On Kafka’s furrowed brow

Kafka could not have written this reality. Even he would shake his head in confusion at this.

Boris is still reciting his mantra of ‘you can visit family as long as you only meet in the garden and stay six feet apart and you can’t use the toilet in the house’ while thousands of protestors mob city centres all over the world. From the 15th June we are all to wear masks on public transport, which won’t affect me at all since we don’t have any of that around here. It will have no meaningful effect on anyone else either. Meanwhile tens of thousands have travelled all over the country to attend protests, pick up a viral souvenir and take it home.

In Scotland, the Chief Goblin of the Spiteful Nannying Party has declared we can’t travel more than five miles. Well, sod that. A five mile radius around me is farms and fields, the nearest supermarket is 15 miles, even the nearest pharmacy is 7 miles and the doctor’s surgery is another five miles further on. A five mile radius might get you everything you want in Glasgow or Edinburgh but out here it gets you farms and fields.

Boris has a new trick too. He wants to boost the Green God’s new Church of Climatology. Well, Boris, it is now the sixth of June. Two weeks to midsummer’s day. It is currently 7 degC outside and in the daytime tomorrow it is forecast to reach the giddy heights of 12 degC. This, you tousle-haired arse impressionist, is not warming. Twenty years ago I’d have had every window open by now.

I thought Boris or at least his carer, Demonic Cummings, had some sense. This new obeisance to the Green God has blown that out of the water. The sun is dimming, it’s at the bottom of three cycles at the same time. It’s getting colder. Shutting down your power stations and replacing them with shiny suncatchers and spinning lawn ornaments is exactly the wrong thing to do now. You want to cut emissions without killing large swathes of the population? Nuclear is the way. Lots of small plants rather than a few big ones. Small ones have less risk of meltdown and if one does go wrong, it wouldn’t contaminate the entire country and while it’s closed, the rest of the stations can take up the slack.

Chopping down every CO2-absorbing tree and replacing them with concrete and steel and fibreglass blades and toxic waste is suicide. You won’t be able to power anything at all on a windless night.

Then there is the alleged vaccine for the new Flu Manchu. Well, scientists are concerned…

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Scientists are worried that the virus might disappear before they have a vaccine for it. This, apparently, is bad news. Really. It’s only bad news if you were expecting to make a fortune from a vaccine that nobody now needs. It’s also bad news for those who delight in ultimate control of the population (yes, Wee Nippy, I’m looking at you). For the rest of us, it’s good news.

Flu Manchu is dying, but the restrictions are increasing. The rioting over a career criminal being killed by a dirty cop is on the wane. Only the daftest of the Woke are now kneeling, their replacement displacement activity from clapping on their doorsteps, and it’s time for something new.

Or, perhaps, the resurgence of an already established fearmongering scam.

Yes, we are back to the imaginary ‘global warming’. It’ll do, until the Chinese release another virus.

Waiting for King Charles

That’s all it needs now. King Charles III will preside over much the same mess as the first two. We might need to be saved by another William. Like last time. Fortunately we have one ready to go, and this one isn’t orange.

At least this time we get to skip the James part.

Well, we have all been under pretty vicious restrictions for months. CStM and I can’t shop together and I can’t be trusted to go on my own (trolley full of just the essentials, whisky, power tools and baccy) so we’re getting used to having the shopping delivered. It’s working well so far.

However, nobody can visit a dentist or optician, nobody can get a haircut (none of these bother me all that much) and anyone with a mysterious new lump dare not go to hospital to get it checked. I managed to get the part to fix my car from United Arab Emirates in under a week, the dealership 50 miles away couldn’t get one for a month. And then they wanted me to collect it. It’s the transmission cable, I can’t come and collect it unless I have one. Idiots.

In the face of mounting evidence that hydroxychloroquine is an effective antiviral, the WHO denies it. In the face of mounting evidence that nicotine has a protective effect, the WHO denies it. The WHO also claimed the virus wasn’t a big deal at the start of this, now they inist their vaccine must be mandatory.

Well, now we know that China owns the WHO, it all makes sense.

The pointless protests all over the world make any vaccine irrelevant. In the coming weeks we will know whether the virus is a serious danger or whether it’s all been overblown hype. There are mass gatherings, everywhere, of those who are most likely to be killed by it. If they start dropping like flies then it’s too late for a vaccine. If they don’t then there’s no need for one. The vaccine story is dead in the water.

We can also forget the whole ‘track and trace’ thing. Mass protests make it impossible. How the hell is anyone going to figure out who they came in contact with in all those mass protests? Track and trace is dead in the water.

We now have rules that state you cannot meet your partner indoors if you don’t live together and cannot have sex with anyone who lives outside your home. I wouldn’t do that anyway, she’d kill me. So there are likely to be a few six fingered banjo players in the future. And yet you can go on a rampage and loot a store called Target (not the best choice of name) and that’s all fine and dandy.

People have not been able to be with dying family members in their last moments, nor attend funerals. Couples have been separated for months. These restrictions still apply and yet mass demonstrations, vandalism and violence are allowed. It’s almost as if it’s a deliberate design to provoke uncontrollable fury.

Against who? Let’s not dwell on it. Let’s have an imaginary scenario instead.

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Pure fiction follows. I just made it up.

An experimental bioweapon escapes a lab in China. The Chinese government try to hush it up at first but then realise they can make use of it. So they stop travel between the infected region and the rest of China, but not between the region and the rest of the world. Let it spread awhile.

Their pet WHO plays it down at first, but then the game ramps up. Videos of Chinese people being sealed into their homes. Videos of people just dropping dead in the street. Huge hospitals built in days. Reports of mass cremations.

The West is, naturally, scared shitless and starts getting ready. Huge hospitals built and never used. Nobody dying in the streets. Absolute lockdowns that have made no detectable difference. Economies destroyed. Everyone out clapping like performing seals, wearing pointless masks and now kneeling like trained dogs. Everyone scared of everyone else.

Neighbours snitching like East German Stasi. Police arresting people for sitting on a bench. Supermarkets using customers as chess pieces on the Board of Shame. The virus is dying, it can’t spread. The Plague has failed.

And then, suddenly… mass protests and violence. Over one bad cop in America, one bad cop with a history of being a right arse and getting away with it. No other country can do anything about this and the cop has already been arrested and charged anyway.

