I’ve been thinking a lot lately about why people believe in and follow ideas/”theories”/things/beliefs/systems/and people that:
Lack solid evidence to support that the idea/”theory”/thing/belief/system – actually exists.
Support people who promote ideas/”theories”/things/beliefs/systems that lack any supporting evidence.
Claim to be the only “way” and do not allow questioning or deviation from the ideas/ideals/idols of the “home team.”
Are harmful or potentially harmful to the believer, their loved ones, society, or the natural life-support system of the planet that supports them (often while making the leaders of their chosen belief system richer in the process).
Have these folks ever just sat back and asked themselves any of the following questions?
Is this idea/belief/thing/person/”theory” – actually helping me, or is it doing more harm than good?
Why do I believe in/support this idea/system/belief/thing/person?
When did I start believing in this idea/thing/way of thinking/person?
Who/what was it that brought me to believe in this thing/way of thinking/person and why?
Is it possible that I may have been/am being conned by a charlatan only out for propping up, profit, power, or prestige?
I have come to a few of my own off-the-cuff ideas as to why people follow these things – but I am sure there are many more.
Some people may just want to believe that they/their idea/belief system/their chosen path or person to follow is somehow special or mystically “chosen” above all other options.
Some may want to believe in things/ideas/persons/beings/”theories” because they feel small, inadequate, and/or insignificant – so they are looking for something bigger than they are, something or someone to give them advice or direction on which way to go in life, which path to take – someone that will take on the role of the father figure in their lives. On one hand, I can understand this because we are all just tiny, insignificant, ant-like beings when compared to the unimaginably vast grandeur of nature/the cosmos, and when we realize this humbling and mildling terrifying fact, it may help to have someone with more knowledge and experience to help us make sense of it all – as long as that someone is not a charlatan trying to take you for a ride and/or control/coerce you into doing something nefarious – or just give the troll all of your hard-earned money. On the other hand, not believing in yourself or your abilities to do your own research – your own ability to unearth the facts and the truth and just accept whatever pseudo-facts or absolute hogwash those you look up to are feeding you to make you feel better – well, that is just a recipe for absolute and total disaster.
They may want to feel special and/or in some way “chosen” and/or above all those outside of their “flock” that they have been tought to see as “outsiders,” “other,” or “lesser.” It is interesting to me that those within these bizarre groupings, congregations, and “clubs” are often taught that any individual/group/or ways of thinking that are “outside” of their “tribe” are conveniently labeled as wrong, bad, lost, lesser, infidels, unclean, or inferior and therefore not to be trusted or accepted…unless they pay to play – then, they are accepted and all is well within the “flock.” Bizarre.
Some people just seem to want to believe that there are all kinds of twisted conspiracies all around them.
Some people may want to feel like their chosen thing, person, or belief system has all the simple answers to all the complex questions – therefore, they have no need to actually try to think for themselves.
Some people may have deep tribal tendencies and whatever their chosen tribe does, whatever they believe, whomever or whatever they follow – no matter how twisted, bizarre, dangerous, destructive, or detrimental it is to themselves or their tribe or others on the “outside” – they will blindly accept it, believe it, and/or do it without question.
Some people seem to have been taught to fear the experts/authority and/or anyone with more knowledge than they have – especially if that knowledge involves them changing their way of thinking. This is an extremely dangerous way of thinking.
They may fear change and resist or refuse to adapt.
They may deeply fear the unknown and/or new things.
They may simply lack the needed knowledge to make the needed change and/or refuse to learn/accept the freely offered and/or easily available new knowledge – especially when that new evidence/knowledge is counter to what they have always held as the truth.
They may be comfortable with their position and do not want to step outside of their comfort zone and no amount of facts, evidence, or example presented by the experts or even others will ever convince them that stepping out of their bubble would be better for them….unless, the unthinkable/unbelievable reality suddenly happens to them or a loved one and finally wakes them up out of their toxic self-imposed mind fog…but by then it is often too little too late.
Examples of all of these misguided individuals are all around us.
Moon landing deniers
The twisted list goes on and on.
Don’t be a close-minded denier.
Open your mind to the realities and the endless possibilities.
Believe in and follow whatever you like if it offers you comfort, peace, guidance, advice, and/or genuinely helps you or your family/loved ones/others in need in some positive, measurable way.
But if your chosen way of thinking and believing requires you to hate/bully/harm/kill others, and/or serves only to cause harm to you, your loved ones, other innocent people outside of your chosen way of thinking/living, and/or your environmental life-support system – then maybe, for your own good and for the good of others, and of everything moving forward into the future – it is time you seriously rethink the ideas/”theories”/things/beliefs/and people you have chosen to follow and work very hard to purge, delete, and/or render extinct all those harmful ways of thinking and living from your existence.
Here is an idea: try letting peer-reviewed facts, evidence, and knowledge be your decision-making guide.
Do only good things.
Be the change.
Everything amazing is often found on the other side of fear.
Another trip around the sun completed successfully.
Some perspective: On this day (July 15th) in 1968 I came into this reality – whatever this reality really is – and as of today, I have existed in this reality for 54 earth years.
Some perspective and observations.
I was premature so I had to cook in an incubator for a while until my body took over and I could support myself without the assistance of science and technology.
I was soon adopted by two amazing people Cathy and Clayton – who accepted me into their home as their own child. They later adopted another child in need and named her Lesly who then became my wonderful sister. She met Jonas and they raised two wonderful children – Cody and Ashlyn – who I just know will go above and beyond and do great things. I am lucky and proud to be a part of this family.
I was born in the middle of one of the times of the greatest scientific and engineering achievements humankind has ever experienced: the Apollo-era moon missions and landings…and, fitting the space exploration and cultural turbulence of the times, the first incarnation of Star Trek – my favorite TV series – was on TV…and it still is and all of its incarnations and I love them all for the messages they bring to all of us – if we have the capacity to understand and accept them and put them into practice.
I have been alive (whatever that means) for ~473,040 hours and accruing. I have orbited our closest star Sol 54 times. I have now traveled around 31,536,000,000 miles (50,752,272,384 kilometers) through space in an ever-spiraling circle around a rather remote and average little yellow star while riding on a water-soaked living rock along with you and over 7.9 billion other naked, bi-pedal, mostly hairless, multi-colored, fire and tool-using, thinking apes, and countless other amazing life-forms – while spinning at an equatorial rate of around 1000 mph (1,609.3 kph) while at the same time passing through the icy blackness vacuum of space at around 67,000 mph (107,826 kph) in our orbital path around the sun while also orbiting around Sagittarius A* the supermassive black hole in the center of our home galaxy at a rate of around 514,000 mph. At this rate, it will take me, you, our wet rock, and our star – about 229 million years to make one trip around the galactic center thereby completing one Galactic Year. And all of this, all of us, everything, our entire Milky Way galaxy – is traveling through intergalactic space at around 1.2 million mph (1.9m kph) relative to the cosmic background radiation.
So far, I have had an amazing existence full of tons of excitement, exploration, friendship, laughter love, and light as well as periods of loss, pain, hardship, and a little bit of darkness.
I was here the last time Haley’s Comet passed by our pale blue watery rock of a dot in 1986 (and I plan to be here to see it again when it comes back around again in 2062).
I rode along in spirit and in support of every space exploration mission humanity has launched since I can remember way back as a 4-year-old kid watching it happen live (well, almost live since round trip communication time between the earth and moon is 2.6 seconds) on TV and then running outside in the yard to look up at the moon where the last Apollo astronauts were bouncing about the lunar surface in the early ’70s. I have since watched in awe, great appreciation, and hope as the space programs of planet earth sent many amazing interplanetary probes to the Sun, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Titan, Neptune, Pluto, asteroids, comets, asteroids, and more. I watched as the incredible Space Shuttles flew on huge pillars of flame and 15 nations set aside their differences to build the International Space Station – a castle of science, discovery, and international cooperation 249 miles above all of us in the “sky.” Today I am elated at the rapid evolution of non-governmental space exploration and travel organizations and I hope to see us back on the moon soon – and then sometime before I kick off – great shiny Starships landing on Mars. Go SpaceX! Just a few days ago I witnessed the mind-blowingly beautiful and deeply data-rich images from almost the beginning of time and space come beaming down to all of us overly encephalized hairy tit-sucking mammals living upon this pale blue dot from the incredible James Webb Space Telescope – and I look forward to seeing more that will come to us over the next 20 – 30 years and am so excited for how much the JWST’s imagery will increase our knowledge of our own cosmic evolution.
I chased nature and wild animals, first as a child for personal interest sake, and later in the name of science, education, and conservation of species. My favorites being the misunderstood creatures of the world such as reptiles, amphibians, bats, Opossums, and vultures.
On a few occasions, my body was invaded by festering armies of microscopic “wildlife” that tried to use me as a replicator for more of their kind and/or end me, and yet, my own immune system as well as the findings of many, many great scientists that came before allowed me to boost, augment, and bio-hack my body through the use of antibiotics and vaccinations thereby giving me a “force field of science” inside and out so I could continue awkwardly onward into the future.
In 2014 I came closest to feeding the soil, worms, and trees when a rather archaic and not that useful part of my internal anatomy (my appendix) malfunctioned and suffered a massive R.U.D. (Rapid Unscheduled Disassembly) – so I had it removed by a robot that was designed by science and piloted by a scientist we all call a doctor so I could continue in my present state of gangly existence.
In 2016 I had an encounter with a wild venomous serpent (Timber rattlesnake) who was only defending himself due to my accidental stupidity and, while I was in no danger of meeting my end – it did really hurt a bit and slow me down for a few weeks (yes, the snake still lives in the wilds of the forest ) The only way I was able to overcome this one without losing a finger and possibly suffering lasting damage to my body was through the findings of science. Yep, there is that science thing again. Ain’t it wonderful
This past year the current plague impacting humanity (SARS CoV2) finally caught up with me. It was no fun at all and took me out for a week or so but I recovered – again thanks to science and my science-augmented immune system.
On all these close calls (and many I have not even been aware of due to my science augmented/trained to recognize and destroy the “bad guys” immune system via all the vaccinations I have gladly rolled up my sleeves to receive since I was a small child ) I was given another chance at existing in this reality through the findings of science, miracles of modern technology and engineering…and possibly a little bit of some as yet to be discovered by science mystical energy field or omnipotent ancient and possibly extraterrestrial/interdimensional intelligence that, for some really disturbingly strange reason, many individuals/cultures/factions on the planet have coined many different names/stories/belief systems for – yet cannot ever seem to agree upon…and often even choose to childishly take sides, argue, fight, and believe it or not even murder each other over…so bizarre and childlike is the proudest monkey.
IMHO – if this intelligence exists – it is as far “above” us as we are “above” our closest relatives the Chimpanzee and Bonobo…or maybe the bacterium…or the virus. Whatever the case, I’m pretty sure that if it does exist it might be studying us as we study the animals…or the virus…and it cares not one single bit about our posturings on its behalf, the myriad of books we write about it, our childish bickering on who/what it is, who or what is “right” and “wrong,” who uses which bathroom, who’s skin is what color, who is “left” and “right,” etc. – just like we do not care about the comings and goings of bacteria and viral organisms…until they invade our personal space and become overpopulated…hmmmm…something important to ponder if you are able to see deep enough or large enough to ponder it…
At an early age, I became tired of all the factions telling me what to do, how to believe, how to think, how to live my life, and how to be a human – so I chose to follow my own path. I chose to listen to nature, to the evidence and logic and teachings of the wilderness, and to the findings and ponderings of the great minds and philosophies of history. Some may call me a “free spirit” – nice! – thank you! Some have called me “lost” – really, how rude! But whatever the case may be this is my path, no one can choose it for me and likewise, I will never try to force it on you or anyone. You must all find your own path.
I learned to drone a didgeridoo – so very ancient and cool!
I fell in love with a wonderful, beautiful, and intelligent human female called Marian and we settled down a bit…but not too much
A few years later I fell into a wonderful career inspiring, leading, and sharing nature, science, and reality knowledge with amazing at-risk youth on the connections, beauty, and joy of nature, wildlife, science, and life the universe, and everything.
While working to inspire tomorrow’s youth to better themselves by connecting with nature, wilderness, wild things, and to trust science and let it be their guide in life – I have connected with so many amazing human beings in my students and my coworkers – my life has been so deeply enrichened from my time with all of you amazing people and I am so grateful for all of you and your lasting contributions to your classroom and to my personal journey.
My incredible students, interns, volunteers, amazing friends Jim and Bob, and I all worked together over many solar orbits with many more amazing project supporters to build a photovoltaic solar power plant that benefits not only our classroom and campus but the entire local community with clean, locally-produced renewable energy from our nearest fusion reactor in space – the sun! Update: During my most recent solar orbit we all – and some wonderful and most-generous new friends – worked to create a solar-powered mobile outreach classroom called the SS NaSA PoD (Science Steve’s Nature and Science Adventure Pod of Discovery) – that will allow us to bring our nature, wildlife, and science messages to our students and to the region – so cool!
About 10 orbits ago my wife and I started phasing out almost all our connections to nature, life, and future-harming dirty fossil fuels. We have been driving mostly electric since 2013 and intend to soon go fully electric with most of our transportation, energy, and fuel needs coming from EVs and local renewable energy sources.
Just a few solar orbits ago the amazing findings of the science of genetics and DNA sequencing allowed me to connect with my wonderful biological father, sister, brother, and other awesome family members and answer many of the questions about my genetic roots and my connections to nature that I have had since an early age.
And now I find myself near the end of a global viral pandemic that has sadly ended the lives of many and upset the lives and plans of most. As before, I will follow and trust the science as I ignore all the other randomly repeated, vociferous, evidence-lacking, overly emotional, opinions and options and roll up my sleeve and gladly accept the expertly recommended vaccinations against this microscopic attacker (but I did still get the virus – only not as bad as some I know who did not or could not roll up their sleeves). I will continue to trust in science, even with its changeable and incomplete nature, to give me guidelines and support during this global human emergency. I hope you will choose to join me and in doing so, together, you and I will get through this thing – and hopefully, I will still be here to rewrite this yet again next year on this day.
Whatever all the facts and reasons may be, I am very glad to still be here on this incredible and sometimes bumpy but always interesting wild ride through the cosmos with all of you other crazy wonderful, and beautifully mixed-up mosh pit of humans and always wonderful animals.
I’m not sure where we are going or when, where, and why we exist – but wherever, whatever, whenever, and whyever – at least we are making good time and it has been and will continue to be one heck of a wild ride through the cosmos on this one strange rock we all call home.
Thank you all for being here and for riding along on this roller coaster called life with me Now let’s all take another spin around the sun together on spaceship Earth!
Improvise, adapt, overcome, evolve, survive, and thrive.
The viral scourge has found her and infected she is, but it seems only a mild vexing.
Yet, exiled from society the fair maid has been by the local lords of the magic known as medicine.
Her beloved nature knight, his weapons of choice earth, air, fire, water, and loads of peer-reviewed knowledge freely passed down from the great natural philosophers along with a lot of practical engineering and improvisation, has therefore reclusively retreated into a miniature wheeled home of his own creation.
