“How tremendous the spiritual change that it brings…what wastes and deserts of the soul a slight attack of influenza brings to light…
what ancient and obdurate oaks are uprooted in us in the act of sickness, how we go down into the pit of death and feel the waters of annihilation
close above our heads…”
I hope everyone has received their annual influenza shot, because influenza is a miserable experience and can kill. As America awaits the COVID vaccine approval and availability, it is irresponsible not to get a flu shot having experienced the devastation of the “Chinese flu,” for which there had been little hope until President Trump’s Operation Warp Speed’s vaccines and treatments.
Nothing is perfect, including the flu shot. However, science has shown it to be 60% effective in preventing or lessening the severity of influenza illness. (Trump’s COVID vaccines are said to be 90-95% effective against that scourge.)
A rational person would take the influenza inoculation, and I do so every year. I insist my family get a flu shot and we will take the COVID vaccine ASAP. Yet only half of Americans take the annual flu shot, and Kamala Harris said she won’t take Trump’s COVID vaccine.
Science (not Simon) says 60-70% of a population must be vaccinated or have immunity to stifle a viral epidemic like influenza or the COVID flu. The Spanish flu of 1918-19 killed 50 million people because there was no “herd immunity” to the mutated influenza virus. And since COVID is a new pathogen, there is no herd or natural immunity to this viral infection. Hence the need of vaccines because only a fool would want to acquire natural immunity to COVID through infection.
We take for granted a functioning body and immune system, until we get sick or the latter fails. Though I have aches commensurate with my age, my immune system remains healthy and protects me from an environment replete with viruses, bacteria, fungi, parasites and even mutated cells in my own body which produce malignancy.
Evolutionary theory holds that cosmic radiation produces mutations in our DNA, which sometimes confers survival benefits and other times cancerous changes. I have a general working knowledge of the immune system, but its intricacy is mind boggling.
Basically, the bone marrow produces red blood cells which transport oxygen, platelets which staunch bleeding from trauma, and white blood cells that fight infection. Some white blood cells attack bacteria, others produce antibodies, some eliminate cancer cells and others orchestrate the entire immune response.
There are a number of risk factors that predict serious outcomes with influenza and COVID infections, but I have seen many elderly patients with serious health problems survive COVID. As an internist I wonder why some get seriously ill and others don’t. There are a number of bacterial infections which require only a scant number of bacteria to produce serious disease. Other microorganisms require hundreds if not thousands of infectious agents to produce infection. This is called the inoculum effect. Might the same be operative in determining the severity of COVID infections?
According to Angela Rasmussen, a virologist at Columbia University, no one knows how many COVID viral particles are necessary to cause infection. Logically, a low inoculum might produce a milder infection by allowing the immune system time to ramp up its response. On the other hand, a large inoculum might produce a large inflammatory response with serious consequences, like the COVID cascade syndrome with multiple organ failure.
As science studies COVID I’ve been intrigued by reports of dogs being used to search for people with COVID infections. A dog’s sense of smell is a million times that of humans. However, I don’t believe viral particles have a smell. I’ve read reports that dogs can identify people with malaria, so perhaps they are smelling the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) released in sweat or breath of ill persons.
Recently I came upon a new test to aid in the diagnosis of asthma. Apparently, inflammation in the respiratory tract generates the free radical nitric oxide and a measurement of increased fraction of exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) can be a marker of asthmatic inflammation. Perhaps dogs are sensing/smelling the inflammatory reaction in the respiratory tract of COVID patients.
These days, I find it amazing how quickly we accept the ridiculous. As I think back ten years or more, I don’t recall any confusion about bathroom privileges, sexual identification rather than XY and XX chromosome structure, illegal aliens versus citizens, or the primacy of the rule of law and the sanctity of We the People’s vote. All of these standards have been destroyed by liberal Democrats, progressive socialists and our own tolerance. A friend has a tee shirt which states on the front “I’m Intolerant…” and the back reads “… of racism, sexism and pedophilia.” Tolerance is overrated and has become the cudgel of leftists.
Perhaps we’ve been inoculated with Big Lies and now have become tolerant of or resigned to lunacy and injustice. The incessant attacks on President Trump for the last four years have made half of the country insane with hatred and immune to truth. We’ve been vaccinated by the media and become immune to injustice. Some have been worn down and have resigned themselves to Joe and the end of the voting system. More than 74 million like me will not accept Biden unless the allegations of voting fraud are thoroughly investigated. President Trump, in his speech to the nation on December 2nd, said it was his sworn duty to assure the allegations are adjudicated.
In the fourteenth century, power battles between the Pope in Rome and Phillip IV of the Holy Roman Empire resulted in two popes, one in Rome and one in Avignon, France. This became known as the Avignon Papacy and lasted sixty-seven years.
“Donald Trump and the Avignon Presidency” is a brilliant essay by Steve Deace in the American Thinker published December 3, 2020. Without investigation and satisfactory resolution of the extensive voting fraud allegations, we will continue as a divided nation. Democrats refused to accept Trump as President in 2016 with disastrous consequences for our country. I can assure you the President’s base is larger and more passionate than the corrupt media, subversive deep state operatives and radical Democrats. The base will never accept Biden as President unless the election is proven legitimate.
God save us from an “Avignon Presidency.”