It’s not an isolated nor unusual incident. Police violence has been the norm in many countries, including European ones, for a long time. Ask the Gilet Jaunes (who do not loot) in France. Or the protestors (who have never looted anything) in Hong Kong. It is not, and has never been, the norm in the UK. Police stupidity is rife but violence isn’t.

So, you have a bioweapon, released accidentally but you want to make use of it anyway. What do you do?

Stage massive precautions and terror in your own country for the press. Let the rest of the world destroy their livelihoods by following suit. Let them live in terror.

Ah, but the Plague is failing. It’s not spreading any more. What to do?

Pick an incident, any racial incident, and blow it into International Outrage. That will get your targets to mass together and spread the plague once more.

The target? Consider. China has been extremely unpleasant to Muslims. They round them up and put them in camps and ship them around as slave labour. They have also been exceptionally nasty to black people. The virus hits BAME people a lot harder than anyone else. White people are hit less hard but are more likely to be spreaders. The demonstrations are mostly BAME people and their lefty white servants. I’m sure it must be all a coincidence.

By the end of this month we will know one of two things.

Either the virus is deadly, especially to non-whites and they’re all wiped out or…

The virus is all hype and the government’s lockdown and restrictions were all pointless bollocks.

Either way, vaccines and track and trace are pointless now. Lockdown is pointless now. Either way, the governments of the West do not come out looking good.

Either way, China wins this.

Stop that. It’s silly

Some may remember Graham Chapman’s ‘colonel’ character from Monty Python. Another comedy team that wouldn’t be allowed near the airwaves in this time of political correctness, in which people get offended by tea.

He would have had to shout his line ‘Stop that, it’s silly’ until his throat was raw. The human race has, indeed, descended into a pit of stupidity it might never climb out of. Forget about diseases or crashing economies or wars. Humanity is heading into a race of drooling idiots who are offended by the mere presence of all the drooling idiots around them, never noticing the drool on their own chins.

I was in Local Shop on Saturday. My first visit for a month. I had to post a mug and pick up some minor essentials. This little shop has toilet paper, pasta and flour again. Any kind of flour you want. I can’t remember the last time I saw a not-empty flour shelf in any shop. Somewhere there are people with stacks of flour, pasta and toilet paper, all just waiting for the mice, mould and flies of summer to ruin the lot. We didn’t stock up with anything and didn’t run out of anything – but then we live far away from civilisation so tend to have a few weeks’ worth anyway.

You would think that people, especially the British, would now look at those immense stacks of pointless stocks and think ‘Well, we have been a bit silly. Let’s calm down and try not to do it again’.

No. Now they are arguing over masks. One side says nobody should wear a mask ever, the other says everyone has to wear one all the time. Which side is right? As is always the case, neither. Oh, and there are regular spam emails trying to sell overpriced cloth masks that won’t do a damn thing.

Actually that’s not true. Wearing a cloth mask all day virtually guarantees a repiratory infection. Medical masks have a hydrophobic layer because every exhalation carries a load of water vapour. The hydrophobic layer means the condensation resulting from that breath does not leave you with a damp mask over your face. Also, medics do not keep the mask on all day and they don’t put the same one on all the time.

A cloth mask will gradually get damp as you breathe through it. It won’t stop a virus. You might as well wear a sieve. What it will do is provide a damp environment, warmed by your face, that will delight any airborne bacteria or fungal spores that land on it. Keep that on for hours, let the populations grow, and inhale all those lovely infections. You’re going to feel a bit silly when you’re stuck in hospital with a fungal or bacterial infection caused by your futile attempt to stop a virus.

Those masks are to make you feel better about having other people around. That is all they achieve. They also achieve increased CO2 rebreathing, restricted oxygen intake, and a risk of other kinds of infection. All while doing sod all to stop a virus.

Okay, getting hold of proper medical masks isn’t going to be easy. If everyone stocked up we’d have the flour, pasta and toilet roll situation all over again (which I fully expect is happeneing now). Even the medical masks won’t stop a virus, which is why everyone wants an N95 mask.

However, N95 masks have to be properly fitted and they are, due to their fine pore size, hellish hard to breathe through. Keep that on all day and you’re going to pass out from CO2 toxicity long before you have to worry about any kind of infection.

Right, so let’s say a cloth mask is all you can get. You must get more than one and they must be washable. Minimum 60C wash. Forget about the bloody virus, the detergent will kill that at 30C. What you are trying to kill are the bacteria and fungi that your mask has been collecting while you wear it and you need at least a 60C wash for that. So no masks made of fleece that won’t survive a 60C wash.

Only wear it when you are around other people – and not the people you live with, it’s too late to worry about that now. Take it off whenever you are alone. Do not wear a mask of any kind when driving, there is a real danger of wooziness due to rebreathing CO2 which means you can’t concentrate. The virus cannot penetrate your windshield, trust me on that one.

If I am forced to wear a mask in a shop I will put it on when I go in and it’ll be straight off when I come out. Not that I’m likely to be visiting many shops, since CStM and I cannot shop together at the moment and we’re quite enjoying having the shopping delivered. Supermarkets are not likely to be much fun for a long time yet either.

Put the mask in the wash after ONE day of use. No, it is not okay to use it for three days in a row, those bacteria and fungi are still growing while it’s hung on a hook in your centrally heated home. Next day’s outing will add more. You need at least two masks so you can have one washed and drying and the other ready in case you want to go to the shops again.

If you are in a car alone or with members of your household you do not need a mask. The driver absolutely must not have one on. If you are cycling or running about in the countryside, well away from everyone, you do not need a mask and should not wear one. If you pass out, who’s going to find you?

Look at your memories of being in hospital. Admittedly I don’t have many of those but in the few I do have, none of the medical staff wore masks. Not the doctors, not the nurses and certainly not the patients. Masks were for surgery, and their purpose was to avoid contamination of an open wound by anything breathed out by the surgeon.

Suddenly everyone in hospital is wearing them. There was never any ‘PPE shortage’. Hospitals were stocked on the basis of normal use, not on the basis of every bugger in there wanting one. Stocks were not low. They were depleted rapidly because of a surge in demand. Restocking was hampered by that surge in demand happening in a hundred countries at the same time.

I could make a virus-stopping mask but I’m not really seeing the point any more. Well, I’m a special case I suppose, I have never really interacted with people very much and live where they can’t find me. If you live in a big city you can’t avoid that interaction. You also cannot escape the virus. Many of you have already had it, it can range from a cold to a really bad flu, but not many of you needed hospital treatment.

