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By Maria Wirth
“Maria, don’t make your view on mass vaccination public”, an Indian friend advised me. “You will spoil your reputation and nobody will listen anyway”. He probably is right, but since I am very worried about what’s happening, and trust my reason and intuition, I feel I need to write…
Suppose, we have a problem and believe, we found a method to solve it. Most experts agree that it is the best method, yet there are also experts who claim it will make things worse. We use the method. Soon after, the problem gets bigger. We push the method even stronger. Yet the problem still gets worse.
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Should we not pause and consider the arguments of those who had warned against using this method?
Yet this is not done. Doctors and scientists, who come on Indian TV, still don’t acknowledge that there could be a correlation between the present steep increase in deaths from Covid19 and the mass vaccination drive. This increase in deaths is seen drastically in other Asian countries after they started vaccinating widely. Please check the charts of Thailand, Cambodia, or Mongolia.
Even in Chile and Turkey, which have already vaccinated a great part of their population, the deaths are increasing. Chile has fully vaccinated over 30 percent of its population and close to 70 percent got at least one dose, yet the deaths on April 25 would mean over 7000 deaths in the Indian population context. In Turkey, too, over 25 percent got at least one dose and about 10 percent are fully vaccinated. Yet the deaths are higher than before the start of vaccination and would be over 5000 in the Indian context.
Israel is declared a success (apart from many thousands of reported side effects of the huge vaccination drive), but emergency restrictions are still in force. Moreover, recent reports on CNBC, Reuters, etc. claim that the South African variant is able to break through the Pfizer vaccine.
Specific versus broad-based immunity
The critics of mass vaccination had warned that the vaccine-induced immunity is specific for the original Coronavirus, while our innate, natural immunity is broad-based, which means it can tackle different variants of the virus. Virologist and vaccine developer Geert Vanden Bossche warned that a vaccination drive, while the virus is all over, forces the virus into more dangerous mutations, and for the vaccinated, the specific immunity outperforms their innate immunity.
Not surprisingly in the present climate of intolerance on social media, Geert Vanden Bossche and many others, who are not in agreement with the WHO view, are defamed. “Why this guy is dead wrong” is the first video that shows up when googling his name on YouTube, calling the head of reputed vaccine development institutions with great credentials as “guy”.
Incidentally, when googling my name, the first article which shows up is also titled “Why Maria Wirth is wrong” (regarding my views on Hinduism). “Wrong” doesn’t mean wrong here. It means “politically incorrect”. Usually, I write only on Hindu Dharma and religion, but l had followed the news on Corona from the start and noticed many strange happenings.
Some observations and questions
Why was from the start, the “Corona pandemic” so much hyped by the media worldwide?
Do you remember the horrendous pictures of people dropping dead in China? How they brutally enforced a lockdown in Wuhan? Built hospitals in record time, etc.? TV channels created panic 24/7. Or do you remember the rows of hundreds of coffins in Bergamo/ Italy? It was a fake picture. The bodies in the coffins were of migrants who had drowned. What was the intention to mislead?
And what was the intention to flood us daily with cumulative numbers of ‘cases’, without saying how many were asymptomatic or had just a light flu? Or how many of those who died had co-morbidities? (97 percent in Bergamo) And what was their average age? (in Bergamo over 80 years}.
Imagine, we would hear daily in great detail the numbers of those who had died and were injured in road accidents all over the country. We would be afraid to travel. Incidentally, about the same number of Indians died in road accidents in 2019 (150,000 and mostly young) as the number given for Corona deaths in 2020. We cannot save every life. Some risk is inherent in living.
There are many more unanswered questions:
Why did several countries, not allow doctors to treat Corona with Hydroxychloroquine? A few days after India had generously lifted the export ban on this drug on the request by President Trump, media reported that according to a study in Lancet, “double the number of patients died who took HCQ”. Lancet took down the article. It was not true, but it had created confusion.
Why does nobody tell us that the PCR test has many false positives when the amplifying cycles go above 25 and that this test must not be used for diagnosis? In January 2021 the WHO finally acknowledged this fact. Yet on the basis of PCR test results, the panic was sustained, and asymptomatic, healthy people had to observe quarantine.
