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News, insights, opinions December 2021

December 8, 2021

The goal of internet censorship is to suppress and marginalize unauthorized reports, investigations, and opinions so much that the World Wide Web actually becomes a tool to indoctrinate ordinary people. The censorship is done via search engine rankings, social media bans, and defamation. 

As the few independent dissenting voices are drowned out by a cacophonic choir of propagandists and their acolytes, it is important to remain skeptical, curious, and open minded. Common sense, systematic analytical assessment, and historical knowledge will help, the teaching of the elders and the wisdom of the ages could for some be helpful too.

With this attitude it is possible to avoid the distraction of trivial, fatuous entertainment and block the misinformation deluge of mainstream mass media. The gained time can instead be used to look into the lonely corners of the internet and listen to scattered dissenting voices.

Alternatively one could ditch the internet altogether (or at least significantly reduce online time) and live in one’s tangible, olfactible, perceptible, palpable, conspicuous actual reality.

The coronavirus pandemic

Global COVID-19 cases have increased for seven consecutive weeks and the number of deaths has started to rise again, too, driven largely by the Delta variant and a declining use of protective measures in parts of the world.

Cases and hospitalizations in the USA rose to 100,000 daily cases and over thousand daily death. South Korea, once a poster child for successful pandemic mitigation, has reported a record 7,175 new daily cases. Cases have skyrocketed after the country lifted most restrictions and adopted a “living with COVID-19” strategy.

Governments across Europe are relying almost exclusively on vaccinations, rejecting critical social distancing measures needed to eliminate viral transmission, even as the Delta variant devastates the continent. This has led to a disaster, as there are hundreds of millions of unvaccinated people in Europe and the Delta variant is more resistant to vaccines than the initial strain of the virus. Already, Europe sees nearly 3 million infections and 30,000 deaths of COVID-19 each week.

Germany recorded 70,000 new infections and 500 death a day. There are currently 4,690 coronavirus patients receiving intensive care, a number that has more than doubled in a month. Over half of these patients are on artificial respiration. Many hospitals have reached their limit and ambulances must increasingly approach multiple clinics before finding intensive care capacity. Three out of four German hospitals are postponing scheduled surgeries.

Intensive care patients from Germany, Austria, and the Netherlands must be transferred to other European countries as hospitals in many regions are overloaded.

People are told to work from home unless attending the workplace is “absolutely necessary”. Arrivals from overseas must have a negative test result in addition to being vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19.

Omicron

Scientists in South Africa have detected a new COVID-19 mutation (B.1.1.529 strain, named Omicron) with a spike protein that is dramatically different to the one in the original coronavirus that COVID-19 vaccines are based on and also very different from Delta. While the delta variant has 8 mutations and the beta variant 3, the Omicron variant has at least 32 spike protein mutations and about 50 in the entire genome.

Changes in the spike protein are critical because in contrast to bacteria, fungi, or other pathogens with the ability to live independently, viruses rely on their hosts’ cells, which they penetrate and use to reproduce. The spike protein of the coronavirus is a chain of 1,273 amino acids, with different areas along the protein fulfilling functional tasks for the virus, like binding to cells in the body and evading the immune system. A main function is the virus’s use of the spike protein to bind to a receptor known as ACE2 on the surface of cells.

An Omicron sub-lineage was identified in an overseas arrival from South Africa to Australia Queensland. The newly found sub-lineage has only about about 14 gene changes.

Omicron seems to have the ability to evade the immune system and an increased capability to infect. The WHO labeled it instantly a “variant of concern.”

Scientists warn and early data show indeed, that the new variant is better at evading immunity from past infections — and perhaps from vaccinations. Clinical observations globally suggest that Omicron may be more transmissible and could pose a higher risk of reinfection compared to the Delta and Beta variants. Current vaccines may not work or only give scant protection. First US Lab results show that Omicron is able of a more extensive escape from antibodies than any previous variants.