Not wearing a mask is about to become the New Smoking. They will point and scream at you, some shops will refuse entry, you’ll get nagged and harassed every chance they get, they will try to shame you because you are not one of the herd. You will need one, but do not wear it all the time. Especially if you have asthma or any kind of lung condition or have just recovered from any lung infection of any kind. That mask will restrict your breathing no matter what it’s made of and if your lungs are already struggling it will make that worse.

The mask is futile. Even N95, if you aren’t trained in its use. I note that all the mask wearers wear no eye protection even though we have known from the outset that this virus can get in that way. Yet it’s all about the mask.

There is no mention of taking supplemental vitamins C and D and zinc supplements. Watch it with the zinc, extended use can lead to anaemia but taking it for a few months while this nonsense rages won’t harm you. Vitamin D is cheap, and an orange a day will get you nicely loaded with vitamin C. Oh, I might get some Haliborange. I remember that from childhood, it was the only medicine that tasted like sweets. All these things help against a wide range of viruses and other ailments. As does being a miserable antisocial swine, but that’s just me.

Hydroxychloroquine… well, there are almost no lupus sufferers in the hospitals. That’s the drug routinely used to treat lupus. It does work although I’d only take it under medical supervision. For most people it’s fine but some do get an allergic reaction to it. You can get some quinine into you with a small daily glass of tonic water. Proper tonic water, not this modern trendy ‘no quinine’ shite. That’s why tonic water exists – gin and tonic was originally designed to get quinine into the Brits who had moved in on countries where malaria was endemic.

However, the mask is the new polarisation. Some see it as an oppressive thing, others see it as the only thing that will save humanity. It is neither. It is a fad, a sop to the terrified, a feel good farce. It will not protect you and will not protect anyone around you. And yet, if you are seen without one you will be treated as smokers have been treated for years.

The amusing part is that smokers, like lupus sufferers, are hugely underrepresented in hospitalisations from Flu Manchu. Nicotine is also protective and you don’t even have to smoke it. Several places are trialling nicotine patches as a treatment. I find this hilarious because it’s rather like this…

Smokers are excluded from most places now, places where everyone else gathers to spread their diseases. It’s just the icing on the cake to find that nicotine is the preventative they will all refuse to take.

If I have to go somewhere where masks are compulsory I will wear one, but it will not be a standard medical mask. I have a plague doctor mask and several ‘Are you my mummy?‘ style gas masks. I will only wear one where it is compulsory. While I could potentially make a virus-proof mask I no longer see the need. The virus has turned out to be far less dangerous than it’s been hyped up to be, although it could still be an issue in highly populated cities. It’s all about the percentages. If, say, ten percent need to go to hospital, then ten percent out here is a lot less than ten percent of London.

But still, if I have to wear a mask, it will not be a medical one, it will be outrageous. It will be scary and yes, I will have to hype up the scariness. Can’t help it, it’s what I do. I might even put a pointless posy in that plague doctor mask, just as in the old days. What the hell, they’re already primed for a scare. I just can’t let that pass.

There is no point telling people they are being silly. They are too scared to accept it. They have to be shown just how silly it all is and they have to realise it for themselves. Before it’s too late, before they hand their lives over to total control because there will be no way back from that.

How silly has it all become? Well, this is a modern baptism…

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I think it needs a clay pigeon launcher. The priest gets one shot and if he misses, the child belongs to Satan. If you’re going to be scared, let’s take it all the way, eh?

The Easy Terror

Okay, first off, I have finally completed Tales From Loch Doon, every author who wanted cash has been paid and books are (slowly) making their way to those who wanted books. Amazon are prioritising ‘essentials’ and print books aren’t essential. They might take a week or so to arrive.

I went with the lighter cover image, did some meddling to sharpen it and (hopefully, I haven’t seen a print copy yet) make it more dramatic. There some little things in there to find, naturally 😉

Okay. I can now get back to Panoptica and the other books waiting in line. I can also stop banging on about Loch Doon. It’s complete.

So what’s the scariest thing I’ve written? What I hear most about is things like ‘The Hand that Feeds’ (goblins in a dishwasher), ‘Telephone Pest’ (demonic spirits spread through silent phone calls) and the preamble stories for Panoptica.

Nobody is scared of stories about wild-eyed demons or ghosts or zombies or vampires. Those are entertainment. It’s when you take the ordinary and everyday stuff and turn it on its head – that’s when people start checking under the bed and behind the sofa, and sleep with the lights on. The ordinary is the place where the easy terrors lurk.

So it is with the Flu Manchu. We now hear that it might be in the water supply. Apparently Boris says so, so all the already-terrified drones will believe it.

Well… no. It is not in the water supply. I am certain. Absolutely definitely certain. If it is anywhere it’s in the bottled water the drones will buy to avoid drinking from the tap, but really it’s not in there either.

That won’t stop me scaring them shitless about it, of course. I haven’t been able to leave the house for nearly a month now and I miss that direct interaction with people, and watching the colour drain from their faces.

The only way it would get into water is through faecal contamination. If your water comes from a reservoir, it had bird shit, fish shit, insect shit and all the fox and badger and everything else shit washed off the surrounding banks going into it. There’ll also be quite a few dead things in there, rotting away nicely and making your drinking water into dead-thing-and-poo soup.That’s why you don’t just dip a cup into a reservoir.

When it comes out of the tap, all the nasties are gone. The processing plant has cleaned them all out. We know this because drinking water is tested. One of those tests is for faecal contamination and that involves looking for Escherichia coli. Why that one? It’s only found in guts so if it’s in the water, there’s shit in the water. If it’s absent then we can be reasonably sure there’s no shit in the water. There are other tests too, quite a few, but if the processing is working correctly the water will pass them all.

So what makes this virus so special that it can withstand processing? Nothing. Nothing at all. It can’t. It’s not the Johnny Bravo of the microbial world. It will not get past the processing plant even if it gets into the water in the first place.

If it did, then so can everything else and you’d already be shitting water through every orifice from all the nasties you’d pick up.

Bottled water is also processed and tested. It’s not bottled by an unwashed hippy dipping bottles into a stream, you know. Any kind of foodstuff/drink on sale has been tested for safety unless you’re into eating raw bats you got from a dodgy blood-soaked madman. No safety tests, no sale. The suppliers want to see and keep documentation of the tests, otherwise they’d be liable too.

