Covid-19. Delta Variant. Can we come to conclusions about the future? Here are some. I wish time will prove me wrong.
I made my way up the hill from Totnes to get the second Pfizer jab last Saturday morning (21 August 2021). I had no enthusiasm for the first jab and no enthusiasm for the second jab. The jab-happy might think getting the jab shows common-sense. Others regard it as common-sense not to have the jab.
I asked the nurse if the needle entered a specific spot in the upper part of the arm. She said in the deltoid (a muscle). I replied: “Ah the deltoid and the delta variant go together.” The nurse laughed. I did not experience with either jab an iota of difference in the sensations in the body before the jab or after it. Nothing. Many others report the same.
Am I out of touch with the body or am I thick-skinned? Is my immune system unaffected by such foreign substances injected into the body? Is it the hand of God?
I walked home, ate, slept well and went to the gym for a workout the next day. I woke up on Monday thinking I have researched and written enough on these blogs and elsewhere about Covid-19 in the last 18 months. It is time to draw conclusions so I can give more time to other areas of interest.
I have made below a list of points. It seems to me the points are self-evident. There is nothing dramatic or controversial in them. I conclude that these conclusions will keep appearing/fading/reappearing for a long time in the future at a regional/global level.
The global pandemic is here to stay for years, even if a handful of countries eliminate Covid for the entire population. That’s the primary conclusion.
Since March 2020, I regularly researched development with Covid-19, locally, nationally and internationally. Tracking tendencies, trends and patterns of views around Covid-19 triggered this simple conclusion. Before, I kept an open mind on the possibility of the pandemic fading away like the 1918-1919 Spanish flu epidemic. No longer. I would love the conclusion rendered invalid as soon as possible.
I believe questions and changeable conclusions around Covid will continue well into the future. What we have witnessed since the start of the pandemic will go on and on. I must add here I am not (obviously) a prophet, mystic, astrologer, nor one who has received any divine revelation. I can say with confidence that I meditate, reflect and research in the quiet, often in the middle of the night. I do my homework. I am a human being with the right to exercise authority. So have you.
12 Conclusions on the Future of the Global Pandemic
1. The way the global pandemic manifests now will continue for years ahead with the same or more variants.
2. At a global level, the pandemic is out of control. Poor of the world will pay a heavy price for the selfish nationalism of the rich nations and frequent denial of Covid-19 by nationalist leaders in poor nations.
3. Science, social science, vaccination industry and the medical authorities can only offer views based on what they know in a certain brief time slot.
4. The highly contagious Delta, the current major variant/mutation, confirms the double jab vaccination is not enough to keep people safe.
5. There is a real possibility of further variants/mutations.
6. We will be offered booster jabs, perhaps regular vaccinations.
7. Vaccine effectiveness will continue in public debate.
8. Vaccinations will protect most people from hospitalisation and death if they remain effective but another highly contagious variant could change that.
9. Social scientists cannot measure the independent benefit from jabs as distinct from the benefit of masks and benefits of social distancing from Covid -19 as all three fuse together.
10. Virus hangs in the air in enclosed spaces (toilets, bathrooms, halls, rooms for up to three hours). Social scientists cannot tell us if people would be safer outdoors with natural ventilation, alone or minimal number, than in lockdown indoors for 22 hours a day or more.
11. Certain scientists and politicians recommended herd immunity in 2020 once 60%-70% of population were infected. The vaccine wains after six months or so does immune system from those who recovered from infection. New variants also arise reducing confidence in herd immunity.
12. Covid-19 will not be eliminated like smallpox.
Governments and scientists now persuade us to get a third jab. The poorer countries of the world don’t matter – especially Africa and Asia, such as India, Indonesia etc. Only 2% of the population of Africa has received the jab. We ignore the fact we protect ourselves through protecting others. The English variant went to the rest of the world. The highly contagious variant (Delta) spread from India to the UK and the rest of the world.
UK government purchased 300 million vaccines and authorised four vaccines with plans to make further major orders for delivery in 2022.
America’s main national organisation, CDC (Center for Disease Control) reports this week a major drop of vaccine effectiveness. Double jabs were 91% before Delta variant and currently, has dropped to 66%. That surely means the double jab has lost much effectiveness.
Does this gradually loss of jab effectiveness apply equally to everybody?
Could there be a health impact for others who get a booster but do not need it?
What is the scientific evidence showing safety for everybody taking yet another jab?
Are rising infection rates (currently around 30,000 per day) in UK related to weakening of the jab?
Delta continues to surge through our species worldwide at an alarming rate while immunity declines as the months go by. Covid, solutions to Covid and related issues, such as finance, work and relationships with others, continue to have a major impact on mental health. Common reactive patterns include angry texts, verbal abuse and cutting off communication with a partner, children, parents or long-standing friends. Such hostile behaviour often seems out of character with the person.
Social scientists cannot know what degree regular spikes and waves of infections occur due to weakening of vaccine effectiveness and/or the strength of delta variant and/or gatherings of people in proximity due to dropping of social rules.
Six countries with the highest vaccination rates are three wealthy Arab countries, one country in South America, a Mediterranean country and one in south-east Asia – UAE, Uruguay, Malta, Singapore, Qatar and Bahrein. Global death toll (from figures provided by national medical authorities) numbers around 4.4. million as a rough figure with 214 million people infected so far.
We can conclude that Covid-19 has firmly embedded itself in humanity with more than 600,00 deaths in the USA, more than 550,000 deaths in Brazil and 450,000 in India. UK, France, Italy and Russia etc have more than 100,000 deaths. Political incompetence and denial have contributed significantly to the numbers of deaths and long-term sickness.
