Loch Doon and Tinfoil Hats

I knew I’d lost a story somewhere in all the confusion. I had lost two from Marsha Webb. Those are now edited and returned and contracts, then payments, won’t be long now. I hope to have it assembled for Beltane, it’s not much time but until I can at least get the part to fix my car, I’m going nowhere anyway.

The book, thanks to Longrider, will be titled Tales from Loch Doon. This is a quick mockup of a cover using one of my photos of Loch Ness.

I’ll mess around with the lighting and I’m not entirely happy with the font there. Still, the basic image works, I think. Roo B. Doo will be first in the editor list since she did, by far, most of the work while I was dealing with life. Life. Don’t talk to me about life. Loathe it or hate it, you can’t ignore it.

The book will have 14 stories from 9 authors, unless I missed someone else. If you still don’t have edits back, please let me know. Check your spam cupboard for a Leg Iron Books email.

Okay, that’s the book stuff. Tinfoil hats ready? Here we go.

Is 5G really dangerous?

I don’t know. Ask Vanessa Redgrave. (Okay I can’t get to a post office, possibly for weeks, but if you get that reference I’l email you an eBook of your choice from Leg Iron Books in any format you want)

I have no expertise in microwave radiation at all and frankly, I live where 4G is only available if you stand in the right place and our landline comes through ageing copper wires. I’m not going to have to worry about 5G for a very long time, so I haven’t looked into it all that hard.

It seems to have a short range so you need a lot of towers. That sounds expensive. And ugly. I’ve seen the towers and they aren’t exactly pretty things. I admit I am not keen on this whole ‘internet of things’ idea at all but then I did grow up in a time where only the posh people had a landline phone in the house. It’s all accelerated at a hell of a speed. I remember the invention of cassette tapes, and how we couldn’t afford a Walkman and didn’t feel the need for one. I remember when the CD was a fanciful myth on ‘Tomorrow’s World’ and those are already gone.

So, this new 5G, well, I doubt I really need it and if I stay in this house I’m not likely to get it anyway. I will not install an Alexa listening device in this house and I won’t buy a TV with a camera in it. There’d be no point anyway, the internet out here won’t cope with it. Most of what I do, most of what I send by email, involves text documents. I could do it with an old dial-up modem.

But is 5G dangerous? I don’t know. I admit I am concerned by the lack of any testing and the apparent lack of will to do any testing. I really do think it should be tested, high energy microwaves have the potential to be harmful and if they are going to tell me my smoking and drinking is harming me then they need to prove that their profitable new game is at least less harmful.

Baseline answer: I don’t trust it because of the refusal to run and publish tests, but I have no hard evidence it’s dangerous.

Can 5G create/control a virus?

No.

This is an area where I do have some expertise. You cannot create a virus from electromagnetic radiation and there is no way at all to control a virus. As most of the world is currently finding out.

A virus does not have a brain, nor even the basis of any kind of nervous system. It does not think, it does not reason, it considers nothing, sees nothing, hears nothing, feels nothing. It is not even an entire cell. It’s essentially a cell fragment. Lower in complexity even than archaebacteria. A bit of RNA or DNA enclosed in protein and lipid, with a surface that lets it attach and get into a real cell. It is a parasite. It does nothing but invade cells and replicate itself.

The current bout of Mao Tse Lung seems to affect some ethnic groups more than others. That does not make it racist. It knows nothing of race, it doesn’t even know humans exist. It doesn’t know it infects cells expressing ACE2 protein, it doesn’t know it kills people, it doesn’t know about people at all. It knows nothing at all. It has no means of storing any kind of external information and no means of receiving external information. You can blast Radio 4 at it for eternity, it will not notice.

So aside from the rather obvious observation that even 5G is not a Star Trek replicator and creates nothing, there is no means to control a virus via any kind of waveform because the virus has no means to even detect that waveform. 5G has absolutely nothing to do with any virus of any kind.

Are renewables renewable?

