The University Prisons

Well, the mechanic is getting all the parts and I should be rolling by Monday, maybe sooner if he gets them by tomorrow. This guy could be a regular for fixing the car (assuming lockdown makes the inactive metal box seize up something else, which is likely). I’ve used one tank of petrol since March and flat battery has happened twice already, despite having a new battery last year. This car is used to driving between Aberdeen and Cardiff, it doesn’t like the sedentary life. Still, it’s all part of the Boris plan to eradicate personal transport, I suppose. Might need to rebuild that old stable.

On the plus side, we are all up to date on story editing for the next anthology and there’s still a week left for submissions. Last minute submissions will pose no problem. I’ll be sending out contracts as soon as I think of a suitable title, then payments, and we are on course for a first week of October release. I can’t use ‘lockdown’ again even though I have a story about where that leads in the book. I can also use the time to dream up a cover – perhaps making use of that plague doctor mask, or the skull mask… I have so many now, and not one single overpriced and useless surgical mask. ‘Maskquerade’ might be a contender.

Nine stories so far, including one new author. I’m delighted to note that every anthology has introduced at least one new author so far. Not bad, considering this is number 12. There’s still time – and I have another story brewing.

My mother had scheduled a visit in October but of course that’s not going to happen now. She’s rescheduled for November, if the twats in charge come to their senses by then. It’s now public knowledge that both the CSO and CMO, who are running this through a grotesquely compliant Boris, stand to profit from a vaccine. I thought everyone knew about that months ago but the news is treating it as if it’s a scoop.

So we have to suffer until they can sell us a vaccine that won’t work. The annual flu vaccine is being pushed again, it’s that time of year, and that has an estimated success rate of 40%. The real rate will of course be a lot lower since some of those who don’t get flu wouldn’t have got it anyway. You might as well rattle a gourd at people and claim that if they don’t catch the disease, it has worked. You’d probably get very close to a 40% success rate.

No vaccine against any coronavirus has ever worked. Vaccines against stable viruses work. Smallpox was eradicated using a vaccine, it is still the only disease to be truly eradicated from the planet. Even the Black Plague is still around although now we have antibiotics and can deal more effectively with its major vector – rats.

Cholera is easily controlled by water supply treatment, even my tiny treatment plant here (filter and UV) will deal with it. All the diseases, apart from smallpox, are still around and this new cortonavirus is going to stick around too. Get used to it. It’s currently killing a lot fewer people than the annual flu and a hell of a lot fewer than cancer, heart disease and the rest.

Yet people are going around in plastic tents and someone is selling a space helmet with a pump sending air in through filters. Idiots are paying a lot of money for these things. I have a plastic Bane mask that is just as effective (as in, not at all) but a lot more fun. Especially as they can’t make me take it off. I’ll carry around my Saw puppet mask in case they insist I change it.

Now, in Scotland at least, Wee Nippy has confined thousands of university students to their rooms, enforced by police patrols. They cannot go to the pub, they cannot go to the shops, lectures are all online and they cannot even visit each other’s rooms. They’d be better off in prison.

Why even let them go back? Well, they are paying fees (unless they are Scottish or EU students, which has mysteriously never included English students who do have to pay fees – but the SNP aren’t anti-English despite their ‘go home’ signs at the border) and they are paying rent. Yes, they are all paying a lot of money to be in prison while rapists and murderers get it all for free. Isn’t that fun?

Even the non-fee-paying Scottish students, who I suspect are a major part of the SNP’s core vote along with their parents and families, are in the University California. No pubs, no going home for weekends even if they live a short bus ride away, no visits from family or friends or other students, lectures all online. Which all those students could have done equally well at home. They might not be paying fees but they are paying rent. I hope this devastates the SNP vote next election. If it doesn’t then the Scots are idiots.

