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Is the "Covid-19 Vaccine" any good? Should we take it? Is it a trap, and should we avoid it at all costs? Who can we trust to provide us with reliable information on this topic? Here are a few of my thoughts about this.
First of all, am I some crazy conspiracy theorist, some prophet of Doom, one of those "sources of misinformation on social media" that the Government and Big Tech constantly warn us about?
Strictly speaking, how would I know? If I'm crazy, by definition I will be unable to see that I'm crazy. If something is disrupting the logic of my thoughts, all bets are off. I don't think I'm crazy, but I'll let you be the judge of that.
Secondly, and very unfortunately (unless you're a prophet of doom), mankind is threatened by many dooms. Could a huge meteorite hit planet Earth and wipe out all life? Sure, why not? And why only talk about meteorites from outer space? Planet Earth has already been hit by the "meteorite" of cancer (millions of dead people), and by the "meteorite" of obesity (here again, many millions of deaths), and by the "meteorite" of pollution of our water and our air and our soil, and don't get me started on the "meteorite" of abortion...
And while we are talking about horrible possibilities, allow me to spank all the "climate-change bimbos", those well-paid pretty twenty-somethings, usually working for some Holier-than-thou "humanitarian" NGO (which itself is usually living off grants given by some Leftist Prime Minister who stole money from honest taxpayers), who constantly talk about all the horrible consequences of not taking "climate action". I'm not saying they are completely wrong, but I do say they should also mention World War III and the threat of global nuclear holocaust. Our planet is bristling with nuclear bombs and soldiers holding their fingers above the big red button 24 hours a day. I continue to be amazed at how much we hear about "the climate emergency", and how little we hear about all those bombs ready to wipe out mankind.
There are many horrible threats to mankind, and pandemics are unfortunately only one of them. A "prophet of Doom" is not defined as somebody who tries to make a list of all risks, sorted in decreasing order of urgency, with each risk associated with mesures to avoid or mitigate it. That's more like the definition of a realist. And to repeat myself, we already know the world is going to end for each one of us when we die.
The World's greatest Scientist: Red Green.
To learn everything we need to know about the Covid-19 vaccine, we should listen to the greatest scientist of all time: Red Green. Ok, the YouTube video referenced above might not work when you try it, so the joke is that during the comedy show named after "Red Green", its main character, there was often a segment starting with: "This is the part of our show where we examine those three little words that men find so hard to say: I DON'T KNOW!"
Seriously, humility is necessary for Science, and I'm far from being an expert on humility. What do I know about Biology and Medicine? I once asked a former classmate who became a surgeon: "What is the best book for a medical student?" and he mentioned (at least) two huge bricks called "Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine". I did buy them, and tried to read a bit. Lord have mercy on me. But at least it gave me more respect for medical students! Also, since it's basically a big dictionary of diseases, you soon realize that almost every page says: "Such a disease: cause unknown, treatment unknown". Those huge books are basically saying that Medicine is totally different from Automotive Repair. If you have a problem with your car, you read a good Automotive Repair book, find the cause, and fix it. This is because man invented the car. We know how cars are made, because we made them. But man didn't invent the human body, and to make things worse, the human body is a micro-universe, a summary of everything around us. So we are the most complicated object in the visible Universe! No wonder we find it difficult to understand viruses and vaccines!
One of the constant propaganda tricks of the CBC is misrepresenting the opinions of Christians, in order to give them bad publicity. So when a Christian works hard to come up with a balanced and well-founded opinion on any topic, the CBC will find some extremist and unscientific position, talk about it a lot, assert without proof that Christians think that way, then quickly change the topic.
Am I anti-vaccine? It depends. What exactly are you calling a "vaccine"? If you're talking about some once-in-a-lifetime injection that fully protects us against a serious disease like polio or tetanus or malaria, while also avoiding harmful side-effects, while also having been ethically developed, while also being reasonably priced, then of course I'm in favor of vaccines. Who wouldn't be?
But if you're talking about a bio-weapon designed to kill as many people as possible, which our enemies call "a vaccine" so as to lure us all into getting the injection, then I'm against this "vaccine". Who wouldn't be?
The SARS-CoV-2 virus? How would I know, I've never seen a virus.
I'm told we are surrounded by billions and billions of viruses; that they are everywhere, and nobody even knows all the kinds of viruses that exist. That reminds me of the billions of things I ignore.