Within this tiny bean pod-like shell he must reluctantly reside for a fortnight at most – but less in probability – while his princess valiantly fights her battle alone, aided only by countless armies of microscopic bloodborne troops – enhanced by the magical art of medical science – working round the clock to massacre the many millions of maliciously malevolent microscopic monstrosities munching madly in maid Marian’s body.
Nature knight profoundly misses his beauty who is so close, yet so far away just on the other side of an impenetrable wall of wood and masonry – her only company, the mischievous red canine companion and two troublemaking flatulent felines.
The lone lovers are sad yet they know they will be reunited after the microscopic battle being fought within her flesh and blood is finally over.
Therefore, all he can do is wait, wait within his microscopically minuscule science and star-powered abode as he ponders the countless unanswerable questions of deep time, DNA, and the vast ocean of the cosmos – while partaking of vegan ice cream and chocolate stout.
The condensed version: My wife has a mild case of covid, I’m living in the RV for the duration making the best of it hoping it doesn’t get me.
A few days later…
The masked and gloved physician jammed the nasal probe of pain so far up I thought it might bust through into my brain…only to reveal what my rapidly advancing symptoms suggested – the vile microscopic beastie has finally caught up with me.
I hope this thing is short-lived for I have dragons to slay, fair maidens to rescue, and seeds of knowledge to plant.
Be gone with you, vile, villainous, wretched, miserable, microscopic, malevolence! With what little breath I have left I stab at thee with many choice colorful metaphors – and a hefty, healthy dose of SCIENCE!!!
To the rest of you reading this I say this: WEAR YOUR GORRAM MASK AND WASH YOUR FILTHY POXIFIED HANDS!!!
Some of us will get through this thing with science and common sense leading the way and sadly, some will not.
As I learned in the Boy Scouts: be prepared.
1. Listen to the experts – they know more than you – that is why they are the experts.
2. Keep your distance – especially from strangers.
3. Wash up well.
4. Keep wearing that mask.
5. Get that shot and then get the booster.
6. Ignore/report/block/delete the ignorant anti-science and anti-common sense conspiracy “theories” and “natural cures” being fabricated/spread/sold by the covidiots, crazy meme trolls, greedy charlatans, and religiopolitical fanatics crapping their steaming fresh clickbait turds all over the internet.
There are only two options in this thing we call life on planet earth: adapt or die. Science, technology, and good old common sense are the ways we humans improvise, adapt, overcome, evolve, survive, and thrive.
Nature does not care about us. There are only two options in the life of any living creature – animal or human animal: Adapt or Die. This is why we must care for ourselves – and others. Therefore, as I see it I still have only two options here:
1. I could choose to ignore the experts and treat COVID-19 like a religio-political control tactic or a hoax as some seem to believe it is. If I did this I would either: be just fine(luck)…or I would have a much higher probability of becoming sick (or dead) due to COVID -19 (and/or any other contagious disease). For me, the side effects of contracting COVID-19 have the potential to be far more damaging than the disease: lost wages, possible job/car/home loss, family, friends and coworkers and/or my students contracting COVID-19 from me and possibly suffering lasting damage to their health – or worse – death. Possible damage to the amazing company I work for, the life-long emotional and possible physical trauma associated with bad choices and their implications, the high cost of medical treatment.
2. I could choose to listen to the experts from many sources who are all saying the same thing and follow their recommendations and adapt accordingly. I could wear masks in public and at work, wash my hands more often, physically distance, avoid crowds, and get vaccinated. This road has been long and inconvenient, absolutely no fun at all, redundant, trying and tiring mentally and physically. However, even if I somehow still come down with COVID-19 – at least I am 100% certain that I did my absolute best to protect those I teach, those I work with, those I love, those strangers I do not even know, and myself from this virus.
As I have done since March 2020 and as I see it I have only one option here: I choose option #2.
If in the end, all the reports and “news” hype circulating around SARS CoV-2 one day mysteriously vanish from the scene and if all of it or most of it is exposed to be a religio-political* tool or cruel hoax** – I will eagerly, happily, and publicly ingest a large plate of deep fried, Cajun spiced crow and admit my error.
Until that time I will continue to choose option #2 and I will continue to stand by, support, and follow all the recommendations of the infectious disease experts.
To think that I know more than they do, or that some internet influencer or religious or political leader knows more about infectious diseases than the experts who study these things as their life’s work – is the ultimate of faulty logic and toxic hubris.
To choose not to listen to the experts would be selfish, incompetent, negligent, and potentially harmful to my loved ones, my friends, my students and coworkers, and even to people I do not know but may pass when I must visit a public place out of necessity…and obviously myself.
As I see it a little bit of adaptive inconvenience and a necessary deviation from the norm – is a small price to pay for the health and safety of my family, friends, coworkers, students, strangers, and for my own physical and mental health. I have far too much too lose to even ever consider Option #1.
*I despise how twisted and destructive religion and politics have become and IMHO I believe both should be totally and forever separated – and possibly even abolished. Our future should not be treated like the toxically divisive past and/or a business or a competitive sport.
**I do not believe COVID-19 is a hoax. I have looked at all the evidence, read the peer reviewed reports, have friends who work in the medical profession, and have friends who have had it. It is as real as you and I.
The needs of the many, outweigh, the needs of the few – or the one.
Improvise, adapt, overcome, evolve, survive, and thrive.
One of the most important things I have learned over my over 1/2 century of life on planet earth – is how incredibly important the methods, tools, and findings of science, (and engineering, and technology) are to my very existence – and to the existence of everyone who is reading these words.
Without the discoveries, methods, and tools of science, we would still be living in the “dark ages” surrounded by filth, sickness, decay, and death. In all likelihood, many of us would not be living at all because our very lives, and the lives of our parents, grandparents, great grandparents, and possibly even farther back – have been saved and or supported many times over by the findings, tools, and methods of science. How have I come to this conclusion you may ask? The answer is in the evidence I see all around me and in what I know best – my own life story, so I will use my story as an example.
July 1968. I was born. I was a bit premature yet I am alive and healthy today, why? Because doctors, medical science and engineering, and life support technology saved my helpless, somewhat premature-born life and therefore, I was able to begin my growth and development.
I was never sickened or harmed/disabled/disfigured or rendered into compost by deadly diseases such as measles, mumps, rubella, smallpox, polio, hepatitis, diphtheria, tetanus, rabies…why? Because my parents listened to the medical professionals and had me – and my pets – vaccinated when we were young pups. They listened to the science that supports the evidence that vaccinations work, they protect us, our food, and our companion animals (and therefore again – us) from the hordes of microscopic infectious invaders that only seek (but not desire) to cause us harm (but not intentionally) for only their own uncaring, unthinking, benefit – the continuation of their life cycle and their species.
Ask almost any person older than 60 alive today and they will tell you the only thing vaccines cause is healthy adults, long life, and grey hair.
In light of current anti-vaccination related events I feel that I must expand on this subject a bit.
For the moment, put aside your preconceived notions – good or bad – about vaccinations and just think about the thousands of times a week you come in contact with other people and their human residue – their exhaled breath and flatulent out-gassings wafting on slight breezes, their constantly shedding germs that become the floating motes of the melting pot of humanity before joining forces with the minuscule bits and pieces of everything else to become a microscopic menagerie of human/floral/faunal/bacterial/fungal/viral/chemical and technological atmospherically delivered effluent that – with the help of your need to breathe to live – finds its way into the tacky folds of your nasal cavity before paying a visit to the fragile, warm, humid depths of your oh so sensitive lungs.
How many times do you ride in a friend’s car, a public bus, train, taxi and share this air with others?
How often do you open a door by grasping the handle – what grimy, nose, and buttocks picking, crotch-grabbing, bipedal naked ape fondled that handle only moments before you did? Where had they been? Who had they been with? Exactly what form of nasty had they been doing only moments before? Did they wash their hands after they did whatever or whomever they did? Did they just blow or wipe their snotty, runny, dripping, mucus, and booger-filled nasal cavity and then use their soiled paw to grab the doorknob/fuel pump handle that you just grabbed moments after them!?! Is that why it was sticky when you touched it?!!?
How often do you ride in the confines of an elevator/subway/taxi/Uber/Lyft/handsome cab with strangers? How often do you use rental bicycle, Lyme or Bird electric scooters? When was the last time you used an escalator or elevator? When was the last time you pumped gas or used an EV charging station? How often do you visit a public toilet? How often do the others visiting that toilet wash their hands…how often and how well do YOU wash your hands after touching your face, your genitals, and/or excreting your bodily waste products? How often do they/you then walk out into the restaurant and grasp the serving spoon on the buffet line – I shudder at the thought…
When was the last time you shared space with a friendly stranger in a coffee shop, a restaurant, bar, airplane, cruise ship? Where were they from? Did they just come from a trip to a highly populated city where they visited a crowded street market or maybe even a “bushmeat” vendor or “wet market?” Did they just come from a tour of duty doing humanitarian work in disease, war, or climate refugee camps on the other side of the planet? Did they just come from an ultra-orthodox anti-vaccination community on the other side of town? How would you know? They may be really interesting and very nice but now you are inhaling the air they just breathed out, and you are in-taking a portion of their germs – wherever they picked them up – yikes. How many times per day/week/month/year are you exposed to countless invisible invading armies of microorganisms that have been evolving alongside humans and the animals they hunt, eat, or keep as pets for hundreds of thousands if not millions of years? I am sure the numbers are truly staggering.
Food for thought from the Mythbusters.
The good thing for you my friend is this: evolution gifted you with an incredible immune system and it is constantly at work in the background protecting you from a large percentage of the armies of microscopic invaders that you are constantly assaulted by from all sides, surfaces, foods, beverages, strangers, friends, family, pets and even wild animals. Without your immune system doing its job, you and I would have passed away long ago. However, even though our immune systems are very good at what they do, sometimes an infectious agent comes along that beats our defenses and sickens us. Our immune systems then go into overdrive and eventually destroy the invader, remember it, and hopefully, we are never sickened by that particular baddy again. Then there are the germs that are hell-bent on the all-out destruction of their host. Germs that your body has little defenses to overcome. The high-yield nukes of the germ world. To fight these bad guys your body needs a little outside support from science, it needs some training in how to identify and fight these new enemies so when they try to get in again the immune system will remember them and be able to fight them off effectively without making you severely ill. This is where the science of vaccines come in. The fact that your parents (hopefully) chose to trust science and have you vaccinated when you were a young child now allows your silent army of immunity to quietly and quickly identify and fight off the invaders, therefore, allowing you to carry on with life as usual – blissfully protected and unaware of the microscopic turf wars going on inside your own body.
However, if you are not vaccinated, I wish you only the best of luck – but luck will not fully protect you – only science and common sense will. So please, use some common sense, wise up, and go get some science and go get yourself vaccinated!
In fact as I write these words (early fall 2019) only a few hours ago I received my Tetanus/Diphtheria/Pertussis (whooping cough) booster vaccination and yes, a few weeks before that I received my Influenza vaccination.
Yep, I am “vaxxer” 100% – and I am alive, healthy, and have gray hair in part because of it. I trust vaccines, I trust the medical professionals who invented them, I trust the professionals who administer them, and I trust the science behind why they work.
Why do I trust them?
1 – I trust them to protect me from the uncaring microscopic nasties that “want” nothing more than to use my body as an incubator for their offspring and then use me as an unaware, robotic-zombie-like delivery system to spread more sickness, pain, suffering, and death to all those around me…
2 – I trust them to protect me from the “anti-vaxxers.” The unthinking, irrational, the dangerously overly skeptical, and often conspiracy “theory” following, FUD spreading, individuals who choose to NOT trust medical science and then choose to NOT receive their vaccinations for themselves and for their offspring. These individuals are intentionally making very bad choices that make life much more hazardous for themselves, for their families, their friends, and for all of the other humans beings they come in contact with – directly and indirectly.
These anti-vaxxers either lack accurate knowledge, are resistant to facts, or they may lack the common sense and the highly developed critical thinking skills to understand that getting a vaccine will protect you and your loved ones from some of the nastiest, ugliest, most harmful, painful, diseases that have been all but eradicated since the invention of modern medicine. Diseases that are sadly making a comeback because of the bad choices of a small number of uninformed and/or irrational individuals.
3 – I trust them to NOT “give” me autism. Vaccines do not cause, give, or instigate autism. That is a myth perpetuated by Andrew Wakefield and his followers and they have no verified evidence to support their erroneous, fabricated claims.
Your future is in your hands and, if you are vaccinated – it is also in your bloodstream.
Being vaccinated I now feel a bit like a superhero with a force field around me – a force field of immunity driven and augmented by the findings of science!
Come at me now ugly germs – my immune system is armed and ready and you don’t stand a chance.
That brings us to today, and now there is COVID-19 to be concerned about. Luckily, just a few days ago I received my first COVID-19 vaccination (see next photo) and soon will receive my second and will join the millions of people all around the world who are working together with science to fight this new deadly viral scourge.
Next,more food for thought – this time, on Tetanus and what it does to the human body.
If you are still questioning how vaccines work check this out:
Speaking of germs and sickness, I am not free from all of them – no one is. In fact, we need our germs, the good ones, to keep us functioning and healthy – this is our Microbiome. Science is discovering that our microbiome is a huge part of our health and when your microbiome is suppressed or unhealthy due to stress, imbalance, or illness it can lead to other more life threatening conditions and infections.
I had have had many of the common – and some uncommon – ailments and issues that attack humans everywhere. Mononucleosis, Mycoplasma pneumoniae, many episodes of allergy-induced acute and chronic sinus infections, exercise-induced asthma, labyrinthitis, and reoccurring eczema-like skin conditions – all these conditions and situations could have developed into more serious conditions (and/or even death) had I not been given professional medical care and treatments, medications, professional recommendations, and allergy immunotherapy that combated all of the previously mentioned ailments bringing me back to a state of nominal health. So yet again, that branch of science we call medicine and those scientists we call doctors came to the rescue of this blood, bone, and meat-filled sack that I pilot around the planet daily and refer to as my body.
It is important to note that none of the before mentioned conditions were caused by my childhood vaccinations – or any other vaccination. They were products of my genetic susceptibility coupled with my childhood exposure to infectious viral, fungal, and bacterial organisms that are not dangerous enough to have a vaccine…yet. These germs – AKA the common cold and other similar yet rather mild infections – were shed by others around me while I was in school and I was infected by them but recovered using my natural immunity. However, how many times was I exposed to more virulent and destructive microorganisms lurking in the public environment of school, church, summer camp, the movie theater, the beach, the birthday party, the mall, etc…? Organisms that would have rendered me dead or disfigured had I not been vaccinated and therefore protected from those nasty little armies of vampiric little buggers that are only out to invade and use our warm, moist, meat-robot, bodies as incubators for their multitudes of dastardly little offspring…we may never know. But I do know that I owe my long, healthy life to those thousands of doctors and scientists who worked tirelessly to develop, perfect, and administer those life-saving vaccines and other medications – and to my parents who opted to have me vaccinated as any good parent would and should do.