A long time ago, I was actually involved in food and drink testing. It’s not something you can be casual about. Wrongly reporting something as safe means an outbreak of food poisoning and it’s your fault. Wrongly reporting something as contaminated means a massively expensive recall operation – and that’s also your fault. Believe me, the labs doing these tests are careful.

Town water is chlorinated to make absolutely sure it’s safe to drink. Out here, it isn’t chlorinated – but it goes through two filters and a sealed UV blaster so it’s safe to drink right from the tap. Without chlorine. That’s because the water treatment plant is in the utility room so the treated water doesn’t have to travel far. If it was my personal well I’d be allowed to risk it, but since the landlord is supplying tenants, he can’t. The filters and UV are changed every year and the water gets tested.

The virus is not in the water supply. If you are still scared, boil the water first. The virus will not survive that. It cannot live inside your kettle either.

I don’t blame Boris for this scare story. He has no background in science, much less in microbiology or water treatment and supply. Someone has fed him this scaremongering bollocks and he probably thinks he’s doing us a favour by passing it on.

All it is doing is adding to the fear. Don’t fall for it.

The Fall of the House of Covid

Many are trying to prevent it, until they can make either capital or political gain out of it, but it’s going to happen anyway.

This virus is going to kill people and it will keep killing people for quite some time. This cannot be prevented, no matter how hard you shout at and villify the current or any future government. It’s a virus. You cannot just make a law against it and expect it to comply.

It now seems that the ‘reinfection’ that has been widely talked about is just false positives. PCR is ‘polymerase chain reaction’, and put simply, if you have a tiny bit of DNA or RNA, the machinery will make many more copies of it until it’s at a high enough concentration to be detected and analysed. I’m not going into the details, if you’re not a microbiologist it’ll just make your eyes cloud over. Science is repetetive and fairly boring most of the time, every scientist knows that.

When I worked in food borne disease, food poisoning and food spoilage, there was often talk of ‘making it modern’ by using PCR. However, PCR has a major flaw in that application. It detects DNA. Sure, it’s more sensitive than our culture methods but our culture methods do not detect dead cells. PCR does. It detects fragments of DNA and RNA, It will detect the remnants of one single Salmonella in a piece of chicken but it will not tell you if the chicken was rife with disease or if there was just a fragment of one dead cell on it. Culture tells you if they are alive.

So it is with a virus. Remaining fragments of dead virus could be hanging around in the mess it’s left behind after it’s gone. After infection (and by all accounts this one makes quite a mess of your airways especially if it gets bad enough to need hospitalisation) there are going to be a lot of your smashed cells, and virus bits, strewn across the battlefield of your airways.

If reinfection happened then those reinfected would get sick again. If they don’t (and it appears they don’t) then it’s probably just battlefield residue the test is picking up. PCR cannot distinguish between active and dead and it will detect extraordinarily tiny amounts..

Think of it like an actual battle where your side has killed every last enemy, but your generals see the prone uniforms and insist the enemy is still there and you have to keep firing. That’s a PCR test. A culture test would ask ‘are they still firing back?’ A PCR test does not.

So currently it is likely that you get immunity after suffering this virus. Well, you might not suffer, you might not even know you had it, but a test will show its presence even if your immune system has already smashed it. Something else to add to the ‘tests are pointless’ list. An antibody test is more useful, it will test whether you have immunity.

There is a treatment. A cheap one. Hydroxychloroquine, antibiotic and zinc. It has been poo-pooed because Trump said it and also because it doesn’t make anyone rich. You really want to stake your life on your ideology? Hydroxychloroquine is an old antimalarial drug that has become a generic. It’s very, very cheap. Many, many people who travel to malaria risk countries use it every year. A few develop side effects, but then some people suffer an allergy to tonic water. Most people are fine.

There is also an expensive treatment, an antiviral that costs $1000 per pill. That’s the one being pushed by those who will profit from it.

Zinc sulphate supplements are very cheap. Zinc is often depleted in older people and worth stocking up on. It helps with wound healing and breaks cytokine storms. Long term use of the supplement can cause anaemia so it’s really only something we old buggers should take when there’s a risk.

With all this, a lot of people will still die. It’s horrible but it will happen, no matter what we do. None of us will live forever, under any government or health regime. Life is a risk every day. If there is no risk, it’s not life. It’s just existing.

The ‘flatten the curve’ idea behind lockdown led many to believe that this would save lives. It will and it won’t. The area under the two curves is the same. Same number of infections from this virus, same number of deaths. Flattening the curve means the medical side won’t get overwhelmed over a short period so they can cope. That means we avoid excess deaths due to an overstretched health service and won’t have to ignore all other diseases while the virus runs its course. Something the NHS has only just started to realise.

There has been much criticism of the Nightingale hospitals having few to no patients. If we had not had the lockdown they would likely be overflowing. This is not touted as a ‘success of lockdown’ but as a ‘failure of government’.

China hid away the virus for so long they had to quickly make emergency hospitals out of stacked portakabins. Italy had no time to prepare so they were overwhelmed. The UK saw it coming and prepared Nightingale hospitals before they were needed (they still might be) and the USA has made the mistake of dismantling some of their temporary hospitals before this is over.

Lockdown, in my view, was done at the right time. Boris didn’t want to do it at all and many people, even those who don’t want to admit it, wish he hadn’t.

If he had done it sooner, as hysterical toddlers like Piers Morgan say, people would have looked around and said ‘Fuck all is happening, this is silly’ and it would have failed in a week. Now he is being villified for doing it too late by people who are already going stir crazy and claiming the lack of mass graves proves they are right.

The lack of mass graves proves Boris was right. This lockdown hits the poorest hardest, those who only get paid when they show up for work. I am astounded that many places are laying off cleaners in a time when cleanliness is vital but then people, especially managers, aren’t too bright. That’s why Boris didn’t want to do it. He was railroaded into it by those who are now complaining about it.

Lockdown cannot be sustained for much longer. I give it another week at most. Boris knew this. The Brits will not be contained for long. The Americans, even less so. However, it has achieved its aim – to slow the spread so there is no massive peak as in China and Italy. When lockdown is relaxed the virus will spread but we now have all those emergency spare hospitals to deal with it. We have had time to stock up on PPE. They have, you know. The Panorama thing was bollocks. It was, like most things on the BBC, a Leftie hate-fest. It’s not even the government’s job to source PPE, it’s the job of the thousands of idiots paid to be NHS procurement managers. Most of whom are lefties too.