Just opening my laptop and connecting to the Internet plunges me into the sea of my ignorance about: the Covid-19 virus itself, its candidate vaccines, horrible problems we've had in the past with other SARS vaccines, perhaps reasons why this might not happen this time, the bizarre "sheep-in-wolf's-clothing" vaccine, some potential non-vaccine treatments against Covid-19 (like Ivermectin), some doctors explaining why young and healthy should perhaps not rush into an mRNA vaccine, etc.
How would I know if the "Covid-19 vaccine" is good or bad? I've read there are currently several dozen candidate vaccines for the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The English expression "THE" vaccine singular doesn't even make sense! To make things worse, some articles claim there are already many different strains of SARS-CoV-2 (and Lord knows how many new mutations will appear between the time I write this article, and the time you will read it). As if that wasn't already complicated enough, apparently vaccines don't just have "an active ingredient", often the vaccin seems to contain other products ("excipients") which themselves can cause problems (like allergic reactions, etc.). So even just for Covid-19, there are many viruses, many vaccines, and many different ingredients in each vaccine! But wait, there is more! Apparently, all these candidate vaccines don't even use the same biological mechanisms!
I'm told that traditionally, vaccines have been made by taking the bad thing (bacteria or virus), and weakening it (for example by exposing it to formaldehyde, or excessive heat, etc.), then injecting this weak version of the microbe into our bodies. Our immune system, faced with this threat, tries to battle this bad microbe, and in doing so develops abilities to detect and destroy this microbe. Since it's fighting against a weak threat, the immune system is not overwhelmed and has plenty of time to build up its defenses. So later on, when the actual real and dangerous microbe tries to infect us, our protective army is all equipped and trained to go to war and defend our body.
Currently, some of the candidate Covid-19 vaccines don't work this way. They use a new approach that has never been used before on such a large scale: mRNA vaccines.
Here's a quick primer on what mRNA is (written by a person more-knowledgeable but less-courageous than myself). Let's start with a metaphor: beautiful illuminated manuscripts from the Middle Ages, with illuminations of gold leaf and expensive inks. Even in their day, they were very rare and very expensive. A monastery or group of monasteries may have only had a single copy, and this master original copy was never intended for daily use -- it's not the sort of thing that one could afford to spill coffee on! Instead, the monks carefully made three of four copies of the book on parchment. These primary copies weren't as beautiful -- they didn't have all the artwork and calligraphy -- but pains were taken to ensure that the words were correct. One primary copy might be kept at the monastery for use as a regular reference, and others might be sent to affiliated monasteries who didn't own a copy of the original. Then, from these main copies, students would make their own working copies for actual daily use. The sort of things that you could spill coffee on. Many hundreds of them, in many cases, usually written in pencil on loose-leaf paper and bound together with string. These "working copies" of the manuscripts allowed students to work with the text on a daily basis while the master original copy remained safe in the vaults. Very few of the "working copies" still exist, even though there were hundreds of them at each monastery, because they were never meant to last.
In the above metaphor, your DNA is the original manuscript, and mRNA are the working copies. Your cells keep the original copy of your DNA safely inside the nucleus of the cell, and when it needs to use a gene (for example, let's say you've been out in the sun and your skin cell feels the need to use the gene that has the instructions for making melanin, to give you a tan), it "transcribes" (copies) the instructions for making melanin from the DNA strand onto thousands of short fragments of mRNA inside the nucleus, then transports those strands of mRNA out of the nucleus into the cytoplasm of the cell where they fed into the actual machinery that will make melanin. Each machine (ribosome) needs its own copy of mRNA to work with, and there are tens of thousands of machines waiting for instructions. Like the student's copies of a manuscript, these thousands of mRNA fragments allow the machinery of the cell to work with many copies of the gene at once, while the master copy stays safe inside the nucleus.
mRNA is not very stable: it's broken down inside the cell after a short while. So, when your cells decide they have enough melanin, they simply stop making more mRNA, and the production of melanin will cease as the remaining mRNA degrades. So, inserting mRNA into a cell does not result in any permanent changes to the DNA, which is nice. Nor can mRNA become inserted into the DNA strand in any way.
So how does it work for Covid-19? Apparently, you need to manufacture man-made mRNA, find some way of making it go inside the cells of your body (technically called "transfection", which can be done in many ways, like putting them inside "lipid nanoparticles" which then enter the cell). That mRNA then makes your cell produce a "mutated spike protein" of SARS-CoV-2. In other words, your cell which is a sheep, a "good guy" in your body, starts dressing up like a wolf! So your immune system starts preparing for battle because your cell looks threatening to your body.