Windmills and solar panels are possibly the worst thing to ever have happened to this planet. Sure, oil spills are bad, but oil is part of the planet. The world can eventually reabsorb it and deal with it. Okay, timescales are longer than human lifetimes but we are ephemeral. Our entire history is such that the planet hasn’t noticed us yet. We really aren’t as important as we like to think we are.

Basically, we are a form of monkey that has developed fancy toys. All made from the planet’s resources and much of it will just be reabsorbed. Like CO2. It really is plant food, you know. Anyone who was taught real biology knows this.

The windmills and solar panels, those ‘green’ things, are causing lakes of toxic waste where the required elements are extracted. Solar panels, once expired, are buried in landfill where they leach out poison into the soil. They cannot be recycled.

Ever wondered how a 60 foot windmill stays up? It’s bolted to several hundred tons of concrete hidden below the soil. Every one of them. Those blocks will be wondered at by archaeologists a thousand years from now, and they will produce complex theories about the fibreglass windmill-blade mass graves they will find all over the planet. None of these things are recyclable and they are going to be in the ground far longer than any other landfill. They won’t rot.

Nuclear power waste will be long gone before the solar panel and windmill waste decays. Future archaeologists will wonder how we powered our world with such inefficlent systems while they power theirs with uranium. Just as ours now wonder how the Incas cut stone so precisely.

Eventually it will all fall apart and the realism that hydro and nuclear are the clean way forward will emerge, but we will never power any kind of long distance transport with those things. Fossil fuel use will reduce but I don’t believe it can ever be utterly dispensed with. Just ask Greenpeace and their diesel powered ships.

We could, of course, go back to putting sails on ships… Greenpeace hasn’t though. Why is that, I wonder?

Is there really a plan to reduce global population?

Yes. There has been for a long time and they really aren’t being subtle about it. Africa – all of it – will be a nature reserve, large areas of other continents will be no go areas for humans, we are to be corralled into economically productive cities and only the elites will travel.

Sounds horrible? It is, but the ones pushing it think it won’t apply to them. Just like the ones who fought for communism in the Soviet Union and China and those who supported Nazism in 1930s Germany. Just like those academics who supported Pol Pot until he had them all exterminated.

Oh you can call it tinhat foilery all you want. You can pretend it won’t apply to you all you want but it is no secret. The UN are quite open about Agenda 21. The delegates at their meetings think it won’t apply to them or their families. Agenda 21 was a ‘conspiracy theory’ but there are now conferences discussing it.

Does anyone want to destroy society as we know it?

You haven’t been paying attention, have you? The ecoloons want to drive us back to mediaeval times. No industry, no nothing, you will be caking your straw hut in cow shit and eating raw turnips to save a planet that has not noticed you exist. This is genuinely what they want and once again, they don’t think it will apply to them. They think they will film it all on iPhones and upload it to TikTok. Sorry guys, neither of those things will exist. You’ll be up at 4 am to chase badgers off your turnip fields and pick slugs off your lettuce just like everyone else. Unless, of course, you are executed for wrongthink.

You don’t need to look at the tinfoil hat brigade. There are no aliens coming to poke your bum, no reptiles coming to eat your children. That’s not even needed.

Look at what they are telling you openly. They are not kidding.

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.

Just when you think it can’t get worse…

…the car broke down.

Last Wednesday in fact. I had just gone to Local Shop and when I got back into the car and moved the handle to ‘drive’, nothing happened. The cable between that handle and the gearbox has snapped. Naturally, this was the one day I hadn’t taken my phone with me so had to borrow the shop’s to call the AA.

They turned up pretty quickly, really. Apparently they’d had a busy day, with all the cars sat idle for a week or more taking to the roads, many with deferred MOT tests and no servicing or maintenance… maybe those things are not quite as non-essential as the police and government think.

So anyway, they dragged my immobilised car onto the back of a truck, took me the two miles home and dragged it off again. It’s an automatic stuck in ‘park’, all you can do is put sliders under the wheels and drag it. It doesn’t have an override to put it in neutral. The driver got a cup of tea and a Leg Iron Books mug as a tip because he was really patient with a right bastard of a job – but it might be a while before I get that competition winner’s mug posted.

