Drugs from the Bottom

Warning: This is my area of expertise, what I have spent my entire career doing so it could get more than a little bit lectury. I’ll try to keep it not too technical.

So, it seems Buyoff Billy has his next scheme under way. He wants to make drugs that modify your intestinal microflora.

A brief aside first – I haven’t been around much lately. Couple of reasons – I’m tied up with editing and my eternal dodgy guts decided to go for the big time last week. Half-convinced I had appendicitis, it got so bad that I actually called the doctor’s surgery without being nagged into it!

The doctor called back within minutes. A brief glance at my medical records (there isn’t much in there) would have told her that the last time they saw me, some years ago, I had cracked ribs and a bashed kidney and had been peeing blood for three days before I gave in and called them. They know I’m not the type to bother them unless it looks like imminent death. I was actually invited to visit the surgery! I declined because CStM doesn’t drive and I was in no fit state.

Notably, there was no mention of vaccine or testing. I suspect many doctors are getting sick of the charade too. Some are speaking out, some are resigning, which isn’t good. It means we’ll be left with only the Pharmer shills. For now, there are still some good ones working.

Anyway, she prescribed some pills, my daughter picked them up for me and it’s all good now. Well, it’s back to ‘normal’ – I still have dodgy guts but that runs in the family, so to speak. This is somewhat relevant to the post – I worked in intestinal microbiology almost all of my career, dealing with some very unpleasant samples and quite a few dangerous pathogens. I did a lot of work in probiotics and prebiotics with possibly the best motivation a scientist can have – fixing my own gut problems.

I haven’t fixed them, since it’s genetic I doubt that can ever happen, but I have learned to mostly control them. Mainly with diet. And an occasional dose of The Stuff I Can’t Talk About, which I have in the fridge here.

Brief explanation of The Stuff for anyone new here – after the department I worked in closed down I went solo. Self employed in research and consultancy. Basically, rogue scientist. I did a lot of work for food companies, rented lab space (bizarrely, just a few doors along from the lab I worked in before) and that work was mostly on prebiotics. It’s still covered by confidentiality agreements so I still can’t publicise what was in it. Nor indeed, what is still in it in my fridge.

‘Prebiotic’ was a very poor choice of name, because trying to search ‘prebiotic’ throws up a lot of work on the chemicals on Earth before life evolved. Picking out papers on the modern definition was seriously difficult. The modern prebiotic is something you eat that specifically feeds the good guys in your gut so they are better able to kick the crap out of the bad guys when they show up – or even if they are already there. This is different to ‘probiotic’ which involves adding live bacteria – usually one or more of the lactic acid bacteria group – to your microflora. Like Actimel. That’s a probiotic. Inulin is a prebiotic, it works but take too much and you’ll get gas production to rival Russia. The Stuff does not have that problem.

My first work as a loose cannon centred on Clostridium difficile, a very nasty bacterium that you mostly catch in hospital when your immune system and gut bacteria are already buggered by antibiotics. Oh I could fix it, the doctors who let us try this on patients were delighted. The antibiotics they’d need to use on this infection – metronidazole and vancomycin – are very heavily toxic themselves. They are last-resort drugs, but nothing else worked. We (the food company I worked for, me, and a couple of other scientists acting as advisors) made a yoghourt-like drink that was actually very pleasant. One a day and the symptoms soon reduced. Best of all, it contained nothing that could be considered a medication so you didn’t need a prescription.

As I say, the doctors were delighted. Admin were not. They blocked every attempt to arrange a proper, definitive trial. We could not get a yoghourt drink past their ethical committee. Why? Well it was cheap and involved no patented drugs. Oh we knew why, the doctors knew why, but none of us were allowed to say. It was something to do with certain peoples’ profits. I’ll say no more on this.

Right. Few people think much about what happens inside them. In your gut there are about three pounds (approx. 1.5 kg) of bacteria. Doesn’t sound like much does it? Okay, take a glass of water. There will need to be close to a million bacteria per millilitre before that water starts to look cloudy. And it won’t even register on a normal kitchen scale as being any heavier than a glass of pure water. Three pounds of bacteria is not just a minor amount. It’s an entire ecosystem. There are more bacteria in everyone’s gut than there are people, or even mammals, on Earth. Many, many species – it used to be classed as around 400 species until DNA analysis really took off and we started to find genes from bacteria we didn’t know existed. Now it’s likely to be at least double that number.

Incidentally… from the linked article…

“It’s only in the past 15 years that we’ve come to understand the incredible diversity of the microbiome. It’s almost like a rainforest inside our bodies. There are 100 times more bacterial genes than human genes,” says Smith.

Past 15 years? Bollocks. We’ve known about this for a very long time indeed. It was clear when I started, when I moved from ruminant to non-ruminant gut research in 1990. We were meddling with the very fabric of life itself even then, working on probiotics for pigs to try to stop a K88 variant of Escherichia coli that made pigs very sick. It doesn’t hurt humans at all but then E. coli O157 does nothing to pigs so… swings and roundabouts.

Early on in my career I had considered the ‘perfect probiotic’. You would take this bacterium, most likely a Lactobacillus or a Bifidobacterium, dose it into one pig and it would spread through the piggery and they’d all be protected. I soon realised it couldn’t work, but my reasons were not the same as those who were trying to put me off.

Their reasoning was economic. If my idea was possible, there’s no money in it. Selling one dose to an entire piggery, once, was nothing compared to selling a weekly dose that had to be dosed into every individual pig. Well I could see that but my focus has never been money. I’ve never had very much of it and wouldn’t know what to do with it if I did.

My reasoning was that the gut bacteria are an ecosystem that does not like to be disturbed. They are, you could say, territorial. This is different in every single gut, the dominant species in yours is not the same as the dominant species in mine. You mess up the equilibrium they have established and they will make you pay. A big dose of antibiotics will do it, the equilibrium is broken and they hit the exits fast.

While that equilibrium is in chaos your gut is open to the establishment of a new one. Not necessarily a better one. This disruption is how things like Cl. difficile get a hold, and several other gut infections only found in hospitals. Oh you won’t have heard about those, you only hear how they are smoke-free, not infection-free. I blame it mostly on the outsourcing of cleaners but that’s another story, related to the reasons behind food borne diseases. A different lecture, I’ll try not to get distracted.

Okay. So. You have a gut ecosystem in equilibrium. This is why Salmonella has to go in mob-handed to set up an infection. A few of them will get wiped out at once. They need thousands in one dose to get established. The Local Gut Bacteria do not like strangers.

They don’t like probiotics either. Yes, they are the ‘good guys’ but they are still strangers and the gut bacteria do not like competition. That’s why you need to take things like Actimel daily. The bacteria it contains will not establish in your gut. Their competitors will fight them for that ecological niche.