People are dying not because of Boris and the Tories (could be a good band name) but because of the lefties who care nothing for lives lost as long as they can make a point. Who would you trust with your life in this situation? Happy to become a statistic so the Lefties can bring down the government?

Then we have nicotine. You know, it’s a good thing ASH and their ilk weren’t around long ago or you would not now have niacin in bread and most of you would be suffering pellagra. I have delighted in telling people that niacin is nicotinic acid and that it’s in bread and other foods to get them addicted. Doing my bit to raise the average IQ of the planet.

It looks like nicotine, an ACE2 blocker, reduces your chances of catching the virus and makes it less bad if you do. It needs research but who would dare? Any research suggesting a positive effect of nicotine and the Puritans will end your career.

We need to know if this is true, we need to know how long nicotine blocks those receptors, do we have to take it hourly or daily? Should we all be vaping or using Snus? Which is best, does it work at all?

I have a feeling we will never know because the Puritans would rather we died than admit they are wrong.

Viral smokiness

I’m seeing a lot of reports that smokers and vapers are very under-represented in cases of the new virus. I haven’t seen solid studies yet, just admissions/deaths numbers but then there really hasn’t been time to study mechanisms in detail.

There are a lot of possible mechanisms. It seems regular intake of nicotine represses a protein called ACE2. I’m not going to bore you with biochemistry, suffice to say that this is a cell surface protein that has a few jobs to do, but it’s also the one Flu Manchu attaches to when attacking cells. So, cells that have a lot of this protein are highly susceptible to the virus.

If it is reduced in nicotine users then those using nicotine patches and gum long term should also show a protective effect. I haven’t seen any data at all on that though. If it does turn out that patches and gum have an effect then nonsmokers don’t need to take up smoking. During flu season, slap on a nicotine patch.

Of course, that route has been effectively blocked by Public Health, who have spent years convincing the gullible that nicotine is harmful, carcinogenic and addictive. It is none of those things but the public won’t believe that now and I have long given up arguing with the indoctrinated. ‘Harmful’ and ‘carcinogenic’ can be applied to other chemicals in smoke just as well as they can be applied to the chemicals in vehicle exhausts. Nicotine plays no role in any of those things.

There are, of course, other, potentially simpler reasons why smokers are under-represented in the current Mao Tse Lung outbreak. Smokers, long term ones anyway, tend to cough quite a bit. Often with phlegm, which will make it harder for a virus to get in. Viruses can’t swim, they have no motive power at all, they just go where the wind takes them. If they get stuck in mucus and coughed back out, they can’t get you. Also, an infected cell releasing new viruses into a layer of phlegm will slow the infection of neighbouring cells and give the immune system a better chance of dealing with it.

Then there is the whole social isolation thing. Smokers have been ostracised harder and harder for many years and really, a lot of people stay well away from us anyway due to the ridiculous fearmongering around second and third and nine hundredth hand smoke. Our social lives have been so curtailed that we must surely be at far lower risk of catching anything at all.

Incidentally, Amnesty International have been on social media to declare that calling it ‘the Chinese virus’ is racist. I’m sure they won’t like the names I’ve been calling it. However, having now seen multiple instances of black people in China being evicted, turned away from shops, turned away from hospitals when in labour, and not a peep from the Champions of Anti-Racism, Amnesty can go in the same bin as the WHO, UN and Public Health. They have all proved themselves as useless as the EU in this outbreak. Just nannying and virtue signalling and pushing agendas. ‘Never mind the sick people, this is our chance to get what we want.’

Quite a few organisations are showing their true faces now. The Masque of the Red Death (I’d make it a competition but can’t get to a post office anyway) did that too, and the title seems appropriate here.

There has been a sudden switch from ‘Ban all face coverings’ to ‘Cover all faces’, hasn’t there? I need a mask with a cigarette sized hole in it, is that allowed? I doubt it. Anyway, if you have to make your own masks, get some hoover bags. The HEPA ones, they look like white cloth, are best although the paper ones will do at a pinch. Cut those up to make a layer in the mask, they are not quite as good as N95 but pretty close. Oh and don’t forget the salt-encrusted cloth layer. It’s in several earlier posts.

If you have a gas mask or spray paint mask or one of those rubber dust masks with filters in it, you can replace the filters with the HEPA layer and salt layer. Make sure there are no gaps.

Oh, and getting back to racism because ma, papa, we’re all racists now (that would have been too easy for a competition), the Mayor of London, Napoleon something, has declared that because BAME people are disproportionally represented in infection rates, there must be something racist going on. It can’t just be that they are ignoring lockdown and social distancing rules, someone has to be to blame. Someone white and male, naturally. Well, viruses have no gender and since they are smaller than the wavelength of visible light, they have no colour either. Good luck accusing them of racism.

Maybe it’s those BAME gatherings that are behind their enhanced infection rate.

Or maybe they just didn’t smoke enough.

The Public Image

For at least two of the emergency services, it’s not looking good.

Every day another group of police do something totally stupid, get filmed doing it and end up online. Sometimes they even put it online themselves – such as the police chief threatening to search your shopping for ‘non essential items’ and another police force using a drone to ‘shame’ people way out in the countryside who are so socially distant they can’t even see each other.

So what’s a non essential item? Booze and tobacco? Right, anyone claiming these are non essential items should be locked in a room for 24 hours with a 60 a day smoker who has no tobacco. I bet they won’t last the first hour in there.

The police are not qualified to decide what is and is not essential. I could live quite happily without chocolate, some people will leave claw marks in the walls after a few days without it. Ice cream? What if you have a raging sore throat and that’s all you can eat? What is essential depends on the individual, not some random rozzer’s personal preferences. Every single case of police stupidity has resulted in the police having to apologise and in a few cases, even triggered a response from the Home Secretary to the effect of ‘Look, don’t be utter dicks, okay?’.

There is worse though. The NHS.

Every day there are videos of nurses with their faces chafed by N95 masks (those things are a tight fit and if it’s on all day every day, expect blisters) telling us how they are exhausted and are watching someone die every day.