Then there were the environmental and chemical irritants and pollutants that I was exposed to over my younger years. These irritants came to me in the form of “natural” pollen, dust, and dander while the pollutants came in the form of household chemicals and agricultural chemicals such as fungicides, herbicides, fertilizers, and other chemicals that were used by my family in our house, greenhouses, and on our farmlands. I was a child and had no knowledge that the toxic soup of chemicals I was being exposed to on a daily basis was harming my health via the oils, particulates, and VOCs I was inhaling as well as taking in through direct contact. My parents had no knowledge these chemicals were potentially harmful as it was the early-mid 1970’s and many of these chemicals were only just beginning to be used on a large scale so their impacts on human and wildlife health were not yet known to science. As a child, I was also exposed to even more diffuse/concentrated chemical pollutants that were the toxic by-products/emissions from fossil fuel-powered vehicles in the form of lawnmowers, tractors, old inefficient cars, and diesel school busses which, at the time, had limited to none of the emissions controls required today. Then there were the local energy generation operations – all of which were coal-fired at the time. These fossil fuel emission-based toxic atmospheric pollutants, combined with the chemicals and natural irritants I had been exposed to earlier in life, worked together to compound and exacerbated the damage to my young respiratory and immune systems resulting in the conditions that I suffer with to this day.
These allergies, sinus, skin, and other health conditions are now mostly non-existent but the ones that do occasionally resurface can be mitigated with the peer-reviewed recommendations from my doctors and their methods, tools and findings of medical science. Yay science!
Not that long ago I was possibly exposed to the Rabies virus while rescuing an injured animal. I quickly received a preventative Rabies vaccination series, and I am still alive and healthy – and now have a higher than your average human’s resistance to Rabies – again – yay science!
Later, I developed appendicitis – had my faulty appendix removed – and live on to this day. Again – yay science!
Then there was the time I was accidentally bitten by a wild Timber rattlesnake. I took an ambulance ride to the hospital, received antivenin (anti-venom), and made a full recovery. Yep, science yet again. Take a look at the video below if you are interested in my rattlesnake bite misadventure.
My point here is this: without science – I may not have been born and I would have died or been disfigured many times over.
Without science, I would not be telling you the story of my life so you can hopefully use my insight to help you make good choices for your life.
For all these reasons and so many more I choose to trust science.
If you are still here, and you are interested in what was going through my brain on the day I received my first COVID-19 vaccination – then feel free to watch the next video. It is my long-winded commentary on the value of science ending with my first COVID-19 vaccination.
I am frustrated at the apparent willful ignorance of so many people – people I thought were smart – acting like it is all a hoax, ignoring the science, promoting and sharing lame-ass conspiracy theories that have the potential to harm – or end – those who choose to believe, follow, and promote them.
In recent weeks the infection numbers have been rapidly growing and are higher than ever before. Yet – in many areas the restaurants, bars, bowling alleys, bleachers, beaches, party venues, churches, and streets are packed with people – many maskless and in very close proximity.
In the USA the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays are fast approaching as is winter. I have a great concern that many will ignore the recommendations of the experts and will chose to gather inside with family and friends to celebrate these traditional holidays. I fear that if this happens the infection rate will climb even higher and many more innocent people will suffer and die all because people chose to put their own wants over the needs of everyone around them. They will chose to willfully and deliberately ignore the recommendations of science as if they actually believe they will somehow be magically protected by their deity of choice.
Life does not work that way no matter how much you want it to.
Nature does not care about you.
You must care about yourself and those around you.
In grocery and hardware stores I have seen everyone from toxicically masculine macho men to young parents with their kids – all unmasked – closely mingling with others and acting as if nothing is wrong.
I have spoken to mask-wearing front-line workers in these stores and asked them how they deal with these maskless bandits stealing the health and lives of others. They say at first they were told by their superiors to enforce the mask mandate – but then, after extreme push backs and verbal attacks from these maskless partons – they were told to just let them in the door and stop enforcing the rule. Why? Are the store owners afraid of losing profits? Are they afraid of confrontation or litigation? Whatever the reason it just boggles the mind that a store owner would choose possible contagion over doing what is right – tossing the whining, tantrum-throwing, maskless bandits out on the street and telling them to not come back in their store until they are following the rules set by the store owner, the authorities, and by science.
When I visit any store/shop I always wear a mask. In fact, as I have an elderly mother and other family members who are more at risk, and as I am a school teacher – I must limit my chance of bringing an unwanted hitchhiking virus back to my students/coworkers and loved ones. So, when I enter places where I have noted low mask use – such as WalMart and Hardware stores – I opt to wear a 3M N100 full face mask custom fitted with an exhale filter. Yes, I get many odd looks from the maskless bandits but I do not care.
They look at me as if I’m some kind of fearful nutjob.
The reality is that I am not living in fear – I am living with facts.
I look back wondering what is the matter with them – are they really so blind to facts, do they really have no care in their hearts for themselves or their fellow human beings, could they be some of the blind followers of any number of the anti-science, bible waving, greedy ego-maniacs in politics, religion, and on the internet who think it is all a hoax and/or a way for the government to impart control on the population and/or are just using the pandemic as a way to profit off the fear and uncertainty of their followers? Are they all getting some kind of mental fix from this game of Russian roulette they are playing with their lives and with the lives of countless others?
I do not know the answers. What I do know is that I have given up trying to educate those people because no amount of knowledge I share will make them change their minds and listen to reason. It is almost as if they are part of a dangerous anti-science, masochistic, pseudo-religious, cult of toxic self-centeredness.
Sadly sometimes, we thinking types just have to toss up our hands and walk away.
We must continue to protect ourselves by staying as far away as possible from the maskeless bandits.
We must not give up or give in and we must continue to follow the knowledge and recommendations of the science from the experts.
We must do all these things as well as just curl up in the safety of our caves and just sit back and let natural selection run its course.
What follows is a transcript of comments between my friend since high school Gordon Smith, myself, and other friends. This comment thread took place on social media outlet Facebook mid-summer 2020. Gordon contracted SarsCoV-2 (Corona virus/COVID-19) in July of 2020 and the following commentary outlines how it has impacted his life. Gordon and I have teamed up to bring his story to you and it is our hope that his experiences dealing with this new virus may give you and your family the knowledge, willpower, and ammunition to use against it to stay healthy and virus free.
7/19/20 10:10pm Gordon: Well fuck. Not tested yet, but no doubt I have it (COVID-19). Guess I have to make some serious lifestyle changes the next month. Ugh. Still in Raleigh and thinking I may go into UNC hospital in a bit. I literally feel like I am drowning in mucus. I have literally gone from oh it is not that over the last 3 days – to shit.
7/19/20 11:24 pm Gordon: Cannot breathe well and that just happened this afternoon.
7/19/20 11:36 pm Gordon: I am most definitely positive. 102 temp and every symptom plus driving and literally throwing up mucus.
7/20/20 4:15pm Gordon: Just got my chest x-rays. Walking pneumonia with a side of Covid. Lol
7/20/20 4:26 pm Friend: you tested positive for Covid-19?
7/20/20 4:27 Pm Gordon: Yeppers. Go big or go home eh!?!? Tested twice. Quick test yes, we shall see on the other one.
7/20/20 4:28 pm Friend: Ugh. Please be careful and follow their directions.
7/20/20 4:28 pm Gordon: OH I am and will.
7/20/20 4:35 pm Gordon: It is much worse. This hit me fast and made me panic. I literally made a will last night thinking I would be dead today. Lol… not dead…not as bad. Drove home from Raleigh and now working on what hotel I am going to go stay in.
7/20/20 12:10 pm Gordon: Wow….while sitting here at Pardee urgent care in Fletcher I have heard 11 (people), all men except for one girl child, say the exact symptoms.
7/20/20 12:28 pm Gordon: Ugh – bastards just did another covid19 nose jam test.
7/20/20 12:46pm Friend: When will you know?
7/20/20 12:48 pm Gordon: This test – a few days. The quick test was positive.
7/20/20 12:49 pm Friend: Oh hell. What are you going to do?
7/20/20 Gordon: Not sure yet. Got to find a place to go. Thinking the Marriott.
7/20/20 3:53pm Friend: Omg Gordon my new friend who I love. Fucking be careful.
7/20/20 4:14 pm Gordon: I am er was.
7/20/20 4:32 pm Gordon: Just got my chest x-rays. Walking pneumonia with a side of covid. Lol…oh yea, and a cracked rib too from coughing or throwing up!
7/20/20 4:44 pm Friend: That is a HORRID cough to crack a rib!
7/20/20 4:51 pm Gordon: Yea let me tell you!
7/20/20 7:17 pm Friend: My husband cracked ribs also, but in March, no tests … you are pretty much confirming he had it for me.
7/20/20 7:21 pm Gordon: That hurts! Did you have the thousand stabs breathing?
7/20/20 7:04pm Gordon: They put me on some drugs for the pneumonia but otherwise a wait and see what their test says. They are not relying on my other doctor’s quick test.
7/20/20 8:37 pm Gordon: It will be ok in time. Just hope I do not get any of the damage it seems to do to some.
7/20/20 7:02 pm Gordon: Lungs are sort of like hundreds of needles stabbing when you breathe. Otherwise I can handle the rest.
7/20/20 7:16 pm Friend: Are they keeping you or are you home?
7/20/20 7:19 pm Gordon: At home for the moment, moms next door with our neighbor/bestie. If I keep getting worse they said to go on to the ER.
7/20/20 11:32 am Gordon: So now getting x-rays at Pardee urgent care fletcher since my Doctor’s machine broke down. 7 people in the lobby here to get tested. My quick test was positive.
7/20/20 11:34 am Gordon: It’s like my head has opened up some sort of drain. Hose system. I literally feel like I am drowning in mucus.
7/21/20 9:57 am Gordon: Thousands of needles to my lungs when I breathe.
7/21/20 10:01pm Friend: How are you???!
7/21/20 10:02 pm Gordon: Not sure how to reply. One thing is better – like lungs and breathing I think – but seems to change every few hours. More things going wrong than right. I know this is a war not a battle.
7/21/20 10:03 pm Friend: are you up and able or bedridden?
7/21/20 10:05 pm Gordon: No I am up. I do feel like a truck ran over me. Sleeping about 16 hours. I, lol, am the son of another Gordon. We do not go down easily, nor does my mother!
7/21/20 11:08 pm Gordon: So wow…only about 18 hours of a med and my lungs are doing stupid great! No longer a thousand needle pricks on every breath – only a hundred! Kidney or liver issues maybe? Not sure. Going back to a Dr. tomorrow morning. Every fiber in my body aches like I have been run over by a bulldozer I would think. Severe headaches, nausea (Did not let the scrip happen) and severe pain every time I hack from the ribs and the whole inner cavity. I still feel somewhat that I have a faucet in my brain that is totally on tap flowing down my throat making me what to puke. Lol…SO I feel better basically! I think I can and will sleep about another 14 hours soon. So wear a Mask and a full body shield. And – and stay home. This is the worse I have ever been. Oh yea, also found my BP is now 142 over 110. So who knows – might still stroke out. BTW. I made out a will just in case. If something happens bad, it would please me if you all meet on the published day/night at Christie’s restaurant which you can eat whatever and drink whatever. I made provisions for a wake there. Also it will be great cabs.
7/21/20 11:10 pm Friend: Hang in there…. with luck, the worst is about to pass.
7/21/20 11:10 pm Gordon: Kind of do not think that since I really have crappy luck.
7/21/20 11:12 pm Friend: Stay positive… perhaps take heart in the old saying that only the good die young…you could be immortal.
7/21/20 11:14 pm Gordon: Oh no Billy Joel lives in me… I went to a catholic school with the bus driver Mrs. Adams playing that for us boys every trip to the YMCA from school! It stuck and I am not good!!!!!!!!!! ROFL!
7/21/20 11:16pm Friend: As a recovering Catholic, embrace the guilt and move on LOLOLOL
7/21/20 11:10pm Gordon: I am going to try and describe what is going on so you will know what you have to look forward too. I am running a 98 temp so I am cool as far as temps. Everything else sucks. I honestly feel like I am dying, imagining what that may be like. If I lie down I wheeze and need to sit up to breathe. I am taking 20 breathes a minute and they are all painful.
7/21/20 11:45 pm Gordon: Even though I am drinking about 3 gallons of water and a half a gallon of OJ a day – I am having sever Charlie horses that curl my toes about every two hours. That is weird.
7/21/20 11:46pm Gordon: I upped my daily vitamins by basically 8 times. Not all of them mind you but I have upped most of them knowing the body gets rid of the rest.
7/21/20 11:53pm Gordon: …oh yea…. severe chest pain on my left side but no radiating nor do I feel like and elephant sat on my chest. Nor any back pain. So no heart attack I think.
7/22/20 1:10am Gordon: I am doing 8 times me normal vitamins for the most part. I am more worried about my heart, liver and kidneys at this point. I am now thinking no more 100 years as I thought I would make it. More like 80.
7/22/20 1:11am Gordon: One of my friends in China that was in Wuhan is my age and now doing mini strokes – blows her and my minds.
7/22/20 1:22am Gordon: I always think of “Ming and Joe” that were there. They saw it firsthand.
7/22/20 3:05am Friend: If you need to go to hospital, don’t hesitate. I’m sorry you are going through this, my friend.
7/22/20 9:31 am Gordon: Wear a mask, face shield, and gloves buddy. You do not want this!!
7/22/20 10:20 pm Friend: Feel better buddy! Get rest and see the doc. We have been down a week now and just got negative Covid tests. I still wonder if we would have tested positive 2 days after…
7/22/20 10:27 pm Gordon: This is a mother I can tell you this. Never been this sick in my life and I had cancer once! Hope you do not get pneumonia like I did. Had a lot of tests done today on my liver/kidneys/heart, and blood. Time will tell.
7/23/20 6:43 am Gordon: Wooohoooo! Woke up this morning without the constant mucus flow (Or brain leakage as I call it) at 1000%. Now it is at maybe 25%. Here is to hoping that symptom is gone soon. The Steroid will help with breathing I was just put on. The cough is the MF’er with the cracked rib. Highly irritable missing my great wines and work.
7/23/20 6:51 am Friend: Maybe you’ll come up with a covid cookbook? I heard you should never let a good crisis go to waste 🙂
7/23/20 6:52 am Gordon: Oh trust me on this one…you do not want to eat or drink. Just drink lots of water.
7/23/20 8:03 am Friend: I hope you’re turning the corner!
7/23/20 8:04 am Gordon: Ah other things are crappy but this one is good!
7/23/20 8:38 am Friend: How are you? This is pitiful. 😩
7/23/20 8:39 am Gordon: Got to agree. Lol
7/23/20 8:40 am Gordon: I am posting so some of my FB friends that still disagree with masks face shields get to know what is coming their way.
7/23/20 8:48 am Friend: I hope it works. So many that I know still believe it’s just political non-sense. I hope you feel better soon. 🙁
7/23/20 8:50 am Gordon: So now I have 3 FB friends that have had it or going through it now. (Won’t out the other 3, but one is now a believer!)
7/23/20 8:52 am Friend: I think it takes some people to have that up close and personal experience to believe it. I just wish it wasn’t that way. But, either way…I’m proud of you for trying. ❤
7/23/20 9:10 am Friend: Keep feeling better, bro. So sorry you’re going through this.
7/23/20 9:12 am Gordon: Thanks. This has a lot of complications. Mask and face shield up!
7/23/20 9:15 am Friend: I don’t go out in public without mine.
