The Elephant in the Room

As of December 26, 2020, the entire province of Ontario, Canada was placed under lockdown in a bid to control rising numbers of COVID-19 infections, and bring case numbers down. The lockdown is scheduled to end on January 23, 2021 and will be the second major lockdown that has been implemented since the pandemic started in mid-March of 2020.

As of January 3, 2021, there were 3,363 new cases recorded with 95 deaths occurring over the space of two previous days.

According to a report filed by cp24.com (City Pulse News) on that same day, there were 322 people in intensive care units all across Ontario, and 220 on ventilators. There are 2,000 ICU beds in Ontario, so the current numbers suggest that the hospitals in Ontario are far from being overwhelmed.

However, the cp24.com article goes on to say “ ‘ Hospitals continue to cope with an overwhelming number of COVID-19 patients while trying to effectively treat all patients in the health-care system.’ “

In 1975, Ontario had 40,000 hospital beds. Today, it has just 20,000. The change is partly due to better treatments, drugs and surgical procedures than were available 46 years ago. These improvements have meant that patients spend less time in hospital and are discharged more quickly. Hence fewer beds are needed.

However, the change in beds is also explained by successive decades of cuts to the health care system by various Liberal and Conservative provincial governments.

These same governments enacted the cuts to deal with continuously growing debts and deficits, leaving the province without sufficient reserve capacity to handle mass casualty incidents like pandemics. Other provinces have exhibited similar responses to fiscal pressures.

In addition, the cuts have resulted in delaying or rationing care; stories of patients waiting in pain for hip replacement surgeries for months or even years are legion. And not a few patients have died for lack of timely access to care. Shortages of medical professionals are common, and cuts to nursing staff are almost an annual occurence.

Experts from various quarters had warned for years that a pandemic was coming. Yet the various provincial governments in Canada and even the federal government ignored these warnings in favour of dealing with financial pressures ultimately caused by choosing to fund government operations through deficit financing. In turn, the deficits constitute debts owed to private banks with interest accruing.

Up until 1974, the government of Canada self-financed its operations by printing money and backing it up with gold reserves. As a result, Canada’s health care system was well funded and capable of coping with any contingency. And debts and deficits were small.

Had these various levels of government built in excess capacity in the public health care system, there might have been less need for extensive, draconian lockdowns and other restrictions aimed at protecting the health care system from being overwhelmed with COVID cases.

In this respect, neither Ontario nor Canada are alone. Many Western governments have failed to invest properly in their health care systems, with correspondingly similar consequences. The National Health Service (NHS) in the UK runs a publicly-funded health care system, and it has problems that are virtually identical to the problems facing Canada’s health care system. It’s worth noting that when Canada’s public health care system was set up in the very early 1960s, it was modelled on the NHS. Even today, Canadian hospitals are run in a way that is not dissimilar to how UK hospitals are operated.

Indeed, this is the elephant in the room that no one really wants to look at. People in all of Canada’s provinces have had to put up with significant restrictions on their personal freedoms to protect the health care system from being overwhelmed. It’s the reason why Ontario, despite having 2,000 ICU beds, cannot cope with more than 350 COVID cases in ICU without collapsing.

Article written by HuronZephyr

Ivermectin and Hydroxychloroquine: An Alternative View

A mysterious company's coronavirus papers in top medical journals may be  unraveling | Science | AAAS

A number of news articles that have surfaced in the alternative and mainstream media about the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin in treating SARS-CoV-2, or the COVID-19 virus.

Some of the articles claim that both are effective in treating even severe cases of the virus. A number of others, including peer-reviewed scientific papers, claim that neither drug has any effect on the virus.

Early on in the pandemic, a number of trials were done to see if hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), a very old and relatively safe antimalarial drug, would have any effect on the virus. Several small studies showed that it did, and zinc was added to make the drug effective. Other studies claimed that the drug had no effect, but critics have pointed out that these studies involved the use of very high doses and did not use zinc. Sadly, a number of patients treated with high-dose HCQ died.

The critics have also pointed out that co-administration of zinc with HCQ is critical, as zinc is an ionophore that helps HCQ more easily access and destroy the SARS-CoV-2 virus. It’s well known that zinc can be used to shorten a bout with common colds or the flu, and in fact, there is a version of zinc out on the market called Zicam that can be applied nasally and has been used for decades.

Ivermectin is an antiparasitic medication commonly used to treat parasitic infections in horses and other farm animals as well as household pets. It usually comes in the form of a paste that is applied to treat parasitic skin infections, although an oral form is available.

It has been around for a very long time and is considered to be a safe drug with few side effects. In humans, it treats ” ‘a wide range of parasitic and nematodal infections: ” ‘Onchocerciasis, Strongyloidiasis, Ascariasis, cutaneous larva migrans, filariases, Gnathostomiasis and Trichuriasis, as well as for oral treatment of ectoparasitic infections, such as Pediculosis (lice infestation) and scabies (mite infestation).’ ” (1)

(Nematodal infestations are those caused by various species of worms like tapeworms and pinworms.)