Replacing the cable is a reasonably easy task but… all of the dealerships are closed. I cannot get the part. EBay is no use, the only ones selling cables that *might* fit are in Lithuania, the USA or the UAE. Amazon UK has one seller with one cable at a price that would make me scrap the car. Lots of them on the American and Canadian sites, at much more reasonable prices, but again, I cannot be sure they are the right ones. I can’t get the parts department at the closed dealership so I can’t get the part number.

A mobile mechanic came out to look at it yesterday. He did what he could, patched it so it can be moved, but without the right part he can’t do a final repair. So if I drive anywhere I could get stuck there.

Therefore we are now in full lockdown, missing only the welded-shut doors. We cannot go anywhere. CStM has placed a delivery order but it won’t come until April 30th so we will be heavily reliant on Local Shop’s emergency delivery for a while. They have been really spectacular in all of this, maybe one day I’ll even tell them who I am. But then it’s only been four years, I don’t want to seem pushy.

Okay, we have two freezers of food and I have a good stock of whisky and baccy so we’ll get through this without me taking pot-shots at passing Audis, tempting though that always is.

Editing on the anthology stories is now also complete and they’ll get sent out to authors this weekend. If you sent in a story and don’t hear back before Sunday, I might have lost it in all this year’s confusion. Don’t hesitate to drop me a reminder.

RooBeeDoo gets first place on the editor list for this one, she did most of the editing while I was in a blue funk for the last few months.

Finally, I need to come up with a title for this one. Something about quarantine, masks, handwash or toilet paper, ideally. Once all the edits are out, I’ll have a bit of a think.

Suggestions welcome, of course.

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.

The Numbers Game

Work on the anthology is slow. There have been multiple disruptions in life this year – not just the virus, although that has meant that CStM and I no longer do the weekly shopping together. I have to go alone – and unsupervised – so there’s now a lot of whisky in the house. Fortunately, Aldi didn’t have any new power tools last week.

The virus hasn’t affected our lives all that much really. The only bad part is not being able to visit family and later, if the weather gets warm, we’d visit one of the two large castle gardens nearby. Well, we do have a decent garden so we can leave the parks to those who don’t.

Roobeedoo and I are working through the edits for the anthology. I’ll send them all out at once when they’re all done and then send out payments as soon as each author has agreed/modified the edits. It won’t be out for Easter but then this year, neither will Jesus.

Panoptica is something I have to get back into also. Most of what I’ve written so far is well on the way to being reality and I need to stay a little bit ahead. I’m thinking of dropping the first few chapters, start with the lead-in short stories and then start 10538’s story with the interview that sends him to the train. I need to use the flashbacks as his memory recovers but that repeats the beginning – so the answer is, lose the beginning and make the flashbacks more detailed.

Better get moving before they declare books non-essential.

One of the big questions lately is: ‘are they fiddling the death statistics?’ Yes they are, possibly with good reason.

Some countries are putting an underlying condition as cause of death to reduce the terror in the numbers. Others, like China, are simply lying. Yet others are attributing any death to coronavirus and inflating their figures.

Anyone testing positive for Flu Manchu and then dies is counted as a Flu Manchu death even if they died of a stroke or heart attack and had no flu symptoms. It’s a notifiable disease so it has to be on the death certificate but it isn’t necessarily the actual cause of death. Anyone showing symptoms is added to the list even if they aren’t actually tested. Deaths from flu and pneumonia are mysteriously low this year. They’re all counted as the new coronavirus.

The number of total deaths sounds scary, but people die all the time. It’s an inescapable consequence of being alive. Flu has a large death toll every year, usually among the elderly and the already sick, but nobody advocates lockdown every winter. They probably will now.

