what you say in relation to something you consider to be mendacious. Most reasonable observers accept that there as been a recent uptick on Covid transmission. It’s hardly controversial, unless one is some sort of crank.
“Now that it is clear that vaccines do not prevent infection …”
My word, the penny dropped slowly for these guys! For heaven’s sake, everybody knows that vaccines do not prevent infection – it’s not their job. And nobody sensible ever claimed that vaccines would have that effect. As was evident in my own case, they merely reduce the severity of symptoms. For me, that’s still a benefit worth having. My second covid out was a darn sight less awful than the first bout.
“It is possible the symptoms associated with Long Covid are in fact a mixture of factors relating to the pandemic and lockdown as a whole rather than the viral infection itself. For example, factors such as social isolation, anxiety, depression or educational concerns may be the root cause of these symptoms in children and young people both with and without SARS-CoV-2 infection. Given the devastating and well-documented effects of lockdowns and school closures on the mental health of children, this doesn’t seem unreasonable.”
Even these guys are sufficiently embarrassed by this speculative meandering that they caveat it heavily – “it is possible / it doesn’t seem unreasonable”. Well, I guess lots of things are “possible”.
“For example, factors such as social isolation, anxiety, depression or educational concerns …”
Oh, pish. None of those apply to me, for very cogent reasons:
First, I passed all my exams, many years ago. I have zero education concerns, ffs.
Second, I’m an introvert. I adored the lockdowns. I hate offices. I can’t stand pubs and parties. I like an occasional beer or chat with one of a very small circle of long-term friends, but not too often (or it starts to feel oppressive). I like being with my family very much. But I detest anything which mixes me in with large groups of chattering, backslapping people talking crap – such as (open plan) offices / crowds / pubs / parties / public transport etc. I’m an introvert! That’s how I roll. I loved lockdown. While half the world, all the needy extroverts, cried and bleated about the “isolation”, the rest of us introverts were bloody delighted – your prison was my freedom.
On a related point, here’s why I detest offices (and all the realtor-led, government-pushed propaganda that surrounds the office / workplace cult): https://ayenaw.com/2022/06/27/cults-i/
I can’t believe someone who wrote an entire book on Covid policy could also write “there never really was a scientific case for universal masking.” Yes there were, including:
The rest, such as dredging up 2.5-year-old recommendations from Fauci, from the time we still didn’t understand how it transmitted, and there were serious problems with supply then anyway, members of the public were already snapping up supplies health care workers needed far more to be able to stay protected and keep on the job (see my #2). This is mostly just pointless & deceptive polemic. I personally also wonder if maybe masking is increasingly pointless because of BA.5 characteristics, but that isn’t what YOU are saying at all. You appear more interested in taking shots at historical actions of those you don’t like, rather than actually talking about the “scientific case.”
Here’s 150 papers that say otherwise.
Also, what most people wear are not filter masks, but surgical splash masks designed to surgeons and nurses ingesting whatever may spray out of a patient’s body in the theatre
The N925 (number may be wrong) protects the user, but not others nearby if the user has Covid
You wear one if you want to. I won’t.
You should realize that lab studies are rather irrelevant to what goes on in the community. Further, the aerosolization studies you talk of are next to useless. Why because in the real world there re large gaps at the top and bottom and sides of the mask, and that’s where most of the airflow will go (both in and out). Moreover, recall that a N95 mask is only good for particles larger than 10 microns. Aerosols as opposed to droplets are generally smaller than 10 microns.
As for mode of transmission, there is nothing different between SARS-CoV2 and any other respiratory virus. They are all more or less of the same size and shape, and it was well know that respiratory viruses are transmitted both by droplets (which can be blocked to some extent by masks) and aerosols.