7/23/20 9:36am Friend: Happy you are getting better. 🙏😁
7/23/20 9:36 am Gordon: One thing is…others not.
7/23/20 10:05 Friend: 😢 Sending prayers
7/23/20 1:56pm Friend: Don’t get too comfortable … treat yourself like you’re sicker than you are because it WILL sneak back up on you…
7/23/20 1:11 pm Friend: Are you serious about the cracked rib?
7/23/20 2:44 pm Gordon: Oh yea. I had a GF about 15 years ago that had a daughter that jumped on my chest and even though she was about 40 pounds she cracked a rib. I coughed so hard it re-cracked.
7/23/20 9:20 pm Gordon: Was told no more steak. So I bought one more for myself. 3#s Angus. I’ll gnaw on it for 3 days. Too bad I cannot smell or taste the damn thing. So onto other news. Fever running 101.4 all day. Mucus is almost nothing. (In other words not swallowing every 20 seconds) might have kidney, liver and heart damage. No idea about the lungs. I am having memory issues. Went to do something I have done thousands of times and totally had no clue today. BUT!!!! I was smart enough to open mom a Justin cabernet with her steak ($25) Instead of the good stuff since I had to have a few swigs. Soooooo – I STILL HAVE SOMETHING UPSTAIRS THAT HAS NOT LEAKED DOWN ONLY TO BE SWALLOWED!
7/23/20 10:46pm Friend: I’d rather be dead than not be able to eat a good steak…be careful of what I wish for…
7/23/20 10:51 pm Gordon: Yes, Mask and Face Shield up! Steak is not worth death. Found out a lot with this Covid19 and testing. I am over weight as we know by 42#’s. My heart is not in good shape nor kidneys or liver. Excessive living, even though I prefer Seafood. Time to make that change. Just wish the gyms were opened. Called an old buddy who was in the Army Special Forces who will come get me out of bed 5 days a week when I am better and force me to work out and get back into shape.
7/23/20 10:52 pm Friend: I have the same issues… I’m fricking 64 and… Never mind! Get better!
7/22/20 10:28 pm Gordon: Oh by the way – reason #36 why you need to wear a mask, face shield, and gloves: Constant diarrhea. Yea, smells like roses.
7/23/20 2:36 am Friend: Yer gonna get sued by Roses for this post 😉
7/23/20 3:13 pm Friend: THAT’S where all the toilet paper went! No, seriously, that could be from your huge antibiotic.
7/24/20 10:24 am Gordon: Day 6 of having this crap. Woke up with excellent oxygen saturation. Whew. Morphed onto my sofa the last 16 hours since the bedroom is 20 steps away. My doctors are worried about heart, kidney and liver damage and have tested. I am more worried about my mind. Forgetting things I know and that is terrifying. I was good wearing good masks (n100s) but not always wearing my glasses that wrap around. I bet that I got this through my eyes. Wear a face shield!
7/24/20 12:27 pm Gordon: People really got to realize just a great mask is not enough. Eyes are the easiest way to get it.
7/25/20 8:33 am Me: Hey Gordon, how are you feeling today and what are your symptoms looking like? Also, what are your thoughts and recommendations to all the people out there who think this thing is “just a little cold,” or a manufactured hoax, government/election year plot, conspiracy to control people through mask-wearing, forced vaccinations…yada yada yada?
7/25/20 11:20 am Gordon: Wow…new record. Just took me 15 mins to make 2 packages of instant oatmeal, a new personal best record for me this week. Betting Webster’s this week replaces my picture for a sloth.
7/25/20 11:22 am Gordon: Day 7. Slept in until 10 am. Took O2 reading of 86. (Get an oxygen reader everyone) that is going the wrong way. All usual symptoms still here. Headache, fatigue, (getting off the sofa is not easy), diarrhea, cough, pain from broken rib, forgetfulness, fog, mucus overflow, and weird sharp pains. Daily routine is drinking 12 33.8 oz Smartwaters a day, refilling all of them, in addition to 1/2 gal of OJ. Vitamins all along. Steroid inhaler, horse pills (Augmentin) zinc, vitamin d, and melatonin. Sleep of 16 hours a day. Water in water out, that’s my big day. Keeping the house at 65 and still sweat? No desire to eat but planning grilled swordfish tonight with a leek and caper Amish butter, saffron rice and haircut de vert. Normally I can whip that out in 30 mins. This is going to take all day to prep.
7/25/20 11:37 am Gordon: I still know a few FB friends that do not believe nor think masks are needed. I sort of agree with them. Like my 2 friends in china that did not go out without proper PPE being a full respirator mask. I am now using the 3m 6700. IF your eyes are not protected you will get it if you walk through where I just exhaled and you walk through it. I know from them and was posting on this timeline that many were dying in China and they literally stopped counting over there. MY friend “Ming” was there trying to get the word out desperately about what was happening and what was coming to the rest of the World. (Going to nominate her for CNN’s annual awards) I think the idiots that think this is political and a “Control” thing are so fucking nuts that I get rid of them pretty quickly now. Personally I have offered to buy them beers and come on over and let’s discuss in person and keep the mask at home. Steve O’Neil – all I really know and see now is our country needs to start spending a lot more money on mental health since there are a lot more unstable people out there then we thought there were. I get the boomers who have no education but now I see people we went to school with being a complete wacko on 5G etc. etc. etc. I also think it needs to be some sort of crime to deliberately publish untrue information and that FB and Twitter now do need to be regulated and have to flag all potential garbage and have consequences for publishing it. It is all a mess. I have been spending weeks looking at property in the south of France. 450k buys a good 8 acres with a nice little 3 bedroom home with insane views and a very nice quiet life. I have my escape plans.
7/25/20 1:59 Me: Yes, same here. I find it hard to believe that in today’s world with so much access to peer-reviewed science-supported facts – that so many people still choose to ignore those facts – on so many topics – and instead choose to believe the fear-driven conspiracy theories around the pandemic…and the shape of the earth, the existence of gravity, the moon landing, “chemtrails,” vaccines, 5G, Bill Gates, microchips, Chloroquine, alien “demon spawn/sperm”…so many lunatic-fringe type wacko things. I suppose it is just a sign of the times but they can say what they like, I’m always choosing the peer-reviewed science and reason over the fear mongering, evidence-lacking hearsay, and conspiracy-minded madness. I have a P100 respirator half mask on the way in the mail. I plan to use it when I have to go anywhere public or when I visit my mother. I would feel horrible if I visited with her and she came down with the virus after I had picked up her groceries for her. I don’t know how I would live with that. The new mask does not have eye protection but your story now has me considering a face shield to wear over the respirator. You are so right about mental health. So many people seem to be stuck in a crazy downward spiral of ignoring the facts and believing and sharing all the fear-mongering – it is really scary. I have had to delete one person already because they continuously trolled me on almost every factual post I shared about almost anything. They just attacked and ignored reality and substituted their own manufactured idea of reality. It was truly bizarre. I am not sure what the answer to all this is but I do know that following the lead of science is a great place to start. I also know that my students give me great hope for the future. They are so smart and focused and they despise the hate, injustice, the racism, and the sleazy, perverted, greedy old men wanting to run everything with only profit in mind – when they become adults they will oust the greedy warmongers and doomsayers running things now and hopefully, the world will change for the better. The respirator mask I ordered: https://www.amazon.com/GVS-SPR451-Elipse-Respirator-Medium/dp/B013SIIBME/?tag=theedcmaga123-20
7/25/20 2:00pm Gordon: You got to protect your eyes! We know it can hang in a spot I just exhaled for 2 hours in the air.
7/25/20 2:02 pm Gordon: I am really sure that is how I got it.
7/25/20 2:11 pm Me: Do you have an idea of where you may have picked it up?
7/25/20 2:12 pm Me: Whenever I am in a store I constantly listen for coughing – if I hear it, I immediately go the opposite direction.
7/25/20 2:13 pm Gordon: Yes I am very sure I did (get it) on July 4th when all the out of towners invaded Hendersonville. I went out and wore my usual to get to my bar seat that was well away from everyone until the out of towners from GA, SC and Fla ordered drinks right next to me.
7/25/20 2:14 pm Gordon: Coughing is Number one on my radar too and I know the cough since I had it in Jan/Feb and now again.
7/25/20 2:14 pm Me: Damn. Yep, that sounds very plausible. I am staying away from all bars, pubs, restaurants, any public places where people from out of town – and now locals who think it is a hoax – may mingle.
7/25/20 2:17 pm Me: I also have a very strict sanitation regimen I have been using since April to help keep COVID out of my home, my classroom, my students, my friends, my family…and my body. I can trust myself to do all these things and take all these precautions – but the hard part is trusting others to do what is right for themselves and for everyone else they may come in contact with. I just cannot understand how some people ignore the facts and put their own selfish interests first while endangering others in the process.
7/25/20 2:18 pm Gordon: Asheville and Hendersonville are over run now with outsiders but now our local population has it. When I was getting tested last Monday in the hour I was there 11 others came in hacking. 9 men (Construction types) 1 woman, and a 11 yo girl. All had the same symptoms. 7/25/20 2:21 pm
Me: same here in Brevard. People everywhere, acting like nothing is wrong. I understand that people are done with this, but this is not done with us. Until we have a vaccine and/or better treatment – nothing will get better unless people just toss out their wants and focus on taking care of each other over their own personal desires. That is nuts…so many, so fast…
7/25/20 3:57 pm Me: It (my new mask) came today. I’ll be closing off the outflow valve to protect others from me.
7/25/20 3:57 pm Gordon: shop goggles?
7/25/20 3:59 pm Me: yep, they should fit over my glasses.
7/25/20 4:00 pm Me: Some may say I’m living in fear, but no, I’m living with facts.
7/25/20 4:15 pm Me: So true. My healthy fear of getting this thing is far lessened by my trust in the facts and the recommendations of the experts. Sure, I could still get it but I believe I have greatly reduced my chances by taking all the recommended precautions and then some…and soon an eye shield as well. I think that part of the problem some seem to have with the science and the recommendations of the experts is that they are often changing with new scientific findings. This uncertainty causes some people to mistrust the experts and science in general. This just shows that many people must not have listened in school when the teachers/professors told us that is exactly how science works – especially when something totally new comes along that not much is known about such as SARS CoV-2. The scientific process is not perfect, but it is far better than doing nothing, calling it and a hoax, and all the other anti-science nonsense floating around on the interwebs. Healthy fear keeps us healthy. Healthy fear allows us to improvise, adapt, overcome and evolve to meet any new situation life may throw at us. Editor’s Tangent. While what follows was not part of the original social media comment thread, it is relevant in the context of this post. As of 8/9/20, and due to your experience Gordon, I am no longer taking any chances when I need to visit a public place such as a grocery or hardware store and I am now using this mask which protects my mouth, respiratory system, and my eyes from almost any possible infection.
Here’s a photo from a few days ago…and before anyone asks – yes, I have added a filter to the exhale port to protect others.
When I wear this thing I feel like a cross between an astronaut and a SCUBA diver with a little bit of dark lord of the Sith thrown in for good measure. Do I care what people think? In a word: no. I know that some people will see using a mask such as this (or any mask) as living in fear or overkill or both, but I do not – I see it like this:
I wear PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) and other specialized safety/protective equipment when needed for any other potential hazard to life and limb. For example: I wear rubber gloves, mask, and goggles when treating someone else’s wound, I wear a face shield, gloves, and chaps when chain sawing and weed trimming, I wear leg gaiters and use grip extending tongs and hooks when working with venomous snakes, I wear a filter mask when painting or working with chemicals , I wear boots for walking over challenging terrain, I wear insulated gloves in the winter, I wear ear/eye protection when using power tools or target shooting, I wear a helmet when riding a bicycle or caving/rock climbing, I wear a seat belt when driving, I wear SCUBA gear when diving, I use a flashlight at night, and I wear clothes at varying thicknesses depending upon the current environmental conditions (yes, clothes are PPE). So yes, just like all these other hazardous/potentially harmful activities – I choose to wear a filter/respirator mask when I am placing myself in situations where other animals or human animals may be carrying an infectious disease that has the potential to sicken, harm, or end me – and especially when some of those humans choose to endanger all of us by choosing to not wear a mask when in public during a global viral pandemic.
I am my mother’s healthcare care-giver. I do not want to take a potentially deadly disease to her or her friends. If this happened, I just do not know how I would be able to live with the knowledge that I was the vector of the pathogen that harmed her or someone else.
I am an essential employee and I do not want to take a potentially deadly disease to my students and coworkers. If this happened, I just do not know how I would live with the knowledge that I was the vector of the pathogen that harmed someone on my watch.
I would rather spend a onetime cost of ~$200 on a top of the line mask and filters, than the tens of thousands of dollars I would need to spend on treatment for COVID-19…and the costs associated with being out of work during a battle with COVID-19…and the potential of losing my job due to possible life-long health complications that could arise from having COVID-19.
If I came down with covid-19 – my wife and I could lose everything. Therefore, I am going to do everything in my power to not let that happen. If wearing a huge ugly mask in public, staying home and staying away from public places/gatherings as much as possible, physical distancing, following the recommendations of the infectious disease experts, listening to the science, and washing my hands a bit more is the only recipe available to keep me and my family, friends, students and coworkers as safe as possible from this monster of a virus – then so be it. I will do all these things until a time when either the experts say it is safe to resume “normal” activities and/or a vaccine/treatment is available and infection numbers start to drop.
After COVID-19 has passed into the history books I may continue to use the mask for other things such as but not limited to; breathing in very dusty conditions, breathing while painting things, breathing during a forest fire, breathing in the event of another epidemic or pandemic, breathing while working with hazardous chemicals (not that I ever do this – but now I will have the PPE if it ever comes up), breathing and surviving a chemical/biological attack from a domestic or international terrorist, or a “zombie apocalypse,” etc.…
I am not living in fear – I am living with facts. Now, back to Gordon’s story.
7/25/20 4:17 pm Gordon: Not to mention those that think “god” is going to protect them from COVID or has predetermined if they will live or die.
7/25/20 4:23 pm Me: Exactly – those folks are totally lunatic fringe dwelling wackjobs. Best to stay far away from them.
7/25/20 1:33 pm Me: Looks like it is a war for sure. Hang in there man, don’t let this thing get the best of you. Keep up the sleep, antibiotics (you may want to consider taking a high quality probiotic if your doctor agrees – it may help with the intestinal distress caused by the virus and the antibiotic – Augmentin really ripped me a new one once when I had to take it but probiotics literally saved my guts), lots of water and other therapies and hopefully the swordfish will help – I had a slab of salmon for breakfast 🙂
7/25/20 1:34 pm Gordon: All good advice. Doing yogurt.
7/25/20 1:34 pm Friend: How’s your O2 sat?
7/25/20 1:35 pm Gordon: Crap….86 waiting patiently for my new Oxygen machine to arrive via Amazon today.
7/25/20 1:31 pm Gordon: Here are links to what I have bought and am using to combat this crap.
7/25/20 1:45 pm Gordon: Had a UV system put on my HVAC a few days ago. Combo UV, Ionizers and Ozone units I am thinking with HEPA Filters
7/25/20 1:47 pm Friend: I live in the desert where dust is always an issue. Buying a BlueAir purifier has been the best investment for improving the overall air equality inside my villa. This might help in your journey. Any particulate matter can impact your lungs as you recover from covid.