Imagine being a first year student, possibly away from home for the first time ever, and being told you cannot go home and your family cannot visit you. Just think about how that would feel. Doesn’t it feel rather like being imprisoned for no crime other than breathing? You’re in a cell, can’t even talk to those in the other cells, and you’re fresh from home. You’ve committed no crime. How do you feel? I finished writing a Halloween story linked to this last night and it was true even before I typed the last word. It’ll be in the book, and on the blog when the book is published.

This is a taste of an independent Scotland under the Spiteful Nannying Party, headed by Kim McJong Nippy. Note that not a single one of those students has needed hospital treatment or any doctor’s attention. Not that there are any available anyway. If you really want this world you are a total bloody idiot.

Once my car is fixed I will have to take it for long drives. Even if it’s just to buy more petrol for the lawnmowers, the generator and the new brushcutter which I have dubbed the Petrol Driven Bastard. You’ll know why when you see it. This year the garden tools have used more petrol than the car.

I have some battery driven ones too, but the battery strimmer is a gentle stroking massage device compared to the Petrol Driven Bastard.

Better get in some more scythe practice. It’s going to be cutting edge technology again soon.

If Boris the alleged ‘libertarian’ gets his way, soon we’re going to party like it’s 1499.

Puzzles

Something has been niggling at the back of my mind for some time now. It came into focus when I saw one of the ‘senseless violence’ videos circulating recently.

I don’t mean the feral protestors. Of course everyone was videoing that. News channels (those that admit it’s even happening) and almost everyone present with a smartphone. Something was happening, people filmed it.

In this particular video, a man ambles along the street then takes a seat on a low railing. Another man, on a bike, passes him and as he passes he smacks the seated man across the head, knocking him to the floor. There was no logic to it, it was senseless.

But… why was anyone filming the man in the first place? Nothing was happening. He wasn’t doing anything illegal, he wasn’t protesting, in fact he wasn’t doing anything at all. There really was nothing to film until the second man showed up. The film was also remarkably steady. It wasn’t a hand held phone – no matter how steady your hands are, there’s going to be some movement. This was a fixed camera in a mount or on a tripod.

Clearly it was set up for the camera. The man who was hit might not have known it was coming, but someone did. A gang initiation, a vicious prank, who knows? It’s not that particular film that matters here, it’s the thought it triggered.

Remember all those videos of masked Chinese people in Wuhan, just falling down dead in the street? It caused speculation that a second infection could be fatal, that the disease worked like Dengue fever – a bad flu first time round, increased lethality if you catch it again. There was later speculation that it was the mask that caused them to asphyxiate and spontaneously die. It’s never happened anywhere else.

But again, these films showed nothing happening at first. Just people walking along a street, with the one about to collapse centre frame – and a very steady camera. There was no reason to be filming at all.

Then the victim simply poleaxes and lies still on the ground. That’s the event – but how did the camera operator know it was about to happen? Was it all an act?

A stable camera filming a nondescript street scene in which the person centred in shot suddenly collapses. Not just one, but several such films appeared. These have to have been staged.

Then there were all the reports of Chinese hospitals bagging up still-living patients and sending them to the incinerators. Videos taken by Chinese journalists in which they try to alert medical staff that they’d seen the body bags move and yet nobody responds. Were the body bags loaded with actors for effect? Drive them around the corner and let them out, then burn a load of pigs so you get the effect of a massive rate of cremation. Could that be?

Wuhan is back to normal. Films of huge parties are coming out of there. Nobody is sad, nobody is in mourning for thousands of dead people. It is, literally, business as usual. And nobody wears masks.

The boarding up of homes, the roadside tests, the silly infrared thermometers (these are not a reliable way to assess body temperature, they only measure skin surface temperature and if it’s cold outside, you might only register 25-30 oC). Was it all a massive practical joke to send the West into lockdown? It has certainly made a hell of a mess of Western economies.

The virus is real, it’s nasty and it has killed people. Nowhere near as many as claimed, since we’ve known for some time that doctors were pressured to put ‘covid-19’ on death certificates even if the corpse had been rolled off the tarmac after a passing steamroller and no test was performed. It now transpires it has killed mainly the elderly and infirm and has had much the same effect as a bad seasonal flu.