The kill rate is really not what makes this new one so dangerous. It’s trick is that it spreads so very easily and someone infected can spread it for a long time before they know they have it. Flu does cause a hell of a lot of cases and a lot of death but the symptoms appear in a few days. The new one can be spreading for weeks before it strikes the carrier and there is still the possiblility of long term asymptomatic spreaders. So, today, you might only have a few cases but two weeks from now, you could have a massive spike.

Around 20% of those cases will need hospitalisation and most of them won’t need intensive care. Most will recover with treatment. The thing is, 20% of a million cases is two hundred thousand in hospital. Unlike flu, that’s not spread over months. It’s likely to be spread over weeks. If you’re in there for three weeks recovering then the hospitals are soon full. Then you’re at the stage where doctors have to decide who gets treatment.

Lockdown is a way to avoid that. Limit the spread. There is no way to stop it but you can slow it down. The shrieking harpies of the press love to put out the total number of deaths as if they could have been avoided. The final number of infections and the final number of deaths from this virus will not change whether you let everyone loose or seal them in their homes. That final number, whatever it is, is going to happen no matter what.

The point of the lockdown is to ensure that the timing of that final number is extended. To ensure they don’t all arrive at hospital within a week, but show up over a period of months. Then the medical system can cope. If they all show up at once then the hospitals are overflowing, there aren’t enough medical staff (proper medical staff, not the managers with personal parking places and plush offices) and then the whole system collapses. It’s not just that there aren’t enough beds for coronavirus patients – in that scenario, there are no beds at all for all the other illnesses. So while the final number of deaths from coronavirus will be the same, the deaths from other illnesses will be much higher because they can’t be treated.

It is vitally important that people avoid too much contact at this time. You’re going to get it, no matter what, but I’m sure that if you are in the 20% who need hospital treatment you’d much rather there was space to treat you and you don’t have to die alone in a tent on the hospital lawn.

This is why they are inflating the numbers. They don’t need to in Germany, the German people are very strict and rigid when it comes to rules and will self-enforce them. The British and the Americans are a different matter. We don’t much care about rules. We follow the ones we like but tend to rebel against the ones we don’t like. So tell us to stay home. Week one, fine, we can lounge around and play games and treat it like taking a sickie. Week two, boredom sets in. Now we are at Easter weekend and there are people taking trips and having parties and barbecues…

Boris delayed lockdown as long as he could because he knew what the British are like. Trump isn’t pushing hard on lockdown yet because he knows what Americans are like. Neither country will put up with it for very long. Do it too soon and it will fail too soon. Also if they did it from day one, when it would be most effective, people would look around and say ‘Nothing is happening. This is all bollocks’ and then it will fall apart. And then they will not listen to a second lockdown when the shit hits the fan.

So the inflated figures are scary because they are meant to be. The British and American people will not take it seriously otherwise and then we’ll end up like Italy or Spain (or worse, like the mysteriously unreported Belgium). It’s scaring some sense into people, and while it does involve lying, I think it’s a sensible approach. Because you buggers will shrug it off otherwise.

There have been some mutterings that it is hitting black and Asian people harder and apparently that’s racist. Even viruses are racist now. Well, look at who mostly ignored the lockdown and still does. That’s why it’s hitting them harder. Considering the police are more interested in fining a lone person on a beach than breaking up mass gatherings of minorities, I do wonder if that’s part of the plan…

There are going to be idiots who insist ‘it’s a bank holiday, I’m having a barbecue/party/going to the beach’. There will be other bank holidays. You can skip just one. If you don’t you might have to skip them all.

I can’t even take an Easter egg to my granddaughter. I can’t visit my kids either. I can’t go to Wales to see my mother and brother and the rest of the family. CStM and I cannot visit her family in Denmark. Not that I would get on a plane at the moment anyway. It’s not fun but it is important.

Nothing will change the eventual number of infections, hospitalisations and deaths from this virus. Nothing. The daily death toll is just morbid reporting for clicks and to snipe at the government. In every country. All we can do is slow the rate of getting there so the health systems can cope. Otherwise the deaths from other diseases will be very much higher.