7/25/20 1:52 pm Gordon: Just bought this! Blueair Air Purifier
7/27/20 7:14pm Gordon: Day 9 beginning to wonder if this crap will ever end. My cough has stopped for the most part. My oxygen level is holding well. Got my test results back and my liver and kidneys are fine. Lungs….eh. Glad I am not a smoker. I am going to buy a new sofa since this one is starting to smell like me, since I rarely leave it. This sucks. Wear a mask and a shield.
7/29/20 9:05 am Gordon: Day 13. Way better. Tired beyond belief. Other symptoms almost done. Lungs are now wheezy and that might be permanent. Liver and kidneys are good.
7/29/20 9:12 am Friend: Is your doctor telling you it might be permanent? So glad you’re feeling better though. Don’t overdo it.
7/29/20 9:13 am Gordon: Yes. Asthmatic now. No marathons in my future – or Cuban cigars.
7/29/20 9:15 am Friend: I wouldn’t listen to them just yet but I’m stubborn like that. You’re still not over the illness. Try not to worry just yet. It hasn’t been two weeks yet, right? How can they say that when it hasn’t yet been two weeks? I’m not a doctor but that seems alarmist. Probably best on the cigars though. 👌
7/29/20 9:16 am Gordon: Everyone is different of course, but they are going on info from what has already been seen throughout the world.
7/29/20 9:17 am Friend: I have heard it takes people time to regain their senses sometimes. Taste and smell.
7/29/20 9:18 am Gordon: and the “fuzziness”
7/29/20 12:24 pm Friend: Glad to see that you’re feeling better. I hope that you continue to heal completely and have no lingering effects.
7/29/20 5:23 pm Gordon: Well, that is all kind of suck news. I need to see a cardiologist now. Had an EKG scheduled next week and got in early.
7/29/20 6:35 pm Friend: No way!! That’s insane and absurd! I am glad your liver and kidneys are OK
7/29/20 7:18 pm Friend: Glad you are on the mend!!!
8/02/20 10:23 pm Friend: Feeling a little better?
8/02/20 10:25 pm Gordon: 100% better. Still have the lung crap and asthma now but otherwise looks like I beat it for now.
8/02/20 10:25 pm Friend: I’m very glad to hear that! 😁
8/02/20 10:26 pm Gordon: Me too! Making some lifestyle changes which were needed. Got to prolong the ticker as long as I can.
8/8/2020 Gordon: Just looked and it is hard to believe this all happened as fast as it did. I am a lucky one. My favorite bartender in Raleigh age 26 died first in March. My next door neighbor in Raleigh, a marine with 5 kids in excellent shape, age 41 died after 5 days getting it somehow. My attorney, 61 died in Brevard. He did have underlying issues but Covid took him out, and my mom’s best friend’s mother got it and died in 3 days. She was 94. So knowing these people – I am lucky. I have heart issues they detected using an EKG comparing it to one I just had 6 months ago along with blood tests. I now have asthma. I have a lot of times now where I feel I cannot breathe and hit my oxygen concentrator machine I bought during the illness. I never spent a night in the hospital but still have $17,482.15 in bills. I got to say I really thought I was going to die the second day I knew I had it. I started feeling bad on a Thursday 7/16 and by Friday 7/17, I thought that was it! I was in a panic trying to get a will done fast to make sure mom was going to be fine. I have no real symptoms now. The cough, fever, headaches are gone but the “fuzziness” is here as is the complete lack of energy. I feel like I am around 20% of my usual 100% energy level. To be honest sometimes it is hard to type. Before I came down with the monster that is covid I was pretty careful but I know I could have been more vigilant. I hope whoever reads this understands the fact that this is a terrible virus and it will not go away until everyone masks up, uses a face shield, gloves, and limits contact with everyone. Deaths today on 8/8/2020 are 161,682. I bet that number is larger but politics are now happening so who knows what our numbers actually are or will be, but having gone through it I would not be surprised if our death rate here in the US goes up 4 or 5 times this number. Good Luck Gordon S.
Update: Since Gordon’s last post he is doing a bit better but continues to have unusual cardiac and neurological after-effects from the virus. He is continuing to receive medical care and hopefully, in time, he will fully recover. While Gordon is doing better and on the road to recovery – the people close to him who were taken by this virus are forever gone, their friends and families in mourning, their human social and emotional support networks forever disrupted.
The lessons we should all take away from Gordon’s experience – if not plainly obvious – are as follows: SARS CoV-2/COVID 19 is a very real, very dangerous, potentially debilitating, and sometimes deadly disease.
This virus does not hunt for you – you hunt for it. You are its habitat – but only if you let it infect you.
The best way to keep from finding it and to keep it out of you is as follows: Stay away from places where it concentrates – places where there are high concentrations of other people – especially people you do not know that may have traveled from other locations.
Listen to and follow the recommendations of the infectious disease experts. Yes, these recommendations may change, that is just how science works. It is up to you to listen and adapt your life to any new information they may provide.
Just because a politician or other talking head on TV says it is OK to open the doors and go back to business as usual again – do not fully trust them – they are not infectious disease experts and they are not always following the recommendations of those experts when they make their – often profit over people based – decisions. Make your decisions based on the recommendations of the infectious disease experts. Until the time comes when the infectious disease experts say it is safe to go back to business as usual, Gordon and I and the infectious disease experts suggest the following:
Stay home. Work from home. Enjoy your newfound home life. If you must go out – please wear your mask and other PPE. Physically distance yourself from others. Wash your hands – often.
Trust science. Be patient. Science takes time. Love one another. Stay healthy.
Gordon Smith, Steve O’Neil, and friends – October 2020
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The internet is a wealth of amazing knowledge and honest evidence and science-supported peer-reviewed answers on anything you have a question about, educational outlets, DIY tutorials on just about anything you can imagine, wonderful art, photography, music, culture, shopping, and hilarious cat videos. However, if you look in the wrong dark corner – it is also a putrid cesspool of filth filled, lunatic fringe, manufactured misinformation, disinformation, and targeted doubt, fueled by basement-dwelling, troglodytic trolls sharing selling their own brand of fear-focused snake-oil “medicine” cures for anything that ails you, with all of it leading down twisted paths to dead ends of great gory heaps of rancid hogwash. The hard part is knowing how to sort out the good from the bad and not get lost in the quagmire of insanity that is the fetid, festering underbelly of the World Wide Web.
Usually, the extreme fringe dwelling claims of internet know-it-all hawkers preaching their versions of their “truth” and their “reality” on websites, social media, and streaming video channels, these are very easily debunked with common knowledge and common sense. Other times, when it is hard to see through the words of all the charlatans – there are wonderful fact-checking websites (snopes.com, factcheck.org, politifact.com, and many more), that will help us sort the wheat from the chaff – and there is a lot of chaff.
Sometimes, however, common sense, knowledge, and actual facts are not enough to convince the dangerously skeptical among us. Many will often cry that the evidence and facts are being manufactured and/or manipulated, strings are being pulled behind the scenes, and that “it” – whatever “it” is – is all a hoax or a conspiracy, etc.
When this happens I feel that it could only be helpful if regular people like me take a serious look at the situation, analyze it with a scientifically skeptical mind, and then share our findings. In doing this, maybe some of the overly skeptical/fearful folks will see that the results of a friend show exactly what the experts are saying – on whatever the subject may be. Then, maybe, hopefully, these doubting individuals will be enlightened to the facts found by a friend instead of some nameless white coat and mask-wearing scientist in a lab somewhere, or a talking head on TV. Maybe once they see that someone they know has come to the same conclusion as the highly educated and peer-reviewed experts – then maybe, hopefully, they will choose to put aside all the crazy internet-sourced, often dangerous to their health and the health of their friends and family bad ideas, and they will decide to choose wisely on this, and whatever the next topic may be.
Maybe with my example as an inspiration, they might choose to do their own research and answer their own questions over just believing anything they read/see/hear/share online.
Obviously, it is dangerous and not in any way helpful for anyone to just believe blindly and without question all the randomly shared stories/comments/claims/cures seen online. Personally, I try to think critically when anyone makes any claim targeting the learned, evidence-supported, peer-reviewed recommendations of the experts in any given field of study. When I have questions, and I have a lot of them, I choose to do the research and answer the questions with real results and real evidence – with real science. However, if you do not trust and/or believe me in my quest for the evidence, and for knowledge – then please, try it out for yourself and share your results with your peers and see if they come to the same conclusions. If they do, then whatever the outcome, and if you did your science correctly – it must be true.
Today’s Internet Claim: Wearing masks reduces or depletes your blood oxygen levels and therefore is not a good idea.
This claim instantly sounded like a good one to test due to its common sense and evidence lacking spin – so let’s get into it.
Demonstration #1: I used a super cool homemade two-ply cloth filter mask my other sister made for me.
My job as a teacher requires a lot of speaking, walking around the classroom and grounds – so, yes, I exert myself enough to need good air/oxygen flow.
I wore this mask all day at work while teaching and working inside and outside the classroom.
I only took it off during lunch when no one was in the building – so I could eat.
In total, I wore the mask for 6.5 hours during my class sessions – as I have done every day in class since late March.
Baseline: At the start of the day and before putting on the mask, my SpO2 was: 97% (This is an average of three readings taken a few seconds apart. Each time I take my SpO2 level I follow this same protocol – three consecutive readings, averaged together.)
During the workday.
My highest SpO2: 98% (mask on – teaching, moving around the room)
My lowest SpO2: 95% (mask off – sitting during lunch)
My average SpO2: 96.2%
Demonstration #2: I purchased a mass-manufactured Halo Mask (https://halolife.io/ ) – this is a three-layer mask including a replaceable microfiber filter.
My job as a teacher requires a lot of speaking, walking around the classroom and grounds – so, yes, I exert myself enough to need good air/oxygen flow.
I wore this mask all day at work while teaching and working inside and outside the classroom.
I only took it off only during lunch when no one was in the building – so I could eat.
In total, I wore the mask for 6.5 hours during my class sessions.
During this time I used a pulse oximeter to measure my blood oxygen level (SpO2) at 10 random times throughout the day during all activities.
Baseline: At the start of the day and before putting on the mask, my SpO2 was: 96.7% (This is an average of three readings taken a few seconds apart. Each time I take my SpO2 level I follow this same protocol – three consecutive readings, averaged together.)
During the workday:
My highest SpO2: 95% (mask on – teaching, moving around the room)
I wore it for a supply run trip into a local hardware store. I also wore it when I was cleaning my classroom three times during the day. During each instance of wearing the respirator mask I had it on for an average duration of 26 minutes. During each instance I was actively working – shopping and cleaning – in other words, these are things that require some physical exertion and therefore good air/oxygen flow.
In total, I wore the mask for a total duration of 106 minutes.
My average time wearing the mask was 26.5 minutes.
During each of these instances I used a pulse oximeter to measure my blood oxygen level (SpO2) at the completion of each session wearing the GVS mask.
Baseline: At the start of the day and before putting on the mask, my SpO2 was: 96.7% (This is an average of three readings taken a few seconds apart. Each time I take my SpO2 level I follow this same protocol – three consecutive readings, averaged together.)
During the demonstration:
My highest SpO2: 98.3% (shopping)
My lowest SpO2: 94.3% (cleaning)
My average SpO2: 95.90%
Comparing the three demonstrations we see the following:
Demo #1 Homemade Cloth Mask: Average SpO2: 96.20%
Demo #2 Three layer microfiber filter mask: Average SpO2: 95.03%
Demo #3: Professional respirator mask: Average SpO2: 95.90%
Average SpO2 w/o a mask: 95.81%
Average SpO2 with all types of mask tested: 95.71%
At sea level, a healthy human has an SpO2 between 95 – 100%.
My SpO2 tends to trend on the low side if “normal” probably due to my age (52), having mild exercise-induced asthma, and having had Mycoplasma pneumonia twice when I was younger…and possibly because I live/work between 2,500 – 3100′ (762 – 945 m) – above sea level (elevation gain lowers SpO2 “normal range” readings – but this last variable is probably negligible).
Then there is the error factor of ~2% for this type of pulse oximeter to factor in as well so my SpO2 level could have fallen anywhere between 92 – 100% during this test.
To all the anti-mask naysayers, doubters, and conspiracy theorists who say wearing masks will reduce your oxygen levels, my findings during this simple demonstration suggest the opposite.
My results suggest the following: Wearing a mask – be it a homemade cloth mask, a mass market multi-layer microfiber mask, or a professional respirator mask does not alter, impair, or reduce the flow of oxygen from the atmosphere into the mask-wearers lungs/bloodstream.
However, what wearing a mask does alter, impair, and reduce is the outward flow of the mask-wearers exhaled liquid respiratory droplets, and therefore, their fungal, bacterial, and viral contents (their nasty germs) contained within their exhaled liquid droplets. In other words: it greatly reduces (depending upon the type of mask worn) the mask wearers germs, from getting out of them and/or into your body and infecting you or others with something you or they do not want – be it a common cold or COVID-19.
Wearing a mask is caring for others.
Note #1: If you wear the same mask for several days and let it become saturated with moisture, bacteria, viruses, fungal spores, etc. – deposits of moisture, dust, pollen, and possibly, mold, and bacterial colonies could accumulate/grow on the mask clogging up the pores in the fabric/filter thereby reducing airflow – and that in turn could potentially reduce the flow of oxygen. This is not the recommended or the smart way to use a mask – and it is just totally gross. To keep this possible outcome from happening – wash your mask with soap and water at the end of each day. If your mask has filters, change them at the manufacturers recommended intervals.
Note #2: I am fully aware some people are not able to wear masks due to health conditions. This demonstration is not meant for those people. This demonstration is for the heathy people who do not have conditions that negate wearing a mask. This demonstration is for people who are otherwise healthy but for personal reasons are searching for “evidence” that supports their personal decision to not wear a mask. Heath conditions that negate wearing a mask aside, choosing to not wear a mask for personal reasons is just incredibly self-centered, uncaring, and selfish. If you are one of these people, if you are choosing to ignore the evidence and the facts, then please – do not be part of the problem and just stay home until all this is over.
Note#3: Oxygen atoms are far smaller than the weave of a homemade cloth mask, an N95, an N100, or even the very best medical or particulate/chemical protective respirator mask. If, in fact, properly fitted, and correctly used masks did block oxygen molecules as some are trying to claim – then all the mask-wearing doctors, veterinarians, dentists, health care workers, manufacturing plant workers, scientists, people painting cars/houses, sanding wood, firefighters, servicemen, police, and regular everyday people choosing to wear a mask to protect themselves and to protect you from them – would be passing out and dropping dead all over the place from lack of oxygen. Those that survived their ordeal would quickly sling rapid-fire lawsuits at all the mask companies which would then fold.
But this is not happening – why? Because oxygen atoms are far too small to be stopped by the fibers of any approved professional personal protective equipment mask, homemade cloth mask, bandana, scarf, or old t-shirt wrapped around your face.
Some good mask information from PBS Studios.
Unmasking mask myths.
Uncle Rob using fire and common sense to show how masks work.