So we come to prebiotics. Your gut already has many species and genera of the lactic acid bacteria. The prebiotic idea is to feed them, make them stronger and better able to fight the pathogens when they try to invade. It works, it boosts your resistance to gut pathogens (other than viruses, bacteria can do nothing to stop them) but it can never transfer between people. You can pass on a live bacterium but not a chemical that’s bacteria food. You have to take this stuff routinely and individually.

Which can be profitable even if it’s cheap. But if it’s not profiting the Pharmers, they stamp on it. We have seen this in action recently. There’s no point denying it, it’s been clear for a long time.

You can fix most gut problems with diet. I am not lactose intolertant and I do not have gluten allergy. My fucked up guts are genetic. However… I won’t get a life threatening reaction to gluten but I definitely react badly to having too much of it. Basketball belly and power washer arse. Gluten and lactose are in so many things now it’s easy to get an overdose. Even if you don’t have an actual allergy, an overdose can be bad.

You know those precooked chickens and chicken pieces that are browner than anything you’ve ever cooked? They are coated with lactose. It’s not sweet enough to be noticed but it caramelises like sucrose. Gives that lovely brown colour without adding sweetness. You eat those, you’re adding to your lactose intake. Too much and, as with gluten, your gut bacteria go into overdrive and… boom. Literally.

Now, Billy Gates Gruff is getting involved in this. He is not going to be interested in faecal transplants (these work best between related individuals because your own genetics have an effect on which bacteria grow best in there) because these are not Pharmer profits.

He has made clear he wants a ‘vaccine’ that spreads on its own. A genetically modified bacterium that establishes in someone’s gut and spreads through the whole population. This is the way to do it. He won’t make a lot of money from it but does he really need any more? He will, however, gain massive control from this. Your guts will be subject to patent.

Because as with everything else he has meddled with, it will be a disaster for humanity. Everyone’s gut is different. Everyone has their own unique gut ecosystem. When this thing gets into you, you are likely to need lifelong medication to keep it under control.

I doubt the Billy Gates Gruff understands this, he’s just a front man after all. He just revels in the cash. He does nothing, he pays other people to do stuff. In the Global Heirarchy, he’s middle management.

So his solution is going to be expensive meddling, like everything else he does. It’s going to harm and kill a lot of people, but then as a population-reduction advocate, that’s his goal anyway.

If you don’t have any gut problems, stay well away from anything that comes out of this.

If you do, look at your diet first. That is where the solutions lie.

Long live Snowball

Hi Everyone, CstM here.
I hope you’re all doing well.
So last time in the Gloom Dog Book Club we were reading Animal Farm. Now that was an emotional roller coaster. I didn’t know much about it, besides the famous quote “All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others”
So I went into it thinking “Oh a book about pigs and farm animals, how bad can it be!”. Holy bejesus, that went dark really fast. The scene were Napoleon went all “Off with their heads” with the chickens. I did not see that coming! Or the part with the puppies, when they kick out snowball. Poor guy!
I really liked Snowball, maybe he just spoke to my Scandinavian mind. So I was getting really angry at Napoleon for how he treated Snowball. Although Squealer was the pig I mostly wanted to punch on the snout. He was just a massive, self serving twat, wasn’t he?
So yeah, I went into the book not really expecting much, but I ended up really enjoying it. I’m pretty happy with having read that.

Now this months book is going to be The Catcher in the Rye. Another book I just know by title but little else. I’m sure it’s been mentioned in crime dramas as a favourite amongst serial killers, but I’m not sure how much truth there is to that. The only thing I could find online, was that it was the book John Lennon’s killer was obsessed with.
So I hope you’ll join in on the reading adventure.

I was talking with David Davis, and I was mentioning how since I grew up in Denmark, I’ve mostly read the Danish and some Scandinavian classics.
Now I have a list of future picks for the Gloom Dog Book club, but I’d mostly gone for English/American literature. I want the book club to be easily accessible to everyone. Books you can just pick up from the library.
But I was wondering, if they’re available in a translated version would you guys be interested in me adding some Scandinavian books into the mix? Please let me know what you think.

We have finally been allowed to go inside people’s houses. It’s a brave new world. We actually get to socialise and not freeze our butts off. We’ve been to see the grandkids, which was really nice. They grow so big, so fast.

We’ve even had a week of pretty decent weather, so Gloom Dog and I have been spending time out in the sun, whilst the guinea pig have been roaming around in his outside enclosure. Even the garden pheasant has been more active, eating the droppings from the bird feeder and screaming the songs of his people. It could also be because I feed him bread scraps.

Entertainment – The Trojan

Monday is author quarterly payment time. Currently Leg Iron Books pays 100% of profits to authors (every book sale has a profit even if it’s pennies) because there’s enough coming in from the anthologies that there’s no need to pick out a penny from the author pennies.

So. I have been keeping abreast of developments in the rather silly Covid nonsense that’s going on now and I thought, well, there’s a good idea for a story in here. This is it, I’ll probably include it in the Halloween anthology because this crap isn’t going to end any time soon so I’m likely to need yet another lockdown title. Later though, I’m still editing Wandra Nomad’s book (slow because I was a little bit ill lately, but it’s grown back now).

Anyway. Without further ado, here’s a tale of pure fiction. Pure fiction. I just made it up. Try to keep that in mind. Oh and it’s very first draft. There may be adjustments to be made.

The Trojan

Darius Blackthorn wrinkled his nose and dropped the sheaf of papers onto the desk. “This is a flu virus. It’s hardly a weapon. Okay, you made it a bit more infectious but it’s not going to do much, is it?”

“Ah.” Doctor Robson picked up the papers and tidied them into a neat pile. “I appreciate that your speciality lies outside the biological sciences, Mr. Blackthorn. Very few people would grasp the implications of this result and that is exactly how it should be.”

“So?” Blackthorn reached for the whisky decanter. “I’ll offer you a drink when you’ve explained yourself. I’m no expert, it’s true, but it’s pretty clear that all you’ve done here is add some attachment proteins to what is basically a flu virus.” He poured himself a drink and stared into Robson’s eyes.

“Well, that’s what it looks like because that’s exactly what I designed it to look like.” Robson eyed the decanter for a moment. “It’s meant to appear as though it evolved naturally. Just a flu virus with extra infectivity. Oh sure, someone will work out it’s not natural but by then it’ll be too late.”

“Why would anyone even investigate it?” Blackthorn took a sip of his whisky and placed the glass carefully on the silver coaster on his desk. “It’s bloody flu. It’ll kill as many as flu does every year and the rest will recover and forget about it.”

“This is only part of the weapon. The virus will do rather more than flu but it won’t do it to very many people. That’s true, but the virus isn’t the explosive in this weapon. It’s just the primer.”

Blackthorn shook his head. “You’re really not making any sense.”

“Well, let’s try an analogy. You are, of course, familiar with the story of Troy?” Robson raised one eyebrow.