A concerning trend of the Omicron surge in South Africa is the disproportionate impact of the virus on infants and toddlers under the age of five. A rise in hospitalizations of children under the age of five proves that children can be infected and can become very ill.

When biologists detected Omicron on November 9, the daily average was just 266 cases. Infection rates in South Africa have now risen 32-fold to 8,861 new cases per day. Cases are doubling every three days.

Southern Africa is a hotspot of the immune compromised. HIV/AIDS is present among 17.3 percent of adults in South Africa, 22,20 percent in Botswana, and 23.10 percent in Lesotho. If the disease is not killing off hosts whose immune systems are already weakened, it strongly suggests lower morbidity than other strains.

South African doctors report that the variant produces mild symptoms. That Southern Africa is not seeing soaring death rates so far is an indication that the mutation lacks virulence. 

According to experts, basic evolutionary biology should eventually lead to more transmissibility, but less fatalities, as the perfect pathogen does not want to kill all the hosts.

Omicron is unstoppable

It is more than sure that the Omicron variant has been deeply seeded in communities throughout the globe. It has spread to at least 57 countries, including most of Western Europe and the USA, but no deaths have yet been reported. Most of the cases in Europe and USA are travelers returning from Africa, but there are increasingly infections detected which are only explainable as community transmitted. It appears that Omicron, like Delta and all other variants, is spread rapidly by air travel and that intermittent or temporary travel restrictions are not sufficient to isolate a country from the pandemic.

Initially Omicron cases were in single digits, now they are in the hundreds. Even if the new variant is less deadly it could be that it is too different to neutralize Delta and that the two pathogens will spread in parallel. The then unavoidable reinfections mean that already weakened immune systems are stricken again and will break down, unable to fight the virus.

Travel bans

Nations around the world try to keep the new Omicron variant at bay with travel bans and further restrictions, even against the urging of the World Health Organization, which noted that border closures often have limited effect but can wreak havoc on lives and livelihoods. Business and politicians argue that individual liberty must be respected, that travel bans have enormous economic implications and may damage international solidarity.

Concerning vaccine distribution there was no international solidarity to speak of. There is also no international solidarity to avoid famine in Yemen, Afghanistan, and East Africa (especially Ethiopia).

This discussion touches a fundamental ecological, social, and political issue: How can one waste money for non-essential travel, when people are dying from hunger and disease? How can one tolerate the ecological destruction from tourism (especially air travel)?

Travel bans work and the politicians who open their country to tourists in the midst of a pandemic are either fools or thugs (this assessment includes also the Cuban political elite)! Even before Omicron’s arrival, China was discouraging its citizens from traveling abroad, a move which had a huge impact on global tourism.

Some may think they have no choice: Fiji welcomed back its first tourists after more than 600 days, pushing ahead with reopening plans. The Pacific nation’s economy relies on tourism and declined by 19 percent, prompting the government to offer unemployed people tools and money to become farmers (that’s the way to go indeed).

Malaysia’s tourism sector also faces collapse as tourism has plummeted since the beginning of the pandemic with dramatic consequences for those who work in this industry.

To avoid a spread of the new strain, Singapore will restrict entry to travelers from seven African countries. Singapore citizens and permanent residents returning from these countries will have to serve a 10-day stay-home notice at a dedicated facility. VTLs (Vaccinated travel lanes) for UAE, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia are deferred, all VTL travelers have to take COVID-19 tests for 7 days on arrival. 

Japan reimposed border controls that it eased earlier this month for short-term business visitors, foreign students and workers, but subsequently suspended entry of all foreign visitors.

Israel barred entry of all foreigners and Morocco said it would suspend incoming flights for two weeks. Poland suspended flights to seven southern African countries.

Britain has banned travel from South Africa and six other African nations, testing of inbound travelers has been increased. Germany said a flight ban will be enacted and airlines coming back from South Africa will only be able to transport German citizens home. Travelers will need to go into quarantine for 14 days whether they are vaccinated or not.