Then we have video after video of doctors and nurses in full PPE (allegedly scarce) doing dance routines in empty hospitals. Okay, I’m sure they think it’s a bit of fun but to those getting fined for sitting on a park bench, it just feels like taunting. Surely you can see that?

There are people raising money for the NHS who have no idea how much it will burn through per hour. They mean well, and good for them, they are trying to help. But then they see those doctors and nurses just doing the jiggly-butt in the corridors while wearing the very PPE they are raising money to supply to the NHS. It is, frankly, fucking sickening.

Look, I understand why we have these measures in place. This virus will not kill more than the regular flu viruses, but because of its long incubation period it has the potential to hospitalise a hell of a lot of people all at once. Not like flu, which puts a strain on hospitals over a period of months. This could cause total collapse of the health system over a few weeks. As seen in Italy and if there was a trace of honour and integrity left in the Chinese Communist Party, in China.

I’ve been to China. A long time ago, don’t panic. They are a very honourable people. It matters to them what other people think of them. Their government are a bunch of arseholes though, they care nothing for anyone but themselves. Many Chinese people have said so online and then they vanish. That is Communism. Real socialism. If you want it, boys, get it here thing.

So yes, we need to slow it. The total death toll will not change, that cannot be changed and is not the point. The point is to keep the rate of infection to where the NHS can cope with it so we don’t end up with doctors having to decide who can and cannot have a ventilator.

In the lead-in, sure, hospitals will be quiet. But come on, NHS, those dance videos are just taking the piss. It smacks of ‘Look, you fuckers aren’t bothering us any more, we have time to play now’ and that is really, really not a good look.

The police are already fucked by the cretins in their ranks. Let’s try to not fuck up the NHS too.

What do you say, medics?

____

There is a very old song reference in there, if you can find it and tell me artist, album and the right part of the song you get a Leg Iron Books mug. I might not get to the post office for a while though. Hint: It’s not the blogpost title.

A new theory

It’s clear that pretty much everyone who died from the Flu Manchu had a serious underlying condition. Those who the news claimed had no other illness all later turned out to have an undiagnosed illness. It is indeed possible to have heart problems or diabetes or many other things without realising it. Naturally, if it’s severe you’ll notice it but many conditions can be a long way down the road of developing before they really hit you.

Several things seemed strange though. Why is a respiratory virus causing multiple organ failure? Why are those with diabetes getting hit really hard? Why does blood type seem to matter? Why is it acting like a septicaemia when it’s really a kind of flu? Why on Earth would an anti-malaria drug work?

It has absolutely devastated the lungs of those it has killed. Not just normal pneumonia, it’s shredded the lungs entirely. How can it go so much further than even swine flu or SARS?

Well, this might help explain it. I haven’t yet found the original studies he refers to, there are no references on the article and it is on a site that does not fact-check what people put on there so I’m going to call it a hypothesis. One that really should be tested, but it’s certainly plausible.

Basically, it says that the virus proteins mess up haemoglobin and release the iron from them. This isn’t just iron, it’s a positively charged ion, a very dangerous thing to have in your body in large amounts. However, it has to be there because that’s how haemoglobin transports oxygen. So, the iron is encased in the haemoglobin molecule in such a way that it can catch oxygen but cannot go all free-radical on the rest of your body.

Some of the virus surface proteins react with haemoglobin and break it so the reactive iron atom is released. In amounts too large for the body’s defences to deal with. It isn’t part of the virus’ ‘plan’, it’s not useful to the virus, it appears to be accidental.

This reactive iron is what wrecks the lungs. Then you also have red blood cells that can’t carry oxygen no matter how well ventilated you are. Multiple organ failure is then inevitable. Also, any blood/circulation-linked underlying condition is only going to make it worse.

There is no malaria vaccine. If you are travelling to a malaria-risk country, you take the malaria tablets daily for a month before you go, while you’re there, and for a couple of weeks when you get back. It does not produce antibodies, it blocks the parasite’s access to haemoglobin. This is not a permanent solution, you have to build it up and keep topping it up until the risk has passed.

Since it blocks access to haemoglobin, it seems it does the same to the virus proteins.

As for the blood type, well, it seems malaria has the same response as the virus. Blood group O is safest, group A is most at risk. There has not been time to sequence the virus proteins, maybe nobody has thought to do that yet, but if they are indeed the RIFIN proteins from malaria then this virus will look very much engineered. It would be one coincidence too many.

The first article linked to does point out that the reason so many news outlets and lefties want to disparage the hydroxychloroquine treatment is because Trump said it would work. Even though nobody on the planet believes he worked it out himself. I can believe that because the world, especially politics, really has become that petty. There are also deeper reasons involving (as usual) money and control.

Pharmers are working on a vaccine, the Billy Gates Gruff has seen this as an opportunity for his long-drooled-over ‘chip everyone’ scheme, the communists see it as an opportunity to end capitalism, the Kissinger (yes, he’s still alive!) has already pushed for a one world government to deal with it, Piers ‘I’ll scweam and scweam until I’m thick’ Morgan wants to bring back every failed Prime Monster, the Greens want to install this, the tobacco controllers want to take the opportunity to ban vaping and smoking (even though it has been shown that smoking/vaping has no effect on catching or getting sick from this virus) and the Temperance Loonies are trying to use it to ban alcohol.

If there is a cheap, simple cure for this virus, all of that and more falls apart. So there is a hell of a lot of resistance to this cure.

Doctors, meanwhile, are saying it works. I’m going with the doctors.

Hysteriavirus

Does anyone remember necrotising fasciitis? An absolutely horrible disease that runs, very fast, under your skin using the lymphatic system. The only hope you had was to be literally skinned alive and face months of skin grafts afterwards – and that’s only if you survived it. It killed in a matter of hours once it took off so very early diagnosis was absolutely essential.

That was a bacterium. Antibiotics would work but you just didn’t have time for tests. It would take a couple of days to work out the best antibiotic and you’d be dead by then. There were tales of people literally dissolving on train journeys. Which never happened, of course.

That disease was a rare one and killed a total of eight people one year. The media frenzy was astonishing. People genuinely believed they would melt on the way to work.

Then we had swine flu, Ebola, and so many others that were going to end the human race and somehow didn’t.

Now we have coronavirus. It’s a virus. Antibiotics will do nothing at all to it. Antibiotics work by messing up some aspect of cell metabolism and viruses have no metabolism. There’s also no vaccine because there are so many variants. Basically, if it gets in, you have an infection.

