Smoking, and Schrodinger’s Tyrant

Still waiting to hear from one author, who is ill. I’ll get the rest of the contracts out tomorrow anyway and finish assembling the book and cover so it’s all set to go as soon as I hear. Payments go out after contracts – if you want to be paid in books, it could take a while unless I can get Amazon to send them direct. I still don’t have the cable to fix the car so I still can’t go anywhere. Might buy a moped…

So Kim Jong Un might or might not be dead. Only opening the country and taking a look inside will force his current quantum uncertainty into one state or the other. Just what 2020 needed, uncertainty in a nuclear-armed rogue state. I would say things can’t get worse but the universe just takes that as a challenge these days.

If he is dead, it seems likely his sister will take over. Lots of talk about how pretty she is – and she is – but I see a very harsh mouth and eyes. Kim Jong Undead was/is a tyrant but there were often images of him laughing and smiling. I don’t think I’ve ever seen his sister wear any expression other than ‘the teacher who caught you smoking’. I don’t think North Korea will be more open under her rule. I think she’ll lock it down harder.

On smoking, there is increasing evidence that smokers are less likely to catch the Flu Manchu and have less severe symptoms if they do get it. Why? Several theories have been put forward, it seems that nicotine can block ACE2, a cell surface protein that the virus needs to attach to to get into your cells. This protein is all over the surfaces of your lungs and throat and other organs inside you. If it gets into your blood it can infect non-airway organs too.

One place rich in ACE2 is the testicles, so men have an extra breeding ground for the virus that women don’t have. Might be connected to its higher kill rate among men than women – so, sorry guys, off with them.

I had been wondering how I’d make the jump to a female-drone neutered workforce in Panoptica, and here’s the answer. I wonder if the universe is helping me write that book?

I don’t think the French experiment with patches will work. The patches put nicotine in your bloodstream where it could well have a protective effect on your internal organs – but not your nose, throat or lungs.

The ACE2 receptors the virus uses are on the outside (air side) of respiratory tissue. Those receptors do not come in contact with blood. They’re also on the inside of the tissue, where the blood goes past them, but the virus isn’t coming that way. It’s coming from the air side. You need to block those air-side receptors and you can only do that if the nicotine is in inhaled air or at least in saliva. Might be why Sweden isn’t in lockdown – loads of them use snus and they are antisocial buggers at the best of times anyway. Their extreme politeness extends to hardly ever interacting at all. My bet is most of the cases they have are among migrants. Who, as here, will ignore lockdown instructions anyway.

No doctor would dare suggest anyone take up smoking. They’d be struck off. Even suggesting a lifelong nonsmoker take up vaping would get them hounded out of a job. There is a simple solution.

Nicotine in an asthma inhaler. It would be cheap and likely to be effective and yet there will be massive opposition. So many have been brainwashed with lies about nicotine being a carcinogen, a toxin, addictive… none of that is true. Thanks to the antismokers those lies are deeply ingrained now. Many will refuse this treatment, it’ll be hard as hell to even get approval for a trial, and the WHO will not budge from their position on nicotine. Even if it has the potential to save many thousands of lives.

Antismokers really would let people die rather than give up their crusade. Well it won’t be the smokers or vapers dying, nor even the bulk of nonsmokers who just aren’t bothered about smokers. Those antismokers would take the inhalers. It’ll be their own army of zealots who will suffer so it’s hard to give a shit, really.

Actually, nicotine gum would be better than patches but someone in intensive care isn’t likely to be up for a chewing session. They might not even be conscious. In that case, a nebuliser shooting a dose of nicotine vapour into their oxygen mask might be an option – but it would require a consent form. Which would have to be signed before they get that bad. If they refuse it, then it can’t be used.

Hospitals really don’t want a rash of lawsuits from rabid antismokers whose lives they have just saved. The consent form is essential.

I suspect the French patches study will show some effect on the multiple-organ infections in the really bad cases, but little to no effect in the airways. Antismokers will pounce on this as proof that it’s all rubbish. Maybe those French researchers will realise why it doesn’t work on the airways, maybe they won’t. We’ll have to wait and see.

Meanwhile, I’m lighting up another one.

15 thoughts on “Smoking, and Schrodinger’s Tyrant

      • I remember getting UV treatment in the 1950s, complete with dark goggles, etc. I was diagnosed with asthma at age 4 and had jaundice sometime around then as well. It continued for a few weeks; I never knew if it worked or not.
        This was in Falkirk, a town with 40+ iron foundries, all burning coal, plus a coal-based gasworks producing town gas. I’m still susceptible to sulphur dioxide, although now it comes from sulphite preservatives in things I eat or drink.
        Still, I’ve got to 73, so maybe the UV treatment did work


        Liked by 1 person

        • I have a vague (and possibly wrong) memory that the UV light broke down the yellow pigment that caused jaundice. But bacteria don’t get that nor cause it so it’s a very long way back in my education.


  1. I think the prophylactic benefits of tobacco smoking/vaping should be urgently investigated. If these benefits do exist and are as powerful as they would appear, perhaps there is a case for reopening pubs and bars, but only to smokers and vapers? Obviously some pubs would so value their smoke free status that they would prefer not to. But for those that did, perhaps in time it could be possible to allow non-smokers into unenclosed pub areas and gardens until such time as it is deemed socially responsible to allow them inside?

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Myself I have gone so far as to buy a vape device and try it a little. I am a lifetime non-smoker, but I quite like the vape thing. It is a nice toy but I can certainly take it or leave it, it doesn’t seem at all addictive.

    Nicotine as a pharmaceutical could be brought in fairly rapidly, I would think. All you have to do is brand it as an antiviral, give it a tradename and job done.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I happen to be on Ace2 receptor blockers. The sartan group of medicines. Hypertension and all that. As for Schrodingers tyrant the female of the species is more deadlier than the male. Cf Cruela de vil


    • Depends on how you take the ACE2 blockers. They will block the virus from your internal organs (which is where it starts killing people) but might not affect the ones in your airways.

      Vit D is always a good thing to have in you. So is zinc, which tends to be a bit low in older folk (like me).


  4. Exactly my theory on why smoking rather than patches may work. And I’m thinking of quoting your line about challenging the universe, with due © credit, of course.


  5. Re the jump to a female-drone neutered workforce, may I recommend a read (or reread) of John Wyndham’s excellent novella ‘Consider Her Ways’?

    Meanwhile, I’m amused to see that my sidebar has sprouted an abundant crop of adverts for nicotine pouches/patches – PR departments have clearly jumped off the starting blocks with some rapidity.


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