Canada and the USA are also closing borders to South Africa and neighboring countries.

South Africa’s Health Minister Joe Phaahla called the travel restrictions “unjustified”, though he also acknowledged that the new variant may be more transmissible.

Ben Cowling, an epidemiologist at the University of Hong Kong said it may be too late to tighten travel curbs against the latest variant. “Most likely this virus is already in other places. And so if we shut the door now, it’s going to be probably too late.”

The US and Australia have become the latest countries to confirm locally transmitted cases of the variant.

Money and viruses

On Wall Street the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 2.5 percent, tracking its worst day since late October 2020, and European stocks had their worst day in 17 months as financial markets digested the news.

Cruise operators Carnival Corp, Royal Caribbean Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Line plunged more than 9 per cent each, while shares in United Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and American Airlines slumped almost 10 percent.

Yet, pandemic-driven declines don’t last as long as before and are followed by recoveries to new highs. The dip after Omicron is following a similar pattern.

Tourist destinations lately took desperate and likely futile step towards saving the winter ski season.

The coronavirus pandemic could cost global tourism 2 trillion US$ in lost revenue this year, according to a UNWTO (United Nations World Tourism Organization) report. The same amount was lost in 2020. While Europe and the Americas showed a relative increase during the third quarter of 2021 (lead by the Caribbean, Mexico, Turkey, Croatia), arrivals in Asia and the Pacific were down by as much as 95 percent compared with 2019. 

The new variant could further slow global economic recovery, just as the Delta strain did, the International Monetary Fund chief, Kristalina Georgieva, said on Friday.

Even before the arrival of this new variant, we were concerned that the recovery, while it continues, is losing somewhat momentum,” she said. “A new variant that may spread very rapidly can dent confidence.”

But the pharmaceutical industry (Big Pharma) is doing well.

Vaccines

Pfizer CFO Frank D’Amelio said in a call with Wall Street analysts that after the pandemic, Pfizer is “going to get more on price” and hinted there would be a substantial price increase for its COVID-19 vaccine. The company currently charges 19.50 US$ per dose for its vaccine, but the typical price is 150 to 175 US$ per dose for other vaccines it sells.

There are growing doubts that vaccinations will be the ultimate solution of the pandemic threat.

More than two-thirds of Germans are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Nevertheless, significantly more people are currently dying from the virus than in autumn 2020. Germany just reported 446 fatalities, the highest number of daily deaths from coronavirus since mid-February.

On November 17, Gibraltar posted its highest number of new cases in more than 10 months. The surge became a cause of great concern and prompted the government to call off Christmas festivities. Gibraltar is the most highly vaccinated region in the world with more than 99 percent of its population being fully vaccinated. More than 40 percent have already received their booster.

Other examples of high vaccination rates not preventing COVID surges are Denmark, Iceland, Singapore, and Israel.

Vaccines injected intramuscular do not activate the nasal immune system, and do not prevent the virus from multiplying in the nose (as the US CDC’s study of “Bear Week” in Provincetown showed). Hence, current vaccines protect against serious illness, hospitalization, and death, but not transmission, because the virus is breathed out, often before symptoms occur. Nasal vaccines, which prevent the virus from multiplying in the nose, are the only potential avenue to a sterilizing vaccine. Unfortunately, Cuba’s nasal vaccine Mambisa is still in clinical trials.

Vaccines may have side effects too. 

The medical journal Circulation writes about a new study: “We conclude that the mRNA vacs dramatically increase inflammation on the endothelium and T cell infiltration of cardiac muscle and may account for the observations of increased thrombosis, cardiomyopathy and other vascular events following vaccination.”

Clueless experts said….

