not us!

I hope this doesn’t sound like bragging, but my wife and I never came down with COVID.  We never got vaxxed.  We never paid much attention to anyone’s guidelines except when forced, which of course was often.  We did get sick once, but it was when influenza A was sweeping the campus in November ‘21 and we joined in.  From the first news of a somewhat different potentially dangerous virus coming our way from China in 2019, I paid close attention.  With a master’s in microbiology and research experience in several virology labs, I knew about viruses.  A career in rheumatology includes grappling with the ins and out of the immune system, so I had that too.  I filled my blog with observations and opinions, eventually compiling them into a book (1).  I’m not seeking to reiterate here all the points I made that I think were, in retrospect, correct.  I just want to describe how Kathy and I lived it, showing up some glaring deficits in how the medical establishment powers that be missed chances to lead. As even Uncle Joe says the pandemic is over (2), I think it’s time for such reflections

We never hunkered down.  We went out freely to the few places allowed, like the grocery store, and hobnobbed with the employees there.  You couldn’t get into the store without a mask, but we never joined the idiots wearing those face diapers inside the car.  We got outside as much as possible.  Sunshine (through vitamin D) (3) and that fresh air (4) are great antivirals. We loved that walking exercise, knowing physical exercise can enhance immunity, including against coronavirus, through multiple mechanisms (5).  Our outings were marred only when we met the masked on the trail, which I tried to greet with a feigned cough, or outright confrontation (6).  We ate well, all home-cooked, and drank too much.  But when you’re dousing your hands with alcohol, should you neglect your insides?  We socialized, mingling with those friends and family who saw the pleasure of our companying outweighing the risk of contracting some dread disease.  Social interactions enhance immunity and resistance against viruses in particular though a number of mechanisms (7).  Social deprivation consequent to COVID mitigation efforts has had disastrous effects (8).  Did the medical establishment tell us about any of this?  Instead of hearing about positive things we might do for ourselves, we were constantly hectored about masks, distancing, and vaxx, vaxx, vaxx.  Oh, yeah, we also travelled, ultimately hitting California, Santa Fe, Colorado, Florida, and Chicago as well as multiple stops around our Mitten.  Travel was easier during COVID.  Crowds were way down, as scaredy-cats stayed home.  Prices for everything were cheaper.   As regular travelers, we were a bit sad to see the pandemic lift, as demand pushed ticket prices back up.

Our neighborhood Memorial Day get together was riven by the hostess’s imposed vaxx requirement.  My comments about the idiocy of it all (9) left scars that have not healed.  As COVID hysteria grew through 2021, it touched our University of Michigan when President Schlissel, a medical doctor, decreed that all the faculty shall be vaxxed before fall term started (10).  Just to get it out of the way, I quickly applied for a religious exemption and urged my still-teaching wife to do the same.  Mine was granted quickly but Kathy had to make a virtual visit with an allergist and regale her with tales of recurrent anaphylaxis. It took longer for Kathy to get news of her exemption, and she was never told which type it was.   So, she got to go into her office, but was treated like a pariah there, none of her colleagues deigning to visit her.  Plus, we had to go into campus to spit into a little tube weekly.  Never vaxxed but always test-negative, you’d think we’d be the safest people to be around.  But that’s not how we were received.  Those sheets of negative test results were necessary passports to most everything, like basketball games.  At least they didn’t impose proof-of-vaxx passports.  Today, when those Hiroo Onadas (11) whose establishments still ask, we just pass ’em by.

So, with Christmas 2022 coming, we approach the third anniversary of the release of that almighty ~ 100 nanometer (a human hair is 1000 times wider) ultimate game-changer.  Life seems almost normal nowadays, at least sometimes.  There are still the scattered idiots wearing masks (even in the open air and in shuttered cars!), obsessive-compulsive users of hand sanitizer, and implorations for “vaccination” and multiple “boosters” even though today’s coronavirus strains have mutated so far beyond SARS-CoV-2 they’re barely recognized by primed immune systems (12).  With proof lacking that vaxx impairs transmission, reduces infection, or does anything besides its original mission, at which it’s failed anyway (ha!), ya hafta wonder why anyone would bother getting jabbed at all.  We sure didn’t, and here we are, happy and healthy.  Plus we carry within us what may be the most valuable commodity in the world (13)!

