7 reasons why the world still hasn’t beaten COVID-19 and why we now have OMICRON

  1. Human factor 1: Vaccines have given as a priority in wealthy countries when spread is likely to be greatest amongst the poor

It is well recognized that the world does not treat its inhabitants equally. There are of course many different factors why people are living in confined and unhealthy conditions and these include wars and corruption not to mention uncontrollable factors like earthquakes, hurricanes, and floods. Nevertheless, it should be obvious to everyone that the more poverty stricken and more destitute people are, the more squalid their living conditions and the smaller each person’s personal space.

Crowding itself is a major risk factor for the spread of disease so we should always expect a new virus (one to which the population doesn’t already have high levels of immunity) will both INFECT more people and as a result, MUTATE faster in crowded, poorer regions than in those with more dispersed populations. Because a ‘virus’s life’ depends on spreading to a host, and can only mutate and evolve within an infected host, unvaccinated, crowded living provides the conditions for both high rates of infection and viral evolution.

2. Human Factor 2: Vaccines have been given as a priority to the old first instead of the young

There is no doubt that older people usually have less robust immune systems than younger people. This is a natural side-effect of the ageing process itself[1] but older people are also far less mobile and, generally have personal habits that are far more restrained than those of younger people!

Vaccines have not been given to children in the first instance because of fears about vaccine safety but children are usually avid spreaders of viruses and recently published medical journal articles have shown that Covid 19 is NOT an exception. Children generally do NOT know how to wash their hands effectively nor have much sense of ‘personal space’ and yet, governments have decided to prioritize immunization to those 70 year and older!

Thanks to Islander Images for these children playing

3. Human factor 3: ‘Unequal manufacturing advantage’ by giant pharmaceutical companies.

In many (?most) countries, governments have chosen to restrict access to only a few vaccines. Yet, there are at least several, possibly many other vaccines that have been developed by reputable scientific laboratories that the ‘cartels’ (often government regulated) have excluded from the ‘marketplace’. We have no way of knowing what the possibilities may have been had appropriate competition been allowed.

4. Human factor 4: People who have access to vaccines are not necessarily adopting them.

Some of the people who have chosen not to be vaccinated are the so-called ‘anti-vaxxers’, but some people who are not usually averse to vaccination have been seriously concerned by the huge publicity given to very rare but serious reactions to vaccines. One of these was blood clotting (thrombosis) which was estimated to affect 5o year olds at a rate of about 3/100,000. Now that could be serious but do these same people worry about the risks of blood clotting from air travel, which is very much higher?

It is also possible that the people who reacted adversely to any of the vaccines might have had extremely adverse reactions to the virus itself should they have been infected. Unfortunately, this area of news-reporting has tended to be unbalanced and irresponsible and has probably been responsible for considerable viral spread.

5. Virus factor 1: The mutations (changes) that occur in the COVID-19 RNA immediately affect their host.

Unlike flu virus that needs to translate another strand of RNA to have impact on the host, COVID-19 infects with its ‘sense’ strand. This specific characteristic makes COVID-19 extremely infectious. The common cold virus also works in this way and we know how infectious colds can be.

6. Virus factor 2: Mutations are random and can’t be predicted and many can occur simultaneously.

A virus has no plan, and its apparently random behavior defeats our planned attacks. When we fight viruses, we are essentially fighting a war where we can’t predict the enemy’s movements with any confidence, nor see its actions until well after the event. This is especially true of COVID-19, which when compared to influenza (for example) is a very big virus. This means it has many more ‘genes’ that it can mutate, and these can’t all be anticipated by the scientists who are designing vaccines.

For now, the vaccines seem to be coping quite well with the mutations, though we are still not sure about Omicron. Only time will tell us whether we can ever control this virus.

7. Virus factor 3: A virus can only survive in another’s animal or human’s body but until we control the human factors, the virus will continue to infect and evolve. We must have world-wide unified response!

Because a virus relies on the host’s genes for its replication and metabolism, it cannot function outside a host organism. It some senses they can be regarded as non-living however outside a person, animal or plant’s body, the viral genetic material is wrapped up as an independent particle called a ‘virion’. These can remain independently in the environment for variable periods of time: for several days indoors on several surfaces, including skin but they die almost immediately when exposed to sunlight. Unfortunately, respirator and surgical masks, which are both porous are associated with some of the longest survival times! However, cleaning most surfaces with soap or detergent will control the spread.

Most of the world is reacting to the latest cases of the OMRICON COVID variant by shutting their borders for at least one or two weeks but if we want to win this war, we need to vaccinate all the world’s poorest people, especially including young people and children as soon as possible. I would also like to see the results of testing of several of the other vaccines that seem to have been suppressed by unfair trade practices.

[1] ‘Why We Age’, J.H. Ford (2019) — available from geneslifestyle.com or Amazon

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Judy Ford is a PhD geneticist (writer and speaker): human genetics fertility, aging, & cancer. Website: https://geneslifestyle.com. Find courses, blogs, books.

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Dr Judy Ford

Dr Judy Ford

Judy Ford is a PhD geneticist (writer and speaker): human genetics fertility, aging, & cancer. Website: https://geneslifestyle.com. Find courses, blogs, books.

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