It’s now simply called ‘coronavirus’ as if it’s the only one. Every flu virus is a coronavirus. MERS, SARS, bird flu, swine flu, seasonal flu and many common colds are coronaviruses. If they are testing for coronavirus this is never going away. Vaccines are futile against coronavirus and always have been. The only thing those vaccines achieve is profit for the company making them.

Vaccines against stable infective agents such as polio, tetanus, measles etc – they work because the target doesn’t change much over time. Although I see there is a resurgence in polio in Africa that was actually caused by the use of a live vaccine.

A live vaccine contains an attenuated (not dangerous) version of the virus. Your immune system sees it, kills it and remembers it. That vaccine virus is not supposed to be able to set up much of an infection, just enough to set off your immune system. However, it’s still active and it seems this one managed to mutate back to its original form, or repair the damage done to it. It’s really best to stick to vaccines containing killed virus.

Coronaviruses mutate too fast to allow development of a reliable vaccine. That’s why there’s no vaccine against the common cold. There never will be. Treatment is the only option.

So here we are, six months into a two week lock down to ‘save the NHS’ when nobody can see a doctor and ‘protect the elderly’ while anyone over 60 entering a hospital was issued with a ‘do not resuscitate’ notice and the virus was deliberately introduced into elderly care homes. I’m begining to feel like 23-David with all these contradictions, all of which I am supposed to simultaneously support.

We are now to wear masks while the virus has declined to the point where even the doctors can’t attribute more than single figure deaths to it. The NHS is still largely closed and demanding a pay rise. Boris has declared he wants a curfew, people cannot gather in groups of more than six except when they can and he’s going to employ some Stasi to enforce it. He hasn’t yet gone the Australian route and installed full-on Panoptica monitoring. It’ll come.

Meanwhile, China is partying as they import all the coal they can get while the rest of us declare we have to manage on ridiculous solar panels and windmills. Boris wants to ban all cars except the fancy dodgems and you can’t have a gas boiler to heat your home – and no, you can’t have a chimney either.

This is becoming a very silly game. In so many areas now. It’s clearly all been orchestrated and it’s ramping up as if those running it are panicking. Which they probably are.

The real climate change is about to manifest. The next few years will make it clear that all of this ‘preparation’ has not been preparing people to survive climate change, but to be wiped out by it. That’s why they are moving so many people towards the poles. People who are going to struggle to cope with a level of cold they have never experienced.

I have seen people claim the virus isn’t real. It is real, but it’s a vicious flu. I have seen people claim that there are long lasting effects. This is post viral syndrome and it’s not common and certainly not exclusive to this virus, but it does affect some people. I have seen medics attribute almost everything to this new virus which, as a smoker, does bring a touch of relief. It used to be that every disease was my fault, now your cough, dry eyes, dandruff, middle ear infection, anything that afflicts you is coronavirus.

Basically, our governments have all been pranked by China and so have most of the people. I don’t know what China has on our politicians and scientists – it’s probably money – but only Sweden has said ‘Ah, screw this, it’s nonsense’ and Sweden has come out of all this in better shape than all the lockdown countries.

Yet the farce continues. Wee Nippy has now introduced the ‘Rule of Six’ in Scotland. Outside my immediate family and CStM I don’t think I know six people so it’ll be hard to keep to that rule. It’s an arbitrary and stupid rule to apply at this stage but then arbitrary and stupid seems to be every government’s modus operandi at the moment.

There is no natural end to this post. The puzzles and contradictions in the world today could fill a book. So I’m just going to stop.

Let’s just hope the idiots in charge do the same.

The Forever Bug

Remember Bubonic Plague? I know, I know, most responses are going to be ‘Oh come on, that was 400 years ago’. It’s not gone, you know. There are several cases around the world every year. What we have now, of course, are antibiotics, which were only discovered in the 1930s and are already being overused to the point where several of them are now useless. If they had been around in the 1600s they would all be utterly useless by now. We’d be back to leeches and bloodletting.

