You should be beyond frustrated about being lied to and terrorized. So much of the news about COVID-19 that should make you less stressed-out and more confident engaging in your community in a normal way is being suppressed. There is also additional information you need to know to understand what testing for COVID-19 means, why confirmed “infections” are misleading, and how our immune systems are beautifully engineered to fight the virus in ways we are now beginning to understand.
The first clues come from Dr. Beda M. Stadler, a Swiss biologist, emeritus professor, and former director of the Institute of Immunology at the University of Bern. In June, he wrote an article for Die Weltwoche, and while his assessment likening the virus to a severe cold that goes away in the summer may be optimistic, some of the basic facts about the immune system and testing are spot-on. This article was translated into English on Medium (the original requires a subscription):
Firstly, it was wrong to claim that this virus was novel. Secondly, It was even more wrong to claim that the population would not already have some immunity against this virus. Thirdly, it was the crowning of stupidity to claim that someone could have Covid-19 without any symptoms at all or even to pass the disease along without showing any symptoms whatsoever.
His first point has been echoed recently by Dr. Simone Gold of America’s Frontline Doctors and others. COVID-19 is 78% similar to SARS and uses the same process to enter the cells of the respiratory tract as SARS does. The spike in protein binds to the ACE-2 receptor to open the door. This information alone should inform public policy and treatment.
Stadler’s second point was just confirmed by researchers at La Jolla Institute for Immunology in a peer-reviewed study published in Science Magazine, the publication of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Science Daily did an excellent summary in layman’s terms, which you can read in its entirety, but the bottom line is:
A new study shows that memory helper T cells that recognize common cold coronaviruses also recognize matching sites on SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
Your immune system’s “memory” T cells keep track of the viruses they have seen before. This immune cell memory gives the cells a headstart in recognizing and fighting off repeat invaders.
This study builds on work previously done that demonstrated:
The new work builds on a recent Cell paper from the Sette Lab and the lab of LJI Professor Shane Crotty, Ph.D., which showed that 40 to 60 percent of people never exposed to SARS-CoV-2 had T cells that reacted to the virus. Their immune systems recognized fragments of the virus it had never seen before. This finding turned out to be a global phenomenon and was reported in people from the Netherlands, Germany, the United Kingdom and Singapore.
While they say more research is needed, this may explain some of the patterns we see in COVID-19. Healthy individuals without preexisting conditions may have varying degrees of illness but then recover. Children and people under 50 seem to do exceptionally well. This pattern is likely because, as long as they remain active and interacting in the world, their immune system stays strong by coming into contact with less-virulent pathogens and triggering the immune response.
Memory T cells in healthy people keep a record of pathogens and respond when they detect a similar one. This immune response is why parents of young children often don’t suffer when their child is ill. A child may have a full-blown upper-respiratory infection from going to daycare (a Petri dish of germs), yet the parent may only suffer from a slight scratchy throat. The parent’s body has come into contact with a similar bug before, and memory T cells help eliminate it before it progresses.
Human coronaviruses are one of the leading causes of the common cold, so it makes sense that many healthy individuals would have T cell memory for them. Now research is confirming that they attack COVID-19 as well. Doctor Dan Erickson gives a great explanation of how the immune system works and how lockdowns can impair the functioning of it in this video:
[WATCH] California Docs Say Lockdown vs. Non-Lockdown ‘Did Not Produce a Statistically Different Number of Deaths
Dr. Stadler also puts to bed the myth of asymptomatic spread (for clarity and emphasis).
The next joke that some virologists shared was the claim that those who were sick without symptoms could still spread the virus to other people. The “healthy” sick would have so much of the virus in their throats that a normal conversation between two people would be enough for the “healthy one” to infect the other healthy one. At this point we have to dissect what is happening here: If a virus is growing anywhere in the body, also in the throat, it means that human cells decease (die). When [human] cells decease (die), the immune system is alerted immediately and an infection is caused. One of five cardinal symptoms of an infection is pain. It is understandable that those afflicted by Covid-19 might not remember that initial scratchy throat and then go on to claim that they didn’t have any symptoms just a few days ago. But for doctors and virologists to twist this into a story of “healthy” sick people, which stokes panic and was often given as a reason for stricter lockdown measures, just shows how bad the joke really is. At least the WHO didn’t accept the claim of asymptomatic infections and even challenges this claim on its website.