Oh, and this virus isn’t going away. I’m sure most people link the Black Plague with the Great Fire of London in 1666 but it started in the mid 1300s and lasted 400 years. It’s still endemic in a few places now. This virus will, likewise, not just vanish. When most people have at least some immunity it will recede into the background but like flu, it will return to kill more people every year.

So be scared of it. Stay home. Don’t let it surge into an overwhelming number of cases at once. Keep its spread slow, keep it at a level the health services can deal with.

Otherwise there won’t be any point continuing with Panoptica. You’ll be living it.

None of you seem to understand

I’m not locked in here with you. You’re locked in here with me.

Rorschach’s best line from ‘Watchmen’, a good film but a much better graphic novel. You want to hear it in real life, with the rage dial turned up to 11? Take away the tobacco or vape from the smoker/vaper you’re self quarantining with. Take away all alcohol from that heavy (or even moderate but regular) drinker you’re locked in with. Force your somewhat rotund family member to diet.

That’s what the Nannies want you to do. They want to lock you in with people who have nowhere to drive and nothing to do and they want you to take away the last of the things that alleviate their boredom. Does that sound like a good idea to you? Oh they might be a little bit healthier but you’re locked in with them while they go through a forced withdrawal and have nothing to replace it. Better sleep with one eye open and hide all the sharp things.

Actually they won’t be healthier. Their stress levels will increase massively if you remove the booze and smokes/vapes controlling their stress at this time. Same goes for the overweight – try to force them to diet now and you will not only increase their stress but they might well get so angry they lash out.

And I wouldn’t blame them. Not one bit. The link between overweight and coronavirus is tenuous at best. There is no link at all between smoking or vaping or drinking and coronavirus, whether susceptibility to catching it or severity of symptoms. The major risk is underlying conditions, especially diabetes, cancer and heart problems. Those are the ones suffering the worst and dying the most. And you can’t fix those things with rules.

In fact, smokers are under-represented in coronavirus cases in ICU. I have no data to hand on vapers or boozers, which is a pity since I partake in all three hobbies. Nobody, as far as I know, has even mentioned heat-not-burn.

Sudden lifestyle changes, especially when forced upon someone rather than letting them do it by their own choice, is extremely stressful. Stress reduces your immune response. At this time, do you think it’s a good idea to do that? Stress puts pressure on your heart. At this time, do you think it’s a good idea to do that? Having one stressed-out person in a locked-in household will stress everyone else too. Is that a good idea?

Of course not, but then Public Health are hardly famed for having good ideas. In the midst of the biggest threat to public health in a hundred years, they have no ideas at all. Just more nannying.

Donnie Trumpton, Great Orange King of the Oompa-Loompas, has ideas. He is using this to wipe out his opponents’ voter base. By telling them the truth. It’s despicable, it’s evil, he knows what he’s doing, but it’s something even Ian Fleming didn’t think of in a villain.

He mentions chloroquine. Long known to have antiviral properties, long used in treatment of malaria, lupus and other things, very cheap, no side effects worth worrying about with proper dosage. Trump knows nothing of this, he spent his life in business, not medicine nor science. Someone advised him.

The anti-trumpers invent all kinds of side effects and demonise this common and easily obtainable drug. They will not touch it.

Today he mentioned zinc. Again, he won’t know about this from his own past. Someone advised him. Zinc oxide cream is the wound healer of choice for minor wounds, zinc sulphate is the internal version, helps the immune system and can break the cytokine storm that could kill you with this virus. Twitter is full of people calling it shamanism,idiocy, betting he has just bought shares in zinc, relating side effects (from overdose,they don’t mention that part) and generally inducing Trump-haters to have nothing to do with it.

His methods are so evil even I couldn’t have written it. But they are remarkably effective. Trump supporters will be on zinc sulphate supplements, and more, already, while his opponents will scoff at the idea. So if they get the virus, his supporters are already primed for treatment. His opponents are not.

All you need do is read the label and don’t overdose. You can in fact half-dose and increase to full dose when (if) you get sick. Probably best, you don’t want to be on these things long term.