Polio still exists. Typhus. Leprosy. Rickets (although that one isn’t an infection and really shouldn’t exist now, it’s so easy to fix). People still get measles, mumps, rubella, chicken pox… all the diseases our ancestors knew are all still here. The only one that has been eradicated in the wild is smallpox. Think of any 12th century disease, or any from earlier or later periods of history, and apart from smallpox, every one of them is still here. We’re just better at controlling them or curing them.

Not all of them. Rabies is still a tough one. I had a rabies vaccine once and was told it wouldn’t actually stop me getting rabies. It would just give me enough time to get treatment before it killed me – and the treatment is horrible. Fortunately I had that vaccine to visit China, and they’d already eaten anything that would have posed a rabies risk.

So, the Big Scary Story of the day is that Covid-19 will be present forever. (Trigger warning: It’s the Daily Mail, so keep your blood pressure pills handy if you open the link).

Of course it will. SARS, MERS, bird flu, swine flu, all the rest are still here. And there will never be a successful vaccine against any of them.

The current virus is being called ‘Coronavirus’ now. It is not THE coronavirus. It’s just A coronavirus. There are many of them and they mutate all the time. New ones appear but the old ones don’t go away. We just develop immunity to them or find better treatments. Vaccines are not a good bet against coronavirus. They work well against many other types of virus and against a lot of bacterial infections, but coronaviruses change too fast for a successful vaccine. You might make one with 100% effectiveness against this year’s flu but next year’s flu has several new variations and the vaccine won’t work on the new ones.

Many common colds are coronavirus. All the flu variants are coronavirus. They will develop variants all the time. Some of the variants will infect without causing any symptoms. Some will give you a cold. Others will floor you. A few will kill you, especially if you’re already very old and/or sick. And there really is sod all you can do about it. You are not immortal, no matter how clean and Righteous you live your life.

Modern flu vaccines claim around 40% effectiveness. There is no control group. You get the jab, you don’t get sick, you are counted in that 40%. If you hadn’t had the jab, would you have caught flu that year anyway? How many of the 40% wouldn’t have caught it with or without the jab? The real percentage effectiveness could be an awful lot lower. It could even be zero.

It’s the old ‘paper balls on the track’ game. Someone sits in a railway carriage travelling through England and every so often, rolls a peice of paper into a ball and throws it out of the window. Another passenger asks him why he’s doing it.

“It keeps elephants off the tracks,” he says.

Bemused, the other passenger points out there are no elephants here.

“See? It works.”

If you get the jab and don’t get flu, it’s worked. If you get the jab and the jab makes you sick, it’s still worked because you didn’t get the illness in the wild.

A PCR test also won’t work on a coronavirus. It is not a diagnostic test and was never designed to be one. It’s a very powerful technique when used for its intended purpose but as a diagnostic for a single-strand RNA virus it’s no use at all. You can also ramp up the number of cycles to the point where the primers will make the sequence you’re looking for out of DNA or RNA fragments, even if it didn’t exist in the original sample.Yeah, I’ll do a post on it if I can get the technical stuff into layman’s terms. At this point, all you need to know is that it is not intended for this purpose and those using it must surely know that.

Still, money, eh? A lot of money in testing even if the test is useless. As long as the government falls for it and pays up, who cares if an entire population is terrified into penury in the process?

There is also an enormous amount of money to be made in vaccinations. Even if they don’t work. They only have to give the illusion they work. ‘Repeated vaccinations’ is the same as the annual flu jab. It’s a money tree. Treatment, not cure, is where the profit lies. Those various hepatitis jabs I had don’t need to be repeated unless I go to the high risk places again. I won’t need rabies vaccine again unless I go to a high risk place. I shouldn’t need another shot of tuberculosis vaccine. Tetanus… actually I’m overdue for a topup. Considering I’m often elbow deep in something filthy, I’ll have to get that sorted if the NHS ever opens again. Their managers are enjoying all the spare cash at the moment.

