For nearly 27 years, the Reader has provided the Quad Cities with alternative news and perspectives. By “alternative,” I mean alternative to the mainstream media, and this unyielding mission has served the community well. This policy as it applies to COVID-19 is no different, especially due to the vast volumes of information that are being withheld, even censored, from the American public.
It is not necessary for agreement to appreciate information that makes us look at the issues of our time more closely, or differently. The more information, the better, for informed decisions and opinions. The only non-negotiable requirement should be evidence-based reporting, well-sourced and verified, then linked for readers to investigate for themselves. Our mission statement has always been “to make you think, not tell you what to think.”
And hopefully, readers have come to trust our mission, and the information provided. Again, agreement isn't the goal. Providing information that isn't available from the mainstream media for readers' consideration is. So far, mission accomplished.
So let's continue with the ongoing controversies: SARS-CoV2 virus has still not been purified, compromising all rt-PCR and antibody testing and vaccine development (please note that isolating coronavirus genome sequences is not the same thing as purification of an original SARS-CoV2 RNA sequence from which all future sequencing should flow); increase in COVID-19 positive cases with simultaneous decrease in deaths (both from COVID and overall); mandatory mask-wearing; and contact tracing.
Interestingly, the inventor of the rt-PCR Test, Kary Mullis, has openly warned that his test should not be used for infectious-disease diagnosis due to the PCR test's inability to confirm the amount of viral load present in a test subject based on the testing sample alone (RCReader.com/y/covid197).
What concerns skeptics regarding the rt-PCR testing orbit is that any coronaviruses present in samples are getting counted as positive COVID-19 results, which, if true, would be grossly misleading for obvious reasons, and certainly undermines a planetary pandemic-level response.
The purpose of this information is to encourage readers to approach COVID with eyes wide open, and to question everything. Healthy skepticism is a virtue, not paranoia. The degree of incurious compliance is alarming in its magnitude, especially considering the extreme response worldwide. Compliance in the spirit of safety is understandable, but the lack of questioning and deserved pushback against the onslaught of inconsistent information, incoherent reporting by our local and national mainstream media, and blatant contradictions by trusted voices such as Dr. Anthony Fauci relative to mask-wearing, only adds to the public's collective anxiety and confusion, especially when reliable, conclusive science is missing from the equation.
In recent articles advocating mask-wearing en masse as a mitigation policy against the community spread of SARS-CoV2 and COVID-19, many advocates and reporters cite the same block of studies in support of the policy. What advocates and reporters apparently neglect to do, however, is review each link for confirmation of their assertion(s). If they had, they would have learned that many of the references do not mention masks, let alone present a science-based random-control study affirming the practice. (See this article from the New England Journal of Medicine: RCReader.com/y/covid198.)
In fact, of the links that do address airborne transmissibility of viruses, particles, and droplets narratively, observations are prevalent that masks, more specifically surgical and cloth masks, are somewhat effective in stopping some macrobes (such as spittle), but are largely ineffective in stopping human aerosol projections that carry microscopic viral particles. The best study for its rigorous and honest approach can be found at this Nature.com page (RCReader.com/y/covid199). Yet it, too, is inconclusive on the efficacy of masks as an efficient barrier for micrometer contaminants.
This makes sense considering that viruses are 2.37 million times smaller than the diameter of pores in most non-N95 respirators, while particles that carry the viruses are 512 times smaller, and droplets are 8 times smaller, easily passing through these porous barriers (RCReader.com/y/covid1910).
This need-to-know information relative to COVID-19 and masks is provided by the CDC, the New England Medicine Journal, and significant other medical professional sources, yet ignored by the mainstream media and “trusted voices.” Until recently, CDC officials, including the National Institute of Health's (NIH) own Dr. Anthony Fauci, openly discouraged the use of facial coverings in preventing transmission. It was not until the COVID curve was flattening that Dr. Fauci changed his position and began insisting upon nationwide mask-wearing in public. No one questioned his reverse policy guidance, or its odd timing. Regardless, most of our public sector leaders jumped on the bandwagon without hesitation, or any peer-reviewed science to support their own advocacy.