Trials of an ivermectin nasal spray to treat COVID-19 infections by a Japanese researcher on Egyptian COVID-19 patients have been underway since August 2020. According to the abstract for the study, ” ‘Ivermectin is a well-known FDA-approved pan antiparasitic drug with high safety profile and potential therapeutic effects against COVID 19. It has been previously investigated as an antiviral agent. It showed 5000 fold reduction of SARS COV 2 viral RNA in-vitro studies.‘ ” (2)

Even more interesting is a study published at https://ivmmeta.com in which a meta-analysis of 24 ivermectin studies that reviewed the effectiveness of ivermectin in treating SARS-CoV-2 infections was completed. Controlling for study bias, the researchers found that ivermectin was anywhere between 48 and 98% effective in treating an infection, depending on the stage of the disease. Late disease could be treated successfully 48% of the time, while it was 98% effective for pre-infection prophylaxis, 90% effective for post-exposure prophylaxis, and 87% in early treatment. The average degree of effectiveness from all studies was 75%.

More stunning was the conclusion: “ ‘Ivermectin is effective for COVID-19. 100% of studies report positive effects. The probability that an ineffective treatment generated results as positive as the 24 studies to date is estimated to be 1 in 17 million (p = 0.00000006).’ “ (3)

Below is a graph showing how the studies reviewed computer and how the researchers from ivmmeta.com reached their conclusion that there was a one in 17 million chance that ivermectin was not effective.


How do HCQ and ivermectin work in treating COVID-19? Simply put, both drugs interfere with RNA synthesis and prevent parasites and nematodes from replicating.

Since both drugs interfere with RNA synthesis, it appears reasonable to expect that they will also interfere with the synthesis of RNA in COVID-19 infections, as the virus is an RNA virus that replicates mainly by penetrating the cells of the body and then forcing those cells to replicate the virus.

So, if both drugs show such promise, then why aren’t they being used?

Both drugs are old and off-patent. They are also dirt-cheap. The pharmaceutical industry can’t make much money off these drugs, as they cannot be patented. If they prove to be as effective as claimed, then they have the potential to make the upcoming COVID-19 vaccines pointless, which would mean the pharmaceutical industry could not make hundreds of billions of dollars in profits from selling vaccines or other COVID-19 treatments.

For its part, the mainstream media have done a very good job of demonizing both drugs and suppressing reports of their potential value. The reason why is that big pharmaceutical companies are the media’s biggest customers for advertising. Plus, the media love to manipulate public narrative and perception, just for the sake of having this kind of power.

I’ve often long thought that the reason for this is that some journalists have spent the better part of their careers desperately trying to prove that the pen is indeed mightier than the sword. But with the severe corruption we’ve seen in the field of journalism over the last few decades, that pen has been rather badly tarnished.

It’s no secret that this kind of manipulation is also frequently done for the benefit of large and powerful corporate interests that own most mainstream news outlets and stand to profit from it.

There is an alternative viewpoint that is benign, and that is that while both drugs may successfully treat COVID-19 infections and save lives, neither will confer permanent immunity on someone who has survived a COVID-19 infection.

What this means, ultimately, is that someone who gets COVID-19 and survives can be reinfected and continue to spread the virus, even if they have been treated with HCQ and/or invermectin.

FOOTNOTES

(1) Proceedings of the Japan Academy, Series B, Physical and Biological Sciences, “Ivermectin, ‘Wonder drug’ from Japan: the human use perspective”, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3043740, published 10 February 2011, retrieved 15 December 2020

(2) ClinicalTrials.gov “Nasal spray for COVID-19 Patients”. https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04510233, published 12 August 2020, retrieved 15 December 2020.

(3) ivmmeta.com, “Ivermectin is effective for COVID-19: meta analysis of 24 studies”. ivmmeta.com, published 14 December 2020, retrieved 15 December 2020.

Article written by Huron Zephyr

Ontario’s Minister of Health: ‘Mandatory vaccination, but not necessarily mandatory vaccination’.

According to a recent report published by Canadian network broadcaster CTV, Christine Elliott, the Minister of Health for the province of Ontario, stated that the province has no intentions of making any of the upcoming COVID-19 vaccines mandatory.

The province does have plans to provide everyone who takes the vaccine with proof of vaccination.

However, she did add a caveat, or caution, to her statement to the effect that Ontarians who refuse to get vaccinated may experience restrictions on their freedom of movement in terms of being able to access certain public venues or other settings.