Trump sounds like a bumbling idiot when he speaks. Some of that is because he doesn’t really understand the science he’s been told, some of it is, I think, an act. He (or his advisers) know that his opponents think he’s a complete idiot and he’s playing to that. Tell them the solution and watch them ignore it, even ridicule it.

I think he’ll tell them next that forced respiration is a bad idea and it’s better if patients lie on their stomachs for a while each day. It’s turning out to be true, but they’ll say it’s because he doesn’t want to buy respirators. And they will refuse to do it if they get sick. They will demand forced respiration and refuse to touch Trump’s shamanistic drug regime.

There are some things he will never tell them. Smoking reduces cell surface proteins the virus uses to attach, and gives the smoker a regular dose of virus-killing nitric oxide. There is emerging evidence that propylene glycol, used in vapes, is also antiviral. Trump will never mention those things because he is a rabid antismoker and has recently shown his antivaping credentials.

The alcohol? No idea yet but there is nothing to say it will make things worse.

So I think I’ll have another.

Cheers.

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.

More on survival.

Well. Boris has the virus and seems to be in a pretty bad way. Let’s hope he survives this because, even if you hate him, he’s human. Also he didn’t want to impose the lockdown and if he’s gone, his replacement might well revel in it. Boris would let everyone out a lot sooner than some of his potential replacements. Really, even if you hate the Tories, this is one man and he’s not Satan – but Satan might be waiting in the wings.

So what can you do? More and more we are hearing that we should be wearing face masks. Where to get them? Well… you can’t. I have modified some respirators and ex-army gas masks I have lying around but if you’re not an ex-microbiologist or a packrat with a massive junk collection you probably don’t have any. There are many clips of people folding fabric into masks. They won’t protect you very much but if you are infected (and you might not know it), they will attenuate the effects of a cough or sneeze so you won’t spread it far. Two metres (or two yards six inches for us old Philistines who refuse to believe Imperial units are no more) is plenty far enough away if your cough is masked.

There is an option to fold a couple of extra layers in there. A layer of any cloth soaked in 30% salt solution with a tiny drop of detergent and dried, even if you can’t get the right microfibre, will help. Also a strip cut from one of the fancy HEPA hoover bags. The paper ones are better than nothing but the HEPA ones are best. That’s the white fabric ones. It’s almost, but not quite, as good as N95 masks.

Remember to stitch or staple a pleat either side of your nose so it seals well. Also, wear wrap-around safety glasses to protect your eyes.

Medication. Hydroxychloroquine seems to be working in combination with an antibiotic and zinc. You’ll have problems getting hydroxychloroquine now, but you don’t really need it unless you are hospitalised anyway. Dr. Faust, Donnie Trumpton’s doctor guy, the Pharmers and the Billy Gates Gruff are going all out to stop this treament but that’s because it’s a cheap medication. You can’t sell expensive drugs or vaccines to a population who have a cheap quick fix. Also, Billy Gates Gruff won’t get to realise his dream of microchipping everyone on the planet. Listen to the frontline doctors. They are saying it’s working. Don’t listen to the buggers trying to make money out of this.

Vitamins C and D are a good thing to have anyway. Especially here in Scotland, where sunbathing really isn’t going to be viable for a few more months and citrus fruit just doesn’t grow. They aren’t a cure, they are vitamins that help your body fight off infections. So get some into you.

We take vitamin D here because there’s not much sunlight in Scotland over winter and when there is, it’s too damn cold to go out there. Also, I’m pretty much nocturnal anyway…

Some people don’t like oranges, a few are actually allergic to the point where too many oranges can cause a blowout down below. Not the most enjoyable of experiences. However, both D and C are available in pill form – I have pleasant memories of Haliborange tablets when I was sick as a child. Oh, and vitamin B6 (or just simple B complex mixtures) can be good to have too.