“Of course. The gift of a giant wooden horse that turned out to be full of soldiers. It’s a legend pretty much everyone grew up with.” Blackthorn narrowed his eyes. “I’ve paid you a lot of money to come up with a new and effective bioweapon and you’ve produced flu. I suggest you hasten your explanation.”

Robson took a sharp breath. He was well aware of the reputation around the Blackthorn family. They did not exactly take failure in their stride, and especially did not tolerate failures they had paid a lot of money for.

Robson cleared his throat. “Okay. The flu is the beginning. Only we don’t call it flu, we call it something else. Then we ramp up the scares. We attribute every flu case to our new virus and when it puts a few into intensive care, we really publicise that.”

Blackthorn sniffed. “That part is easy. I can pull strings with the media and the health services and I have people advising the idiots in government. They’ll do what they are paid to do.” He steepled his fingers. “But it’s going to turn out to be flu in the end. We can’t keep the fake going forever. People will notice there are no bodies piling up anywhere.” He glared at Robson. “And the death toll will be a normal winter death toll. As weapons go, this is total shit.”

“The scare factor is a critical part of—”

“Dammit!” Blackthorn thumped the desk. “I can scare people just by looking at them. It doesn’t kill them. I paid for a weapon, not a bloody Halloween trick.”

Robson held up his hands and took slow breaths. Blackthorn was indeed currently scaring the shit out of him. “Okay. I’m getting to that. The scare factor is a critical part of getting people to take the vaccines.”

Blackthorn took a deep drink of his whisky. He rubbed his eyes. He topped up his glass and stared at Robson in silence for several minutes before intoning “Vaccines.”

“Yes, I—”

“You are going to give me a trivial ‘bioweapon’ and then cure it.” Blackthorn shook his head, slowly. “I should have gone with Armitage’s idea. It was crazy, as usual, but at least he didn’t plan to provide a cure.”

“Ah, but the vaccines are part of the weapon. The virus is the primer, the vaccines are the explosives.” Robson allowed himself a smug smile for a moment.

“Okay.” Blackthorn drew a deep sigh. “Explain.”

“The virus is actually irrelevant.” Robson clasped his hands. “It’s the attachment protein that’s important. It’s deadly, but nobody will realise that for months at least. They’ll think it’s the virus causing heart and other organ failures because all they’ll see is infected people.”

Blackthorn nodded. “Continue.”

“Well, the attachment protein is the obvious candidate for a vaccine. Which means vaccine companies will inject millions of people with the attachment protein and,” Robson grinned, “some new technologies will have people producing it in their own body cells. They’ll think they’ve been immunised against a virus when really, the virus itself would do most of them no harm. It’s our Trojan horse to get the toxic protein in. We don’t need to spread an infection. They’ll queue up to get the toxin injected.”

Blackthorn pursed his lips and blinked a few times. “Brilliant. That’s bloody brilliant. So the virus does sod all, it’s the cure that finishes them off.” He furrowed his brow. “But won’t they notice when people start keeling over after being injected?”

“Most won’t.” Robson wrinkled his nose. “But a few will. More than with any other vaccine. We’ll need your influence to keep up the virus scare and simultaneously play down the vaccine injuries and deaths.”

Blackthorn waved his hand. “No problem. But if it doesn’t affect too many, is there any point?”

“Oh that comes later. The attachment protein will react fast in a few who are sensitive, but it will react much later in most people, so far down the line they’ll never link it to the vaccination. Maybe a year or so.” Robson grinned. “It’s the weapon nobody sees coming, and they won’t even recognise it when it does. A Trojan virus full of molecular soldiers.” He coughed. “Oh and incidentally, those of us who have shares in vaccine companies might want to increase our holding.”

Blackthorn said nothing. He simply poured whisky into a fine crystal glass and set it in front of Robson.

I’m not saying it’s aliens but…

Not really though.

Remember when there were all those reports of black flying triangles that no airport radar could verify? There were loads of them. Then the air force turned out this new aircraft that was invisible to radar, roughly triangular in shape and… black. What? you don’t think they had prototypes and test flights? Of course they did. They just didn’t admit it.

Now we have the Pentagon releasing pilot tapes of UFOs they have spotted and tracked. Little blurry images that seem to move in ways that are impossible in modern avionics. Aliens? New technology being trialled? Or maybe just bird shit sliding off the scanner?

If these things are Russian or Chinese, then the Pentagon would be concerned. If they are American, would the Pentagon tell the fighter pilot about these top secret developments? Or would they let them loose on the internet as a sort of middle finger to Russia and China… ‘Yeah, you don’t know what this is but it’s our future air force’. Or maybe there’s another reason they are all coming out now.

Way back in 1938, Orson Welles did a radio dramatisation of H.G. Wells’ ‘War of the Worlds’. He decided to do it as if it was a documentary and actually happening. There was mass panic because most of the world believed there really was an alien invasion. No internet, no TV, no way for anyone to check. The radio was their only source of information.

Ah, but now we have internet and TV, we can’t be fooled any more, right?

You ever watch the Superman films? ‘You’ll believe a man can fly’. How about Thor or Hulk or any of the others? TV can lie to you far more convincingly than radio ever could.Think of the incredible and entirely believable CGI effects you’ve seen in recent years.

Now. Would it be that hard to fake an alien invasion? Orson Welles did it with words on a radio. What if you could actually see it happen on TV?

You would, of course, have to shut down internet and other communications in the area where you have your fakery but really, that’s a trivial issue. It’s easy. Flick of a switch. Nobody can verify or deny the reports. Nobody can get in or out because, obviously, it would be a restricted area. Would you believe it?

I wouldn’t, but then I’m a cynical old curmudgeon but look around. For the last year, people have demanded everyone wear masks that even state on the box that they don’t stop viruses as absolute protection against a virus. They are going around in plastic tents that make them look like prototype Daleks. They are wearing space helmets to walk alone in forests. They wear masks when driving alone in their cars. One mask isn’t good enough? They wear two.

Every directive. Every insane, ridiculous suggestion, they lap it all up and they stay scared. Give them a CGI alien attack on some place with no communications (currently Gaza, if you’ve noticed) and they will believe every single word of it.

Now, I’m not saying that’s what’s going to happen next, as the covid narrative dies out in failure…

…but that’s what’s going to happen next.

Leaving the Dream

Well, I have finally finished meddling with the latest Underdog Anthology. It’s now available on Amazon and on Smashwords – and unusually for these anthologies, it’s passed Smashwords’ Premium status so it’ll turn up in eBook form on a whole host of sellers. Which is good news.

Good news always has to be balanced, so Amazon are opening up a local print-on-demand site in Australia. This means that if you have books published on Amazon you have to redo the pricing and set an Australian price. And of course, you can’t automatically set it all, you have to do it for each individual book. I’ve now done that because if you don’t Amazon will set it for you and you’ll get no royalties.