This article is raising some interesting points about, let us say, the limitations of past COVID strategies. Unfortunately it is completely steeped in what you might call the anti-MSM consensus. These people ‘knew’ all along that everybody else were wrong and only their small band of brothers understood anything, and (apart from the Barrington declaration) they are recycling the entire list of unproven alternatives and objections that they have been pushing all along. Hydroxychloroquinone and Ivermectin, forsooth! Quoting a single famous scientist a proof they are right, and ignoring the 99.9% of his colleagues who say he is totally off track?
It would be good to see a reasoned review of the evidence on these important points. Unfortunately you have zero credibility when you make it clear that you would have said the same no matter what the evidence was. Meanwhile I will stick to independent SAGE, until someone comes along who can meet them on equal terms.
The pronouncements of independent SAGE have nothing to do with evidence based science. They are mostly based on lazy assumptions, fed into computer models. The pseudoscience of Modelling is surely
now thoroughly discredited, given it’s consistent overestimation of Covid illness since 2020
Point me to someone better then – someone who bases his arguments on traceable evidence, and who does not talk as if it was always obvious that he was right and everybody else was wrong. Or do you expect me to take your word for it??
Perhaps you should listen to Dr. Vinay Prassad’s you tubes and read his substacks. He’s very even handed, and part of the mainstream (UCSF professor and oncologist/hematologist) which should be good from your perspective.
As I said, open your eyes, and try and think a little bit, rather than rely on the opinions of so-called experts, many of whom are very well credentialed but have little to no street smarts or common sense.
He is undoubtedly technically competent and indeed well placed to make this kind of judgement. He has just as undoubtedly taken sides, to the point where you cannot trust that any review of his is neutral. What one would have to do is to read both him and those who try to refute him and try to form ones own opinion on the debate. Which is more than my day job leaves me time to do, unfortunately.
You have no time to research actual evidence, but plenty of time to spend hours on here trolling people with you cult drivel?
I call big pharma shill.
Well if you can’t be bothered to inform yourself, you have basically admitted that you prefer to remain in ignorance. Well done. So basically anything you write is total BS because you have admitted that you are completely clueless.
Anyone familiar with UCSF would be unlikely to regard them as neutral. They have a distinct corporate position on Covid. They are smart enough to allow a kind of faux diversity of “takes” on the virus, but read carefully, they all amount to the same thing. The professional opinions of their professors are filtered though that. Wherever we stand on the novel virus –lavishly boosted or ivermection/hydroxy, or just Vitamin D and positive thinking — life is best taken with a large grain of salt!
“Point me to … traceable evidence”
You’re not really interested of course, and likely incapable of understanding actual statistics, but anyway…
I have read through your link, and I am sorry to say that I find nothing useful there. All you are doing is looking at the death curve, speculating about how many deaths cannot be due to COVID, and then speculating about what the number might be due to instead. The page is just full of phrases like “ it is reasonable to conclude”, “it is impossible to accurately quantify such an effect, but … would have meant over 5,000 lockdown-related deaths“, “we can only speculate very broadly in the absence of high quality, publicly available data“. “Any quantitative estimate of likely vaccine deaths during January 2021 must necessarily be speculative”
And from that you move on to say “In late 2020 and early 2021, around 10,000 deaths may have been caused by the vaccines in England and Wales alone.” Without even looking at the data for vaccine-related deaths! Without considering, even in passing, what alternative explanations there might be, and how plausible they are!
I am trying very hard to be polite, but for two people who claim to be ‘Business Change, Project Management and Data professionals – in terms of education, a graduate engineer and PhD theoretical physicist’, your handling of numerical data seems remarkably loose. Is this how you would write a budget? Or a scientific paper?
I would be surprised if anything I said could have an effect on you, but to any third party who reads this:
If you want to get anything out of numbers, you need to look at what they mean, what is happening underneath, how reliable they are, what alternative explanations you would have to consider. Just playing around with figures until you get your per hypothesis to more or less match the available headline data is no more than an after-dinner game.
If this is the best argument your side can come up with you are not going to win this discussion.
