Not too long ago, I have stumbled upon a thought-provoking article on Republica.ro, which markets itself as a Romanian platform dedicated to libertarian free thinkers who have something to say.
In other words, people contribute, they are contributors, and if the editors (i.e., platform managers) like what they see, they publish your op-Ed.
So far, so good.
But now the plot thickens. You see, if you read through the maze of different articles and professed opinions, you will quickly notice an undercurrent or something akin to a magical guiding line.
The opinions are meant to come from people like you and I, educated perhaps, more likely self-made people who have invested lots of time and money in honing their reasoning by voraciously reading and keeping abreast of an ever changing world.
But they are not. Why do I say this? Well, when you start digging into the backgrounds of some of the contributors, you find out interesting things about them.
Let’s take for instance Bogdan Glavan, the author of a fiery op-ed entitled “A respinge a priori vaccinarea este o crasă dovadă de prostie, echivalentă cu respingerea științei” – “To take a stand against vaccination represents a gross evidence of stupidity, equivalent with dismissing science”.
Bogdan is a university professor teaching at the Romanian-American University in Bucharest, a member of the Liberal Party of Romania, and a staunch libertarian, opposed to taxation, state intervention on the market, State monopolies, the whole nine yards.
In December 2019, he was also appointed on the Board of the National Lottery, which is a State monopoly in Romania. As an appointee, he collects RON 7,198 per lunar month, which is somewhere in the vicinity of $2,100.
Mr. Glavan makes a very good living as a politician who tells people the state is bad and taxation is theft. Very smart! Very smart indeed.
His latest form of tomfoolery assumed the shape of the aforementioned article, which denounces the “stupid” ignorant people who persist in opposing the science behind vaccination in general, and Covid-19 vaccines in particular.
Bogdan firmly believes in the universal and proven benefits of all Covid-19 vaccines, who he claims have a 95% success rate, twice that of the ordinary run of the mill seasonal flu shots.
He quotes no studies, provides no evidence, but he is adamantly pro-Covid-19 immunization. He also avows that because he’s afraid of needles, and having already had the coronavirus, he won’t get the shots, but what’s more important – he has exhorted his own elderly parents to get the vaccine.
This is a very captivating point of view. Here we have a self-avowed former Covid-19 patient, who will not undertake the ‘minor’ risks associated with the immunization but will recommend it to others. How bizarre is that?!
It’s as if a perfectly sane and healthy gentleman would exhort others to enlist to go to war, while finding some reasons precluding his following suit.
Normally I’d leave things to that and be done with it. However, this ‘honest Libertarian‘ suggests that it is always better to undergo some privations, a lockdown, some government overreach, the disappearance of personal freedoms, in order to emerge on the other side of this horrible pandemic.
All of these coming from an anti-statist. Yeah, I know, how drole and ironic!
The thing is that this gent, Mr. Glavan, creature thing, political animal, is very but very devious. By bombarding the unsuspecting and hapless public with half-truths and some facts, he is creating a mask under which he concocts his malevolent and nefarious plans.
If I was a betting man, and I usually bet this time of year, I’d say that Bogdan Glavan is involved in some very lucrative deals having to do with Big Pharma. After all, a good smart shirk like him wouldn’t miss being on the action when it comes to providing injectable salvation to the masses.
But enough with what this guy thinks about the Covid-19 vaccine. Let’s look to Quora for some well-rounded answers. There is a robust number of people who are either pro-vaccination or not against it. There are some like Peter Upton, more moderate, who believe there are three choices:
“(1) take the vaccine OR (2) catch the virus OR (3) take pot luck and hope enough other people take the vaccine /catch covid and bring about herd immunity to increase your chances of being lucky.”
BTW, herd immunity is defined as follows in the following article by Gypsyamber D’Souza, who is a professor, and David Dowdy, who is an associate professor in Epidemiology at the Bloomberg School.
“When most of a population is immune to an infectious disease, this provides indirect protection—or herd immunity (also called herd protection)—to those who are not immune to the disease. For example, if 80% of a population is immune to a virus, four out of every five people who encounter someone with the disease won’t get sick (and won’t spread the disease any further). In this way, the spread of infectious diseases is kept under control. Depending how contagious an infection is, usually 50% to 90% of a population needs immunity to achieve herd immunity.”
The same cogent article, which is written by people who seem to consider all the facts before coming before the public, articulates the need for Phase IV testing, which has not been performed in the case of Covid-19 vaccines, because governments everywhere wanted a fix now not in 10 years from now.