Mask Update 2021: This is all still true to this day and I am still here and breathing just fine despite wearing masks in public places for over a year. I have also been vaccinated for COVID-19 and all the other expert-recommended vaccinations as well as Rabies.
Mask Update 2022: Again – I am still here and breathing just fine despite religiously wearing masks in all public places I have visited during this pandemic (when and where recommended by the CDC and common sense) – yet, despite the masks I still contracted COVID-19 in the spring of this year. However, it was not because the masks did not work. The source of my infection was traced back to my wife’s place of business where the virus hitchhiked in/on her and then jumped to me. Cross-contamination is a real bummer.
Lucky for us our cases were relatively mild thanks to our vaccinations – Yay Science!
There is not democratic science.
There is not republican science.
There is only science.
Science does not take sides – please stop trying to make science political.
People take sides.
Science only seeks to reveal the how of things- it seeks only to find the evidence of what is true and then help us make better decisions on how to adapt to this thing called life.
Science will not dictate your path, it will only offer evidence and then suggest the best path you should take – it is then up to you to logically decide – based on the evidence at hand – which path to take.
Please choose wisely to support science over greed, control, and fear-focused politics and ancient dogma.
Support the findings and suggestions of science for a healthy, safe, and prosperous future.
Fact-checking websites Snopes, Politifact, and Factcheck have already debunked this one but I would like to offer my own unique perspective on this bizarre topic.
Some background: earlier this year I came across this article and this article being shared around social media. My internal fact-checking software instantly threw up the red flag. It looked to be yet another conspiracy “theory” and I have absolutely no idea why people choose to believe these things over facts and evidence. So in an attempt to try to explain to myself why people would want to think (and share) such radical, disruptive, stories, I conducted a simple internet search for more information on the subject which directed me to this article and then this one and more recently this one completely debunking the previous as well as this WHO page debunking many of the myths.
Who is correct?
My rational, scientific mind had an idea but it needed more evidence to confirm or deny my hypothesis.
At the same time, I witnessed several bizarre posts on the subject being widely shared on various social media platforms – including a number of videos popping up on YouTube – that appear to be intentionally manufactured to spread misinformation, disinformation, uncertainty, and fear (as if there is not already enough of all that) around the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) global pandemic health crisis. These stories, posts, and videos also include links to homemade videos, news clips taken out of context, and even what looks like professionally produced “documentaries” that agree with, support, and seem to be only working to spread widely these before-mentioned, and many other conspiracy “theories” around COVID-19, centered on its origins, actions, impacts, and even its “purpose.” An example of this is the recent Plandemic movie – a documentary-style video that was debunked by several sources (including this one, this one, this one and this one just to name a few) and it was later taken down by social media platforms due to its wealth of inaccuracy and outright promotion of misinformation and bizarre attempts to connect various conspiracy “theories.”
None of the conspiracy “theories” focused on COVID-19 and Bill Gates have anything at all to do with reality, logic, or common sense.
Why are some people so caught up in all this conspiratorial madness?
In my opinion, these conspiracy “theories” seem to be just barking mad attempts to instigate and spread uncertainty in science, outright fear, and to “stir the pot.”
A quick internet search revealed evidence supporting that some proprietors of these “theories” may be using them to sell stuff and even more products – they are simply using the fear around COVID-19 to increase their incomes. Like the war-time profiteers before them, they are “fear-time” profiteers preying on and profiting off of the gullible. Some even seem to be promoting, and manufacturing these theories by creating fear-focused manufactured need campaigns seemingly designed only to take advantage of unsuspecting individuals with nefarious “snake-oil” tactics claiming to heal, cure, prevent, or block COVID-19 with their only obvious goals being greed-driven profit.
Greed andprofit are obvious but why…just, why?
Other than snake oil salesmen and swindlers wanting to make a quick buck off of the fearful and gullible, I have no idea as to any other why, reason, or to what end some people would want to create these erroneous unscientific “theories,” and then share and spread them far and wide via the internet and word of mouth. I will not attempt to speculate further on the why of this matter because I have no evidence to support any claims that I may have. Without any verifiable evidence to support my claims, I would be entering into the realm of belief – and belief is not my area of expertise, focus, or concern – my concern is only evidence-supported peer-reviewed data and facts and I will let the data, evidence, and the facts speak for themselves.
What does Bill say?
Bill Gates was asked about how he felt about these bizarre allegations and he stated “In a way, it’s so bizarre, you almost want to view it as something humorous, but I guess it’s really not a humorous thing. I’ve never been involved in any sort of microchip-type thing,” he said, according to the New York Post. “It’s almost hard to deny this stuff because it’s so stupid or strange that to even repeat it almost seems to give it credibility.”
In reality, the facts show that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has donated upwards of 50 billion dollars to organizations working to fight Malaria, COVID-19, and other diseases with new vaccines and other health care advancements – so, therefore, Bill and Melinda and their Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are working very hard to make our world a better place.
On top of all that awesome goodness, there is a very good chance the computer or mobile device you are using right now is either running a Windows operating system or has technology that is derived from, spun off from, or benefited from competition with Microsoft – a multi-national computing company founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen in 1975.
Microsoft played a huge role in the personal/office computer revolution which has led up to a large percentage of the planet’s population having the ability to own or to have access to a personal computer to streamline their lives, increase creativity and productivity, and – after the invention of the internet – have a voice like never before in history. While all this is mostly a good thing, it also gives conspiracy theorists, science and technology deniers, hate and fear mongers, a massive platform via social media to influence others – and that is not in any way a good thing for the rest of us trying to make sense of it all.
So here we are at today
It looks like the conspiracy theorists have tried their very best to put a little bit of thought into this one and from what I can gather it looks like their train of thought may go something like this:
“If Bill Gates and friends started one of the planet’s largest computing/software companies, then he and his nerdy friends must have the technological knowledge and skill to create vaccines and microscopic transmitters they could then inject into us for the purposes of tracking our movements and maybe even controlling our minds.”
I can see their logic here – even though it is a train wreck of faulty logic.
Sadly, it looks like Carl Sagan may have been right when he perfectly stated…
How then have I come to the conclusion that the claims of the conspiracy theorists focused on Bill Gates, vaccines, COVID-19, and “vaccine-delivered tracking and mind control” devices etcetera, are nothing more than outlandish and ridiculous hogwash?
The answer is simple:
Experience. Facts. Evidence. Common sense.
Let us look at each of these in more detail.
(Prepare to go down the rabbit hole.)
On the jobexperience
For many years I worked as a veterinary assistant. I often assisted the doctors with the application of RFID/PIT pet identification tags (PIT = Passive Integrated Transponder or Pet Identification Tag) aka “microchips” such as the PIT tag seen in the radiograph (x-ray) of a housecat below.
I have seen first hand the size of the “needle” applicator device used to insert PIT tags into pets, livestock, and wildlife. This device is far more massive than almost any hypodermic needle used on animals or humans for almost any reason, and it is by far much larger than any needle used to administer any vaccination. In fact, you could fit several vaccine-sized needles inside it!
Vaccines are delivered using very small needles varying in size from 22-25 gauge. The longer needles pictured below are larger in diameter than those typically used for vaccines but they are still not large enough to pass any of the currently available RFID and micro-scale tracking devices through their needles and into the vaccine receivers body.
For more information on needle sizes used with vaccines seethe CDC and for an explanation of hypodermic needle thickness please reference the Birmingham Gauge.
All commonly used RFID “microchips” are physically far larger than any of the needles used for vaccines – therefore, these devices are not physically able to pass through any of the needles used for vaccines.
The photo below shows a RFID/PIT tag “microchip” and its associated applicator device – this thing is scary big!
My point here is this: you would know – without a doubt – if a medical professional, Bill Gates, or anyone else, was injecting this thing into your body.
RFID microchips are nothing new. For decades people have been implanting RFID “microchips” in their pets and livestock for identification, and more recently, to give their pets the ability to open automatic pet doors and therefore, keep out unwanted wild creatures or the neighbor’s cat.
More recently, people have been implanting RFID tags into themselves for their own purposes and, like their pets – to allow keyless entry into their homes – and for others, access into high-security settings. There are also those users such as this person who implanted RFID devices into his hands to store his cold Bitcoin wallet.
Human microchipping is becoming very popular in Sweden.
Amie DD uses an implanted RFID device to unlock and start her Tesla Model 3.
Read more and watch a video of Amie DD’s journey to implant a RFID chip in her arm to allow access to her car.
The crew at Dangerous Things specialize in the production and sale of all manner of implantable RFID and NFC microchips – but none of them are small enough to be injected/installed/implanted into a human being via a “vaccine-sized” needle.
Below are some examples and size comparisons between Dangerous Things “microchips” and some coins.
MoreExperience fromWildlife Conservation Research
Over the last 30 years, I have been trained by and worked with the experts in, and conducted several of my own, radio-telemetry based habitat use and movement tracking studies with three species of wild reptiles using both external and implantable radio tracking devices.
These radio tracking devices are indeed small but, to my knowledge, (and do correct me if I am wrong but please provide reputable links to the sources for any information you share), the human species has yet to develop an active, long-range, long life, radio/GPS or cellular-based tracking device small enough to be passed through a RFID applicator and then be actively tracked using radio/cellular/GPS based tracking technology.
Small transmitters do exist.
There are, in fact, several companies that manufacture very small radio transmitters such as those pictured below.
As I write this, the smallest commercially available relatively long-range, radio-tracking device I could find – the Holohil LB-2x – is designed for use with small animals such as bats, birds, reptiles, amphibians, insects, etc. But I say again – it is much too large to pass through a PIT tag applicator or any hypodermic needle.
The tiny Holohil LB-2x unit attached to a Grasshopper with a human hand to show scale.
While these radio tracking devices are in fact incredibly small, they are still much too large to be injected or implanted into the animals with which they are used. Therefore they must be glued, strapped, or somehow affixed to the skin/fur/exoskeleton of the animal. They are usually not injected or implanted into the animal for fear of harming the creature since their size relative to the animal being tracked is just too great. Along with this fact, the tracking device’s battery life is far too short to warrant the complex procedure of transmitter implantation surgery such as the surgery being conducted on the snake in the below photo.
While the batteries in the transmitters I have used with wild reptiles had a lifespan of up to two years, the tiny batteries in the smallest radio and cellular tracking transmitters only allows them to function for less than a month. In the case of the smallest available unit I could find, the Holohil LB-2x, it will only transmit for 8-22 days – therefore the short battery life of these units would not permit long term tracking of an animal…or a human as some want to erroneously suggest.
In my research for this post, I was able to find one reference to an active tracking device for use in fish that is, like a RFID/PIT tag, injected into the animal using a very large “needle-like” applicator.
However, this JSATS tracking system is for fish and other aquatic species that live in water and, along with the PIT tag transmitter implanted into the fish, it requires several other pieces of external hardware to operate. So, unless you are an aquatic creature such as a fish, amphibian, Aquaman, a mermaid, or the Creature from the Black Lagoon – then you have nothing to be concerned about when it comes to this type of transmitter.
Along with that fact, the needles used to inject this and other similar acoustic transmitter units are 6-12 Gauge needles – those are huge needles!
Just to be clear: Most needles used for vaccines are 22 – 25 gauge – so in other words – they are very small and not able to pass any of the currently available radio or acoustic tracking devices through their delivery canals. Below is a gauge/mm comparison for your reference.
In other words: if Bill Gates or anyone else was actually implanting you with RFID/PIT tag “microchips” or any other kind of “tracking devices” that would be able to function longer than a few weeks: you would know it due to the enormous sizes of the “needles.”
Yet even more evidence
Unlike passive, non-transmitting RFID/NFC/PIT “microchip” tags, radio telemetry tracking devices are active. In other words, they use a built-in battery and sometimes even an attached micro-solar module (panel) to provide power to a tiny radio. Their trackable radio signal is then broadcast via an attached coil, rigid, wire-like, or flexible whip antenna allowing their specific identifying frequency, and thereby their location, to be tracked by a researcher using a hand-held receiver with an attached directional antenna like the one I am holding in the below photo…
…or even larger, longer-range directional antennas.
In other words: even if you had been secretly implanted with a tiny radio-tracking device that you were not aware of – you would know something was up when someone nearby was following you around and frequently pointing one of these rather large antennas in your general direction.
Therefore, if someone was tracking you using the currently available radio-based methods of tracking, even if they were able to make an actively transmitting, long battery life, long transmission range, RFID “microchip” type of device small enough to be implanted into your body without your knowledge – they would also need a radio signal receiving unit (aka receiver) and a directional antenna set – and they would need to be relatively near you to locate your radio transmitter’s signal. If you noticed that someone was following you and pointing an antenna in your general direction, all you would need to do to quickly evade them would be to jump on a bicycle, an airplane, or a car, and speed away from them. You would then easily outdistance them and they would quickly lose your radio signal and thereby your location. (If they were really crafty they could then track your location via the built-in GPS tracking device in your car – but that is another story.)
Tracking an unpredictable human animal with relatively short-range radio telemetry technology would be very challenging, to say the least.
However, when tracking slow-moving wildlife such as most reptiles -they are often predictable and do not move very far outside their home range. But if you are tracking a migratory bird, Monarch butterfly, whale, bear, sea turtle, shark, or other animals that have much larger continent and ocean-spanning home ranges – then you need a long-range GPS enabled tracking device such as the one pictured below attached to the carapace of a Loggerhead sea turtle. These units can be tracked from the comfort of the researcher’s home – but again, they are far too large to be injected or implanted into the living organism being tracked. Therefore, GPS transmitters such as these are effectively ruled out as ways to covertly track a human being.
So…what is a good way to track a human?
As I stated earlier – the evidence and current technology supports that it is possible to track large, far-ranging wildlife with GPS tracking devices attached to the outside of their bodies – such as the before mentioned sea turtle, or sharks, whales, Crocodiles, and/or using GPS tracking collars with animals like bears, lions, and elephants, etc. But again, these are often large units that are not in any way suitable for implantation into the body of a living organism.
It makes sense that using a GPS enabled tracking device would be a good way to keep track of a far-ranging human. However, I do not suggest doing so by using a covertly implanted GPS device because, as far as I know, that option is not an option due to the fact that it is technologically impossible using the currently available GPS tracking systems. This is simply due to the fact that the size of today’s GPS hardware is just too large to be implanted into a human body without a lengthy, invasive, and questionable surgical procedure.
For tracking humans I would suggest an active personal GPS/Cellular connected tracking device such as the Angel Sense for use with children, those with special needs, and the elderly. Another similar device – the SCRAM bracelet (see below photo) is essentially a radio/GPS enabled tracking device similar to those used with wildlife – only it has been designed to fit the human animal.
Obviously, all of these devices are rather large, externally wearable, radio/cellular, and GPS-based active tracking technologies that would be known/noticed by the wearer. However, currently available implantable RFID/PIT tag “microchip” technology is nothing like these and/or any of the previously discussed radio/cellular/GPS-based tracking technologies in these key ways:
-It is passive and read-only therefore it does not transmit an actively trackable radio signal.
-It does not contain an active power source/batteries.
-It will only transmit a signal when it is energized by the hand-held RFID “microchip” reader.
-Its antenna is tiny and internal therefore its transmission range is limited often only to millimeters.