So, with the anthology now complete, I will be returning to the edits on Wandra Nomad’s next book, then I still have a Gastradamus book in the queue and another coming in from Gayle Fidler. These have to be out of the way before the Hallowen anthology. I’ll also need to contact the commenter who suggested ‘The Dark Ides of March’ as a title – I owe him a free book. I should have copies by the weekend.

I have four stories in this one, and as is traditional, here’s the most recent one for free as an advert for the book. It’s pure fiction, of course. You might need to remind yourself of that in some places. It follows from ‘The MacBeth Trio‘, which was in ‘Treeskull Stories‘.

Leaving the Dream

The stern lady behind the plexiglass screen glared at Philip. “Hand on the scanner.” Her lips barely broke their sneer.

Philip knew the routine. It was the same as everywhere else. He placed his left hand on the pad and watched the embedded chip, in the flesh beside his thumb, glow that sickly green.

The woman turned to regard the screen beside her. “Philip Armitage. Status amber. You have missed three vaccinations.” She scrolled down a long list. “Boosters for measles, malaria and scrofula.”

Philip raised his eyebrows. “I thought I was up to date.”

The woman snorted. “They always do. Go into the booth and wait. When your vaccinations are updated, you will be permitted to enter.”

As Philip took his hand off the scanner, a disinfectant mist sprayed over its surface.

In the booth, with the door closed, Philip waited patiently. He wondered when those vaccinations had expired. Yesterday he was at the supermarket and they were fine, everything was showing green. He shrugged. It was worth it to visit Grandad. The ones the woman had mentioned probably weren’t expensive, so it wasn’t an issue. He’d need them updated anyway, to be sure his children didn’t get taken into care.

Presently the door opened and a white coated man came in, wearing a bubble helmet and pushing a trolley. He consulted a small tablet.

“Mister Philip Armitage. Boosters for measles, malaria and scrofula, yes?”

“That’s right.” Philip rolled up his sleeve. “I have no idea what those diseases are, you know?”

The man laughed as he filled the first syringe. “Nobody does, because we’re all vaccinated against them. We don’t have to experience them any more.” All three syringes filled, the man rolled the trolley beside Philip. “Well, as long as we are up to date. The unvaccinated can still infect us, of course.”

Philip winced at the first injection. “There can’t be any of the unvaccinated left, surely?”

The man picked up the second syringe. “Sometimes we come across those who won’t update their medications. They have fallen for the conspiracy theories. They are a danger to our safety so they have to be isolated.” He stuck the second needle into Philip’s arm. “But there is nothing to worry about. They are soon removed from the rest of us.”

“Where do they go?”

The man drew a breath. “Isolation camps, I think.” He avoided eye contact as he injected the third vaccine. “Okay, you’re up to date. Your account will be debited for these three shots.” He checked his tablet. “You should be okay for at least three months. Then you’ll be due for flu and chicken pox shots.”

Philip rolled down his sleeve. I wonder how much this will cost. It would have been rude to ask. The vaccines were for everyone’s benefit and you couldn’t put a price on that. He simply thanked the man and returned to the receptionist.

“Hand on the scanner.” She hadn’t improved her public relations skills in the last few minutes, Philip noted.

He placed his hand on the scanner. The woman checked her screen.

“Hm. You’re up to date.” She pressed a buzzer and a door opened beside the reception booth. “Go to visiting room seven. It’s been disinfected.”

“Thank you.” Philip walked through the door, rubbing his arm. These constant injections hurt and sometimes caused fever, but that just proves they are working. That’s what all the doctors say. He walked along to a door with a seven stencilled on to it, pushed it open and entered.

“You’re bloody late,” boomed the voice from the speakers.

Philip dashed to the console and reduced the volume. He smiled through the plexiglass partition. “Sorry, Grandad. I had to have some vaccines updated before they let me in.”

The old man sniffed. “Well it’s not as if I have all the time in the world. I’ll be seventy in three days.”

“I know.” Philip sat in front of the screen. “We’re planning to visit for your birthday. One at a time, of course. That’s the rules.”

His grandfather, Judas Armitage, rubbed his forehead. His hand seemed to rub across his eyes as he lowered it. He took a breath. “You won’t need to. I won’t be here.”

Philip narrowed his eyes. “Grandad? Is something happening to you? Is this why you wanted me to visit today?”

His grandad’s brow furrowed. “So which vaccines did you get today?”

Philip shrugged. “Boosters for measles, malaria and scrofula. Why?”

Grandad shook with laughter. “My parents named me well. I wonder how they knew?” He took a few deep breaths. “Okay. I’m going to tell you things that will horrify you. I’m sorry, Philip, but all this mess is partly my fault.”

“What mess?” Philip shook his head. “Are you going daft in your old age? We’re safer than we’ve ever been. I know you used to work for a vaccine company so you helped the world become this safe. What do you mean, your fault?”

“Just be quiet and listen. Right. First of all, measles vaccine has never needed a booster. Malaria has never been a problem in this part of the world, and as far as I can recall, nobody has had scrofula since the fifteenth century.” He looked into Philip’s eyes. “Scrofula vaccine was my idea.”


“Shush. You won’t be able to tell many people what I’m going to tell you. Maybe there’s nobody left to tell. Maybe, one day, you’ll tell it to one grandchild, the one you trust the most. Just so the knowledge doesn’t die out.”

“Grandad…” Philip stared at the emergency button. Should he call a nurse?

“Don’t even bloody think about pressing that button, boy.” His grandad glared at him. “What I’m telling you is truth and you won’t hear much of that these days.”

Philip sighed and nodded. Grandad was on one of his rants. Best to just let him roll it out, better get it over with today so he’d be okay for his birthday.

Grandad rubbed his face. “Okay. When I worked on vaccines, I was the one who came up with the idea for a scrofula vaccine, among many others. One in particular will haunt me in my grave.” He lowered his head. “I had been talking with the agricultural department and they told me about Marek’s disease.”

“You found a vaccine for it?”

“No. There was already a vaccine. But it wasn’t perfect. Marek’s disease doesn’t affect humans, it’s only a problem in chickens. The vaccine didn’t stop infection but it reduced symptoms in infected birds.”

“We have some like that. They’re…”

“I’m coming to that. The thing is, the leaky vaccine for Marek’s disease led to the development of a very nasty strain of the disease. Vaccinated birds got sick but recovered. Unvaccinated birds almost always died.” Grandad leaned forward. “It meant that all birds had to be vaccinated, forever. It was a permanent income stream with no way to stop it. Do you see?”

Philip’s head swam. “But vaccines stop us getting sick, or at least make it so we don’t die. Aren’t the Pharmers trying to save us?”

“Oh hell no.” Grandad laughed. “The Pharmers are out to make money. It’s business. They don’t want to cure anything. Cured people stop buying drugs.” He took a few minutes to compose himself. “I was one of them. I saw that if we could induce a version of Marek’s disease in humans then we could sell all of them vaccines, forever. If they refused to take it, they’d die. And, with a coronavirus, we did it.”

“You gave humans a chicken disease?”