Flu? You need a new vaccine every year. It hardly works and it might make you sick but the NHS has paid for it, the Pharmers have pocketed the cash so roll up your sleeve and play Flu Roulette. It might protect you. It might not. It might actually give you flu. Which chamber has the bullet?

I’ve never had a flu vaccine. No point, you can only get flu from other people and I have little to do with them. And while I have accepted all kinds of vaccines, all of them went through years of testing before being released. That’s not possible with any coronavirus vaccine. They change so fast you have, at best, months to come up with a new one. That’s why they are so crap.

This virus looked very scary at first. It is now clearly a severe flu. It is clear that case numbers have been ramped up by putting pretty much any disease in with it. It is clear that many death certificates were faked. It is clear that this is not another Spanish Flu, compared to that one it’s a rank amateur. It is a very bad flu and that’s all it is. It is not the End of Humanity, it’s a very naughty virus.

There have been no deaths from it in most of the UK for weeks. Hospitals are lying mostly empty. There are ‘cases’, these are positive tests and count as a case whether you are sick or not. PCR will give a positive result from bits of a dead virus, you might have had an asymptomatic infection and the test is picking up broken pieces. Nonetheless you are ‘a case’.

We are now all to wear useless masks that won’t stop any virus but which will cause a resurgence in bacterial and fungal respiratory infections. Unfortunately if you have any respiratory infection, the NHS is only testing for coronavirus. If you don’t have it you are unfashionable and will be sent home. If you die you will be marked as a coronavirus death even if it was Legionnaire’s disease.

Wearing a mask in public? I admit to delighting in this. I have some terrifying ones. There is one somewhere that is very gross indeed. I have to find it.

However, the mask goes on when I go into Local Shop (there have been comments on my masks) and comes off as soon as I leave. I don’t go into supermarkets any more, they deliver for less than it would cost me in petrol to get there and the supermarket bills are way down. No impulse buys, you see? I might never go there again.

Why the hype? Money. Of course.

There are now billions invested in finding a vaccine. Nobody needs one, and it won’t work anyway. I am taking zinc and vitamin D supplements, I get vit C from daily orange juice and quinine from daily tonic water. This stops the virus replicating so even if I happen to interact with some filthy disease-ridden human thing, I’m protected. I am also blocking ACE-2 receptors (the one the virus sticks to) with nicotine. All of this comes from science, I am not listening to politicians nor to anyone who stands to profit from a vaccine.

I know, Trump mentioned hydroxychloroquine and that automatically makes it bad. I’m not listening to Trump either. I’m listening to my past, an entire career studying infectious diseases and the knowledge of how to read scientific data. I don’t care whether anyone ‘believes’ me. It is of no consequence. I’m not interested in saving the world. I’m just telling you what I’m doing and why. What you do with this information is entirely up to you. Wrap it in tinfoil and bin it if you like. I don’t care.

Still, look at who is claiming the cheap cure doesn’t work. In America, the main motivation is ‘Trump said it’. There is another motivation that is worldwide.

Many rich and influential people, and many governments, have invested heavily in vaccine production. They lose all that money if there is a cheap and easy cure. So the cheap and easy cure has to be dismissed. Otherwise, who needs the vaccine they’ve spent all that money developing? Oh they know it won’t work, but that’s not the point. The point is profit.

You can help the billionaires get richer if you like. I’ve retired from a career as a microbiologist, I’ve been vaccinated against pretty much anything there’s a reliable vaccine for, and I am not touching this coronavirus vaccine.

What you choose to do is entirely up to you.

Tests and masks and toilet rolls

If it was a song it would be an Ian Dury/Captain Beefheart crossover. Unfortunately it will never happen now.

Tests.

