Tuesday, July 23, 2024
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Variants and scariants – the Covid joke is on us


FAR from bringing down the final curtain, it seems that the Covid comedy show is going to run and run.

First up (as they say), there is the seemingly unending stream of Covid variants. It is almost as if someone is making them up. In the middle of August, I wrote in these pages about Eris, but now others have emerged such as BA.2.86 which may evade the Covid vaccines (code for ‘we need more vaccines’) and Pirola. While we are exhorted to ‘be worried’, if you dig deep into the details it transpires that there is little to worry about.

After all, we have been here before. We were warned about BA.4 and BA.5 (‘variants of concern’) late in 2021 but, probably much to the surprise of the doom-mongers, humanity has survived. Who can forget Omicron which even those who discovered it described as nothing to worry about? But we were urged to worry about it nevertheless. Even more baffling is that some people who did not fall for the Covid vaccine propaganda are still with us. Quelle surprise!

Next on the bill is animal-to-human transmission. There has long been speculation that Covid may spread from humans to animals, so they could become a reservoir for the virus which could then spread back to humans. Early in 2020 the British government issued mundane advice (e.g. ‘wash your hands’) for people with animals and provided a list of the creatures to which it was considered Covid-19 may spread. The list was extensive and may as well have proclaimed ‘the animal kingdom’ as a potential reservoir for the virus. Though little advice related to specific animals, the government saw fit to include a specific section: ‘If you own a ferret’. Sadly, it did not contain the advice ‘don’t put it down your trousers’; a comedy opportunity missed, in my view.

There remains concern that humans are spreading Covid to deer. We first read about this early in the pandemic but, unless we are concerned about the welfare of deer, which surely have better things to worry about than Covid, it is unclear why we should be concerned now. It is suspected (not confirmed) that three humans have contracted Covid from deer in the United States from a population of around 334,233,000 where 120 people are killed annually in road accidents involving deer. The animal crackers continue with the risk of zoo employees contracting Covid from lions. It may just be me, but if I was working with lions, catching a dose of Covid would be way down my list of concerns.

Long Covid is an old favourite on the comedy circuit, and by special request, it is here tonight courtesy of our sponsors Medscape. Concern is now turning to long Covid in children, and we are told: ‘Long Covid most often strikes seniors and adults, but children are also affected, even though they get less attention, new research shows.’ It was only a matter of time, and the irony is lost on the authors that children were given undue attention by the vaccine obsessed during the ‘pandemic’ given that they were at such low risk from Covid. Some children are suffering from extreme debilitation but the possibility of this resulting from vaccine injury is not even contemplated.

In another Medscape article the ‘mystery’ of long Covid is explored. A single case is presented of someone disabled with post-viral symptoms. His symptoms are not in doubt, but the cause seems to be unknown, yet Medscape is convinced this is long Covid. After all, it must be as the list of symptoms associated with long Covid, having been whittled down to a mere seven, now seems to have expanded again to 37, which does not exactly narrow down to a precise diagnosis.

In breaking news, again in that redoubtable organ Medscape, ‘some people with long Covid tested negative for Covid-19’. Intellectual gymnastics from various sources are drawn on to explain this phenomenon. Primarily it is attributed to not diagnosing the original Covid infection properly (code for ‘we need more Covid testing’). It never seems to enter the heads of these Covid boffins that long Covid either does not exist or is something else altogether. We already know that half of people reporting long Covid symptoms also reported that they had never had Covid and that some long Covid symptoms in women bear a remarkable resemblance to early onset menopause. Nevertheless, it is clear that someone has an interest, presumably financial, in perpetuating the long Covid narrative which, if they succeed, may well prove to be as lucrative as the HIV/AIDS narrative which is still giving good returns forty years on.

However, the team at TCW are at pains to let you know that there is no cause for alarm, be it scariant variants, transmission from rampaging lions or the dreadful prospect of long Covid (everyone has at least one symptom after all). We are here to spread a message of hope and that comes with the information that our caring and sharing government are going to prepare new vaccines against the new variants and bring forward the autumn vaccine programme. What’s more, some of you lucky people who received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines will continue to produce harmless spike proteins . . . for ever. So, you see, there is absolutely nothing to worry about.

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Roger Watson
Roger Watson
Roger Watson is a Professor of Nursing.

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