“No. We made a human disease mutate into something deadly. Using leaky vaccines. Now you have to keep taking six-monthly shots for that one or you risk a quick death from the vicious variant.” Grandad lowered his head. “I am sorry, Phil. Really. None of us saw where this was going to end up. We were only focused on profit.”

Philip pressed his hands to his head. “I don’t get it. Are you saying a vaccine made a disease worse? How is that possible?”

“It’s like this. Take a deadly disease, like say, Ebola. It kills most of the infected and it kills them pretty fast. So it doesn’t spread too far. People soon stay away from the infected area and the infection burns out.” Grandad licked his lips. “Then a pretty harmless one, like a cold. Hardly kills anyone and it’s mostly just a nuisance. Spreads like crazy because it isn’t really doing much harm. People aren’t much bothered about it.”

“Okay. I get it.” He didn’t, but Philip thought it best to play along.

Grandad raised his finger. “So you get a deadly disease like Ebola and vaccinate people, but imperfectly, so they still get it but it feels like a common cold. What do you think happens next?”

Philip shook his head.

Grandad sighed. “You have Ebola that spreads like a cold. The vaccinated survive it, the unvaccinated don’t. Just like Marek’s disease in chickens. You have to keep up your vaccinations or this thing, which you’ve been told is all over the place now because the vaccinated can still carry it, will kill you.”

An uneasy feeling twisted Philip’s guts. He wasn’t sure he understood but somewhere, deep in his subconscious, alarm bells were ringing. “Yes, but as long as we keep up the vaccinations we’re fine, right?”

“Oh sure. That’s the part we thought was pure profit. We didn’t consider politics. It wasn’t our thing.”


Grandad spread his fingers on the table. “It soon escalated. You had to prove you had the coronavirus vaccine. Then you had to prove you had the flu vaccine. Then a whole shitload of other vaccines, including vaccines against things you’d never come in contact with. Then boosters, even for things that didn’t need boosters. Oh we were coining it in. It was great. Until the politicians found the loophole.”

“Um…” Philip considered the emergency button again.

“The politicians figured out how to cut back on pensions and the cost of care for the elderly. Like me. You get to a certain age, you’re no longer productive, you cost money rather than pay in taxes and they can just stop the vaccine and let you die. That is what will happen to me now. I retired at sixty-five. They gave me a few more years because I was one of those who made it possible.” He looked into Philip’s eyes. “Don’t spend money on presents for my birthday.”

“Oh come on Grandad. You don’t believe the government will kill you.”

“Governments have killed their own people since governments were invented.” Grandad leaned forward. “They have killed people who disagreed with them, or who were inconvenient, since the beginning. Sometimes millions. It is still happening. They will kill me in a few days. They will kill you when you are no longer productive. They will not be blamed. It will be blamed on a disease variant from the unvaccinated, even though it actually comes from the vaccinated.” Grandad fell silent, his chin in his chest and his lip trembling.

“Are you okay, Grandad? Should I call a nurse?” Philip leaned closer to the plexiglass screen.

“No. I mean yes. I mean I’m okay. Don’t call the nurses.” Grandad rubbed at his eyes before looking up. He stared right into Philip’s eyes. “It wasn’t all that dangerous, you know. The one we picked. I picked. The others were against it at first but I convinced them, as I did with the ridiculous scrofula vaccine.”

“I don’t understand, Grandad. How did it get so dangerous?”

Grandad bit his lip. “I thought I’d explained that. Maybe I didn’t explain it so well. I guess they stopped teaching many aspects of science years ago, so you wouldn’t figure it out for yourself.” He stretched and settled in his chair. “Most viruses mutate.” He held up his hand to forestall Philip’s response. “I know, that’s what you hear every day and it’s why you need so many vaccines.”

“Isn’t it true?”

“Yes, it is true. Some viruses mutate very fast, they can throw up many new variants in a matter of weeks. Those viruses tend to become less dangerous over time.”

“But—” Philip shook his head. “You said you made one more dangerous.”

“That’s right.” Grandad reached for the glass of water on his table and took a sip. “Normally, natural selection would favour the less dangerous variants. The really bad ones put you in bed for a few weeks, the milder ones just gave you the sniffles. So the milder one spreads very much faster and if you catch the mild one, you’re immune to the vicious one. The vicious one dies out while the mild one stays around.”

Philip closed his eyes. This made sense yet it was the opposite of what he had always been taught. Mutant viruses were always more dangerous – but here was his grandfather, with a lifetime’s knowledge of the subject, telling him the opposite.

“Are you taking this in?” Grandad tapped on the plexiglass. “There isn’t much time to make you understand. These visits are limited, we only have a few minutes more and there won’t be another one.”

“Yes, Grandad. I think so.” Philip opened his eyes. Through the screen, his grandad glowered from beneath bushy white eyebrows.

“Just remember it. You can work it out later when you have time to think.” Grandad composed himself. “Okay. What the Marek’s vaccine did, and what we did, was to create a population who were resistant to the more vicious form. They didn’t get confined to bed, they didn’t feel all that sick at all. So they spread the more vicious variant around. Among themselves it felt like a cold, but when it got into someone unvaccinated, it was deadly.”

Grandad lapsed into silence. Philip wondered if he had fallen asleep but he still sat upright. When he looked up there were tears in his eyes.

“We didn’t mean to kill so many people.” Grandad drew his sleeve across his eyes. “The first round of vaccines caused so many deaths, so many ruined lives. We couldn’t stop. It was too late. The Marek variant of our virus had started to appear and we had no choice but to vaccinate everyone. The vaccines were killing and crippling people but if we stopped, the vaccinated would kill everyone unvaccinated.” He drew a deep breath. “I don’t suppose you are understanding this entirely. I should have started telling you much sooner. Well, it can’t be helped. This is my last chance.”

Philip pressed his hands to his face. “Come on, Grandad. First you say the government is going to kill you and now you’re claiming to be a mass murderer? How can I take this in?”

Grandad shrugged. “Neither was intentional. Obviously we didn’t want people to die. Our only focus was profit from selling medications, and the dead don’t need medications.”

“But you kept going.”

“We had to.” Grandad stared into Phil’s eyes. “Don’t you see? The virus we had forced into existence was running rampant. We thought… we thought it would just need to apply to that one virus. We didn’t consider the politicians and their bosses.”

“Their bosses? I thought the politicians were in charge.”

Grandad snorted. “That would be a story for another time, if we had another time. I’m afraid it’s something you’ll have to find out yourself.” He took another sip of water. “Look. Those ‘boosters’ you just had? Sterile saline. They do nothing. They aren’t needed so why take a risk? We were promised huge profits if we played along and the business I was in has only ever cared about profits.”

Phil felt his arm, where the injections had just gone in. “So I paid for salty water?”

“Yep. And you’ve paid for a lot of it over the years. Only a few vaccines are real now. Most of the ones on that long, long list are made-up crap just to keep you in line, and keep you paying.”