I am seeing calls for more tests and faster turnaround. More testing is futile, if you look at the real numbers, most tests come back negative. This means nothing. It only means you hadn’t caught it by the time you were tested. You might have caught it between getting tested and getting the result. Testing absolutely everyone is just silly. It achieves nothing useful at all.

Current government guidance is to get tested only if you have symptoms. Most people won’t bother. For most people it presents as just a cold or a mild flu. Also, as a commenter pointed out, if you are a self employed taxi driver and you test positive, you have no earnings for the next two weeks. So they will not want to get a test.

On test duration… the last department I worked in had a profitable sideline in food testing. The lab was even accredited as a food testing lab. I did use PCR in my own work for identifying bacteria – it’s very good at that – but we never used it for food testing. Why? It finds DNA fragments. It will find dead bacteria and those are of no relevance to a food test.

If we found a positive, it meant the company had to recall a hell of a lot of product. A positive that was just a dead bacterium was no danger to anyone but would have been a very expensive mistake for the company. We had to find live ones, and we had to be sure. Reporting a negative on a contaminated product was even worse than a false positive. So we made damn sure we were right.

Salmonella is a case in point. We didn’t count how many there were, that was irrelevant. The test was for presence or absence in 25 grams of product. If it was there, even one live bacterium, it was a fail. We only tested 25 grams remember, not the entire thing. One in 25 grams might mean hundreds over the whole product and unlike chemical contamination, bacterial contamination will grow.

The test for Salmonella worked roughly like this: Day 1. Sample arrives, 25g is aseptically removed and placed into a sterile broth that will grow pretty much anything. No selective pressure at this stage.

Day 2. The broth is subcultured into two selective media, RV and Selenite broths. All goes back in the incubator.

Day 3. The broth is subcultured into RV and Selenite again and the broth is discarded (autoclaved first of course). Today’s RV and Selenite are put back in the incubator. Yesterday’s are plated onto agar plates of Salmonella-specific media. Those go back in the incubator.

Day 4. Yesterday’s RV and Selenite are each plated onto selective agar. We used two different ones to be sure we’d catch it. Yesterday’s agars are examined. Suspect colonies are tested. If there is a positive we can report it at this point. We cannot yet report a negative.

Day 5. The plates from yesterday and the day before are examined. If there is nothing, yesterday’s plates go back in the incubator and the rest is autoclaved and discarded.

Day 6. The last set of plates is examined. No sign of Salmonella? Not even suspect colonies tested with an antibody test? Fine. We report ‘not detected in 25g’. We would never say ‘all clear’ because we only tested 25g. There is always the chance that the 25g you cut out was the only clean bit 😉

If the product is meat or fish or salad, it’s already been sent out. The test has taken nearly a week, the product cannot be held back that long. A positive result at that stage means a very expensive and very, very embarrassing recall for the company. You have to be very sure you are absolutely right about this.

The point is, sometimes tests take time. Sometimes, especially when dealing with important pathogens, you just cannot cut corners. If I was a food producer and someone said they could test for Salmonella in two days, I wouldn’t touch them. It’s not even possible to do a reliable test in that time.

PCR testing is faster than that, sure, but it’s not instant. It still takes time, even with modern thermal cyclers. A lot is still manual too, putting the sample onto electrophoresis plates was still a manual job when I did it. If you have a lot of samples and limited equipment it’s going to take longer than usual. It’s also very easy to contaminate this kind of test. You need very well trained staff, and those are expensive and sometimes thin on the ground.

So, demanding faster turnaround on testing means demanding corner-cutting and a hell of a lot more dodgy results than the coronavirus tests already produce. Tests take time. You just have to accept that.

Masks

Surgeons wear masks for two reasons. One, so they don’t breathe germs into the open wound they are working on. Two, so that if there is a spurt of blood, they don’t get it in their mouths. That’s what those masks are for. They do absolutely nothing to protect against a virus. It even states that on the packaging.

Nurses wear masks for the same reasons. They are entirely useless against a virus.