Adding to the growing evidence that fomite transmission plays a relatively small role, if any, in the spread of the virus, a large Brazilian study collected samples from mask fronts, mobile phones, paper money, card machines, sewage, air and bedding during the ascendant phase of the epidemiological curve of COVID-19 in Barreiras city, and did not detect any trace of SARS-CoV-2 in any of the samples analyzed. The study concluded that, so far, the environment and inanimate materials had not played an important role in COVID transmission in the area.

The virus appears unlikely to last long enough on innate surfaces for this to be a contributing factor to the spread of COVID. Good hygiene is never a bad idea and keeping hands and surfaces clean may help slow the spread of other diseases that rely more on fomite transmission. But it may be time to stop wiping down your home deliveries and shopping.

With regards to the coronavirus, the focus must be on airborne transmission, particularly in indoor areas. Schools, offices, shopping centers and hospitals must ensure the safety of the people they accommodate by looking at ways to filter air adequately and keep ventilation flowing so any airborne viral particles are taken out of the atmosphere. Until governments and regulatory bodies take airborne transmission seriously, we are likely to see continued infections and reinfections.

What could be (in a sane world)

To eradicate COVID-19 independent experts suggest the following emergency program:

Non-essential production must stop until the disease is brought under control. Employees must receive 100 percent pay for remote work or, when remote work is impossible, compensation for lost income.

Self-employed tradesmen and tradeswomen, contractors and small business owners shall receive compensation for lost earnings resulting from the halting of non-essential production.

In-person education has to be suspended and replaced with remote instruction. Funds must be made available to ensure that every child and adolescent is provided with his or her own modern laptop and high-speed internet service, along with a safe, spacious and comfortable learning environment at home.

Public health systems must be expanded and additional medical personal hired. Everyone infected with the disease, or exposed to it must have immediate and timely access to public health staff, nurses, and doctors who can monitor symptoms and help to safely quarantine without infecting others.

Funds need to be allocated for the creation of a global vaccination program. The distribution of vaccines must be administered by scientists and public health experts with a mandate to protect the whole world.

The resources for this emergency program exist (curbing military spending, taxing higher incomes), but such a program will never be enacted because the ruling elites are not interested in the wellbeing of ordinary people.

Substantial sections of the ruling elite view the death of elderly and retired workers from COVID-19 as a positive good. For years before the pandemic, there were growing calls to reduce the costs of pensions, social services and medical care by lowering life expectancy. The most explicit formulation of these aims was a 2014 article by Ezekiel Emanuel in The Atlantic, titled, “Why I hope to die at 75.” The article had the sub-head, “An argument that society and families — and you — will be better off if nature takes its course swiftly and promptly.”

Emanuel, who briefly served on Biden’s COVID-19 Advisory Board, is getting his wish. In the first year of the pandemic alone, life expectancy declined by 2.2 years for adult males in the US, the worst decline since official records began to be kept in 1933.

Links are on Blogger. Please take a look, you may find informative and insightful articles well worth reading.
http://mato48.blogspot.com/2021/12/news-insights-opinions-december-2021.html

Pictures from cat land:

6 comments

  1. Cats look cozy! Happy December!

    Like


    • Thank you and Happy Christmas to you!
      We live in interesting times and there would be a lot to write but I think this is the last post this year.
      Cats are fine, even the two ailing ones. It is cold and wet and icy outside, they are glad to have a warm and dry home.

      Like


  2. Hello from the UK

    Many thanks for this post, very helpful. I should say first I am biased. I love the truth and hate lies. Further I like cats!! I grew up with them and although I’m fine with dogs, I would never wish to own one as such. I like the independence of cats; this may reflect my own independent nature of course.

    As regards the info you have provided I will mention the following:

    As regards Covid 19 it is the ‘flu, with which we have been living with for centuries. The ‘flu is the internal toxicosis of the body, partly due to metabolism of food and partly due to the many poisons in our environment which can and do enter our bodies in the air, food and water.

    Covid 19 has been made out to be a ‘monster’ through fear, constant fear stimulated by repeating the same rubbish over and over again.