“So I could just stop them all and I’d be fine?” Phil stared at his hand, still holding his arm.

Grandad snorted. “Yes, but you’d have to run. Once the system flags you up as an anti-vaxxer – and you only have to miss a booster for a few days – they will come looking for you. Either you take the booster or you can’t buy anything, can’t pay rent, can’t travel… it’s really not an easy choice to make.”

“So it’s impossible.”

Grandad bit his lip. “No. Quite a few have done it. You’d have to find them and they don’t want to be found. They aren’t in the cities…” His voice faded into silence.

Philip blinked a few times. “They live outside quarantine? How? There’s nothing but scorched earth out there.”

“That’s what you’ve been told. Is any of this sinking in? Almost everything you’ve been told has been lies. There was no global warming catastrophe. Even our Marek variant has become rare. These are not cities, they are prisons, and they are becoming increasingly isolated from each other.” Grandad wiped at his eyes again. “The unvaccinated are the only hope for humanity now. You should take your family on a day trip out of the city and just not come back. Find them. It won’t be easy, our government is hunting them so they are very elusive.”

“Grandad…” Philip shook his head in an attempt to stop it spinning. “You’re turning my world upside down. I can’t take this in. Where are these unvaccinated? Aren’t they all diseased?”

“Of course they’re not diseased. If they were, they’d have died out.” Grandad lowered his generous eyebrows to give his favourite glare again. “They are healthier than any of us. Stronger, fitter, faster. I met some of them, years ago. They invited me to join them but how could I? They would soon have found out who I was and what I had done. I couldn’t live with it.”

“You could have left? But I thought the unvaccinated were all sent into isolation.”

Grandad laughed, long and hard. “Oh yes, they go into the strictest isolation of all if they’re caught. Individual accommodation six feet underground.”

Philip furrowed his brow. “Really? Isn’t that expensive?”

Grandad rolled his eyes. “Coffins, you idiot. They are killed.”

Philip pressed his arms around his midriff. His guts felt as though they were intent on some kind of intestinal origami and he didn’t think he’d like the result. All this information. All the contradictions. He’d expected a nice chat with Grandpa and here he was with his life being torn asunder, his beliefs shredded and his trust in authority demolished. Philip threw his head back and groaned.

“It’s a lot to take in, lad.” Grandad placed his hand on the plexiglass screen. “I really should have started sooner but there never seemed to be a right time. Now you’ll know I’m telling the truth in a few days, when you get the call.”

“What call?”

“You won’t be allowed another visit. Tell your kids Great-Grandad was thinking of them. Tell your sister too, she won’t be allowed in here now either. And I’m sorry, but I’ve forced your hand on this. It’s for the best.”

“What are you talking about?” Philip wondered if Grandad was finally losing his marbles.

“These visits are monitored. Call tomorrow to try to arrange a visit. They’ll tell you I’m too ill for a visit. They’ll be watching you because they know what I’ve just told you. You will have to move, and soon, without arousing suspicion. It’s going to be a hard life for you and your family now.”

“Grandad, you’re rambling. Have you taken your meds today?”

A red light flashed on the ceiling. Grandad stared up at it. “Time’s up. Don’t do anything unusual. Wait for the call.”

“What call?” Philip tapped at the intercom but no sound came out. “Is this thing on?”

Through the screen, Grandad shook his head, slowly. Behind Grandad, a door opened and a nurse in a bubble helmet entered, pushing a wheelchair. Grandad glanced at her and looked back at Philip. He mouthed some words, slowly, then sat in the chair and allowed the nurse to wheel him out.

The lights on Grandad’s side went out. On Philip’s side, a buzzer sounded and the door behind him clicked open.

Philip stood still for a few minutes, staring into the darkened half of the room behind the plexiglass screen. His mind went over Grandad’s last mouthed syllables time and again, but they always returned the same answer.

‘The call that tells you I’ve died’.

Philip left the room in a daze. His life was about to change in ways he could not even conceive, and he had to admit, a part of him welcomed it.


I have been pretty tied up with the Spring anthology. It was a little short on pages – that wouldn’t stop publication but it would mean I couldn’t have the title on the spine. A small thing, I know, but this is the fourteenth and I do like consistency.

I was only around ten pages short. I thought about adding in some photos but meh, that’s obvious padding. In the end, Cade F.O.N Apollyon came to the rescue with an extra story and I found two of mine that had not appeared in previous anthologies. So it’s 140 pages.

All interiors are complete – print and eBook versions – so all that’s left is the cover. I had that all planned out too.

I have a candle in a ceramic skull, a gift from CStM (she knows what I like). The skull’s eyesockets are open and the candle is red. I think you can guess where this is going. Well, I’ve had the candle for a while and was waiting for the right time to light it – and the overall dark theme of this Spring anthology demanded it.

I had underestimated how big this candle really is. It’s going to take a few hours burning before the eyes leak. So that’s where we are – waiting for a candle to burn down to photographic levels.

This is a quick snap. It will of course be on a black backsheet but that’s flammable so I’ll have to watch it all the time. For now it’s safely progressing with nothing flammable around it. Once the eyes start to leak, I set up and start photographing. I hope to have the cover finished tomorrow and that’s really all I’m waiting for now. If I’d realised how long it would take I’d have lit it earlier!

Anyway, the book is complete, just waiting for a candle to burn and we’ll have a cover.

So, we are now to be terrified of the Indian variant of covid. Don’t be ridiculous. It’s running a corner shop or making T shirts somewhere. Seriously though, we are getting reports on absolute numbers, not ‘covid per million’ numbers. India has 1.4 billion people and thousands die every day of things like diarrhoea.

I’m not kidding. Giardia lamblia thrives in the warmer waters there and water purification isn’t a widespread thing. This thing turns your arse into Satan’s shitty power washer and you’ll find it hard to take in water faster than you’re pumping it out. And if your water supply is contaminated, taking in more just makes it worse. Really, for India, covid is having a very small extra effect on top of starvation and filthy water supplies and more.

The India strain is being hyped. It’s no more dangerous than any other and none of them have proved to be any more dangerous than the flu… which has vanished. This is now all about selling vaccines, which is what it has been about all along. Don’t imagine that the Pharmers care about you. They care about making money. Nothing else.

It has become increasingly difficult to find any reliable information on anything at all. There are people saying the mRNA vaccines will integrate into your DNA. This is not possible. It simply cannot happen. The DNA versions, well, maybe. I can’t find any data either way. The RNA ones, not a chance.

There are reports that the vaccinated are shedding spike protein. This is actually quite likely. When you exhale, your breath contains shed cells. If you have a virus, it contains virus particles. The spike protein is even smaller than the virus so if your body is making it then having it come out on your breath is almost guaranteed.