Why does the definition of a Corona death not include causality? A death is counted as “from or with Corona” when the person had tested positive and had died within 4 weeks of testing. A German doctor gave an example: when a person gets the news that he is positive and jumps out of the window, he is counted as Corona’s dead.
Why did governments in several countries incentivize doctors and hospitals to declare deaths from Corona and to do PCR testing? Even if someone was very old, had terminal cancer, but had tested positive, Corona overrode the other factors as a cause for death.
Compare this with the reluctance or refusal to connect deaths with the vaccine, even if it happened a few hours afterward. In homes for senior citizens in Europe, many seniors died soon after vaccination. They suddenly tested positive after vaccination and were counted as Corona deaths. That there could have been a dip in the immunity due to vaccination, is not considered.
And a VERY important question:
Why did the WHO change its definition of “pandemic” in 2009 and removed the dead and sick from it? Earlier, an enormous number of dead and sick people was the condition for declaring a pandemic. Since 2009 it is enough that a virus spreads quickly. Whether people die or are sick is no longer a criterion for a pandemic. Sounds strange? It surely does.
How it developed over time
Already in March 2020, several doctors and scientists spoke out on YouTube that Corona is not that dangerous, and many of those videos were taken down. President Trump also called it the bad flu and got a storm of heaviest criticism in return. Estimates by academic institutions spoke of millions of deaths if the countries wouldn’t lockdown. Governments probably didn’t want to risk being responsible for millions of deaths, in case those estimates were right.
In April 2020, Bill Gates declared that he wants to vaccinate seven billion people. Angela Merkel repeated it in February 2021, “The pandemic will not end, until the world is vaccinated.”
Yet in September 2020, the lethality was said to be 0,37 percent, similar to Influenza. And the German bureau of statistics did not record significantly more deaths for the year 2020 than in earlier years.
So was the “solution” to the pandemic discovered by politicians like Angela Merkel and “philanthropist” Bill Gates who is a massive sponsor of the WHO and massively invested in the vaccine business?
Where were the scientists?
Many scientists were probably busy searching for vaccines. Ever since President Trump jumped on the mass vaccination bandwagon, countries jostled to get their share of the big pie.
Meanwhile in China
Yet something was strange. While the world was in panic and locked down, China had miraculously overcome the pandemic in record time and closed the new hospitals. We could watch on TV how the nurses took off their masks and smiled while walking out.
India had relatively few cases and deaths in the first 5 months, even though the media did its best to make the situation appear worse. When several people were infected in Dharavi, the greatest slum in Mumbai, the media painted a doomsday scenario. Dharavi was locked down, and there was NO doomsday. Later I read in the paper, that 57 percent of the population of Dharavi had antibodies. It meant they had contracted the virus without noticing it, and that certain herd immunity was acquired due to the impossibility of distancing. In comparison, in a gated community, only 18 percent had antibodies after having been a containment zone, the paper wrote.
Epidemiologist: Lockdowns, masks prolong an epidemic
So what should we conclude from this? Is it not an indicator that lockdown, masks, and distancing are counterproductive? Epidemiologist Dr. Knut Wittkowski claims that attempts to stop the spread of the virus-like lockdowns, masks only prolong the epidemic and also lead to a dangerous diversification of the virus.
Since we can’t eliminate the virus, don’t we need to live with it? And shouldn’t we find out who is foremost in danger of dying from it and protect those, mainly the old and sick? And shouldn’t we all strengthen our innate immunity?
In the beginning, we were indeed encouraged to strengthen our immunity with Ayurveda, Pranayama, Kadha, Haldi, etc. Yet this advice is meanwhile completely missing in official broadcasts. Why? Now it’s only about masks, distancing, and vaccination. Is this not a sad climb down by India which has great knowledge of how to boost immunity?
