A Third Approach to the COVID-19 Pandemic; Diversifying our Options

The issue

A tremendous amount of fear and anger are presently being felt and expressed in our society over the COVID-19 pandemic. Most of us are tired of the restrictions, especially the lack of easy physical proximity and/or contact, and all of us want this to be over.

Those who will not (or cannot) be vaccinated are concerned about their health. Those who have been vaccinated but fear being infected by the un-vaccinated also fear for their health, and believe that if everyone did accept the vaccine the pandemic would finally end. Health authorities and the province are putting a lot of pressure on the un-vaccinated to get the jab. The un-compliant are experiencing a great deal of shaming and shunning. Some of these have become angry (shame often does that) and/or depressed ; some have become militant, organising marches on hospitals and other public sites. This only enrages the public. The battle lines deepen.

Nobody is winning this battle.

Let’s step back for a moment here. The two “sides” have more in common than they do apart! Both “sides” want to stay healthy. They have different perspectives on how to accomplish it, that’s all. While many people are strongly entrenched in their perspectives, nevertheless we all want the same thing. Another thing in common: both “sides” are afraid. Fear also leads to anger, and when combined with shame, fear becomes toxic. It is fear that divides us.

I strongly believe there is a third way that gives us an opportunity to all work together, hence this blog.

It may be difficult for those who are at the far ends of the debate to digest my views. I only ask that everyone reading this try to be curious. Even if you disagree, please at least consider an opinion that may not be yours, as I have been trying to do with the opposing sides. We are all, after all, humans who are trying to do our best with this crisis.

Science

Science is usually referenced by those pushing for vaccinations. What, exactly, is science?; there is more than one kind.

Western (­­­­Newtonian) science is dominant in our part of the world. Unlike the more holistic, energy-based quantum science, Newtonian science largely seeks to identify the individual components of the physical world and so view us more like machines than living beings. Such a piece-meal approach is evident in the creation of a vaccine that replicates only the spike protein used by the COVID-19 virus. The hope is that our immune system will recognise the virus just from the spike part and prevent the virus from getting too far. There is lots of evidence that the vaccines are mostly accomplishing this, at least for a few months. Unfortunately, like most pharmaceutical products, it has side-effects. For most people these fade after a few days. Surprisingly, Dr. Rose of the FDA reports that a sizable percentage are injured by it and not a few die within two weeks of getting the jab. (Audio recordings of her presentation can be found on a number of websites, including this one.) Her report is delaying the authorisation for a booster shot for the general population. While Newtonian science is powerful, it is also limited. It can be harmful. This is part of what those opposed to vaccines are trying to say (often too forcefully).

On the other hand, those who believe their human rights are being denied and who are also unwilling to take the steps to reduce harm to especially the vulnerable (those who have pre-existing medical issues, which is a sizeable and growing segment of our population) are being irresponsible. If we do not act together, we may never find our way out of this mess.

A third way

Western (Newtonian) science is not the only kid on the block. In fact, it is the new kid on the block. For centuries Indigenous and traditional peoples have found amazing ways to address illnesses, including eliminating viral infections. They have learned, over thousands of years, what is effective. In fact, a large number of present-day pharmaceuticals originated from Indigenous knowledge. Is it not curious that their wisdom has not been sought in our current dilemma?

The plant world offers us many powerful anti-viral solutions. In alphabetic order here are a number of them: clove, eucalyptus, ginger, hyssop, manuka (as in the honey; the oil is taken from the actual flowers of the manuka bush), tea tree (melaleuca), melissa, mountain savory, myrrh, oregano, Ravensara, rosewood, sage, tarragon, and Idaho tansy.

We can add to this list other solutions that have shown a great deal of power to blunt the effects of this virus, such as vitamins C & D, zinc, curcumin (from turmeric), green tea, quercetin, and NAC (N-acetylcysteine). You can read more about these from my earlier blog.