D’Souza and Dowdy continue along the same rational lines, advising prudence and cautioning people about the hidden dangers of rushed testing, and expedited delivery of the Covid-19 vaccines.
“You see, I’m not against vaccination per se. I believe that a well-researched vaccine will provide a health benefit to the individual as well as society. But good research and testing takes time. Because weaning out the side-effects and finding out the secondary systemic and long term effects of any drug or vaccine compound is a decade long process. Sometimes it takes up to a generation or 20 years before scientists realize the true impacts of their drugs.“
And that is a good thing because time and effort and money are well spent when they save human lives. This is not the case with the Coronavirus vaccines. The earliest work started in January-February 2020, not even 12 months ago.
Volunteers who’ve taken the ‘first shots’ literally have either died or been left with enduring marks. The vaccines are not totally safe. How could they be? The scientists haven’t had enough time to iron out the inherent design flaws. Not all are major, not all are life-threatening, but there are enough visible secondary effects out there to raise serious doubts as to the safety of the vaccine.
For instance, The Times of Israel reports that the country achieved a 20 percent vaccination rate, among the highest in the world. Out of almost 2 million people who have received their 1st shot, 1,127 people reported suffering side effects, ranging from weakness, dizziness, headaches and fever (293 cases) to localized symptoms such as pain, restriction of movement, swelling and redness (307 cases).
But, and this is important, there were also 13 reported cases of Bell’s palsy, a temporary weakness or paralysis of the muscles in the face. And that’s only after the 1st shot. This was important enough for the Israel Medical Association (IMA) to recommend to the Health Ministry to stop administering the 2nd dose of vaccine to the people who experienced Bell’s palsy. The IMA said “there was not enough information on the issue at the moment.” Still, in terms of vaccine safety, it is better to wait and see.
Romanians have a saying “graba strica treaba” meaning when fools rush in or “haste makes waste”.
I have doubts that the vaccines are as effective as they are marketed to be. What are the benchmarks? Do we know if immunized people can get Covid-19? What is the reinfection rate? What are the benefits? How long lasting are they?
The same questions are raised by anothr Quoran contributor, Suzanne Kellner-Zinck, who makes some cogent points shared by many people, including yours truly.
One such valid point is that the question is not whether we believe in the merits of vaccination per se. Because we all do. The thing is whether we believe or not in vaccines created in a tenth of the time that a decent vaccine takes from design to your blood stream. There is clear evidence that medical experts (microbiologists, molecular biologists, etc.) have a robust amount of reserve when it comes to vetting the Covid-19 vaccines.
“The one thing I keep hearing from the virologist is that even if the vaccine was to protect people, they have no idea for how long, many believe only a few months – which means it isn’t very helpful in the longer term. I have also heard virologists say that it’s a bit late to be vaccinating people for COVID-19 as the masses have already been exposed so the vaccine would be too late.
This is just based on my understanding from those who actually understand this stuff – virologists – not the media, not the politicians – the PH.D. virologists and MDs with backgrounds in cellular biology and virology as well. I was just watching a video today by Michael Mina who stated what I just said.”Suzanne Kellner-Zinck
Queue to Dr. Mina, who is actually a medical expert and who has come out in August 2020 as a proponent of the only solution that would work. To paraphrase his 1 hour YouTube intervention, instead of pouring billions on top of billions of dollars on vaccines and therapeutics for Covid-19, why not take the cheap and effective way out. Why not market a $1 testing kit that when used would be able to tell us whether we are actively transmitting Covid-19 or not.
The Age of the Global Lockdown – the Era of the Curfew
Starting in January 2021, some governments are enlisting some very heavy tools in the fight against Covid-19. I am talking about locking down society, shutting down entire sectors of the economy, and forcing in mandatory curfews, which came about as a war tool and are now being used in the War Against Covid.
Beyond their obvious detrimental effects on freedom, I would like to raise the grave and deadly serious issue of its effects on human health and safety.
We all know that humans are social animals. We all accept the fact that a prolonged solitary incarceration will render the most balanced person – insane. For instance, my grandfather was locked up in the late 1940s by the communist regime taking over Romania at the time. As part of his ‘ political re-education’, his sadistic jailers subjected him to one of the most cruel tortures ever devised by mankind: solitary isolation. After only two years, he had forgotten how to read and speak. He no longer possessed those attributes, which make us human. Later on, he would tell us that he actually preferred it when they poured molten asphalt on his lower extremities to solitary isolation.