The combination of Covid and the behaviour of powerful governments have severely impacted upon the health of millions of citizens in direct and indirect ways. This is a tragedy on a huge scale. Clinging to political/economic ideology and the vaccine industry clinging to patents and profit has become two of the biggest obstacles to resolving this global health crisis.
There is no evidence to show this will change in coming years while poor nations continue to receive vaccine handouts from governments and the vaccination industry.
I live in Totnes in South Devon. The nearest big town, Torquay (population 65,000), a seaside town, is about 20-minutes’ drive away in an area known as Torbay. In mid-August 2020, number of people infected per week with Covid numbered around 20-30. South Devon had one of the very lowest infection rates in the country. As with this year, many went on holiday last year in the area due to lockdown in most of Europe. Pfizer and Astra-Zeneca jabs started in December 2020.
This August infection figures have skyrocketed. Torbay has the fifth highest infection rate per population rate in the country with 875 Covid cases last week out of 1300 different areas in the country. In the past two months, coffee shops and restaurants in Totnes had to close for periods due to infected staff. We can take nothing for granted.
The number of infected people in Totnes (population 8300) in the last week reached 47. A month or two ago, only a handful were infected in a week.
Devon has become a blackspot in England.
Why do people refuse the jab?
Some of the fanatical pro-vaccination types hurl abuse at those who decline the jab without considering the variety of motivations behind their decision or indecision. The anti-vaccine militants have also taken the moral high ground and ridicule those who have the jab. The situation is more subtle.
I can write from experience. I politely declined the first jab until 13 June 2021, even though I am in the vulnerable age category (77 years old). I had the first of the two jabs to teach in Germany.
Research shows the two primary reasons for declining the jab. I adopted these two views as plenty of other people did.
1. People said they could protect themselves as much as possible from the virus by maintaining their health, strict diet, exercise and developing a strong immune system while taking scientific advice around social distancing etc.
2. Being mindful of actions to avoid catching Covid including living in an area with a low infection rate.
12 Other Common Reasons for not getting the Jab (alphabetical order)
1. Cannot make up the mind.
2. Concern about immediate impact on vaccination for themselves, their children, vulnerable health condition and being elderly.
3. Concern about jab impact on personal health due to weight, heart, diabetes, high blood pressure, a stroke, potential for blood clot of people in every age group.
4. Concern about long-term side effects for children and adults.
5. Fear of needles (around 10% of the unvaccinated, says research).
6. Fearful/negative bias influencing perceptions.
7. Lack of confidence about recovering from any impact of jab in days after jab.
8. Lack of trust in the science, politicians, policy makers, jab industry and the $billions involved. (One vaccine corporation, Pfizer has received $3.5 billion in revenue in the first quarter of 2021).
9. Lack of trust in general of people in power. E.g., Ethnic groups tend to be lower in take-up of jab with a history of mistreatment over centuries.
10. Stories of people enduring sickness and suffering after the jab.
11. Prefer alternatives to vaccinations.
12. Prefer to wait and see if a vaccination is safe and effective in the long term.
Figures show many of the above do not identify at all with the violent views of some anti-jabbers. Judgemental pro-jabbers need to develop a change in attitude showing respect and understanding of those who do not want a jab.
Vaccines cannot stop infections but only reduce the impact by blocking the virus or most of its potential impact. Although not all, the vast majority of those who end up in hospital worldwide were unvaccinated.
How many worldwide were unvaccinated due to rich countries hoarding millions upon millions of vaccines?
How many of the unvaccinated who end up in hospital neglect to avoid environments for easy transmission of the virus?
How many neglect dedication to a healthy lifestyle and healthy mind?
How many were carrying kilos of surplus weight making the body work much harder?
How many have a family disposition towards ill-health comparable to some Covid symptoms?
If you cannot avoid such environments, nor make the effort to make changes in lifestyle, then it is better to get the jabs. A tiny number will still end up in hospital despite a truly mindful lifestyle and wise effort to avoid certain situations. Scientists cannot explain why a small number of such people end up in hospital or a small number with a double jab end up in hospital.
Covid-19 reveals a bizarre situation, A person who has had a double jab can get infected with no symptoms and pass the virus onto somebody else with a double jab who gets sick.
A two jabbed person may not require supplementary oxygen or a ventilator, but the person can still feel incredibly sick and fearful of it getting worse while being at home.
Reports say long Covid reveals similar symptoms to chronic fatigue.
We have witnessed ongoing inconsistency in the scientific viewpoint month after month. There is exposure to scientific optimism and scientism pessimism, which influence our perceptions and views. Optimism and pessimism can show itself in numbers of infected people, vaccine rollout, numbers vaccinated, impact of variants, international travel and the behavioural sciences. The minds of scientists abide under the influence of science with feelings influencing interpretation of the science. You see it in the answers to questions, hear it in the tone of voice and notice it in the body language. Science cannot stand absolutely independent of the scientist who reveals the science.
I cannot see any evidence Covid will end in the near future. We must learn to live with Covid and evolve a revolution in lifestyle, science, medicine, democracy and economics to meet this crisis in our world. Current future planning, work and travel, near or far, remains highly contingent on Covid-19 and the climate and how we address both. The signs are not promising.
There is no going back to the old normal. Those days are over.
PS. Plan to review this critique in 2022 to see if there are noteworthy developments in the global pandemic. I feel concern for the world’s children – jabbed or not.