Peace, Love, Health, and Merry Christmas!


References

1.Ike R. Musing through a Pandemic. My year and a half with Mr. Corona. Volume I. about Mr. Corona. Amazon (Kindle) 2021. ISBN: 9798530730. https://www.amazon.com/Musing-through-Pandemic-Year-Corona/dp/B098GV14KY/ref=sr_1_7?crid=3VTXFGNW63QK2&keywords=%22Robert+Ike%22&qid=1671647763&sprefix=robert+ike+%2Caps%2C242&sr=8-7

2. President Biden: “The pandemic is over” | 60 Minutes. YouTube 9/18/22. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MIQz0fsX38U

3. Ike B. sunshine on my shoulders kills my COVID. WordPress 11/23/20. https://theviewfromharbal.com/2020/11/23/sunshine-on-my-shoulders-kills-my-covid/

4. Hobday RA, Cason JW. The open-air treatment of pandemic influenza. Am J Public Health. 2009 Oct;99 Suppl 2(Suppl 2): S236-42. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2008.134627. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4504358/pdf/AJPH.2008.134627.pdf

5. da Silveira MP, da Silva Fagundes KK, Bizuti MR, Starck É, Rossi RC, de Resende E Silva DT. Physical exercise as a tool to help the immune system against COVID-19: an integrative review of the current literature. Clin Exp Med. 2021 Feb;21(1):15-28. doi: 10.1007/s10238-020-00650-3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7387807/pdf/10238_2020_Article_650.pdf

6. Ike B. Fauci’s feeble-minded fear-filled followers. WordPress 2/4.21. https://theviewfromharbal.com/2021/02/05/faucis-feeble-minded-fear-filled-followers/

7. Leschak CJ, Eisenberger NI. Two Distinct Immune Pathways Linking Social Relationships With Health: Inflammatory and Antiviral Processes. Psychosom Med. 2019 Oct;81(8):711-719. doi: 10.1097/PSY.0000000000000685. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7025456/pdf/nihms-1068346.pdf

8. Okabe-Miyamoto, K., & Lyubomirsky, S. (2021). Social connection and well-being during COVID-19. World Happiness Report, 2021, 131. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Shun-Wang-31/publication/350511770_World_Happiness_Report_2021/links/6063d797299bf173677dca9b/World-Happiness-Report-2021.pdf#page=133

9. Ike B. Thoughts shared with Donna on Decoration Day. WordPress 5/30/21. https://theviewfromharbal.com/2021/05/30/thoughts-shared-with-donna-on-decoration-day/

10. Office of the President. University of Michigan. COVID-19 vaccination requirement 7/310/21. https://president.umich.edu/news-communications/messages-to-the-community/covid-19-vaccination-requirement/

11. McCurry J. Hiroo Onoda: Japanese soldier who took three decades to surrender, dies. The Guardian 1/17/14. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jan/17/hiroo-onoda-japanese-soldier-dies

12. Wang Q, Iketani S, Li Z, Liu L, Guo, Y, Huang Y, Bowen AD, Liu M, Wang M, Yu J, Valdez R, Lauring AS, Sheng Z, Wang HH, Gordon A, Liu L, Ho DD. Alarming antibody evasion properties of rising SARS-CoV-2 BQ and XBB subvariants. Cell (2023), https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2022.12.018. https://www.cell.com/action/showPdf?pii=S0092-8674%2822%2901531-8

13. Mercola J. Unvaccinated Blood is Now in Very High Demand. Epoch Times 12/20/22. https://www.theepochtimes.com/health/unvaccinated-blood-is-now-in-very-high-demand_4934809.html

Published by rike52

I retired from the Rheumatology division of Michigan Medicine end of June '19 after 36 years there. Upon hitting Ann Arbor for the second time (I went to school here) it took me almost 8 months to meet Kathy, 17 months to buy her a house (on Harbal, where we still live), and 37 months to marry her. Kids never came, but we've been blessed with a crowd of colleagues, friends, neighbors and family that continues to grow. Lots of them are going to show up in this log eventually. Stay tuned.

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