You should stop walking around with your head in the clouds. The equivalent of the German CDC issued an official report indicating that lockdowns and masks were effectively useless and counterproductive. Of course decades of data prior to Covid indicated as much conclusively, but unfortunately many governments panicked, possibly due to Neil Ferguson at Imperial and his totally flawed and fear mongering modeling paper.
As for early treatments for which you demand conclusive evidence, realize that it is really hard to initiate treatment within 24 hours of onset of symptoms. You have to be tested, have your antigen test (with a 50% false positive rate) confirmed by by a rPCR test, make a doctor’s appointment, be seen (whether in person or via Zoom or some such), have a prescription issued, go pick up the prescription etc…. Further all the trials of treatment with repurposed drugs were designed to fail. e.g. given too late, given in the wrong dose (either too low or too high), not given with the correct combination of other drugs, vitamins and minerals, etc…..
But here’s the key thing: those repurposed drugs have a very well established and many decades record of safety. So in effect it does no harm to take them in the appropriate dosage even if it doesn’t do any good. But, rely on Pharma to come up with something new at short notice so that it’s never properly tested, and you’re guaranteed to make things worse. As an example, Paxlovid was tested (RCT) on unvaccinated patients, not vaccinated ones. That’s a huge difference. So while, supposedly in the trial rebound infection was at the 5% level (although who knows how reliable that number is), in the real world where most are vaccinated, the rebound rate is close to 50%. Indeed, of those I personally know who’ve had Paxlovid, 75% have experienced rebound that was far more severe than the original infection. No surprise really given that Paxlovid doesn’t kill the virus but simply renders it dormant (i.e. it’s virostatic rather than virocidal). So one has to rely on one’s immune system to kill the virus completely before the Paxlovid course is over. Otherwise, once the course is over, paxlovid dissociates from the viral protease (the covalent bond between paxlovid and the active site cysteine is actually labile and in the reducing environment of the cell is readily broken over time), and the virus starts reproducing again. So what was thought to be a great idea and the perfect solution turns out not to be, as is so often the case in medicine.
Now why would you recommend people to take a treatment if you cannot prove whether it works? How do you know that with the exact and correct combination of timing and supplements this will work – even if it proves useless with minimal variations to the protocol? I do realise that it is very hard to prove any reliable effect of a drug that has to be given within 24 hours of onset of symptoms – but that just means that any such drug is less likely to work in the first place. And then, if the result is negative, there will be Johan Straus to object that the dose was too low, or too high, or should have been given together with some other drug, or maybe another one yet again. Basically, the supposed treatment is so ill defined that if the result is negative you can always find some excuse why the test was not valid. In short, this is not falsifiable. Which means that it is not science, it is faith healing. Now you may think that as long as the drug is reasonably safe it is fine to tell people that it will cure them – even if no one knows if it works and no one ever will. I just disagree. Personally I think it is wrong to give placebos for serious diseases – just like it was wrong for the South African government to tell people that beetroot juice and traditional medicine were enough to protect them from AIDS.
I would just assert that science is not a democratic activity. The percentage of scientists who support or who are perceived to support a scientific position is not evidence, per se. But, to address the comment: “99.9% of his colleagues who say he is totally off track” – my suspicion is that that statistic is more perception than reality – especially from the global perspective where the drug is used widely in COVID-19.
I may have put a nine too many on that. 97% maybe? But there is no doubt that the consensus among people who know the field is *not* in favour of ivermectin.
Science is not a democracy, no. But it is even less an autocracy. The opinions of a single selected eminent scientist count for even less than the general consensus. Ultimately it comes down to the evidence. But unless you are one of the few people with time and expertise to read all the literature and form your own opinion, you have to rely on people who know what they are doing and see how they evaluate that evidence. It is imperfect, as is anything that is done by people. But ultimately something either carries the consensus, or it deservedly disappears.
As for people using ivermectin, I would not rely too much on that. There is a reason for all the apparatus of clincal trials etc. And that is that left to themselves people, doctors included, are perfectly content to do anything that makes them feel like they are doing something and keep the patients happy. It is a lot nicer to convince yourself that what you are doing works, rather than accept that it quite likely does not, and that you have wasted your time and are powerless to help.
