I’ve been keeping my head down of late. There is little point in engaging in fruitless argument with those whose mindset is fixed on a particular world view, and irrespective of who is right or wrong, it is often better under these circumstances sometimes just to agree to disagree. Hence my isolation from participating for some weeks now from not only mainstream media, but social media to a great degree as well. This, in part, is due to the overwhelming amount of bovine excrement piling up surrounding this pandemic, epidemic, call it what you will. Part is also down to the immense frustration at seeing the erosion and atrophy of our traditional way of life, and not being able to do very much of consequence about it. I could of course, turn to expressing my opinion in written form, but I doubt if you would wish to read the same angst riddled diatribe on the same regular basis as a decent bowel movement. In short, my extended containment is beginning to really get to me, while those close to me (with a few exceptions) are on the front lines so to speak. Tempers are frayed, every single thing seems to move as if descending through some viscous, transparent gel, time seemingly becoming as an irrelevance. Simple tasks are no longer simple, small pleasures, unachievable. I’d go for a walk on my own, but as I can barely make it up and down the stairs at normal walking pace, that limits my options considerably living in a rather hilly environ. So I have taken to defensive mode, regularly curling up in a suitable fetal position, and having covered my ears, letting out a loud scream. That’s better.
I won’t say more about my current circumstances, that would just depress you and make it appear as if I was touting for sympathy, which I’m not. It is just that lockdown PLC couldn’t have come at a worse time for our household on many fronts. Once the “New normal” starts to be established, we will be in a better place, no doubt. For the time being, like millions of others, we are having to grin and bear it. Thankfully, the only impact this is having is on our collective sanity and while stressed out more than normal, none of us will perish, at least in the short term. So I am not being patronising or facetious when I say I truly empathise with the pain and uncertainty independent business owners must be currently experiencing. If SARS-CoV-2 had struck when I branched out on my own in the 80’s, my business would have been dead in the water. Not only being reliant on travel, my business network primarily composed of other small and medium sized customers, with only a handful of international blue chips as profitable, albeit irregular income. While I could perform 75% of work from home, the remaining 25% was site critical. The telecommuting revolution only works up to a point. Anyone who has had to perform remote diagnostics or a repair with a helpful, but knowledgeable, assistant will testify to this. You might get the task done, but it will take considerably longer, even if the “Assistant” doesn’t manage to make matters worse in the process.
So a major casualty in this outbreak continues to be the economy and infrastructure. A friend of mine, working in an established engineering company is convinced that the lockdown will be used as an excuse to get rid of considerable amounts of “Dead wood”, and I can believe it. The concept of remote working has been strongly resisted by many businesses for years, preferring to have bums on seats at corporate HQ, and a stronger degree of control over the working environment as a consequence. SARS-CoV-2 has forced the hand of organisations, and the reality will be dawning in C-level suites across the world that a major cost – office accommodation – can be reduced substantially by relocating staff to home. Naturally, the first barrier to entry will be adequate, fast and reliable communications, while easily established in many business centres, this is not so guaranteed in a domestic environment. I personally have experienced over 5 major broadband and telephone outages in 10 years, some taking up to 6 weeks to repair. Mobile reception around here due to the local geography and building design is appalling, requiring voice calls to be made or received from the upper rooms of our house. There is also the personal tax implications, and the changes that will be required in domestic routine and ergonomics to facilitate such a permanent culture change. More worryingly will be the intrusion into the personal space. Do I really want the HR director to see that ugly flock wallpaper in the living room or to hear the barking of the dog who doesn’t like being shut in the kitchen? The implications and consequences are not small of such a huge cultural shift, but they are clearly on the cards one way or another. If nothing else, SARS-CoV-2 will usher in a period of belt-tightening unseen in many generations both corporately and personally. While the money printer is running overtime supporting stocks and bonds, the area that truly need attention, employment and GDP, remain extremely vulnerable. Welcome to the new normal.
As to the outbreak itself, the statisticians and analysts continue to argue. Neil Ferguson’s resignation, coming after his breakdown of lockdown rules, is somewhat British in its quaintness. Rather than departing due to being a “False prophet”, it was the hypocrisy that got him in the end. Some have suggested he may have been a victim of a honeytrap. That wouldn’t surprise me. It is clear that the government has over-egged the cake, and do not be surprised if other resignations or moves of other ministers take place. The political fallout from this outbreak will be considerable, and while I have a lot of sympathy for any government having to walk such an unsteady tightrope, it is clear that scapegoats are already being anointed. With the UK surpassing the Italian death toll, we are only 3rd behind France and Belgium. Of course, if we had actually locked down earlier and harder (Open borders anyone?), focussed on decent testing, diagnosis and definition of actual cause of death, we would have escaped such statistical Armageddon. We are now in the position that the increase in deaths over the period is indistinguishable between COVID-19, those with pre-existing morbidities, and those who have died due to delays in NHS treatments etc. Such a cavalier attitude to medical rigour and historical record keeping is repugnant, especially to the family members who expect dignity in already trying, emotional and difficult circumstances. This practice of manipulating the true outcome has been a regular occurrence for many years, be it death or birth certification. While this is often considered a humane gesture, the level of statistical error introduced during this outbreak has now skewed the figures to a point that any proper analysis that contains 2020 data must be taken with a large pinch of salt. Which is another slap in the face to the casualties of this outbreak, be they “Genuine” COVID-19 victims or not. Any possible closure for the families will be close to impossible while every death is placed at the door of this pandemic.