This latest one started in China. It’s now global. This, like all the other infections blamed on climate change, has nothing at all to do with climate change. It has everything to do with modern human mobility – and no, I definitely do not advocate us returning to the horse and cart mode of transport.

It’s even appeared in Scotland. I live in Scotland. Am I terrified? Nah. I’m a smoker and a drinker and if you believe the hype, those things each give me a 50% chance of dying from them so I’m doomed anyway. This latest coronavirus is killing 3% of those that catch it. It’s an amateur. Diptheria, typhoid fever, many other currently extant diseases are laughing at it.

Oh I know it’s cold comfort if you happen to be one of the 3% but you know, you’re much more likely to be one of the 97% who catch it and survive.

Even more likely to be one of the very many who never get it at all. Like all these terrible pandemics, it’s being hyped as the End of Humanity. I doubt any other species on the planet takes such delight in imagining themselves being eradicated from existence. Still, as a horror writer, it’s a useful trait to have in the audience.

There are many videos of people wearing dust masks in the streets. Viruses are not dust. Viruses are so small you can’t see them with a microscope because they are smaller than the wavelengths of visible light. A dust mask, to a virus, is like driving a truck into the mouth of a large volcano. It’s not even going to touch the sides. Those dust masks serve only one purpose – to make people think they are safe.

Of course, you can’t provide people with filter masks that could stop viruses. The holes in the filter would be so small you would have trouble breathing through them. What you need is a multi-layer filter which would still not be perfect but which would be a hell of a lot better. A fluted, deep multi-layer filter fitted into a rubber mask that covers your nose and mouth would be the best thing here.

You know. The sort of thing an ex-microbiologist who’s spent a career working with pathogens and who has recently closed his lab might have lying about in his shed 😉

It’s a little sobering to recall that I visited China almost 30 years ago. It was work, not a holiday, so I was treated to genuine backstreet Chinese restaurants. When I came back, after ten days, I had lost ten pounds in weight and was, for one of the few times in my life, actually pretty trim.

Was I sick from the food? No. The food was wonderful. Not at all like the Westernised junk we get here. I lost weight because of the Chinese way of eating. The food is on plates on a lazy-susan in the centre of the table and all you ever have on the tiny plate in front of you is what you are about to eat right now. You stop when you’ve had enough. There is no mound of food on a plate that you have to clear. You take a little bit at a time.

Okay, some of the food was a bit strange. I tried it all anyway, even dog. Yes, I had to take rabies shots before going to China and they were pointless. They’d eaten all the dogs.

Of course, dogs aren’t the only carriers of rabies. Bats are another potent source. But I didn’t get offered bat, fortunately. Nor was I offered live baby rat nor the still-writhing remains of a squid. I have eaten most things, even steak cheval (in France) but bats, rats and the still wriggling seafood would have been a challenge.

I did manage to disgust them by eating a raw garlic clove and telling them what was in haggis. Yes, I managed to eat something that made the Chinese go ‘Ewww!’ I should have that on my gravestone, I think.

Now we are regaled by images of a Chinese man eating live baby rats and the tale of a Chinese woman who ate a whole bat. I don’t know why that’s remarkable, bats aren’t generally all that big. This dietary regime, apparently, is the cause of all ills. Well, as a smoker, I’m happy to have a day off from that particular blame game. Let the foodies have it for a while.

The Chinese have always eaten this way. With that size of population you eat what you can get and that has been true for a very long time. It really isn’t the fault of the Chinese people that coronavirus mutated into a new form. It does that all the time, and it’s not the only virus to do it. Rhinovirus is especially adept at it, which is why there is no cure for the common cold (that, and the fact it’s hardly up there with the ’cause of death’ crowd).

So yes, this is a nasty virus and it spreads easily, just like colds and flu. It’s going to be a horrible experience to get it and there is a 3% chance it might kill you. There’s also a 97% chance it won’t.

Take simple precautions, just as you would when there’s a cold or flu going around, and chances are you’ll never catch it at all. Don’t put your trust in dust masks, they won’t help in the slightest.

I think it might be time to put out an anti-hysteria infection book, perhaps with ‘Don’t Panic’ in large, friendly letters on the cover.

Extremes

Digression first – I think I have a title for the Christmas anthology. ‘The Silence of the Night’.

Although maybe ‘The Silence of the Reindeer’…or is that too brutal, even for me? I have some fava beans and a nice Chianti here if anyone wants to come round and argue about it.

Anyway. It has 16 stories from ten authors, three of whom are new entrants to the Underdog Anthologies. Stories range from traditional, whimsical, romantic, dark, to… mine. Editing is complete (unless another one comes in, it’s not closed yet) and this weekend will be occupied with sending out author contracts and payments (it’s also quarterly payments time for the novel authors) and putting it all together.

So, a quick one before going quiet again.

I hear Ohio are now demanding that doctors transplant ectopic pregnancies into the woman’s womb, or they’ll be prosecuted for ‘abortion murder’. This takes the ‘no abortion’ extreme beyond the pale. Even the Grauniad think this is a stupid idea. It’s that bad.

Ectopic pregnancy is where the placenta tries to implant in a Fallopian tube instead of in the uterus. Untreated, it is fatal. Both mother and baby will die.

The only treatment is to operate to remove the wrongly implanted foetus and that has to be done very early on, well before any sane country’s abortion limit. Yes, the baby will die but that was inevitable anyway. The mother can survive.

So, the Ohio idiots-in-charge have decreed that doctors cannot simply remove that wrongly implanted pregnancy, they must transplant it into the mother’s uterus. This is a medical procedure that, in layman’s terms, does not exist. It has never been done. It has never been attempted. Nobody has the slightest idea how to do it and it’s unlikely to work anyway.

You would have to extricate the placenta from the Fallopian tube and then reconnect it to the wall of the uterus in the exact same pattern of blood vessels. I really don’t think modern science can do this and I wouldn’t want to be in the shoes of the first doctor to try it. The experiment, for that is what it would be, is likely to fail and kill both the mother and the baby.

So, you are a doctor in Ohio and you have a patient with an ectopic pregnancy. Your choices are –

  1. Do nothing, let the patient die, be sued for malpractice.
  2. Attempt a never-before-tried experimental transplant and most likely kill the patient and be sued for malpractice.
  3. Perform the correct surgery, remove the wrongly-implanted foetus, save the mother’s life and… go to jail as an ‘abortion murderer’.