There is a mask that is about 90% effective. As long as it is fitted by an expert who will then spray something stinky at you. If you can smell it, the mask isn’t fitted properly. In a perfectly fitted scenario, the mask lasts about two and a half hours before you have to replace it, and it cannot be re-used. Even if you get those masks, do you really think you can do better than a medically trained mask fitter? You might as well get a bean net from the garden centre and wrap that around your face.

I have ordered a Bane mask from eBay. It will offer me no protection at all. It’s just as good as those surgical masks people are stocking up with now. It is, however, likely to be a lot more fun.

Masks worn by the general public, of whatever type, achieve nothing at all. Not a damn thing. Other than to restrict breathing and act as a damp reservoir of horrible nasties breathed out by the wearer and others around them.

They should be sterilised before disposal since they are now hazardous waste but they won’t be. Those who can afford a whole box will simply dump their used masks, those who cannot will use them over and over until they are sodden, bacteria and virus laden deadly face nappies. You might as well shit in a hanky and tie it to your face.

No point telling them, they won’t listen. They have been told the face masks will save them and they point and scream like Bodysnatchers at anyone who has the sense not to wear one all day.

This virus is on the wane. Now we are told to wear masks? This makes no sense to anyone who stops and thinks for a moment. Sadly, few do, they are so well assimilated they just go with the herd. Even when the herd is clearly insane.

Early advice was to wash your hands often and not touch your face. This made sense. Coronaviruses have an outer coat held together by lipid (fats) and soap will break them. Other viruses with protein coats won’t be affected of course. This one, however, is really killed by hand washing.

The ‘not touching your face’ thing is a bad mix with mask wearing. You’re going to be taking that thing on and off all day. Touching your face every time. With no chance of hand washing in between. If that makes sense to you, then you’re insane.

Face visors, okay, I can go with that. They don’t restrict your breathing and they can be reused a lot. If you plan to sterilise them with anything, check on a corner first in case it clouds the plastic. Visors are available cheaply, the expensive ones are as good as the cheap ones at protecting you from viruses (not at all) and the negative reviews are mostly from those who haven’t figured out you need to take the protective film off first. The visor will protect you from spittle from someone talking to you and it’s a physical barrier that actually stops you touching your face. If you raise it to eat or drink, you only touch the visor. Oh, and it goes a little way to protecting your eyes too. Everyone seems to have forgotten the virus can get into you that way.

The mask narrative changed to ‘ my mask protects you, yours protects me’ to enable mask shaming. The masks do nothing protective, they are merely a means to identify the drones who will do as they are told. More importantly, to identify the ones who will question orders and who must be removed. It’s working very well.

The masks don’t work at all. Well they work perfectly for their real intended purpose. Most people won’t accept what that purpose is. Don’t bother telling them, they have been assimilated and there is no way back for them now. The same quasi-religious zeal that infects the Church of Climatology, Black Lives Matter, and all the rest. They are not going to listen. Stop trying to get through their walls, they are impenetrable. Just be ready to get the hell out of the way.

If I have to go into a shop and they are so terrified of breathing they demand I wear a mask, I will wear one. It looks like this –

because that’s what they are really for.

Unless of course the Bane mask arrives sooner. Or the hat to go with the nice leather plague doctor mask. I know none of them will have any effect at all, but I really cannot be bothered trying to explain that when all I want is a bottle of milk or a loaf of bread. I’ll go along with the silliness for the duration of my visit.

Not that I have been in shops very much since all this started. We’ve been getting supermarket deliveries since late March because going to a supermarket is a dehumanising experience. I’d have to go alone since CStM doesn’t drive, and I don’t much like shopping.

Add to that the interesting fact that the delivery charge is actually less than the petrol it would cost to get there (30 mile round trip to the nearest one) and the money saved by avoiding all impulse-buy opportunities, and we might never visit a supermarket in person again. Nothing to do with masks, it’s turning out to be so much easier and cheaper this way.

Toilet rolls.