More and more evidence is emerging that the virus itself is not what we first thought. This again supports my previous hypothesis where I asked “What spooked world leaders so much?” It is clearly not just a type of respiratory illness, although a pneumonia like illness (ARDS) does affect some. The unique scarring of lung tissue, and consequent breathing difficulties, while one manifestation of the disease, is not the only factor. It is becoming clear that SARS-CoV-2 is in reality, a blood borne disease that infects the immune system T-cells. While the initial findings concerning how SARS-CoV-2 affects the body by binding to the ACE2 receptors was in line with other SARS research, where SARS-CoV-2 differs is that unlike other variants, it manages to enter the T-cell itself. This is very different from AIDS in that HIV uses the T-cell itself for replication, while SARS-CoV-2 does not appear to integrate into genetic material in a similar manner. This, along with abnormal blood clotting anomalies with some patients, cytokine storms and falling oxygen levels with patients being able to breath normally, indicates SARS-CoV-2 has many physical manifestations other than just affecting the respiratory system. While many organs in the body have ACE2 receptors and can be affected, this is a further troubling development.
It does not stop there, though. SARS-CoV-2 continues to mutate, and it is becoming more evident that there are two distinct strains, with very different pathologies, homologies and medical outcomes. There is certainly a “Wuhan” and “European” strain, and this goes a long way to explaining a lot of confusion and unresolved arguments from diametrically opposite positions. Furthermore, this may explain why the testing regime has proven to be so fraught with a lack of consistent results, false positives and negatives. It would appear that public health bodies worldwide, rather than confuse the public message about the different variants, decided to statistically ignore the different strains, of which there are currently 8, and lump every instance of infection together. While such a simplistic approach is effective for PR purposes, all it causes is confusion and consternation when the public consider the lockdown as past its sell by date, especially when coupled with the empty hospitals.
Time, as always, is a great revealer of truth. Another useful mechanism one can use to discover what is truly going on is the reaction or silence of governments, and in particular the military. The USA is currently adamant that China pays the price for this infection, however there is still considerable confusion as to the true location both geographically and time-wise of patient zero. We now have a scenario where French athletes say they caught SARS-CoV-2 in October 2019 at the World Military Games in Wuhan, a good 6 months before the UK lockdown came into being. This revelation, if true, destroys any credible argument that the UK lockdown was timely and proportional unless a “Known” different strain was in the wild considerably earlier to the December Wuhan lockdown. As mentioned in a previous article, the mysterious vaping deaths due to respiratory failure going back to August 2019 in the USA, may be implicated here, as well as deaths in the Dominican Republic. If this proves to be the case, this suggests a rather disturbing scenario. The peak of the deaths ourselves, the USA and Europe have just encountered, is in fact, a second wave of infection, due to the SARS-CoV-2 virus mutating into a more infectious or possibly lethal variant than was around the latter part of last year. Hence the spooked politicians. They took the only viable political action they could, hold out until the last minute due to the impact on the economy, then come down hard, in a hope of flattening the curve. The only problem with this scenario is any announcement that the coronavirus was indeed in the wild prior to Event 201 pandemic exercise in October, would cause public outrage and alarm. Outrage insofar as the true facts were being withheld from them as to the efficacy and potential lethality of the virus, and alarm as neither government or the scientific community knew the true answer either, whilst running a pandemic simulation amidst a pandemic.
If all of this seems too far fetched, I’ll leave you with a few more nails to drive into the coffin of the official narrative. Firstly, a researcher on the cusp of making “very significant findings” about the novel coronavirus was killed over the weekend in what authorities say was a murder-suicide. Secondly, when legitimate researchers and commentators highlighting the divisions in the scientific community regarding COVID-19 start having their material censored and taken offline, and the only other place to access the source material is behind paywalls that require $800 subscriptions, something is deliberately being kept quiet from the great unwashed. Finally, if you have HIV, you cannot enlist into the US military. The same now applies if you have tested positive for COVID-19. I might be mad, but I’m not stupid.
© Rookwood 2020
The Goodnight Vienna Audio file