Comment by the former chief scientist of Pfizer
Why was this done? Was it done because Bill Gates and Big Pharma had “convinced” politicians worldwide that a vaccine for the whole world must be the solution? Prominent scientists warned of this solution. The former chief scientist of Pfizer, Dr. Michael Yaedon said that “there is absolutely no need for vaccines to extinguish the pandemic. “I’ve never heard such nonsense talked about vaccines. You do not vaccinate people who aren’t at risk from the disease. You also don’t set about planning to vaccinate millions of fit and healthy people with a vaccine that hasn’t been extensively tested on human subjects,” Yeadon said.
Yet those critical voices were silenced. A friend of mine tried to put his comment on Facebook and was immediately informed that her post is not visible and she needs to remove it.
Is Yeadon not right that it is nonsense to vaccinate the “world”, 7 billion people including children, against a virus which had killed for example in Thailand with its 70 million inhabitants only 60 people in the whole of 2020? Now, after about 1 million jobs, the number rose to 163. Should this not worry us?
The whole of Africa with the exception of South Africa had till April 2021 relatively few deaths (South Africa 54,000 and 66,000 the rest). There is presently no rise, but a slight dip, and vaccinations are still few. But WHO wants to ramp them up.
Now, look at India.
Till February 2021, the virus killed 150,000 (many of them had comorbidities) of an average of 9 million deaths every year, or 1,6 percent of the total deaths. Moreover, the maximum number of deaths occurred in only one state Maharashtra, and it would need an inquiry, what was the reason for this abnormality.
The Indian population has generally good immunity. The virus seemed to have petered out, just when the vaccination started, and 2nd and 3rd waves were expected not to be so dangerous any longer. But India also has a very strong Pharma sector. Did India decide to vaccinate its population because the government genuinely believes that it is the best solution? The opposition Congress, too, wants to vaccinate Indians as fast as possible. It is rare that government and the opposition are on the same page. Should this be celebrated or is it a reason for worry?
Or is India as a member of the WHO bound by their guidelines since the WHO has “normative authority”? Lawyers here probably could clarify.
Now the all-important question:
Could it be that the policy of mass vaccination is wrong? (I hope that asking this question is still allowed?)
More and more harmful side effects of all vaccines become known and people become wary. The German Home Minister said “those who have the courage should come forward and take the AstraZeneca vaccine” after it had been temporarily suspended. Norway and Denmark banned it. In the USA, vaccination fatigue set in. The vaccine by Johnson and Johnson was suspended. In Africa, the WHO counters “misinformation” about the vaccine.
Safe and effective?
Yet in India, almost all seem to be convinced that only the vaccine can save us and it is “absolutely safe and effective”.
This surely cannot be said for a vaccine that was developed in a hurry, where trials are still going on, where long-term effects are not known, where the companies are not liable for any damages to one’s health. Moreover, most of those vaccines are not normal vaccines but try to influence the behavior of genes. And while even normal vaccines take an average of 8 years to be developed, this new-gen technology was developed in a record time and claims are made that it is even effective against new mutants.
Appeal to the WHO by scientist
Geert Vanden Bossche made an emotional appeal to the WHO: “Please stop the mass vaccination immediately”. European scientists have filed cases at the European Court for annulment of the emergency use approval for the vaccines and asked for an urgent hearing.
Meanwhile, the vaccination drive all over the world continues at a rapid pace and the deaths are increasing. We don’t hear, how many of those who are dying now of Corona had already taken a jab. In Europe, there were many.
Many governments locked down in March 2020, when terrifying estimates of millions of deaths were circulating. Now, too, there is a terrifying prognosis given by eminent scientists like Dr. Bossche, Dr. Sucharit Bhakdi, and others that the virus may go out of control due to human interference with the vaccination drive. Without human intervention, it would be expected that the virus would gradually mutate into more infectious but less dangerous variants.
What if these scientists are right? Can governments risk the lives of their people?
I wished India would remember her great, beneficial, long-proven Ayurveda. Common people do. I never saw such rush at the Patanjali shop as recently before a new, limited lockdown. But will Big Pharma, Big Tech, China, and the China-friendly WHO let this happen? That’s why I am very worried…
(Disclaimer: The article is written by an outside author.)