You won’t get the antibiotic off-prescription either, but like hydroxychloroquine, you don’t need it unless you get sick enough to be hospitalised. It does have a purpose and no, antibiotics don’t work on viruses. They prevent secondary bacterial infections. See, once the virus has minced your throat and your immune system is knackered from dealing with it, that’s the ideal time for a bacterial infection to take root and make things a hell of a lot worse. That’s what the antibiotic is for.

Zinc has long been known to help in wound healing. Zinc oxide cream is a common topical application for cuts. Do not eat it. That will just make you shit through every orifice. Zinc also helps reduce inflammation and can disrupt the cytokine storm this virus can cause in severe cases. This is available as zinc sulphate tablets but don’t take them forever. They can cause anaemia in long term use. Get some and start taking them (one a day) at the first onset of symptoms. Stop when you get better.

With all these supplements, taking more than recommended is not a good idea. Also if you are on any other medication, check with your doctor before adding to it. Taking too much can land you in other problems than the virus so don’t do it. Also, if you already have anaemia, talk to your doctor before taking zinc. You might be best to avoid supplements until you actually show symptoms but dietary sources of these vitamins/minerals are available. Look out for them.

This is a particularly vicious virus but even so, it has been blown into something even bigger by those who stand to make a lot of money from it. Listen to frontline medics, not ‘experts’ who are likely to get very rich out of vaccine sales. If it really is cured by these simple, cheap medications then the vaccine isn’t needed – and that scares the hell out of them.

So many groups are trying to use this to their advantage now. Even if you are so far to the Left you make Stalin raise his eyebrows, you know, deep down, Boris is your best chance of getting out of this with your freedoms intact. Stop wishing him dead.

His replacement could be a hell of a lot worse.

Meh

I have suffered an attack of Meh the past few days. I don’t know what it is but I had it once before, years ago.

It was the time I spent New Year’s Eve sober. Meh is characterised by general fatigue, listlessness and total loss of appetite. Last time I didn’t eat anything for almost a week, this time it seems to have lasted just a few days. I managed half a pizza today. Recovery has begun.

It’s a strange one. I don’t feel ill, I just don’t feel hungry nor indeed have the impetus to do much of anything.

At least this time it didn’t coincide with New Year. That New Year I drank one beer over the course of the entire evening and watched New Year TV sober. It’s seriously crap if you’re sober. It went downhill fast after 1999.

A dose of Meh comes at a bad time, I’m already way behind but I should be able to catch up quickly.

It’s not as if I’m going to be able to go anywhere…

Going Viral… it’s what they do

So, this virus is still pissing everyone off. If only we could make tiny hammers to smash the little buggers, eh?

Right, so what do we actually know? Not much, as it goes. It’s a new one, it’ll take a long time to figure out what it can and cannot do and by then, one or other of us will be dead. Of course, if the virus kills us, it’s dead too. It cannot reproduce without a host.

It is the way of viruses to gradually mutate into less deadly versions. If they don’t, if they wipe out their host species, they die too. There are viruses that have perfected this. They are in us all now, reproducing slowly, doing no real harm, parasitising with nobody noticing. That takes a long time but I suspect they all get there in the end.

It’s the boisterous new kid on the block that always causes most damage. The thug virus, in Burberry and drugged to the eyes, not yet realising it depends for its very existence on those it is trying to kill. It will calm down, eventually, but it will kill a lot of people before it does.

Okay, what do we have? Most of it is unproven and some of it is just hearsay but we have to go with what we have for now.

First, it is not a hoax. Some are still saying this. I have noticed though, that a couple of days ago Twitter was full of sneering ‘Does anyone know anyone who has even had this virus?’ and today it’s full of ‘family member dead or on a ventilator’ tweets. It has changed very quickly. Not surprising since the death toll is doubling every three days.

Some of them are fake. Clearly. But some of them are real. I now personally know a few people who have tested positive.