Due to all of these facts – implantable RFID/PIT tag “microchip” technology is passive and short-range use only, allowing identification of the “microchip” if and only if you have the chip scanner/reader in your hand and if and only if you then pass the reader over the PIT tag’s location in the implanted user’s body as seen in the below photograph.
Another example of the limited range of RFID “microchip” technology comes from people (and animals) with implanted “door key” RFID “microchips” in which the user must place the part of their body that contains the RFID tag in very close proximity to the RFID reader to allow the tag to be read and therefore actuate the mechanism that unlocks the door as in the below graphic.
Therefore, it is technically and physically impossible to read an implanted passive RFID/PIT tag “microchip” device from more than a few feet away from the individual with the implanted RFID/PIT “microchip” tag.
Therefore, RFID “microchips” are simply just not trackable in real-time.
Therefore, it is just not possible for Bill Gates or anyone else to be tracking you (or your pets) from their personal computer terminal in their living room…or their secret mad science volcano-cave lair using covertly installed “vaccine-delivered” RFID “microchip” technology.
…Oh wait, but maybe Bill Gates has invented an invisibility cloak and is standing right next to you using his RFID reader to scan your body at this very moment or while you were sleeping last night – omg! OMG!! OMG!!!
Even if any of this Hogwarts hocus-pocus was even possible, the only information the great and powerful wizard Gates (or anyone else) would be able to gather – would be your PIT tag’s unique ID number and/or any other data you choose to encode it with. Therefore, to track you 24-7-365, Bill and his “henchmen” would need to somehow silently follow you around all the time, closely scanning the exact location on your body where the chip is implanted, and then plot your current location on their devious little tracking map.
But if Bill was following you around to read your “microchip” tag – why then would he even need the “microchip” tag – would he not already know your location?
You know as well as I do that all this is just totally ridiculous….but just to cover all the bases, what say we go even deeper down this rabbit hole of conspiratorial madness?
What about the cellular networks etc…
What about the cellular networks, and Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi – they can send and receive data between all manner of devices – so maybe Gates and his cronies are using some or all of these advanced wireless communication technologies married to microscopic RFID/NFC “microchip” technologies so you can be tracked when you are in the presence of Wi-Fi/Bluetooth and/or the cellular networks – you know, the 5G*/vaccine/RFID tracking conspiracy connection? (Oops…did I leave out chemtrails…does that one somehow figure in here as well..?)
*Before I continue I would like to share that my research suggests the following:
5G is harmless and chemtrails do not exist.*
Part One: 5G is a harmless radio wave emitting/receiving technology. The 5G radio signal is made up of radio energy only. This energy is part of the electromagnetic spectrum – not the physical world of matter where we Human animals exist. It is just not possible for 5G (or 4G, 3G, 2G, 1G, or even 0G) to carry, transmit, or “activate” a virus, a bacteria, or any other biological organism, nor will it “weaken your immune system” allowing COVID-19 to infect you.
What 5G does do, and what it can only do, is speed up your wireless devices, your internet, and your streaming services, etc. – and who doesn’t want that?
Current cellular/Bluetooth/Wifi technology is massive in size when compared to the size of RFID microchips. It also requires extensive support hardware/software/infrastructure and a dedicated power source to operate – think: your smartphone and its cellular network, home WiFi router, your Bluetooth Mp3 player/iPod/iPad/Smartphone, wireless earbuds, your car’s key fob. All these things require comparatively large components and constant grid power and/or intermittent power from a relatively large built-in battery to function. All of this technology is just far too large to inject/implant/insert into your body with or without your knowledge or consent. Therefore, cellular/Bluetooth/WiFi systems are now effectively ruled out of the evidence-lacking hazy picture floating around in the heads of the conspiracy-minded.
What about Quantum Dot tattoos?
In the battle to end disease, medical professionals need to be able to keep track of who has been administered which medications and vaccinations, and who has not. In western cultures, we have many ways of keeping records connecting our identity with our medical history records. However, in many highly populated, poor, and/or indigenous cultures lacking the infrastructure, health care, and vaccination programs we are so lucky to have in the western world, it can be very hard to know who has received the latest vaccinations. This is where science may have an answer in the quantum dot tattoo.
At the moment, Quantum Dot tattoos are only an idea and are not in use at the time of the writing of this document. Along with that fact is the fact that they are not trackable via radio telemetry, GPS, Cellular, or the internet. To read them you must pass a scanning device over the area of the tattoo and, like RFID/PIT “microchip” tags, therefore, they are read-only at a very close range.
While quantum dot tattoos could one day allow keeping track of individuals without health records and identification systems, they do not allow “mind control” or long-distance tracking/surveillance of the individual with the tattoo as some have tried to suggest.
More details on the Quantum Dot tattoo may be found here.
What about “smartdust”!!
The MU Chip and the U-Chip? Aren’t these RFID “microchips” even smaller to the point some have coined the term
Yes, Hitachi has in fact invented an incredibly small RFID “microchip” device as stated in this article “Hitachi holds the record for the smallest RFID chip, at 0.05 mm × 0.05 mm. This is 1/64th the size of the previous record-holder, the mu-chip. Manufacture is enabled by using the silicon-on-insulator (SOI) process. These dust-sized chips can store 38-digit numbers using 128-bit Read Only Memory (ROM). A major challenge is the attachment of antennas, thus limiting read range to only millimeters.”
As this microchip is read-only it does not actively transmit a trackable signal – therefore, it is not trackable in real-time nor is it detectable unless passed under a read device that must be held only millimeters away. It is basically just a smaller version of a RFID/PIT tag style “microchip” – but even without its antenna it is still far too large to pass through a vaccine-sized needle.
There is, however, one place RFID microchips will be used in conjunction with vaccines – as an identification system on vaccine containers/applicators like the unit shown below resting on a smartphone.
The RFID “microchip” is the rectangular device adjacent to the vaccine containing “blister.” The RFID “microchip” and vaccine are in separate parts of the applicator device and at no time do they come in contact with each other. In fact, as you can see, the RFID “microchip” is again, far too large to be injected through the hypodermic needle used to inject the vaccine into the vaccine receiving individual. The RFID “microchip” is not contained within the actual vaccine as some have tried to insinuate.
The company Apiject is working with the RAPID Consortium to manufacture a new mass-produced applicator system that will speed up the manufacture and distribution of the upcoming COVID-19 vaccine and other vaccines/therapeutic medications in order to get them to the people who need them the most. This identification system will allow medical professionals the ability to keep track of vaccine distribution, stock, quality control, and the RFID’s specific code which can be linked with the receiver’s digital health record so medical professionals know who has had which vaccinations and/or medications. As stated on the Apiject website: “Whether health officials are running a scheduled vaccination program or an urgent pandemic response campaign, they can make better decisions if they know when and where each injection occurs. With an optional RFID/NFC tag under the label on each BFS prefilled syringe, ApiJect will make this possible. Before giving an injection, the healthcare worker will be able to launch a free mobile app and “tap” the NFC tag on the prefilled syringe label to their phone. The app will capture the tag’s unique dose-level, serial number, GPS location, and date/time, then upload the data to a government database. Aggregated injection data provides health administrators an evolving real-time “injection map.”
In my opinion, which I also share with medical professionals and scientists who are working to end disease, all of the above are very good things – especially when dealing with getting life saving drugs and vaccinations out to over 7 billion people during a global pandemic such as COVID-19.
History repeating itself
Interestingly enough, all the evidence-lacking, fear-based, hype around RFID “microchip” technology reminds me of a time not that long ago when small numbers of people thought the new data identification technology we know as barcodes were somehow an intrusive surveillance technology, a violation of privacy, and/or the “stamp of the Antichrist” or the “number or mark of the beast” or “as Television host Phil Donahue described barcodes: a “corporate plot against consumers.”
In reality, barcodes, and now RFID systems are just new ways to streamline a technology-based society with an ever-growing population of humans, machines, foods, goods, services, diseases, and medicines.
Sadly, like microwave ovens , barcodes, telephones, televisions, radios, automobiles, seat belts, and airbags before them, when it comes to RFID devices we are going through yet another similar wave of distrust in science and misplaced fears spread by modern-day Luddites and technophobes that, without looking at any concrete evidence to the contrary, are choosing to fear almost anything new as dangerous and not to be trusted.
Fear and mistrust of “the other” is locked deep within our genetic memory banks
This distrust and fear of unknown things may be evolutionary in origin. The ancient fight or flight response hidden deep within our genes and deeply seated within our “reptilian brains” often serves to have us fear the unknown as a built-in self-protection device.
Far in the ancient past, our early human ancestors were frequently faced with the unknown in the form of dangerous creatures lurking in the jungle, the tall grass, the waters, or even in the face of a person from another tribe who incidentally, was facing the same threats as your ancestor.
The nature of these threats was often dangerous and harmful to these naked early humans such as; venomous animals whose bites stings would sicken or kill you, “other” peoples from outside your troop, clan, or tribe that, during times of hardship and loss, might see their best and only chance of survival being to drive you off or kill you for access to your hunting and foraging grounds, your choice cave, or even your mate.
Then there was the other great outside danger to our early survival: hungry predators – so many predatory animals such as lions, tigers, bears (Oh, MY!), leopards, and crocodiles had no issue about eating you and your entire family for lunch – you were easy prey lacking no big teeth, sharp claws, or natural body armor – our early ancestors were often just a quick and easy meal.
These genetically rooted tribal tendencies may have served to protect us from harm in the distant past, but today, in our high technology, science modified and dependant world, we have very little to fear other than ourselves – and obviously, fear itself.
With all our technological advancements – our high technology survival tools – and all our amassed knowledge, shouldn’t we now be able to put logic and reason above our ancient evolutionarily anchored protection systems that do not fit well into the technological evolution of our species? For some, this is easy, for others it is very difficult. Therefore, it seems we continue to have many humans who are choosing to let themselves be ruled, driven, and guided by irrational fears of the unknown…and the new.
“Bad” events need a villian
Outside of our genetic predisposition to fear new and “different” things, it often seems that when disruptive and unfortunate – what some may call “bad” things – happen, it is part of our human nature to try to find the causal element and then, pin the “bad” circumstances and our misfortunes on this bad guy, this villain – someone to blame. Sometimes the evidence reveals a legitimate villain such as a burglar, a murderer, a corrupt politician, or in extreme situations, such as the horrible events in Nazi Germany during WW2 with Adolf Hitler – who, in my opinion, was the perfect example of a real-life supervillain.
However, with the virion known as SARS CoV2 – the virus that causes the disease known as COVID-19/coronavirus – there is no villain, no single person upon which to rest the blame. This disease is caused by a microscopic infectious agent which is almost impossible to see and deal with unless you have advanced technology – which the majority of people do not have or have access to. The fact that we are unable to identify the villain and give it a human form and human name and then pin the blame upon it – this must really bother some people.
Natural andHistorical Ponderings
We humans seem to have a great need to attach blame for terrible calamities and malicious or random natural happenings to someone else because it takes the blame off of ourselves which, as we well know, are often the cause of most, if not all of our problems. In ancient times past, if we could not find the actual perpetrator of a bad deed, drought, flood, storm, fire, volcano, earthquake, or a deadly pestilence, etc., we humans would place blame upon whichever reclusive and/or visibly different animal, human or supernatural deity we had invented and labeled as “bad” or “evil” in our mythology.
Despite the fact that many animals help us just by simply living their lives, many species of animals including reptiles, amphibians, birds, arachnids, and some mammals have been vilified, targeted, harassed, and killed by peoples from many different cultures around the globe for the simple fact their species is either visibly very different than our species or, they possess venoms and toxins that may harm or kill us. For example and culturally depending: snakes, lizards, spiders, bats, vultures, sharks, predators of almost any kind, etc. – these are just a few animals that are vilified, targeted, and killed simply due to their outward appearance, feeding, and living habits.
Similarly, many brilliant and hermitlike men who postulated ideas such as; the earth was not the center of the universe and the possibility of the existence of other suns like our own and other worlds orbiting those suns with life upon them – these great thinkers were labeled heretics, held in house arrest, like Galileo Galilei, and like Giordano Bruno who was laughed at, imprisoned, tortured, driven out of town, and later murdered in cold blood by the “thought police” and the establishment – just because they had ideas different than everyone else and wanted to share those ideas.
Likewise, tens of thousands of innocent women and men in Europe and the young USA were labeled witches and tortured, imprisoned, and even publicly drowned, beheaded, strangled, burned at the stake, and even crushed to death.
Many young virgins/children/livestock (and even material things and money) were sacrificed under the knife, tossed into volcanoes, and/or thrown into cenotes, etc. in the hopes of a bountiful harvest or hunt – and all the while many the fatted boar, antlered stag, feathered pheasant, and floundering fish accompanied by tankards of ale, flagons of mead, and jewel-encrusted chalices of sacred wine and other fermented beverages were quaffed by those doing the sacrificing. All this to satiate early people’s desires to locate, target, and remove the “villain” who was the single causal element, the epicenter of all their fear, pain, suffering, drought, fire, pestilence, hunger, and loss.
When no human villain(s) – with supporting or manufactured evidence – could be found on which to lay the blame, countless mythological supernatural malignant gods, demons, devils, and other entities – with all manner of origin stories, dangerous, and destructive powers – were dreamed up by ancient people to serve as scapegoats for all of their losses, blames, fears, pains, and random misfortunes.
As an answer and antidote to the “evil” gods, devils, demons, etc. – ancient humans dreamed up omnipotent “fixer” gods to counter the bad with the good. These “good” gods came complete with their own accompanying origin stories, life adventures and exploits, and even superpowers to give early peoples education, direction, meaning, and to help keep them out of trouble. The reality is simply that our troubles – then and now – are brought upon us not by good or evil or gods, demons, or devils, but by the unpredictability of nature and our own Human nature which contains many millions of years of animalistic tendencies, desires, uncertainty, doubts, and built-in evolutionary fears. But try telling all that to the people of the past – and many people of today. They would simply not understand the logic.
The truly strange thing is this: the only way many of these good gods would protect, guide, and deliver us from “evil” is if we followed their commands, walked a straight and narrow line, and constantly paid homage to them with prayers, offerings (taxes), and so on. Very strange indeed.
This pandemic is no different than problems faced by our ancestors in the ancient past in that there is no one person, no god, devil, or villain to blame for the problems we now find ourselves deep within. Therefore, it seems that for all these reasons and more, many people seem to be searching for someone, anyone, to pin the blame upon, and maybe this is why some have opted to target people such as Bill Gates.
The fact is that the blame for the Covid-19 global pandemic does not lie in Bill Gates or in any one individual. In reality, the blame lies in all of us. Our mistreatment and destruction of nature in the name of profit, food water, energy, resource acquisition, traditional “medicine” practices with traditional Chinese “medicine” and African “medicine” being good examples, and the ever-growing expansion and encroachment of our own species into the wilderness have caused a spillover of zoonotic diseases from wild animals into our species. Diseases such as HIV/AIDS, SARS, MERS, EBOLA aka now SARS-CoV-2 aka COVID-19/Coronavirus originated in animals, mutated, then jumped to humans.
Sadly, this moment in time was inevitable due to our ever-growing population’s need for resources and our exponentially increasing destruction of wildlife and nature.