It’s not an intact virus. It can’t infect anyone but it seems (anecdotally) that it can have some effect on those around the vaccinated. At least for a while after vaccination. It’s being blamed for irregular periods in unvaccinated women and some effects in breast fed infants. My advice? Don’t risk it. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, wait until that’s over before considering the vaccine. The manufacturers have stated that they have not tested it on pregnant or breastfeeding women and don’t recommend they take it. Listen to them, not to the NHS who think they can stick this potion into anyone and it’ll be fine. The NHS is lost to the Land of Money and doesn’t care about anything else now. If it ever did.

Then we have the 5G thing. It’s still going. I don’t see how microwaves can affect an infection but I’m keeping an open mind for now. You never know. One thing I am sure of is that microwaves cannot initiate an infection. That requires an infectious agent and no EM radiation can conjure one out of the air. Whether it can trigger a dormant infection, well, I don’t know. There are other issues with short range powerful microwaves, but out here I won’t have to worry too much about those for a long time. We still have copper phone lines.

There is so much more conflicting information to deal with. Later, if I can make any sense of it.

For now, it’s not the vaccines that worry me so much. It’s the religious fervour surrounding them. I have never before been asked if I’ve taken any vaccine and have never asked anyone else. Now it’s like some kind of assimilation juice – if you haven’t had it you are not One Of Us. Well what about tuberculosis? Mumps? Polio? Any of the others? Nobody ever cared. Why now, for something no more dangerous than flu?

I know, if you had the vaccine, you’re happy with the vaccine passport. You think it will only apply to this one, right? You don’t think it will apply to flu or any of the far more dangerous diseases. Just covid. That’s the only one.

I need to publish this book fast. I have a story that tells you where it’s going.

I don’t think you’re going to like it.

Farm Animals

CStM’s choice of book in the previous post seems almost prophetic. The Vaccinators are all set to force the experimental vaccine on children… and then pets.

Found here

My bet is that all of these will need ‘booster shots’. Someone is getting very rich indeed out of all this, and they don’t care at all how the experiment turns out. Well, some have an interest in how it turns out, and they don’t have our best interests at heart.

My bet is that their next target will be livestock. Farm animals. For their protection? Hell no. For profit and for another reason.

Remember the big scare about growth hormones in beef cattle? Then mad cow disease? It put a lot of people off beef. How do you think they’ll react when they find out the experimental vaccine is now in every single piece of meat on every shelf, everywhere? Remember, one of the primary objectives of this insane ‘great reset’ is to stop meat-eating. All meat.

Of course, the vaccine in meat is meaningless. Every living cell contains DNA and mRNA (except red blood cells so black pudding is totally safe). Every one. All animals – and all plants too. Ever hear of anyone suddenly being able to photosynthesise after eating a salad? Of course not. Your digestive system breaks all that DNA and RNA into bits. Your cells can use the bits – the basic blocks are the same – to build its own RNA and DNA. It doesn’t use the genes, just the bits.

The same is true of proteins. These are broken up into amino acids and reassembled into proteins your own body needs. If you are on a low-carb diet, some of that protein is burned for energy too. Eating a sheep does not turn you into a sheep. The education system does that.

As an aside, eating fat doesn’t make you fat. Those fats are broken and mostly used for energy. The fats in your own cells are human fat, made in those cells, mostly from carbohydrates. You do not have a store of beef fat in you.

So I’m not going to be at all concerned about jabbed beef. If cooking doesn’t destroy the vaccine and its products, digestion will. I was never concerned about beef hormones for the same reason.

The mad cow disease was a bit more of a concern since the prions were shown to be heat resistant, but it turned out to be a very rare event with around ten cases a year. Still, all you had to do was avoid the main nervous tissue, brain and spine and although I have eaten cow brain in the past (being a broke student opens all kinds of interesting culinary options) I don’t need to eat that cheaply now. I still like liver though. Very good source of vitamin D and a very nice meal too.

If they can convince you that your pets have covid, it is a tiny step to convince you that farm animals have it. Then they can inject all the farm animals and once those side effects start to really get under way, many, many people will suddenly be too scared to eat meat.

There is a horrifying logic in this plan. It has to fail before they get to children, but then they are already running trials and have already ruined a few little lives before they really started. That won’t stop them. They don’t care.

The ‘vaccines’ are still experimental. They are still only allowed under emergency authorisation and that is in itself already illegal. Covid is not a highly lethal disease and there are effective treatments available. There is no need for these vaccines at all. The authorisation also only applies while there is an emergency. Stop the emergency and they can’t sell any more vaccines, and you know what that means.

Lockdowns are here to stay.

Reading for the soul

Hi everyone, CstM here.
So can we all agree that lockdown is starting to suck massive balls? I’m here panicking, trying to write a blog post, wondering how to act human, since the only socialisation I’ve had outside family and friends is the occasional visit to the pharmacy.

I’ve taken up bird watching. Or a more fitting description, I’ve started semi stalking the local pheasant and his wife. They come to the garden every day to eat the droppings from the bird feeder. We did have a quite fun sighting of a Great Spotted Woodpecker. Well I was there starring into the soul of this poor bird, wondering what the heck kind of bird he was and really, the bird just wanted a bit of privacy so he could eat.

Although it hasn’t all been bad. I’ve started and finished quite a few cross stitching projects and I’ve started a wall of cross stitch.

Well I was talking with Roob and Cade, over from Library of Libraries, and we were talking about how we’d like to read some more. I know I have a big list of books I’d like to read, but I’ve really fallen behind on my reading these past few years.
In an attempt to start reading more and just enjoy books with friends, we came up with the idea of starting a book club.

So I hereby introduce you all to Gloom Dog Book club.
The idea so far is that we’ll read one book a month. I’ll get on here and introduce the book and if you feel like reading along with us, that would be grand.
I have a whole list of upcoming book ideas, but if you have any suggestions feel free to drop it in the comments below.

The first book we’ll read is Animal Farm by George Orwell.

I hope you’ll consider joining us on our reading adventure.
Happy reading!

Curtains for Boris?

Well, while India is being used as the latest excuse for the new lockdowns the government have promised will never happen (just like the vaccine passports they promised would never happen), cases of Covid have pretty much petered out, lockdowns are killing more people than Covid and in Israel, heart issues among the vaccinated under 30s are killing more than the virus ever could, what’s the big news issue of the day?

Boris bought new curtains.

Yes, the Prime Monster had his flat redecorated. Apparently it cost several tens of thousands of pounds. Which is pocket change compared to the billions wasted on this pretend pandemic that could have been halted a year ago with ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine. Instead we have a permanent state of emergency to justify using unlicenced vaccines so a few evil bastards can swell their bank accounts.

There is really no point in getting rid of Boris. He’s not in charge of anything, he’s a puppet and if you oust him he’ll be replaced with a new puppet. Probably a worse one. Gove. Or Hancock. Imagine having one of those psychos in charge.

I don’t give a damn about Boris redecorating. I don’t even care if it was paid for by taxes (it seems it wasn’t, so it’s no issue at all). That redecorating job was as nothing compared to the damage done by lockdowns and the horrors to come.