While I think that medicine serves us best by improving our immune systems, which the vaccines target, natural methods are far safer. Here is an audio interview of a naturopathic doctor of how he and his team have been successfully treating patients to naturally boost their immune systems. So far none of his patients have died of COVID.

Unfortunately, science that is utilised only to profit shareholders will not be put to the service of determining the efficacy of natural methods, unless they can be synthesised, patented and profited. The pharmaceutical industry decided to instead create vaccines, likely as these do not rely on people remembering to use natural products on a daily basis. It seems that we are not trustworthy to manage our own health, and by extension, the health of others. Doubting our ability to be capable has greatly hampered the efforts to end the pandemic.

I firmly believe that all of us, vaccinated or not, if we are going to be responsible and actually end this pandemic, should be regularly taking a mixture of the plants and vitamins just mentioned. Why?  Because everyone, vaccinated or not, is potentially a carrier of the virus, and because the vaccines currently available quickly lose their potency (which is why booster shots are now being openly proposed). As mentioned, the most popular vaccines at present aid the body only to recognise part of the virus, whereas traditional vaccines (that can last up to a life-time) often contain the whole (but dead) infectious agent. Traditional and Indigenous approaches to diseases always take a holistic approach, unlike our current technological medicine. The side-effects are typically rare and not serious when a nature-based approach is taken. Our current singular solution, placing all of our eggs in one vaccine basket something wise investors will not do is being just as irresponsible as are those who opt to do nothing to protect themselves and others from this virus. Failing to learn from traditional and Indigenous peoples, but instead pushing them aside, is simply an extension of a colonial attitude of superiority.

Our lauded technologies will not save us from this virus nor from the impending destruction of our life-support system, Mother Earth. Living in harmony with Earth and her wisdom-keepers is the only approach that will.

Even if all Canadians and North Americans were vaccinated against COVID-19 this will not prevent new variants from arriving from developing countries (which the Delta variant did). In fact less than half of the world’s population has had just one vaccine. It is virtually impossible, even if developed countries did not hoard the vaccines, that the world’s vaccination rate will reach even 90%, the current goal for “herd immunity.” There is no "us and them;" we are truly in this all together.

Science at the service of humanity, not only corporations

At its finest, science of all kinds encourages questioning, exploring, and improving. It is founded on the premise that theories need to be tested, not assumed to be correct. Authentic science in the service of humanity and Earth is not limited to the profit-seeking corporate world. Science in the service of life considers all possibilities, and sometimes experiences break-through discoveries in areas not at all expected.

Let’s return to the root cause of our fear: illness and death. None of us desire either –this common interest does unite us all. So why are we putting so much money and energy into just one solution to defeat a virus that will likely infect all of us sooner or later? Waiting for everyone to be vaccinated is leading to a great deal of harm resulting from starvation and deaths that may be averted if science were also engaged to create other solutions that are successfully being used elsewhere.

If we took a multi-pronged approach, we could turn our attention to far more serious issues. Earth is increasingly on fire, flooding, and producing more famines, and what remains of old growth forests (which provide many benefits, including future medicines) are being terminated. We would all benefit if we seriously tackled the many other pressing matters, such as homelessness and housing affordability, rising rates of (non-COVID) illness, loneliness, huge rates of anxiety and depression, especially in the younger population, and more. Loneliness alone evidently kills hundreds of thousands of people each year. Just because the powerful pharmaceutical industry has decided to focus only on one solution to this one problem does not mean we should neglect other solutions and other issues. Our lives depend on it.

I believe that all of us need to be responsible for ourselves, each other, and our common Earth-ship. We cannot afford to depend on governments keener to serve corporations than our well-being. Together, vaccinated or not, we need to safely and responsibly come together and tackle the problems that overshadow COVID-19. Only then will we be able to live life more fully, meaningfully and securely.


Comments

  1. Good article Ian, this is a very pragmatic, open and provocative discussion about a topic that is difficult to discuss...most only drift into right wrong. Discussion based approach is where we will grow. I commend you on your approach
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    1. I appreciate you reading and commenting! Thank you.

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