I’ve really appreciated the thoughtful and well-expressed arguments you’ve kept putting forward, and the way you also (more politely than I’d be able to) stress the importance of evidence rather than conspiracy theory.
Since the name of this publication explicitly suggests getting away from groupthink, I think I have the homefield advantage in this argument. But I actually would be in favor of a bona fide scientific survey of scientists/physicians on the question of ivermectin use in COVID-19. The result might be surprising.
Here we disagree. Scientists and physicians are people like anyone else. I, for instance, would obviously vote against Ivermectin, but that just reflects my starting position and my analysis of what I read of the debate. My opinion would not be important as proof of anything – nor would Johan Strauss’. The people who matter are those who understand the details and have the time and inclination to read and analyse all the material. A discussion between those (which the rest of us could try to follow) would matter.
As for you having the home advantage – are you a true, free spirit, unconditioned by other people’s opinions? Or have you just chosen a different group to share groupthink with?
I am just making the point that the popularity of a scientific position should not be a particularly important factor in determining its validity – especially when the “consensus” view/approach – on how to handle the pandemic in this case – doesn’t seem to be holding up well.
You need to watch the brilliant series ‘Chernobyl’ to see how science can fall prey to autocratic thinking. Yes, it depicts events that occurred 30 years ago under a communist regime, but the mentality that fueled that colossal error is being resurrected in the West. Just look at how quickly scientific consensus capitulated in the face of transgender ideology. If something as absurd as that can take hold, it can’t be that hard for multi-billion dollar pharmaceuticals to influence the experts.
Please, do tell me, how does physical isolation not have impact on the transmission of an aerosol virus? The statement that “lockdowns are useless” defies all common sense, not to mention the Chinese experience.
I’m new to this site, but I’m struck by how much you post, by how much those posts have information that is so inaccurate that it merely takes basic logic (and no need for specialized medical knowledge) to see the flaws in your statements — see my comment on your other post in this thread about vaccines being intended to prevent infection — and finally how many upvotes you get anyway. Is this site’s discussion section mostly an echo chamber?
Couldn’t agree more. Some nice pieces on this site but BTL it’s mostly Herd
Clueless and disingenuous. Again.
I’m also new to the site and am shocked both by the article and the conspiracy theorists and their unpleasant comments. I prefer to get my information about Covid, masks, vaccinations etc from scientists and medical experts rather than from a history professor. I was certainly hoping for a better quality of article and debate from UnHerd.
Please read a lot more. There are organized efforts via the Trusted News Initiative that preclude any open discussion in opposition to official policy. The public needs to be much more aware of data.
Perhaps ML Manville you should use a bit of common sense. First, who knows what the Chinese experience is and was. Whatever they did hasn’t worked, judging from Hong Kong. Second, and most importantly, lockdown doesn’t mean total isolation in some prison cell with the air filtered as in an OR. Where do you think most transmission has occurred: in nursing homes (where people are generally locked down since they are not in a position to get around), and in the home. What you will generally find is that if one person in a home gets COVID, almost everybody else in that home will too, irrespective of whether they isolate the original infectee in a single room, wear masks, etc…. Realize that aerosols travel through the vents and through the HVAC system, and can certainly get through cracks at the side of doors (unless these are hermetically sealed.
Indeed the Chinese did extensive physical isolation except for shared air in apartment complexes created a considerable number of infections. Effective physical isolation on a population basis has proven near impossible. Such containment works for smaller situations and is a common method, but never done before on the scales now attempted.
What can work is boosting individual immune systems particularly using Vit D daily followed by routine mouth and nasal cleaning with antiseptics, (saline even). Those steps help stop the virus from replication and entering the rest of the body.
Lockdowns may not be totally useless, but one must do a risk/benefit calculus, as lockdowns are proven to weaken the total immune system…