From a legal standpoint, the province cannot make the vaccine mandatory. To do so would violate various sections of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, particularly s. 7, which guarantees ‘life, liberty and security of the person’. (1)

After all, one does not have liberty if they are not free to decide for themselves what happens to their bodies and how they will live their lives. They also cannot have ‘security of the person’, if they are forced to take a vaccine that may prove to be harmful despite the vaccine manufacturers’ claims of efficacy and safety.

If people are forced to take the vaccine in spite of Charter guarantees, and it proves to be dangerous, even deadly, then this would have the same effect as being sentenced to death or severe physical punishment while not having been found guilty of any crime that would potentially justify a death sentence or severe punishment, and in the name of fighting a virus which, while deadly for some, has not proved to be lethal to very large numbers of people.

The problem is that many of the vaccines now being released are based on new and hitherto untested technology, with no long-term track record of safety. They have been developed in record time with none of the extensive testing that is normally part of vaccine development and which explains why most vaccines take years, not months, to be proven safe and effective.

Mandating the vaccines would also offend the principles of the Nuremberg Code. (2)

The Nuremberg Code is a legal document that emerged from a verdict in trials where Nazi doctors accused of various war crimes and illegitimate or illegal forms of medical experimentation were tried in the immediate aftermath of the Second World War.

While the Code is not believed to have any legal force in German or American law, or the laws of any other country, it is a recognized precedent in the field of international jurisprudence. It, along with the related Helsinki Declaration, are the basis for Health Canada and US health regulations.

The code is based upon 10 principles, namely:

  1. The voluntary consent of the human subject is absolutely essential.
  2. The experiment should be such as to yield fruitful results for the good of society, unprocurable by other methods or means of study, and not random and unnecessary in nature.
  3. The experiment should be so designed and based on the results of animal experimentation and a knowledge of the natural history of the disease or other problem under study that the anticipated results will justify the performance of the experiment.
  4. The experiment should be so conducted as to avoid all unnecessary physical and mental suffering and injury.
  5. No experiment should be conducted where there is an a priori reason to believe that death or disabling injury will occur; except, perhaps, in those experiments where the experimental physicians also serve as subjects.
  6. The degree of risk to be taken should never exceed that determined by the humanitarian importance of the problem to be solved by the experiment.
  7. Proper preparations should be made and adequate facilities provided to protect the experimental subject against even remote possibilities of injury, disability, or death.
  8. The experiment should be conducted only by scientifically qualified persons. The highest degree of skill and care should be required through all stages of the experiment of those who conduct or engage in the experiment.
  9. During the course of the experiment the human subject should be at liberty to bring the experiment to an end if he has reached the physical or mental state where continuation of the experiment seems to him to be impossible.
  10. During the course of the experiment the scientist in charge must be prepared to terminate the experiment at any stage, if he has probable cause to believe, in the exercise of the good faith, superior skill and careful judgment required of him that a continuation of the experiment is likely to result in injury, disability, or death to the experimental subject.

The upshot of the first principle is that no person can be compelled to take medical treatment or participate in medical experimentation unless they consent to either. The newness of the COVID-19 vaccines and lack of extensive vetting means they can constitute a form of medical experimentation. Vaccines are, by definition, medical treatments and procedures.

The main guiding principles of the Declaration of Helsinki can be found in Articles 8, and 22, which uphold respect for the individual and his or her right to self-determination and informed consent. An associated principle, encoded in Article 5, holds that the subject’s welfare must take precedence over the needs of science and society. Article 9 states that

“ ‘ethical considerations must always take precedence over laws and regulations.’ “ (3)

It can be argued that people who get vaccinated against COVID-19 are unable to give informed consent because there is no good information available yet on the potential long-term health and physical effects of any of the vaccines.

However, where things get tricky is Elliott’s statement that various private-sector entities and others will be allowed to demand proof of vaccination before anyone can enter their premises or make use of their services. Such demands are radical and unprecedented in the sense that they have never been needed before, insofar as there may be bona fide reasons for requiring nurses and doctors to be vaccinated against various communicable diseases, and for school-age children to be vaccinated as well. It isn’t necessarily a given that such people must continuously show proof of vaccination to access their workplaces or classrooms. But people accessing certain venues or settings where the owners of such venues demand proof of vaccination may be forced to do so simply to conduct their daily business.

Allowing unelected, unaccountable entities to demand proof of vaccination would have the net effect of allowing them to effectively legislate public health policy, and usurp government power to set and administer public health policy, laws and regulations. In essence, it would make vaccination mandatory through the back door. It would also render the provincial government immune from any Charter challenges, at least on a superficial and temporary basis. The courts may later find that the government’s attempt to make vaccination mandatory through the back door did indeed violate the Charter.

That the provincial government would seriously countenance permitting such action smacks of a government that wants to make vaccination mandatory, but is trying to avoid the political blowback that such a move would bring by getting others to do their dirty work. It also indicates that we have a government that lacks the courage of its own convictions and possibly doesn’t know what it’s doing.

More surprising is the possibility that government lawyers didn’t restrain Elliott from making her ill-advised pronouncements, considering their serious and wide-ranging Charter implications.

During the closing years of the Second World War, Canadian prime minister MacKenzie King was confronted by a problem: whether to implement conscription to replace mounting losses of Canadian troops during the campaign in Italy and in Normandy after the D-Day landings.

While the matter was a topic that sparked considerable debate in Canada’s Parliament and amongst the public, it prompted King to famously say: “Conscription, but not necessarily conscription,” a statement that further inflamed public uproar and controversy. In the end, the proposal to implement conscription was dropped.

Where Ontario’s Minister of Health Christine Elliott is concerned, it looks like we’ll have ‘mandatory vaccination but not necessarily mandatory vaccination’.

FOOTNOTES

(1) Constitution Act, 1982, Part I: Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. https://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/const/page-15.html, retrieved 9 December 2020.

(2) Wikipedia: Nuremberg Code. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuremberg_Code last edited 3 December 2020, retrieved 9 December 2020.

(3) Wikipedia: Declaration of Helsinki. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Declaration_of_Helsinki, retrieved 9 December 2020.

Article written by Huron Zephyr

A Better COVID-19 Test, and a Pandemic-Ending Treatment?

Oregondissenter, the author of a blog called Dissenters and Skeptics of Oregon, thinks he may have discovered a ‘cheap and effective treatment’ for COVID-19.

In nutshell, Oregondissenter says that the COVID-19 virus kills by causing massive blood clots. It does so by accessing ACE-2 (Angiotensin Converting Enzyme 2) receptors in the body and then dramatically decreasing the body’s natural reserves of heparin. ACE-2 receptors are found virtually everywhere in the body. Some blood pressure medicines work by inhibiting levels of ACE-2.

Heparin is a blood thinner, which works by preventing blood clots, and it has been used in surgical procedures on a widespread basis since the mid- to late 1930s.

The interesting thing is that the COVID-19 virus mistakes heparin for ACE-2 in its attempts to gain entry into the body’s cellular structure and replicate. But because heparin offers no entry mechanism, the virus has nowhere to go and dies. However, if the virus manages to access ACE-2 receptors and reduces natural heparin reserves, potentially fatal blood clots ensue.

Therefore, by increasing heparin levels in the body, severe cases of COVID-19 can be successfully treated and potentially, lives can be saved.

Oregondissenter also thinks that a better way of testing for coronavirus infections like COVID-19, or SARS-CoV-2, as it is formally known, is to measure levels of heparin binding proteins (HBP) in the blood. If the levels are elevated, and the patient is showing symptoms consistent with the symptoms of a SARS-CoV-2 infection, then this is diagnostic for the virus and likely a more accurate test.

Could this treatment regimen, along with blood tests that detect excess levels of HBPs in the blood, be the pandemic-ending knockout punches we’ve all been looking for?

More can be found here: https://dissentersandskepticsoforegon.wordpress.com/

Article written by HuronZephyr

Photo by Miguel u00c1. Padriu00f1u00e1n on Pexels.com

Introduction

There’s a lot of misinformation, incorrect information and even outright disinformation and lies surrounding COVID-19, the popular name for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that has caused a global pandemic and has been sweeping through countries around the world since January 2020.

As pandemics go, it has been almost as deadly as the 1968-69 Hong Kong flu pandemic, but nowhere near as bad as the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic, which is believed to have killed over 50 million worldwide.

Worse, the virus and the pandemic have become heavily politicized, with various factions seeking to use the virus and the pandemic for their own political or other ends, even to the point of appearing likely to affect the outcome of the US presidential election that took place in November 2020.

For the record, I am not apolitical, but at the same time, neither am I aligned with the right wing, nor the left. That is to say, I am a centrist. I support democracy. I support free speech.

I support limited democratic socialism, the kind that seeks to ameliorate, within reason, the excesses of capitalism without veering into communist totalitarianism. It goes without saying that I do not support communism, nor the more extreme forms of conservatism known as neoconservatism. 

This blog is essentially a research project – to find the unvarnished truth about the pandemic, the SARS-CoV-2 virus, and the myriad issues that surround it. That said, I remain somewhat skeptical of many parts of the current coronavirus narratives.

DISCLAIMER: Nothing I write in this blog is, or should be construed as medical or other advice. If you have a medical issue, do not rely upon this blog for treatment or other recommendations, and seek advice or treatment from your doctor. 

Further, none of the information I may present in this blog is warranted as to suitability or fitness for purpose, and that all information is provided on an ‘as-is’ basis. 

If you choose to act on any of the information I present in this blog, you do so at your own risk, and I will disavow any and all liability.

Of course, nowhere in my blog will I advocate that you ignore or fail to comply with any health directives or laws in your region.

Article written by HuronZephyr