Remember the arsepaper panic? Everyone bought up arsewipes until the rest of us had to buy the Guardian to avoid skidmarks.

It was bizarre. If civilisation collapsed there would be no sewage works and no water supply. Well, for those who don’t have a well and a septic tank anyway. Toilet paper would be an irrelevance, you’d be shitting in the woods. Stocking up on dry foods made some kind of sense, flour maybe, if you know how to make use of it. I suppose if they were planning on living on a diet of canned beans and pasta they would need an inordinate amount of toilet paper…

Why toilet paper? There were hints there might be a shortage. There wasn’t really. It looked like a shortage because people bought them faster than the shops could restock. It reached the point where many shops didn’t bother putting toilet roll on the shelves. They just plonked the pallets beside the tills. They didn’t stay on the shelves long enough to be worth any shelf stacker’s time. The shops kept restocking, the idiots kept stockpiling, and eventually the stock stabilised. All those stockpiles were irrelevant. I hope not a single shop gave a refund on anything.

There were videos online showing off their hauls of hand sanitiser, soap, bogroll and food. Not just dried food. At least one idiot had boxes full of fresh fruit. Yeah, that’s going to be a box of stinky apple soup in a few weeks. The bananas on top won’t help.

They showed off as if to say ‘Look at me, I’m ready for the Death Virus!’ while everyone else just thought ‘What a prick’. Well, not quite everyone. I was the one wondering how things would go when the local mice found that stash. We live way out in the country so we do stock up, but never more than can be fitted into our plastic or metal boxes. Stacks of pasta on the bedroom floor will soon be disturbing your sleep with the sound of tiny teeth munching.

It’s all become very silly, especially as this virus has turned out to be no more than a bad flu. Flu kills thousands every year, it leaves some with long term problems every year, and all flu viruses are coronavirus. The really bad flu season of 2018 killed more people than this one and yet suddenly, everyone is terrified.

Now we are told to wear masks that are totally ineffective because that’s how we ‘get the economy moving’. Now, I don’t think Boris is actually malicious. He is not a scientist, he is having to rely on advice from scientists. The trouble is, scientists are a lot like the engineers in the Dilbert cartoon. They have no clue how people actually function.

My bet is that Boris was told ‘If you tell them to wear masks, they’ll feel safe and go back to work’. In reality, mandatory masks tell people that everyone without a mask is a plague carrier and that it is not safe at all to breathe air anywhere.

It’s very, very easy to terrify people. I’ve been doing it for fun for many years. It is extremely difficult to un-terrify them once it all sets in. Not that I’ve ever bothered with that part. Then again, there are those who want them terrified.

There are those looking to profit enormously from a vaccine that isn’t needed and won’t work. Flu vaccines never do. They need you scared enough to not only accept it, but demand it. It’s working.

Then there’s Bill Gates and his dream of microchipping everyone. This is his chance, a chip that says you are clear of this flu virus and without the chip, you cannot buy food or use public transport… we are talking chapter one of Panoptica here. A book which should have been finished by now although I’m still not sure if I should. Am I predicting it or am I making it happen? Well it looks like it’s happening anyway.

COVID-19 is fading. It will never be gone. Swine flu, bird flu, all those things that were going to wipe us out are still around. Several cases of bubonic plague have been reported recently, that one is at least 800 years old and it’s still not eradicated. It never will be.

Viruses tend to become less vicious over time. Always. Not because of any thought on the part of the virus – it cannot think, it’s not even a whole cell – but because the deadlier version always kills its host so its spread is limited. The milder version does not kill so spreads more easily. Eventually, any new flu virus becomes a common cold. All of these are coronaviruses.

Take the test if you want, wear a mask if you want, fill your spare room with bumwipes and pasta if you want. None of this will have the slightest effect on the virus.

It’s going to follow the same pattern as all other coronaviruses no matter what you do. The virus is not what you should be scared of.

It’s the fear that’s been instilled in you that will kill you.

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.

___

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.