Somewhere between the “antivaxxers” and the “Zero COVID zealots”, you will find team nothingburger, the “rational” “moderate” people who are just really eager to believe the world will now return to normal. SARS2 won’t depopulate the planet, vaccines won’t cause people to drop dead, the world panicked over a flu virus and now we’re back to business as usual.
And I have a question for them. How do you explain those four million newly disabled Americans? You could pretend that long COVID is just another fake disease, but then you’re still stuck with those four million people who now have a disability. And in a period of two and a half years, that’s a lót of people.
The numbers look a little awkward for the zero COVID zealots too, considering there’s no problem visible until the summer of 2021. I’d say it does fit my double-whammy model of the apocalypse: Mass vaccination + new virus = Constant reinfection. And considering that big spike at the end of the graph is June 2023, I would say we’re not out of the woods yet either.
The reason this turned into such a thing that people still continue to argue and proselytize over is because people notice something is wrong. They’re getting severe colds in the middle of summer, they feel constantly tired, anxious and depressed, they notice every company is suddenly unable to fill its vacancies, they have far worse hay fever than they used to get and they notice young people “dying suddenly”.
It’s not unique to the United States either. The pandemic so far resulted in half a million more people with long term sickness in the United Kingdom too, again with no end in sight, the last numbers are for June 2023 and show a new record again. And as I mentioned before, the Netherlands is now starting to notice a strange rise in people with memory problems.
I’m a fatalist. I don’t think you can do anything to solve this, at least nothing that doesn’t create all sorts of new problems of its own. But I’m not going to sit here and pretend it’s not happening. Gain of function experiments only have to go wrong once, to create a very different world.
We’re now stuck with millions of people showing various immune system problems. And the question to ask yourself is: How will BA.2.86 influence that picture? It is as different from currently circulating variants, as Omicron was from Delta.
There is of course the serotype scenario to anticipate, but I also think there’s a big chance we will just eventually end up with a persistent infection giving birth to some new variant that most people just can not get rid of. If other persistent infections like hepatitis are anything to go by, that would result in widespread T-cell exhaustion.
I also think a lot of people are already sick, without realizing it. When your body produces IgM antibodies, you may notice it. They can make your blood cells clump together. IgG3 antibodies encourage your body to kill infected cells. Both are pro-inflammatory.
IgG4 antibodies on the other hand, just encourage your body to tolerate parasitic infections. It means giving up the fight. When your immune system is fighting an infection, you will feel tired, anxious and depressed. This is useful, it helps you avoid infecting members of your tribe with whatever infected you.
It seems that mRNA vaccines make infections less likely to result in long COVID. I have long wondered why the choice was made for a vaccination technique that was very likely to lead to a tolerogenic immune response. My suspicion now is that they may have chosen this response to maintain business as usual for a few more years.
It seems we’re going to end up over the next few years with most of the population just suffering dementia and immunodeficiency. I think this is probably for the best, for this reason: