My recent posts contrasted an operational approach to the COVID19 crisis by focusing on treatments and managing the health care utilization from the scientific-solution approach of lock-downs and seeking a vaccine. The latter is the current approach for most of the world and it still offers the promise that it will save a lot of lives that would be lost with the managed case-load approach.
I doubt the promise will be met, but that can not be proven until a couple years later when we can assess whether the vaccine was ever delivered and whether the death rates (for all causes) was kept close to the normal non-COVID19 rates. I doubt the vaccine would ever be found that would be effective, or if effective it would be safe in terms of not causing its own casualties.
I am particularly concerned that the new approaches of mRNA vaccines would end up causing a lot of problems. This approach of injecting bare mRNA to let the body mimic the virus has never been tried before, and the testing is being rushed. I think it is inevitable that it will be rushed out and everyone will be coerced into taking it because it has the scientific tests showing it can work and the past evidence that all approved vaccines work. With the current political environment demonizing objectors as irrational anti-Vaxxers, most of the population will be shamed into accepting this little experiment.
My concern about the mRNA vaccine is that it tricks the body’s own cells to behave like a foreign virus and that may confuse the natural immune response. One consequence may be that this sets off an incurable auto-immune response that will plague the patient. An alternative consequence is that this may train the immune response to accept misbehaving own-cell behavior as normal and thus be less inclined to naturally fight off cancers: the final result being a bunch of incurable cancers a few years later.
We already accept the fact that the mRNA viruses are prone to rapid mutation so the vaccination may not be effective for all the variants. Also, there are a lot of genetic variations and RNA-level mutations within the human population so some of these variants may respond to the vaccine differently than others.
I understand that the acceptance criteria for a new virus is that it should not cause adverse effects more often than one out of ten thousand. They are not going to test millions of people long enough to scientifically establish this level. Instead, they will base the risk on computer modeling.
I call computer modeling dark data to distinguish it from bright data of actual observations. I am disturbed by the modern acceptance of dark data as a source of observations to base scientific conclusions. There will be a model showing the efficacy and safety of a new mRNA vaccine, the government leaders will have to accept it because it is scientific, and the population will be shamed into taking it to avoid being called anti-scientific.
It may end up being ineffective and resulting in many people continuing to get the disease even after pausing their lives for 2 years in hiding. Also, it may end up ruining many people’s lives who otherwise may not have been harmed by the virus.
Science is guiding everyone into a combination of economic collapse and self-inflicted suicide of some unexpectedly fatal vaccine and the population is mostly compliant to follow along for the virtue of loving science.
I have a broader question about vaccines: is it really scalable? Vaccines have a proven history of being very effective for specific diseases. It worked great for the first few and the science understands the mechanism for how it works.
Our current discussions about vaccines accept vaccines as the scientific solution for this virus. By extension, the belief is that we can create an unlimited number of vaccines and they all would work. In other words, we could vaccinate every person with a multitude of separate vaccines on some schedule and the person would become immune to every possible viral threat.
Is this really true?
Vaccination works by using the body’s natural immune response systems. At the same time, we reject the idea that the immune response system is intelligently designed. The immune system we have is the result of evolution. The history of the evolution is that any particular individual would only encounter a few viruses that it would need to find an immune response to. Based on evolution theory alone, we must worry that there is an upper limit of the number of immunities that the body can have at the same time.
There will come a point where either
- one vaccine may replace an immunity from a prior vaccination
- the vaccine may be blocked by the prior immunity of another vaccination
- the vaccine may both be prevented by the other immunity and remove that earlier immunity
- the additional vaccine may cause the entire immune system to overload resulting an immune deficiency acquired by scientific certitude
- the additional vaccine may turn the immune system into initiating apoptosis in every healthy cell
Note that these consequences are not a fault of the particular vaccine. The vaccine may be very effective for the new target and it may be very safe. The risk comes from having too many preexisting or future vaccinations.
The newer technique of mRNA vaccines offers faster vaccine development and cheaper and faster production. We can end up with more vaccines more often. If it does not cause a problem at first, it may cause a problem in the future. At some point we may reach an previously unsuspected upper limit on the number of insults the immune system can respond to. When that happens, the consequences will be felt by the entire population, and probably in a very short period of time.
A possible outcome of our current response to this COVID19 crisis is that the response itself may end up becoming an existential threat to modern civilization if not all of humanity.
While even the worst fears about this virus would still leave an adequate population to continue our civilization, the current path of vaccinating everyone after an extended lock down could free the planet of its human infestation.
I share the scientific fascination of the amazingly intricate operations within the human body. It is very easy to compare it to machines we make ourselves, and in particular computers and automated machines. We can make this analogy without invoking intelligent design. The body is material and thus it has limitations.
It can do great things as we see in extreme achievements in sports. Those same sports provide ample examples of when bodies fail under the strain. We know we are pushing our bodies to the limit because we can see what happened when we went beyond that limit. Muscles do snap. Bones do shatter. Blood vessels do burst. Lungs do collapse.
Immune systems can shut down.
In the machine analogy, I think of general purpose computers or smart phones. Each can run a wide variety of software packages at the same time. You can run one app in the foreground while the other is working on a job (not just sleeping). There is a point when too many apps are running and the entire operating system crashes. At least with a crash you can reboot the computer. We can’t reboot a living body.
In the operating system analogy, worse than a quick and easily recoverable crash is that everything slows so much that nothing works immediately. There are a lot of open applications without saved work that you would prefer not to lose. In particular, if you attempt to force the computer to close at this point you may corrupt the operating system itself.
You try to close one app to free up resources and then must wait, sometimes for an hour or longer, for the action to complete and then move on to the next one. Eventually, you will recover but only after losing a lot of time.
The point is that each of the individual applications were well designed and were working as designed. The fault came from the user loading too many of them and expecting them all to run at the same time. Usually this happens because it worked before. The failure occurred this time because maybe some background process (like a software update) started running unexpectedly or the user happened to try a job that was ever so slightly larger than any he had done before.
The body is like a machine in the sense that it is a finite material system. The immune system itself is finite. Both are the product of evolution where most of human history a particular individual would only have to deal with a few distinct threats.
There is likely a very low upper limit on the number of threats the body can be prepared to defend against. From an evolutionary perspective a self-destruct mechanism may be a survival strategy when confronted with too many successful threats. The individual most likely got himself into this mess so it is better to kill him off to avoid spreading this behavior to his offspring.