    I used to think that vaccines were of some use until, at 60 years of age last year, I researched properly. I changed my mind. No vaccine ever has been of use, it was only made to appear so by advertising incessantly that they were of some use in preventing a specific illness or limiting the extent of that illness.

    Therefore adding more toxins via vaccines, if indeed they contain anything at all , is pointless at best and at worst, well, you have indicated some of that here.

    Vaccines have always caused harm or death if they did anything at all. This is well documented.
    Whether a vaccine causes harm or sometimes death depends on the toxicity of the vaccine and the immune status of the individual. The current vaccines are no different and probably worse.

    The real pandemic is vitamin D deficiency which has been the case for a number of years due to an increase in indoor working and living.

    As regards the independent experts, well, I do not think much of their assessment because they have failed to see what Covid 19 is in the first place.

    Mind you, an awful lot of production is rubbish. I particularly think of all the plastics that we use which ultimately cause us and living creatures harm. If we produced quality not quantity we would be much better off.

    In person education is essential; we are real people who need human interaction – let’s face it if we were thinking about cats here, we would not want to cuddle them digitally!!

    We already spend far too much on public health as regards big pharma and should concentrate on detoxifying the soil from which we get our food. Most health issue are due to us being poisoned by artificial chemicals and neuro-toxic drugs which is most of what big pharma sell. It is a gross deception for a gross profit, a false profit if you will.

    Most doctors in the west at least seem to have sold out to big pharma. I have had my own health issues to contend with and therefore have seen first-hand the abysmal way the NHS works, or more accurately doesn’t work.

    It does not use the money is has wisely at all and much of what we have is utterly pointless. If we ate, drank and slept well, among other things, we would hardly need medical services at all.

    Much of what the independent experts are saying is about control and a subservient population. If the population were cats they would not put up with it!!

    Your points about the ruling elite are well made. They do not care a dime for the so-ordinary person. The so-called elite have poisoned the world and now wish to accelerate the process by vaccinating everybody. If the weak, frail and elderly are killed so what they say. But then they made them that way.

    The so-called elite should be exterminated for their crimes against humanity and the well-being of the world.

    I put the following links on my website if you or anyone is interested. Please note I do use humour to lighten the mood and to help make the points.

    https://alphaandomegacloud.wordpress.com/v-is-for-vaccination/

    https://alphaandomegacloud.wordpress.com/2021/09/26/fear-is-the-key/

    Kind regards

    Baldmichael Theresoluteprotector’sson

    Like


    • I agree with many points in your comment, especially concerning Big Pharma, environmental poisons, lifestyle (I myself have to take D3 K2 supplements), and the misguided and misplaced health care efforts based mostly on medical drugs. The mRNA vaccines are scary!

      I agree that In person education and personal contact in general are crucial for our mental health and social cohesion. And yet, I wouldn’t like to get COVID-19 with the risk of slowly suffocating in an ICU-bed.

      Like


  3. I understand re your last sentence and concerns, but as Covid 19 is the ‘flu, and the ‘flu is a whole range of diseases (if you check the symptoms out you may become suspicious as I did, they are very similar), dealing with the toxicosis is safer nowadays at home with suitable remedies (vitamin C primarily as a good anti-oxidant).

    The Chinese were giving large doses of vitamin C intravenous it seems early last year with good success. I wrote about this.

    Going into hospital may be far more dangerous due to those who might give you poisonous drugs etc. I would be seriously concerned for one of my own family given how bad things have become in the UK as far as I can tell. Do check out my site for more info if you wish.

    Yours, Baldmichael

    Like


    • I also avoid hospitals and rather would like to die at home. I avoid medical drugs and unnecessary vaccines, I never took a flu shot.
      I watch this story (the pandemic) as it unfolds with the hope that humans finally will find out that they are not the masters of the universe and better live in harmony with nature.

      Liked by 1 person



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