Oh I don’t mean the vast backlog of untreated diseases the NHS has ignored for over a year. Nor even the plethora of other respiratory diseases caused by continuous mask wearing. No, I’m talking about things like this. This is where it’s heading now. Dehumanisation of the unvaccinated. If you’ve read any history at all you’ll know where that inevitably leads.

Do you remember seeing that with polio vaccine? Hepatitis vaccines? How about tuberculosis? Those were all proper vaccines. This new technology isn’t even preventing spread. It’s also turning the vaccinated into shedders. Yes, it’s now clear that the vaccinated are shedding spike protein and causing issues in the unvaccinated around them. It’s even in Pfizer’s trial notes. So if the vaccinated want to shun me, I’m fine with that.

How long will they be shedding? Nobody knows. Nobody has tested this. Or maybe they have, and have decided on a six month booster shot to keep the game going. I don’t know. I’d guess the mRNA ones won’t last long though. A month or so at most. The DNA ones could last longer.

I keep seeing this statement that the mRNA is tapping into the body’s ‘operating system’. This is because the whole mRNA thing was thought up by a computer geek. It’s not like MS-DOS. It’s more like a factory.

Right. You have the blueprints to make stuff in your factory but if you build on the blueprints directly, you’ll wear them out. So you make a photocopy of the original blueprint and build on that. It wears out, no problem, you can make another copy from the original.

DNA is the blueprint. mRNA is the photocopy. tRNA brings the parts for assembly. This is nothing like a computer operating system, you can’t just reprogam it – but you can hijack the assembly line. Which is what viruses do. It’s also what mRNA vaccines do. They send a fake photocopy to the factory floor. The factory doesn’t know it’s fake, they just follow the instructions.

The fake photocopy, like the genuine ones, will wear out after a few passes through the machinery. Then they’re gone. The DNA vaccines are adding a bit of fake ‘original blueprint’ to the system so it can churn out many more fake mRNA ‘photocopies’. It’s only limited by the stability of that extra DNA. It’s going to last a lot longer than the mRNA. I can’t at this stage even make a guess at how long it’ll be in there.

The vaccinated posing a risk to the unvaccinated is not new. It’s been shown with many other vaccines, including measles.The difference here is that those taking the coronavirus vaccine are not shedding live virus. Just the spike proteins – but that’s enough because the spike proteins are the part of the virus that causes most of the problems, like blood clots, heart issues and more.

More and more issues are coming to light over this now. It will clear itself in time because T cells in the blood will eventually kill all the cells producing the spike proteins, since to the immune system those cells appear to be infected. Then the booster shots will start it all off again.

Basically, it’s not safe for the unvaccinated to be around the vaccinated for at least a few weeks after they get their shots. So if the vaccinated want to shun us, good. We’re better off if they do.

There has also been talk recently of a vaccine that spreads by itself. I don’t think that will get anywhere, even if it works. Years ago, when I worked in probiotics for farm animals (treatments for gut infections in pigs) I suggested that the ideal probiotic would be one you’d feed to one pig, and it would spread through the whole herd.

Someone much more business-savvy than me pointed out that if I succeeded, a big feed company would buy my patent and put it in the back of a filing cabinet somewhere. It would never be used.

Why? Well, selling one dose to one pig on a farm makes no money. Selling a dose for every individual pig makes a fortune. Same with this self-propagating vaccine. If they succeed, the idea will end up at the back of a filing cabinet somewhere, filed under ‘ignore forever’.

Vaccine companies, all health companies, are businesses. They don’t care about you. They are in it for the money. Nothing else.

Keep that in mind and a lot of the weird stuff you see makes a lot more sense.

A new plague?

Book stuff first. The 14th anthology was delayed because I thought I was waiting for one last aurthor contract to come back. If it was the Halloween or Christmas ones I’d have been nagging but the Spring anthology isn’t fixed to a date so I let it ride while working on the cover and interior formatting.

Anyway. Turns out it was in the spam folder all along. So that part’s all done.

It matters because until each aurthor agrees to their contract, I don’t have the right to publish their work. I don’t have copyright to any author’s work, that is always with the author. What I pay for is the right to use their story in the anthology. But I do have to have their agreement. In writing.

At any point up to the agreement, the author can decide ‘nah, I don’t want to be in it’ and withdraw their story. It’s never happened and probably never will but I don’t take the chance. In such an event, even distributing the interior PDF file to the authors, with the withdrawn author’s work in it, would risk legal action. Sure, it’s unlikely to ever happen but if someone wanted to make life miserable for me, they could set up such a scenario.

And since I have been, shall we say, a bit ‘off the narrative’ concerning the current Covid farce and the insanity of the experimental vaccines, there are likely to be those who might try. Far more important people than I will ever be have felt the Wrath of the Woke lately. Paranoia? Maybe. In the world today that’s probably the only safe way to be.

Still. Contracts are all in. I can progress the book. I hope it’s out by the end of April, otherwise I’m really going to regret not calling it ‘The Clotted Bloods of May’.

Now. About this new plague. It looks rather more concerning than Covid at first. So far it seems confined to an area within New Brunswick in Canada and there is no definite clue as to its cause. There have been 47 cases to date.

Symptoms include rapidly progressing dementia, muscle spasms, atrophy and a host of other complications.

It sounds like a beefed-up version of Mad Cow disease. Remember that? That was only producing around ten cases a year (in the UK) and it was a much slower progression of dementia than this. I don’t think it had the spasms and atrophy symptoms either, but it was (is?) a prion disease so there wasn’t much microbiology could do about it.

That one was spread by eating infected meat, especially beef. The prions were fairly heat resistant so could certainly survive in rare beef. As for me, I use my grandmother’s cooking method for most things. If you stick a fork in it and the outside shatters, it’s ready. This applies especially to chicken, for entirely different disease-risk reasons. I cook chicken until you can carve it with a sharp glance.

This new brain disease is still under study. Nobody knows what causes it. At least it hasn’t been claimed as a Covid symptom yet, which is slightly surprising since everything is a Covid symptom now. Including having no symptoms at all. As a smoker, this has been quite a relaxing year. Everything that used to be caused by smoking is now blamed on Covid.

Just heard that it seems the first case was reported in 2015, which cuts down the scariness factor by a lot. Rather than 47 cases in recent months, that means around 8 cases a year. Which is on a par with the old mad cow disease, although this one seems a lot faster and nastier. Still, if it’s stayed confined to one locality for six years, it’s not easily transmissible and is most likely dietary or environmental.

So this isn’t the End Times bug. It’s also not Covid and nothing to do with vaccines. It’s a local problem most likely tied to some local and very specific cuisine or environment. Its appearance now and its reporting as something that has just appeared is going to scare a lot of people.

But then scaring people is all the rage now. Governments are doing it all over the world. That annoys me for one very important reason.

Scaring people is my job.