If I was a medical doctor in Ohio you know what I’d do? I’d relocate, fast! Before any patient shows up that is going to wipe me out one way or another. It’s probably best to avoid Ohio because if you get sick there, they soon won’t have any doctors at all. It’s not a safe place to be saving lives.

All of this is, of course, in retaliation for those states who have decreed abortion is legal right up to the moment of birth. Incidentally, Jerry Cordite’s Labour party want that here too. Pull out a fully formed infant and kill it. Premature births survive, a full term baby has no problem surviving, but if a mother in labour decides ‘nah, I don’t like it’, then baby dies.

In America now, you can cross a state line and move between a world where doctors are prosecuted for removing a wongly-implanted and inevitably fatal cell mass to a world where full term healthy babies are legally slaughtered. How the hell did it come to this?

What happened to a sensible medium course? That’s gone now, in so many areas. Humanity has polarised into extremes in every aspect of life. The centre ground is barren, the armies face each other on the peaks of extremity.

‘If you are not with us you are against us’ has always been a silly saying. Take the matter of gay marriage. I do not ‘support’ gay marriage, I do not ‘oppose’ it. Since I have no religion and I’m not gay, I don’t care about it at all. It’s none of my business. That, however, is not allowed. I must choose whether I celebrate it or condemn it. I refuse to choose. I don’t give a damn.

The Church of Climatology declare that if you do not accept the coming Fiery Armageddon of One Degree Temperature Rise then you are a ‘climate denier’. Personally I’d rather they were more honest about it and use the term ‘climate heretic’. At least they can’t burn us at the stake, not once we explain how much CO2 that would release.

A climate denier. Someone who denies the existence of climate? Well, they mean someone who denies that the climate changes. You know, someone utterly blinkered in their view of the world. They will never see the irony.

Of course the climate changes. The land masses move around. The atmosphere changes. There was a time when the atmosphere had a lot more oxygen than it has now. Sounds great? Well, you should see the size insects and spiders grew to when their oxygen intake was far less limited. Trust me, you don’t want those days back 😉 There was also a time when there was a lot more CO2 in the atmosphere. You won’t remember that time. Humans hadn’t yet appeared. Damn those dinosaur SUV’s eh?

The climate is changing as we speak. The sun has now entered a grand solar minimum and the coming years are going to be different. The thing is, they aren’t going to be warmer. Those solar panels are going to be covered in snow and the windmills will freeze up. It’s too late to build more traditional power stations, this isn’t ‘ten years away’, it’s now. If your house doesn’t have a chimney well you’d better get a generator to run some heating. Ideally something wood-fired because fossil fuels will still be taxed to the hilt to prevent the warming that isn’t happening. You could use some of Jerry’s billion imaginary trees.

Saying that puts me at an extreme. It’s no longer a reasonable ‘look at the actual science instead of obsessing over 0.04% of the atmosphere, most of which comes from mud flats and tundra anyway’. I’m a ‘climate denier’ for trying to warn of impending climate change. Well sod it. Let the buggers freeze. At least I can say I tried.

In America, you are either 100% for Trump or 100% against him. In the UK you are either 100% for Bozza or 100% for Jerry. There is no middle ground. The Lib Dims used to be a sort-of middle ground but Jo Swindles has taken them to the extreme too. Which extreme? Well they are on a little peak of their own that nobody is really looking at.

There have been many things I used to sneer at as conspiracy theories. Common Purpose. Well that’s real. You can see their little drones doing their teacher’s semaphore-signal exaggerated ‘body language’ in their speeches. It probably works if you don’t know about it. Now their graduates are fucking things up all over the planet. And it has become clear that that is exactly what they were meant to do. Take some dopes, teach them some tricks, set them loose and they will wreck everything while they honestly believe they are doing the right thing. Useful idiots, an age-old game.

The Georgia Guidestones, a modern day mini-Stonehenge with the New Commandments etched into them. Most likely the work of a rich lunatic but taken as Gospel by the idiots-in-charge. Massive population reduction is the delight of the cuddly Attenborough who you all love even though he wants you and your family dead. Reduce the global population to an easily controlled worker colony – it’s not a conspiracy theory when it’s in the open.

Old man Soros, with the face as benign as a smiling sloth. How could one old man be behind all this crap, I used to wonder. Now, I wonder how he’s still alive, he’s had a face like a retired army marching boot for many years. Then there is the conspiracy theory on adrenochrome, and now I have to wonder… all those very old white men, all those late term abortions… is it connected? Well anyway, it’s good story fodder.

This is the thing with writing. You research things. You make links that are credible, doesn’t matter if they are true, they just have to be believable within the context of the story. Those photos of ‘chemtrails’ might just be photos of busy airspace covered with vapour trails, but if I write something about chemtrails it’ll be credible because of those photos. We don’t see many of those trails here but then we are north of Aberdeen airport. Not much comes this way apart from helicopters heading for the oil rigs. They don’t leave trails.

I’ve written things that have later been true. ‘Telephone Pest’ happened six months after I wrote it. ‘The Sweet Man’ took about a year. I have stalled so many times on ‘Panoptica’ because the things I imagined turned up in the Daily Mail days later. I have wondered if maybe I should stop.

I’ve researched things for my writing, used ‘conspiracy theories’ to make them credible, and then watched it happen. A recent one. ‘All the Strangers’, had a kid with embedded electronics he never had to remove because it was wirelessly charged while he slept. I took the idea from the primitive wireless phone chargers that had started to appear at the time and combined it with the Borg and the alcoves they recharge in.

Now there are wireless chargers built into cars, and credit cards you just have to wave next to a reader. People have embedded chips to open doors at work. They will not balk at embedded credit card chips so they just have to wave their hand at a machine to pay for their shopping. They will fight to be first.

In this one, I will not be in the desolate middle ground. I will be right at the top of the ‘NO’ peak. As I am with things like Alexa, and TV with a camera in it. I do not want listening and watching devices in my home and I am sure as hell not paying to have them there.

So many other things. The human race is polarising. Us and them. With us or against us. The middle ground is a wasteland now. Make a choice. Choose one life or the other. You cannot choose your own.

If this continues it can only lead to one outcome.

They used to say, if you’re in the middle of the road you’ll get run over. Nowadays it might be the only safe place to be.

Because nobody else is there.