There is no reason to believe that the immune system of a healthy individual is not responding to COVID-19 as it would to any other illness. Those who are compromised, obese, or have other preexisting conditions may be suffering from a cytokine storm, but that is an overreaction of the immune system. Dr. Stadler is merely describing a healthy immune response.
Finally, Dr. Stadler discusses one of the standard tests for COVID-19, the PCR test. This test is not specific to a live, infectious virus. It actually detects pieces of the virus, which may still be present for some time after the patient is well (for clarity and emphasis):
So if we do a PCR corona test on an immune person, it is not a virus that is detected, but a small shattered part of the viral genome. The test comes back positive for as long as there are tiny shattered parts of the virus left. Correct: Even if the infectious viruses are long dead, a corona test can come back positive, because the PCR method multiplies even a tiny fraction of the viral genetic material enough [to be detected].
That’s exactly what happened, when there was the global news, even shared by the WHO, that 200 Koreans who already went through Covid-19 were infected a second time and that there was therefore probably no immunity against this virus. The explanation of what really happened and an apology came only later, when it was clear that the immune Koreans were perfectly healthy and only had a short battle with the virus. The crux was that the virus debris registered with the overly sensitive test and therefore came back as “positive”. It is likely that a large number of the daily reported infection numbers are purely due to viral debris.
Is the PCR test useful for a patient with symptoms? Absolutely. The CDC is even developing a combination test that will differentiate between Influenza A, Influenza B, and COVID-19 for diagnostic use in patients suffering from flu-like illnesses. But if you understand how the test works and how the immune system functions, isn’t it logical to ask, “Why are we testing healthy people?” Maybe to continue the idea of the healthy spreader?
Better yet, what is the value of retesting? If you test positive for strep throat, a urinary tract infection, or the flu, do you go back and confirm you are well with a second test? This retest would only occur in unusual circumstances, perhaps if you were immunocompromised, had an antibiotic-resistant strain, or other medical conditions.
But in a healthy population, this doesn’t happen. The requirement by employers and schools to retest is a problem because positives detecting viral debris in recovered patients are not separated from new infections. If symptoms are gone, just like with the flu, you have recovered.
So why all the vaguery and insinuation? Because if you were not misinformed and scared, you wouldn’t follow orders that violate your civil liberties, keep your children home from school, and be generally miserable. Our Health Experts(TM) also wouldn’t be able to go on television and say things like this:
Actually, the numbers do lie. Or are at least misleading and meant to induce panic on some fundamental levels. The experiences with the virus in states like Georgia, Florida, Texas, and Arizona are supporting the thesis that the required herd immunity threshold may be far lower than the estimated 70%-90% initially estimated. If a large percentage of the population has memory T cells that are effective in combating the virus, masks for healthy people, lockdowns, and bans on large gatherings are not as easy to enforce. Especially when T-cell immunity is as high as 60%, according to research. Supposing another 20-30% of the population is infected during the peak, the entire picture changes.
Another reason for the continued panic is that it increases the likelihood you will be willing to take a vaccine. With two studies confirming unexposed T-cell immunity, healthy individuals, free from preexisting conditions or other risk factors, probably don’t need to take it. It also increases the likelihood that those who contract it and recover will have the same T-cell immunity. How fast antibodies disappear becomes a moot point. And Dr. Anthony Fauci really wants you to get a vaccine.
The amount of information withheld from the public is both obscene and horrific. There are plenty of reasons for Americans to be optimistic about the experience with COVID-19 and our ability to develop rational public policy to deal with it. These policies should protect the vulnerable and let the rest of the country live their normal lives.