What happens to the cells of your body tricked into looking like the virus? The articles I've read are very discreet about this part. I guess once the immune response of your body gets into gear, those cells get killed and disposed of. Is it a good idea to practice your immune system into attacking your own cells? I don't know, but I do remember reading somewhere that if you want to train an attack dog (a real, dangerous attack dog), you need to put it in front of puppies of its own race, then teach it to kill those puppies. If you manage that, that attack dog will obey any one of your orders and savagely attack whoever you tell it to attack.
I'm hungry for knowledge.
I don't read nearly enough Science books. Maybe if they printed short overviews of them on my breakfast cereal boxes, I might learn a bit, since I eat a lot. What would a "cereal box course" on Animal Virology look like? This is the "short" answer my above-mentioned resource gave me, when I asked him some questions, like:
How come if I don't catch a baseball, I cannot throw it to anybody else, but even if cannot catch a virus, I can somehow still give it to somebody else?
"Catching" a virus can mean an infection (in the sense that a viron has entered one of your cells and is successfully reproducing, even if only at a low background level with no symptoms), or it can mean a "case" of a disease (where an infection has progressed to the point of symptoms).
Cold viruses are a great example. Asymptomatic infections with cold viruses are the rule, not the exception. The viral load of normal healthy symptom-free mammals can be very high. If you're the sort of person who spends time out and about, chances are good that you have 4 or 5 species of cold virus in your upper respiratory tract right now, reproducing at a low background level that is not enough to trigger a real immune response (just like the smoke from a single match or candle isn't enough to trigger the fire alarm system in a building).
What's going on with these background infections? In general, your body's primary (or non-specific, cell-based) immune system is doing a decent enough job of keeping the infection down to a low level. Like a smoldering fire surrounded by damp grass, eventually the virus will eventually peter out. You have caught the virus, but you wouldn't say that you have "caught a cold" because you have no symptoms.
If the infection gets big enough, eventually it will trigger the body's secondary (or humoral, antibody-based) immune system. That is the equivalent of a building fire alarm system going off: lights start flashing and the fire department gets called. In this case, it's more like activating the army. Once the secondary immune system has been activated, you may start showing symptoms like a fever or runny nose (most of which are caused by your own immune reaction). The body swings into action to give the virus it's "Sunday Punch" to wipe out the virus completely.
The secondary immune system is like the army in more ways than one. In comparison to the Marines, it's axiomatic that, "The Army Moves Slow". Same with your secondary immune system: it has to gear up to fight an invader. In the meantime, your primary immune system needs to keep the infection under control, or at least slow it down long enough to give the secondary immune system a chance to respond. Your secondary immune system is capable of mounting an effective immune response within 3 - 6 days for a virus which it has not seen before (this is while it figures out what type of antibody to make, trying hundreds of millions of random combinations until it finds the best one). By contrast, it can mount an effective immune response within 24 - 48 hours if it has seen that virus before (either from a vaccine, or from an earlier natural infection) and remembers it.
So, if you are exposed to a virus which your secondary immune system recognizes (say because you had received a vaccine in the past), you might still get sick, BUT your immune system will be able to swing into action much more rapidly. You probably won't get as sick, and you will recover much more quickly, because the virus wasn't able to run riot through your body for 4-days delay while your secondary immune system was trying to figure out how to attack it.
Once the secondary immune system has been triggered and swings into action, often the virus will be completely eliminated from the body.
After the secondary immune system finishes its work, antibodies will continue to circulate in your blood stream for a few months, preventing any re-infection with that virus (think of that as firemen standing guard over a recently-extinguished fire, to make sure there are no flare-ups). After a few months the antibodies will go away, so you will again be susceptible to a little background infection, but if that background infection gets bad enough to trigger the secondary immune system ever again in the future, your body will be much better prepared to fight the virus -- the 24-48 hour response time I mentioned above.
Some corollaries of what I said above:
(1). If you spend all day outside in the freezing rain without a coat while sleep-deprived and subsequently "catch a cold", it might be a cold virus that has been in your throat for weeks or months, but what you've done is suppress your own immune system (by abusing your body) so that the infection is able to flare up and get out of control. (Not likely with Covid, BTW -- it is not well-enough adapted to living in humans that it could remain at a low level for so many weeks without triggering some sort of immune response. Hopefully it doesn't evolve this ability!)
(2). Some people seem to get colds all of the time, whereas other people never get sick. Commonly we think of those who get colds frequently as having a weak immune system. But that might be the opposite of the truth: their immune system might be more active, and thus more easily triggered (like a sensitive fire alarm). If your immune system doesn't respond quickly enough, this can be bad. This often happens to older people: they might have a very serious infection going on, and they feel no symptoms (because their immune system isn't responding) until it's too late. We know this is a real problem with older people and influenza, and it seems to be the same story with Covid-19: the secondary immune system doesn't swing into action early enough.
