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J, regarding your personal experiences, try asking around. Two of the Quaker meeting I attend have died of covid, and one attendee’s mother. One attendee has lost six friends, five of them elderly but one healthy and in his prime.
A friend of mine was working through the January wave in a care home near Colchester; among other kitchen duties she prepared the meal lists. The staff were complaining of covid symptoms but, against government guidance, management wouldn’t give them time off unless their lateral flow test came back positive because they couldn’t get replacement workers. Staff were calling the place “a covid cess-pit”. First my friend saw the residents confined to their rooms. Then she saw the meal list getting shorter and shorter as the residents died. She got symptoms, her lateral flow test came back positive two days later and she was given time off. She had classic symptoms; loss of smell, fever, shortness of breath, weakness. When she got back to work the residents had fallen from sixty to forty and the chef had died.
So that’s 29 deaths I have heard of through friends, yet only two people that I actually knew personally, and both were very elderly. I have heard of one vaccine injury through someone I’ve actually met.
I was personally frightened of covid at first but over time the fear faded; I got used to living amid a pandemic. I’m still very careful to avoid covid, despite being vaccinated. It’s a very nasty, very weird virus – that’s because it infiltrates cells via the ACE2 receptor, which means that multiple tissue types are vulnerable to it, including nerve cells and therefore the brain:
Here’s Why COVID-19 Is Much Worse Than Flu – Infection Control Today
Personally I strongly suspect it escaped from Wuhan Institute of Virology; a US-funded gain-of-function research programme to see if SARS-like bat viruses could be made more infectious to humans. It seems to have worked too well. The real problem isn’t so much the death rate, though that is quite bad; about 0.5% so long as the hospitals don’t overload, but maybe several times that if they did. But it is true that most of those people would be very elderly.
The first major problem is the incredible rate at which it spreads, overwhelming the hospitals. What would we do with all the gasping people if it was allowed to spread without restriction? Post security at hospitals to keep out anyone having difficulty breathing? The army would be needed because there would be literally hundreds of thousands, probably millions of them. And many would die very horribly, without even drugs to relieve their distress.
The other major problem is long covid. Many times more people survive but suffer long term effects than the number who die, and a much greater proportion of these people are younger and fit. Covid frequently does long term damage, and we don’t even know how long yet, because only eighteen months have passed for us to find out. We are yet to see what damage the long-term attrition will do to society. I had days of fatigue just from my vaccinations, yet the vaccines can’t multiply in our cells like the virus does.
Our society is very individualistic, and immersed in such attitudes, even against our best intentions, we come to think individualistically. This is why the real problems of covid have been overlooked; because covid is primarily a social problem. Individually, if we’re under seventy we’re not too likely to die of it. But without either social restrictions or vaccination or both, we’d be overwhelmed with people gasping for breath and dying, the hospitals would be stuffed, 80% of sufferers wouldn’t even get into hospital, and all our healthcare workers would be burned out or dying from repeated, high-concentration exposure.
Covid is a threat to individuals, but to society it’s a disaster.