By Himanshu Agarwal
There is no exaggeration in saying that Covid-19 has literally taken over our lives. Whether vaccinated or not, most of us are still living in the shadow of fear and anxiety. In fact with breakthrough infections showing up for some, even the vaccinated do not feel completely safe from a possible assault of the virus. The finding that the virus can be airborne is scary enough, research also shows that the transmission of the coronavirus is higher indoors than outdoors. This means that even if you don't step out and think that the virus can't get to you because you are ensconced safely and comfortably indoors, the bad news is that you can still get infected.
So, what should you do to keep the virus at bay while being confined indoors? While taking other precautions, keeping the indoor air sanitized, and constantly so, is one big answer to this.
Indoor aerosols a carrier of coronavirus
Unlike the earlier dominant belief that only respiratory droplets could spread infection, it has been established now that the tiny aerosols in the air can carry the coronavirus. These aerosols which are smaller and lighter than respiratory droplets can not only stay longer in the air but also carry the virus farther and for a longer time. The assumption that only by making contact with a contaminated surface one can get the virus, is no more valid.
Aerosols which are smaller and lighter than respiratory droplets can not only stay longer in the air but also carry the virus farther and for a longer time. | Photo by Elena Mozhvilo on Unsplash
Several natural human activities carried out Indoors
We must remember that a lot of our daily natural and basic activities are conducted in our indoor spaces many of which involve active and oral expulsion of particles. From talking to shouting to sneezing and coughing to even singing, every one of these acts and others creates aerosols in the air which whether we like it not, continue to be exchanged with the others. In fact, many of these activities create more aerosols than even breathing. So, if we do not repeatedly ventilate the room and purify the air within, we can always be susceptible to be infected by others. Even if a house has no Covid patient, the risk of the virus being transmitted through the air from the neighbours or temporary staff can never be ruled out.
From talking to shouting to sneezing and coughing to even singing, every one of these acts and others creates aerosols in the air which whether we like it not, continue to be exchanged with the others. | Photo by Shazaf Zafar on Unsplash
Indoor air is naturally more unsafe than outdoor
As opposed to outdoor air which has natural circulation, unfortunately, indoor air doesn't have the same advantage. In India, the outdoor air itself isn't healthy enough for the human respiratory and health system due to the high amount of PM2.5, PM1.0 and other pollutants. So, without timely ventilation and purification, the chances of indoor air getting stale and unhygienic and thereby becoming more conducive to the 'designs' of coronavirus become very high. Add to this, there are recent studies that prove the possibility of PM2.5 particles being potential carriers of coronavirus, carrying them too much larger distances in the air. The high temperature and humidity which often characterizes our tropical climate add to the woes. (IANS/ MBI)
The outdoor air itself isn't healthy enough for the human respiratory and health system due to the high amount of PM2.5, PM1.0 and other pollutants. | Photo by Anne Nygård on Unsplash
Keywords: Pollution, pollutants, indoorm outdoor, air, covid, aerosol
Children exposed to high levels of air pollution are up to 50 per cent more likely to self-harm later in life, suggested a study that adds to evidence of link between air pollution and mental health problems. Researchers from the University of Manchester in England and Aarhus University examined 1.4million kids under 10 in Denmark and found that those exposed to a high level of nitrogen dioxide were more likely to self harm in adulthood than their peers, the Daily Mail reported.
And people in the same age group exposed to above average levels of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) were 48 per cent more likely to subsequently self-harm, revealed the study published in the journal Preventive Medicine. Nitrogen dioxide is mainly produced by cars, while PM2.5 is mainly emitted by burning diesel and petrol, which is most commonly used for shipping and heating. These two pollutants are among those most commonly linked with causing harm to physical health, such as heart and lung diseases, by getting into the bloodstream and causing inflammation.
"Our findings add to the growing evidence-base indicating that higher levels of air pollution exposure are linked with poor mental health outcomes," lead author Dr Pearl Mok, a research fellow at Manchester University was quoted as saying. "Although air pollution is widespread, it is a modifiable risk factor and we therefore hope our study findings will inform policymakers who are devising strategies to combat this problem," Mok added.