(3). Even if your secondary immune system has seen a particular virus before, and knows what antibody to use to defeat it, this does the body no good if the secondary immune system is never triggered, or is triggered late. See above about old people and influenza.
(4). You can give a common cold to somebody else even if you yourself never felt sick.
So, do you have any other easy questions?
Yes. Does a vaccine give immunity?
There is a difference between "effective immunity" and "sterilizing immunity." "Effective immunity" just means that when the secondary immune system is triggered by a future infection (like the building fire alarm system going off), it will respond much quicker and be much better prepared to fight the invaders. Indeed, the immune system might respond to the infection so quickly and so effectively that you might not feel any symptoms at all. That's the best case. Or, you might still get sick, but the symptoms will be less severe.
"Sterilizing immunity" is where immunity is so strong and bullet-proof that a viral particle doesn't stand a chance, and an infection can't even get started. Sterilizing immunity is rarely achieved, and then usually only for a few months after a big infection when the antibodies are still circulating in your blood stream. After that time, the "army" goes back to its barracks, and you are again susceptible to infection (even though the immune system will make short work of the invaders if it sees them again).
So, what effect does "effective" immunity have on the transmission of a virus in a population of humans? Well, that depends on the virus and it depends on the vaccine. In general, people who are immune (even if it isn't full sterilizing immunity) will sneeze out fewer viral particles than people who are immunologically naive (i.e., not immune). This lower rate of virus spread among the vaccinated population can be enough to push the R0 below 1.0 (meaning that each infected person will, on average, infect less than one other person), thus causing the virus to die out in the population.
Coronaviruses are a bit of a wildcard here. One of their skills seems to be causing background infections that don't trigger the secondary immune system. Most cold viruses are coronaviruses, and I've already talked about cold viruses can live in your throat for weeks without triggering an immune response. If this is the case -- and the secondary immune system is never triggered -- then its possible that the virus can continue to spread even in an "immune" population, causing mostly asymptomatic background infections that fly under the radar of the secondary immune system.
How effective is the vaccine?
Nobody really knows yet. We also don't know how long immunity lasts, and that's a huge thing not to know. (Remember your tetanus shot: that needs to be updated every 10 years, and your dog's rabies vaccine needs to be updated every 2 or 3 years.) If immunity only lasts for 6 months or so, then we're dead in the water. But if immunity lasts longer, then we might have a real shot of eradicating this virus.
Can this virus be eradicated?
We don't yet know whether it will be possible to eradicate this virus from the population. Experience in China (following absolutely draconian measures) seems to indicate that it might be possible to eradicate. If complete eradication were possible, then I think an individual has a moral obligation to try to help make that happen, for the sake of future generations who might not be able to afford fancy vaccines (and let's face it, the way humanity and the world economy is going, it is not likely that we will be able to afford many vaccines in 80 years).
We might be able to eradicate this virus because it doesn't seem to have any animal reservoirs (not even bats). Even though this virus originally came from bats, the version of it which is causing the pandemic cannot infect bats, which is a big sign that this virus came from a lab and not from nature. Smallpox also had no animal reservoir, and we were able to eradicate it. Every other natural human virus has an animal reservoir, which is why we can't totally wipe them out.
For the sake of argument, let's assume that we have a decent shot of eradicating the virus (I don't happen to think eradication will be successful, but let's assume it). What percentage of the population would need to be vaccinated in order to stamp it out? Well, that depends on the specific virus. For a super highly-contagious airborne virus like measles, about 93% of the population must be immune to cause the virus to die out completely. For most viruses, the number is probably more like 75 - 80%. If that percentage of immune people can be reached, then the virus will die out from the population, and the country will be saved the cost of running a continuous vaccination program. And we will save the cost of deaths among elderly people for whom the vaccines don't work because their immune systems are weak.
In such a situation, if 30% of the population declines to be vaccinated -- thus allowing the virus to continue to continue circulating in perpetuity -- then in my book that 30% of the population would be morally responsible for all of the costs of vaccinating the whole population since the virus could have been eliminated. (And I say this as an individual who has zero intention of getting the vaccine myself any time soon, until I know for sure that it is safe.)
But, I don't think we have much of a chance of eradicating this virus from the whole world at this point, so that is purely hypothetical.