Second, testing. There are howls to test everyone, so all those testing negative can get back to work. Testing does not confer immunity. If you test negative it merely shows that you haven’t caught it yet. You could catch it between the time of the test and getting the result. It means nothing. There is an antibody test in development that will show if you had it and have developed immunity but even when it’s widely available, it takes 28 days after infection before it can be deemed accurate. I hope you like your living room wallpaper, you’re going to be staring at it for a while yet.

Third, who is most at risk? The elderly, obviously. Those with underlying conditions whether or not they have been diagnosed. This is important. There have been many, many cases in the past of apparently fit and healthy people in their twenties suddenly dropping dead from a heart or other problem nobody even suspected they had. It happens. It’s not nice but it does happen. Just because you feel fine, live the Health Dream and have a body that would make Charles Atlas green does not mean you are safe. Do not chance it.

Some are more at risk than others. It seems the virus kills more men than women. It seems to target blood group A and Rhesus negative particularly. It seems to not like smokers so much. All this is connected with cell surface antigens that the virus uses for attachment and I’m not getting into a lecture now. I haven’t seen absolute proof of any of these things (there hasn’t been enough time for research) so it’s all speculation or preliminary studies at this point.

Fourth, is it a bioweapon? I don’t know. It might be but it doesn’t need to be. Nasty new viruses can arise by pure chance. This one might have been created by a lab or by sheer bad luck. There are very few genes in a virus so adding or taking away one makes a hell of a difference to what it does. A simple transcription error in a SARS virus could have made this one.

Bioweapons are really no use in the modern world unless you want to attack the entire world. Lobbing plague infested corpses into beseiged castles in the 14th century, fine. It’s contained. Now, you could let loose a bioweapon in, say, London, and it will cover the whole damn planet in 24 hours. You cannot contain it. No matter where in the world you let out your bioweapon, it is coming home and might get home before you do. So I don’t think it was a deliberate bioweapon attack. Accidental release, maybe.

Although the Billy Gates Gruff was suspiciously fast at bringing in his vaccine with free bonus microchip. So I’ll leave the bioweapon thing open for now. That guy is the one who wanted to reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide to zero. He is a dangerous idiot.

Fifth, is it really more dangerous than the flu? After all, more people die of the flu than from this. Well, it’s not about the death rate. It’s the infection rate. With flu, you get infected, 2 or 3 days later you’re in bed wishing for Death’s release. A couple of weeks later you’re okay, you might be infectious for a day or two after but you won’t cause too many new cases.

With this one, you can be infectious for two weeks before you even know you have it. There is some evidence you can still be infectious for a while after recovery. The kill rate isn’t that high but the infection method means you could see a massive spike in cases all at once. ‘Only’ 20% need hospital treatment but unlike those flu cases, the hospital ones aren’t spread out over months. The cases could spike over days. And then you have the Italy situation where doctors have to choose who gets the ventilator.

It does not kill more than the flu. What it can do is cause a spike in cases over days rather than months, and then people die because they can’t get treatment. Not just from the virus, from everything else too, because the hospitals are overloaded. This new virus has not made all the other diseases go away, you know.

Finally, is it all the government’s fault? What do you want, your government to seal all borders, allow nobody in or out, and keep you under home arrest 24/7? No, it is not the government’s fault. Look at the faces of those in government now. They are knackered. Boris looks like he should be home in bed with a hot water bottle and he is still working. Making political mileage out of this is just sick.

No government on the planet could have foreseen this, no government could possibly have been ready, no politician anywhere understands how a virus works and sure, they have scientific advisers but no scientist has ever seen this virus before. Vaccines and treatments are not something we scientists pull out of our arse on command, you know. It took me three years to find a treatment for Clostridium difficile and prove that it worked. That bacterium has been causing problems for a very long time. Now you want a cure for a brand new virus in days? 14 days incubation and spread before symptoms? Nobody has seen that before and nobody has a plan in place to deal with it. Why would they? It has only just come into existence.

Instead of attacking health workers and pharmacists, instead of demanding the government do something about a thing nobody has experienced before, why not try looking after yourselves for once?

If this thing keeps going, sooner or later you’ll have no choice.