This is a clear and irrefutable evidence for the social nature of humans. What many people have come to forget is the fact our bodies also benefit from the social aspects of our lives. The benefits of living within the confines of social intercourse are not only psychological. They are clearly somatic. You see, when a person or a group of people live in isolation from the world at large, they form a distinct social unit that develops a particular immunity response to local stimuli.
In plain English, after living for a year in our homes with minimal or almost nil social interaction, our minds should not be our greatest concern. Our bodies should be, though. We are becoming isolated units, less and less able to cope with common free-range germs, microbes, bacteria and viruses. You see, folks, in order for our bodies to respond to microbial attacks, they need practice, constant practice. I fear that unless we get rid of these pesky and annoying lockdowns and curfews, we will start degrading in terms of natural immunity.
Social distancing is excellent when it comes to true killers like Ebola, the Black Death a.k.a. Yersinia pestis, measles, leprosy, and many others. Social distancing is not really helping our immune systems if it becomes a long-term, universal solution to a pandemic, which killed less than 1.9 million souls in less than 12 months, out of a global population of 7.8 billion people. That is a 0.024% mortality rate.
Past Practices Were Better
And then there is the Big Shift that occurred in the last 150 years since the first real scientists and immunologists like Dr. Koch and Dr. Pasteur starting working on real effective and modern vaccines.
Unlike their 18th century predecessor, Dr. Jenner, who empirically adapted and improved upon the life-saving technique of ‘grafting’ pus from poxed cows to people, and who then innovated by lancing pus from smallpox patients to healthy individuals, the German-French medical tandem* created wonderful feats of science by operating in the totally new fields of immunology and germ disease theory.
*Disclaimer: Dr. Pasteur and Dr. Koch did not work together as a team. They both did work for Humanity. It is in this sense, that my words should be construed.
In the span of a quarter of a century, and before WW1, the world saw rabies defeated, TB vanquished, typhoid put on the run, and many many others viruses checkmated by the emulation of their peers.
My point is that there used to be a time when Science occurred in laboratories, that were run on ambition, reason, and a will to do good. The point was to save the world first, create good Will towards your nation second, get the recognition thirdly, and perhaps make some money in the process. But the financial factor only came last. And that worked wonders for everyone involved.
Covid-19 pandemic – Game Changer or Business as Usual for Big Pharma?
Nowadays, Covid-19 vaccines range from $19.50 per dose to $37 a pop. People will say but hang on buddy, these companies invested billions of cash ($) into the research, design, and manufacturing of these vaccines. Shouldn’t they get a Return on Investment (ROI) commensurate with their efforts and financial risks? To them I say, Yes, they should get a lot of money in return, but only if they agree to be liable for their ‘results’. And, this is not the case.
In fact, these companies are shielded against the health repercussions their products bring about, by what legal experts worldwide call “vaccine liability waivers”. These are basically legal provisions safeguarding Big Pharma from any legal liability whatsoever that could potentially be brought to bear against them in a court of law.
“To prevent delays in release of the vaccine at time of pandemic, the pandemic vaccine supply contract stipulates that the Government of Canada will indemnify the manufacturer against any claims or lawsuits brought against it by third parties,” the document reads.Global News Canada
However, the Government of Canada has decided to setup a “pan-Canadian no-fault vaccine injury support program” that provides Canadians with support in the “rare event that they experience an adverse reaction to a vaccine.” Very interesting! Very interesting indeed!
Nowadays a ‘bug’ or a ‘superbug’ appears. The world governments go nuts. More often than not, they commission private corporations to find drugs or vaccines to eradicate the menace.
Private corporations run on profits. No profits, no investments. No investments, no money for research. The scheme is very simple. Their employees who have a scientific background are tasked with finding and concocting the fastest way to a winning formula. Each corporation hires the best and brightest minds but then it runs them like cattle. These people are not scientists who have a duty towards Humanity. The people working for Big Pharma corporations have a duty to the bottom lines of their shareholders. They must deliver fast and they must deliver the best solution Now.
To do that, they will cut corners, testing will be curtailed, results doctored. People will be pressured to cave in on the quality control checks. The Vaccine Must Work or Else. Or else shareholders will lose money. And rich, very rich people do not enjoy losing money. Especially when governments everywhere, which must be seen to be doing something anything really by their citizens, are scrambling to give their populace a cure.
And what’s even better for Big Pharma, governments don’t care how they get to the finishing line, as long as they get there holding the cure vials in their hands for everybody to see.
And finally, all of that fast and furious efforts, must be compensated. With price tags ranging from $20 to $37 per dose, Covid-19 is going to make some billionaires even richer.
After all, nothing sells like death!