Meanwhile, recent published control studies have conclusively found that surgical and cloth masks provide little protection against transmission of viruses and bacteria, but do pose considerable potential negative health consequences that deserve consideration, but instead are being largely ignored. For those at greater risk from COVID-19, this is unconscionable neglect on the part of mainstream media and designated “trusted voices,” especially if we are led to wrongly believe we are protecting our loved ones at risk (RCReader.com/y/covid1911 and RCReader.com/y/covid1912).
Among the potential dangers posed to the wearers of masks, especially for prolonged periods, are hypoxia, hypoxemia, Hypercapnia (carbon dioxide toxicity), sores and rashes around the mouth and nostrils, gum problems, and various unintended auto-immune responses due to less oxygen and greater carbon dioxide, such as triggering latent viruses (i.e. influenza) and bacterial infections.
The variables attributed to the dangers of mask-wearing are many and varied, and will impact people differently depending on health conditions, mask material, environmental conditions, wearing time … . Pick one. But don't dismiss potential problems, because there are less dangerous consequences, too, such as headaches, nausea, dizziness, double vision, and tinnitus – ringing or buzzing (RCReader.com/y/covid1913 and RCReader.com/y/covid1914).
These potential dangers are not small things, and deserve due diligence. Especially if there exists even the smallest controversy about the true inefficacy of masks in preventing transmission due to reasonable weaknesses in the protocol, including fit, material, constant touching and adjusting, and particle build-up, to name a few.
The above information is presented to aide you in navigating COVID-19 using your intellect, not your emotions – rational analysis, not knee-jerk fear. The fallout from shuttering economies, schools, access to our elders, social engagement, and intrusions upon our constitutionally protected rights is ramping up and not receding, even though the critical measure of a lethal viral outbreak are death rates, which continue to decrease as positive cases increase relative to COVID-19. This is great news and should be celebrated, not minimized as a cautionary tale.
The prolonging of extreme mitigations are no longer justified (if they ever were), so what is the true purpose of continuing to derail society? This has emerged as the central question that we should all finally be asking.
Enter Contact Tracing
Contact tracing is the precursor to a new control grid based on health, as well as an extremely lucrative new revenue source for the public-sector agencies involved. Iowa alone received $100 million in federal distributions of funds for COVID-19 management, to date. And so far, Scott County has been allocated $700,000 of this COVID Cash just for testing and data collection.
Contract tracing is a very legitimate protocol for getting control of a infectious disease, but it has definable limitations, most significantly a strict window of time during an infection's onset. Once it has run its course, contact tracing has no purpose other than looking backwards (RCReader.com/y/covid1915).
The contact tracing being proposed for COVID-19 is light years beyond previous protocol for intervention in the spread of disease. What is being proposed is basically massive government surveillance, only this program will operate in the open (parts of it, anyway) with public knowledge, permission, and compliance.
Think of contacts as six degrees of Kevin Bacon on steroids. The “army” of tracers have no obligation to tell the people it investigates what, when, why, where, or how they are a candidate for “tracing.” And there is no governor on the personal data the tracers are permitted to collect, nor with whom it is shared, for what purposes.
Thirty-five states have already admitted to sharing private data collected from positive test cases, 10 of which have shared private data with law enforcement, including Iowa. There is no reason to assume this won't be the norm for states. Most states, including Iowa, sell DMV data as a revenue stream. Why would COVID-19 personal data be any different?
Massive resource allocation, a snowball enlargement of the U.S. health bureaucracy, trillions in new tax-dollar expenditures, and ever-increasing violations of constitutionally protected rights, all justified by a virus that has a lethality factor of 0.05 percent or one-fifth of 1 percent, which is lower than most regular influenza outbreaks.