"Our findings add to the growing evidence-base indicating that higher levels of air pollution exposure are linked with poor mental health outcomes," lead author Dr Pearl Mok | Photo by Caroline Hernandez on Unsplash
While the researchers have not explained the mechanism for how these pollutants can cause mental health problems, they say high pollution levels could trigger inflammation in the brain, leading to mental health conditions, the report said. Childhood is a 'sensitive time for brain development', so youngsters may be 'particularly susceptible' to negative effects from toxic particles in the air, they added.
Further, the team found that some 32,984 people (2.3 per cent) harmed themselves in the study period, with cases higher among women, those whose parents had mental illness and individuals from poorer families. Exposure to an average of 19 microgram/m3 or more of particulate matter each day was associated with a 48 per cent higher chance of self-harming later in life, compared to children exposed to an average of 13 microgram/m3 per day or less. And for every 5 microgram/m3 increase in exposure above 19 microgram/m3, the risk of self harm rose by 42 per cent. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: pollution, kids, exposure, pollution, self-harm, development
By- Tejas Maheta
When attempting to summarise the current performance and future portents for the South Asia economy, it's arguable that most of the region's nations are doing relatively well.
Malaysia offers a relevant case in point, as despite combatting Covid-19 whilst also dealing with a global oil price crash and political instability, the nation is poised to record economic growth of 0.5% by the end of 2020.
Sure, this is noticeably down on the initial 2002 forecast of 4.8% growth, but it needs to be considered against the backdrop of an unprecedented combination of socio-economic and geopolitical challenges.
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Similar trends have been reported in Vietnam and Hong Kong, the former of which has recorded no coronavirus deaths at all and remains one of the few nations on course to achieve economic growth this year. But which nations are really leading the recovery in this region, and what should we expect going forward?
Surviving Covid - Currencies and Stimulus Packages
Of course, one thing that unites these nations is the proactive rollout of generous stimulus and quantitative easing packages, with Malaysia having provided an RM295 billion injection into the economy.
Of this, an estimated 15% (approximately RM45 billion) is a direct fiscal injection in the government, with the remaining capital introduced in the form of slashing base interest rates and managing inflation.
Hong Kong has also introduced several rounds of quantitative easing measures since February, with April's iteration providing an HKD120 billion relief package and taking the total government stimulus investment to HKD290 (which equates to 9.5% of Hong Kong's gross domestic product).
In the case of both Malaysia and Hong Kong, these measures have also helped to boost the value of domestic currencies. The Hong Kong dollar rose for the fifth consecutive day last week, for example, while the HK Monetary Authority sold a further HK£3.72 billion of local currency and continued to boost their capital inflows as a result.
The Malaysian Ringgit has also performed relatively well against major currencies of late, although it faces additional challenges in the form of the recent global oil price decline.
So, although crude oil prices have recently rebounded slightly, Malaysia's currency value has been impacted by rising capital outflows and forced to trade within an increasingly narrowing range.
Common Ringgit notes Image source: wikimedia commons
A Look Ahead - What Can we Expect?
Asia was the region first affected by Covid-19, and therefore it stands to reason that its nations should have commenced their recovery quicker than those in Europe and the US.
Interestingly, the shoots of recovery may be green in more ways than one, with the Export-Import Bank of Korea leading the return of Asian green bonds in the primary financial market.
Also Read: Zimbabwe Ends Its Interim Currency
Of course, the idea of sustainable finance and investment has been a hot-button topic in Asia for a while now, while we've also seen a significant increase in demand for Green, Social and Sustainability (GSS) bonds in recent times.
This followed the introduction of a 700 million Euro green bond and Korea's pledge to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050 (following hot on the footsteps of the UK).
With these points in mind, there's clearly the potential for Asia to build on its relative strength and initial Covid-19 recovery by investing in sustainable assets and building a considerably greener future.
(Disclaimer: This article is sponsored and contains commercial links)