Unfortunately for you, poor reader, I have even more questions about these vaccines! Despite efforts on my part to read up on this topic, I have not found much about:
- what is the long-term safety? (apparently nobody knows, they are all still too recent);
- what are the effects on fertility, especially of young women (same as above);
- what exactly will happen when vaccinated persons are exposed to a new version of the virus? (will there be "Antibody-Dependent Enhancement", which leads to a "cytokine storm", an attack of your immune system against you that kills you pretty efficiently?);
- what is the duration of the protection (i.e. how often will we have to be reinjected; I've heard twice to start, then perhaps yearly, unless significant mutations appear, which would mean even more injections);
- how much money exactly is being transferred from taxpayers to the pharmaceutical companies;
- will citizens be able to punish anybody if one or more of these "vaccines" turn out to be very harmful? (In the USA, Trump "vaccinated" all these pharmaceutical companies against any lawsuits);
- what will happen to citizens who hesitate to take a vaccine? (the rumors are not reassuring: "Covid passports" for traveling and going into stores, ghettos for the unsubmissive, etc.)
Those questions are still fairly "socially-acceptable", but some of my questions are less-popular with evil governments.
I don't like these rumors I hear about perpetual hand-washing and perpetual masking and perpetual "social distancing" and perpetual lockdowns even after you are vaccinated.
Think about it: viruses have always existed, and so have plagues and pandemics. Before Covid-19, we just accepted the fact that viruses exist and that every year, some people would catch a virus and die. Now, all of a sudden, we must eliminate democracy and liberty and common sense, until nobody can get sick ever again? The same governments who legalize marijuana, and collect taxes on beer and cigarettes, and "legalize" medically-assisted suicide, and tolerate many more things that predictably kill a certain number of citizens every year, now want to eliminate all deaths related to this eternal virus? Have you heard any government say: "We are willing to tolerate X% of Covid-related deaths per year"? If not, how will we ever get out of this global jail?
If a vaccine were a real vaccine, if it really worked, and if was a vaccine for a really deadly disease, a disease that really killed all the people it infected, then we wouldn't need to worry about people who refuse that vaccine. All those who would take the vaccine would survive, and all the other ones would die, so the problem would be solved! Only vaccinated people would remain!
But any realistic vaccine will sort of protect, sometimes. And there will always be viruses, and the mutations of those viruses, forever. You and me will die someday, perhaps soon, but viruses are Eternal. So any Government that wants to continue oppressing We The People will never run out of "medical" excuses to transform the Health System into Big Brother, and the Police into the Gestapo.
Is the Covid-19 vaccine a trojan horse bio-weapon? First, we've already determined that there is no such thing as "the" vaccine, but 66 (as of 2021-Feb-17) candidate vaccines, and who knows how many more they will come up with. Second, we've also already discussed the fact that many governments are already spending billions of dollars a year to prepare for killing millions of people (think of all the nuclear bomb manufacturing programs, all the chemical weapons manufactured and stored by so many countries, and let's not forget all the biological weapons research laboratories in the USA, China, France, Russia, etc.). So the quest for a bio-weapon does exist, and it started long before this Covid-19 hysteria. Third, inventing a bio-weapon is easy. The hard part is not inventing it, but making it kill only the other side. (You need to somehow "mark" the population considered "the enemy", so the weaponized virus will not attack you.)
So are the pharmaceutical companies trying to kill us? They don't have to, even with the best intentions they could all be marking us. Will these vaccines kill us? They don't need to. Even with a perfectly good vaccine, anybody who controls a bio-weapon research laboratory could use the information about who got injected with what to their advantage.
Never, in the History of Mankind, have so many, under so much government intimidation, been injected so quickly, with something tested so little, for a disease which kills so few. You can pray that all the employees of all those bio-weapons research labs are all canonized saints. I don't have as much faith in God as you.
Jacques Cartier and his less-sick sailors on the first pilgrimage in Canada.
The church where I started learning Gregorian Chant (Saint-François-d'Assise) was apparently built where you can see the picture of the Virgin Mary hung to a tree, in the painting here above. Scurvy had killed 25 of Jacques Cartier's sailors in the Winter of 1536, and the rest would follow soon. They were so sick they could not even bury their dead. Cartier therefore organized the first pilgrimage in Canada, to ask Our Lady of Rocamadour to intercede for a miracle. The son of the local Indian chief heard the singing, saw their lamentable state, and told them how treat their disease. Six days later they were all cured.
Notice I didn't say: "A statistically-significant percentage of them got less-sick". I also didn't mention any Indians getting rich by just pointing out which tree's bark you should boil in water and drink. And of course, none of Cartier's sailors were threatened with fines or jail time by those Indians if they didn't take their medication.
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