Many thinkers saw this moment on the horizon including David Quammen when he wrote the book Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic and Bill Gates when he gave this Ted Talk several years ago. Sadly, David and Bill’s thoughtful reasoned, and accurate analysis of this situation is totally accurate, but it has in a way backfires on them by giving the conspiracy-minded even more fuel for their fiction-fed fires. This is unfortunate because in reality, Bill Gates may be one of the people whose actions help our species find a cure and/or treatment for SARS CoV2 and I fear that if that is the case, many of those who erroneously fear Bill Gates and vaccines will opt to not receive the vaccine/treatment and therefore they may suffer the horrible consequences brought upon themselves, and upon our species by this terrible virus.
Religiously Linked Postulations
Along with our genetically driven fears of new things, small numbers of people have chosen to throw into the mix all sorts of misinterpretations and evidence-lacking speculative reasonings focused around ancient religious texts such as the passage I have outlined below from the Christianbible. It appears this passage may have been interpreted by some to be speaking of RFID “microchips” Quantum Dots, vaccines, and so on. A good example of this is from this article in Saved Magazine from which I pulled the below quote:
“While we cannot predict “the day or the hour” when you put all these components together, it’s starting to look a lot like the beginnings of the end. “And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name” (Revelation 13:16-17).“
I find it most interesting that only the most recent version of the Bible – the 21st Century King James version – has wording that seems to suggest the exact placement of this mark as follows:
“…in their right hand, or in their foreheads…”
Of the several other versions I surveyed on Biblegateway.com – and I did not survey all of them – all of those I surveyed stated:
“…a mark on their right hand, or on their forehead…”
Speculation: Could it be possible that whoever edited the 21st Century King James version may have, for some bizarre reason, chosen to take some liberties with its wording – possibly to fit their own modern-day interpretations of the original wording? If so, why would the editors change the wording of a revered ancient text? What would be their motives for doing this?
Again, I have an opinion as to the why of this matter – but as I am not religious, I am not a religious scholar, and I do not have any evidence to support my claim – I will keep my thoughts to myself and let you hypothesize that one for yourself.
Just to be clear – edits to religious texts are nothing new. Below is a short video from Business Insider outlining some of the known edits to the Christian bible over the last two millennia.
This link to the Business Insider article connected to the above video outlines in more detail many of the changes to the bible over the last two millennia and most importantly – cites the sources of their information for both the article and the above video.
From the research I did for this part of this story I have gathered that the evidence seems to suggest the following: the ancient words of the bible and other religious texts may have at first been stories passed down by word of mouth – since most people during that time were illiterate. These stories were then later written down and then copied, modified, amended, and adjusted by later peoples in places of power and influence to fit their specific needs, desires, and politics of the day. So in reality, it is hard to know exactly what message the ancient agrarian peoples who penned these educational texts were really trying to impart.
That being said, and in my own opinion – it seems likely the bible, and possibly many other religious texts, may have been the everyday textbooks of the ancients. They may have been written as an educational “heroes journey” stories about how to live in and keep order in the environment, society, and culture of the times in which they were written. They may have been meant to be educational metaphors, teaching, and comfort tools that fit the needs of the peoples doing the writing. If this is the case – then these amazing historical works are just not applicable as primary textbooks for life in the world of today which include; huge cities full of diverse ethnicities, knowledge of our intricate connections to all living things via our DNA, faster than sound world and space travel, modern medicine, science, complex education systems, international travel and cooperation, modern computers/technology, robots, artificial intelligence, ice cream, anime, heavy metal, hot rods, hot dogs, helicopters, bikinis, bell bottoms, and comic books – in other words: society as we know it but not as they knew it.
In my opinion, taking the bible and other ancient religious texts literally, in today’s technology-driven and dependant world, is probably not at all what the authors of these stories had in mind and therefore probably not a very good idea.
There is no way these early peoples could have had any foreknowledge of anything existing in our technology-saturated world, so there is no reason why people of today should try to find any hidden connections, meanings, or revelations, in anything happening today – from texts that were written several thousand years ago by middle eastern agrarian farmers and shepherds.
To do so would be akin to believing in magic.
Please do not get me wrong here, I am not attacking any religions. I would never do that. Everyone should have the freedom to choose what religion, gods, or deities, or lack thereof, to follow or to not follow. Religion, if used appropriately, comforts, and helps people cope with the realities of life and death, and it can offer helpful organizations and assistance to individuals in great need.
However, just like any tool or any drug – religions may become dangerous when used inappropriately. When religion or religious practices stop helping and start to cause addiction to the cause, physical or emotional pain and suffering, and even death – either by direct action or by indirect consequences – then I believe that specific religion/practice has outlived its usefulness and should go extinct. Similarly, when people see religion as only a business opportunity – that opens up an entirely new can of infectious little germ-covered worms.
This unethical practice seems to be rather common on the lunatic fringe where we find people like Jim Bakker and his Jim Bakker Show and store, Alex Jones with his Infowars and Store, and the website Now The End Begins that have taken it even further by trying to connect all kinds of way out fringe-focused conspiratorial ideas connecting misinterpreted passages from the bible to Bill Gates and other prominent people, 5G, RFID, vaccinations, COVID-19, BLM, democrats, republicans, liberals, NWO, CERN, aliens, ancient Egypt, etc. Throughout all their rhetoric, these hucksters are almost always asking for donations to support the spreading of their bizarre ideas and they almost always have storefronts where they hawk their “snake-oil medicine” products and “cures.”
I have no issues with people following their chosen politics, religions, or lack thereof.
I have no issue with people trying to make a living.
But what I do have a huge issue with is people who play on the fear and uncertainty of others by using religion for profit and as a way to instigate and spread fear of facts, reality, science, and modern-day technology and medicines that have saved countless lives and have the potential to save millions or even billions more – by attempting to connect it to their own misinterpretation of ancient educational texts written by agrarian farmers and shepherds with absolutely no possible knowledge of today’s world.
Opinion: The proprietors and authors of these self-righteous websites, books, videos, and products are nothing more than snake-oil selling charlatans who are doing much more harm than good all while waving their books, bibles, and fists in the air spouting harmful half-truths and conspiracy theories while selling health and life “protection” products that have zero and/or manufactured evidence to support their lunatic fringe claims.
These crooks do not care about you.
They just want your money.
My advice to anyone reading this is to ignore all the lunatic fringe fear-focused conspiracy theory spouting madness. Follow the science and the peer-reviewed evidence wherever it leads, and critically question everything.
As Neil DeGrasse Tyson once said:
Current technology, evidence, my own experience in the field of veterinary medicine, extensive experience with wildlife conservation/research using radio-telemetry (tracking) technologies and techniques, and a huge shot of critical thinking skills, science knowledge, and good old home-grown common sense – have all come together to tell me this: there is a physical and functional limit to the size and functionality of RFID implants, Quantum Dot tattoos, tracking devices, batteries, and GPS/WiFi/Bluetooth technologies. Therefore, it is just not possible that Bill Gates or anyone else has or is planning to inject/insert/install or implant microscopic devices into our bodies using vaccines or any other nefarious means for the purpose of tracking our movements, controlling our minds, or allowing us to buy and sell goods and services.
Even if Mr. Gates or anyone else did secretly have the technology to make RFID/radio/GPS/cellular/WiFi/Bluetooth transmitter, battery, and antenna technology microscopic and then roll it into a tracking device small enough to pass through a vaccine sized (or any other) hypodermic needle/applicator device and then inject it into my or into your body hidden within a dose of a “vaccine” or any other injection of antibiotics, medicines, fluids* – what purpose would that really serve?
*Oh no OH NO!!…maybe they are in cahoots with the doctors and dentists and they are implanting things into you while you are under anesthesia for surgeries or dental work…or maybe it is location tracking nanobots in the vitamins you have been taking since you were a child…or maybe it is all being orchestrated by the reptilian aliens who live in the hollow…or wait, was it a flat earth …or maybe it is flat AND hollow at the same time???!!!…
Just WTFE!!…what the frack ever.
In all seriousness folks, what real and functional purpose would it serve to have yet another way to track you or me and why would “they” do it in secret when “they” are already openly and with our consent tracking us through our smart devices, personal computers, via mobile device tracking such as following cellular telephone pings/sensor data. What about the ability to track our purchases and therefore the restaurants/businesses/locations we frequent, oh, and let us not forget our internet browsing activity. Why on earth would “they” need yet another way to track us and to what end? As I have said before and I will say it again:
Outside the obvious goal of profit – what other functional purpose would that serve?
I can see and hear “them” now, clustered together, hunched over their quantum-gigabrain-magma-powered supercomputers in their secret volcano-cave lair sequestered away on some remote unnamed south-Pacific tropical island;
” Oh, look, guys, Steve is at work. Now he is at home. Now he is at work. Now he is at home. Now he is at the store – and the barcode scanner reports he just bought vegan ice cream – oh my! Now he is at a friend’s house, sitting around a campfire with friends. Now he is at the store again – look, he bought some BEER – mmm and it’s chocolate porter! Now he is at the bank – he just deposited $200 – Mr. Moneybags! Now he is walking in the forest. Now he is back at work and he is 20 min. early today. Now he is at home watching TV. Now, finally, he is sleeping…listen, everyone: get ready to initiate the mega-micro-mind-control chip so we can use Steve to take over the world!!! Mwuhahahahahahahha!!!”
Sign Me Up
In, my opinion: if “they” – be they Bill Gates, Bill Nye, Dr. No, Dr. Octopus, Dr. Moreau, or Dr. Evil – really want to go to all the unbelievably complex, technologically impossible, and monumentally expensive trouble to design, manufacture, and implement a microscopic tracking device small enough to be injected via a vaccine needle AND with a battery/power source small enough, yet somehow energy-dense enough, to last more than three weeks, AND with an antenna small enough and undetectable enough to pass through a “vaccine-sized” needle – yet be functional enough to allow it to generate some scientifically usable location data at a distance…then so be it. If they can do all these things then I would love to see this amazing piece of cutting edge technology in the flesh…or in MY flesh!
That’s right, if this technology was or ever does become a reality, I would gladly and voluntarily sign up to be one of their test subjects for this amazing new location tracking technology that would revolutionize the science of micro-scale tracking devices ushering in a new era of tracking technology awesome that would revolutionize the field of wildlife telemetry tracking, species conservation, and study, and well – everything and anything one could dream up to track – including humans – so bring it on.
Honestly, I just do not care if “they” know where I am.
“They” already do.
As I have stated before “they” have been tracking us for years through our computers, phones, and purchases – why would “they” need another way to track us and even so…
I just do not care.
If “they” want to waste their time coming up with ways to track me, so be it. I have far more important things to worry about today – like ice cream.
From my point of view, I am just another one of the 7.5 billion humans on this third rock from the sun and I am in no way important or strategic enough for anyone in high places to want or need to waste any time designing microscopic tracking devices to follow me around my mundane, uneventful little life. And I hate to break it to you but most of you out there reading this are most likely just like me – we are not in any way strategic or worthy enough to warrant a microscopic vaccine-injected tracking device (if there ever was, is, or ever will be, such a thing).
Oh, now I hear you saying it “Your freedoms have been violated, man! – Fight for your rights and your god* given freedoms!” (I do not capitalize god because there are thousands of recognized gods. Out of respect for all other religions and cultures – I choose not to capitalize.)
To that I say – really, you are going there as well?
This has nothing to do with your or my perceived freedoms and everything to do with a highly virulent viral organism that just does not care about me, you, Bill Gates, or anyone. All it wants to do is use your body as an incubator – a viral factory to make many more of its kind with its “goal” being to infect and infest as many people as possible to make even more of its own kind. To what end, I have no idea and I will not speculate. Viruses are a part of nature and nature does not have a purpose or an agenda – it just is. Nature will go on with or without us. If you want to be a part of nature then you will need to start putting your beliefs, ideologies, and desires aside and start listening to the science that is telling us to follow the evidence wherever it leads and then make our life choices based on that evidence and that reality.
You and I are part of nature.
We receive all of our life necessities from nature – food, water, air, shelter, space.
Yet, nature does not care one bit about you, me – anyone.
It is a well-known scientific fact that parasites and predators want to feed upon your body – no matter who you are and be you alive or be you dead. Viruses and other harmful microorganisms want only to use your flesh as an incubator for their multitudinous offspring – all without asking your consent. These creatures and organisms are not “bad” or “evil” they just exist as parts of nature and they are proof that nature does not “care” about any of us and that we are just another animal, another cog in the wheel, another strand in the web of life – we are bound together with, interconnected to, and a lifelong part of nature. You cannot change this fact no matter how hard you try, wish, pray, pontificate, or profess.
Nature does not need us.
We need nature.
This is why it is up to you and you alone to care for yourself, for your loved ones, and for all the other human beings you share this planet and this thing called life with.
Furthermore, it is not like the MIB’s and friends abducted me while I was sleeping, strapped me to a cold metal operating table, lasered me open, shoved a futuristic nanotech tracking “implant” (taken from the aliens preserved at Area 51 – LOL) under my liver, sewed me up, plopped me back in my bed, then flashed me with a neuralizer – that one was last year (ROTFLOL).
Feel free to believe all the pseudo-scientific, anti-scientific, and outright nonsense around this topic if you wish, but if you do choose that route, then I fear you have had too much downtime during this pandemic and may have been reading and believing way too many conspiracy-focused blogs, podcasts, and posts on social media and watching way too many negatively focused fear-mongering TV programs, movies, and YouTube videos.
It is your choice
It is your choice to not trust science, your choice to not get yourself or your children vaccinated, your choice to destroy 5G infrastructure, it is your choice to wear tinfoil hats, it is your choice to put your trust and belief behind the mouth-breathing snake oil salesman, charlatans, and drama, hate, and fear-mongering doomsday predicting soothsayers.
Your choices of what to believe and what stories to share may, in fact, feed all your conspiracy theories – but if these choices are not sound, reasoned choices based in evidence and reality, then these evidence-lacking choices may very well endanger the health and lives of you, your loved ones, your friends as well as your social and personal connections.
Please, make your choices wisely.
Oh no, I hear you saying it, and you really went there: “Aren’t you worried about getting autism from the chemicals in the vaccines!?!”
No. Again, just no.
Everything is made of chemicals and toxicity comes from the level of concentration. Water is toxic if you ingest too much.
I once mistrusted vaccinations. Why – because I listened to those who were fearful, those who chose to not trust the evidence. I finally decided to stop living my life in fear and do my own research. I looked at all the reports from the fearful factions and from the peer-reviewed science. I gave both “sides” a chance to explain the “why” of their positions, I followed the evidence and the evidence fell in the favor of science. This evidence did not need propping up by anything other than the data and the facts. This evidence was not attempting to “convert” me over to its side as all the conspiracy theorists seemed to be doing with all manner of first-hand stories, accounts, videos, movies, “documentaries” podcast interviews, memes, etc. The evidence for the power of vaccinations stood alone and rock solid. This is why I choose the “side” of science and this is why I always will.
The facts and the evidence support the following: the only thing vaccines “give” those that choose to receive them – is immunity to nasty diseases such as Polio, Rabies, Smallpox, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis, Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Varicella, Zoster(Shingles), Influenza, and many others…and soon COVID-19…oh and gray hair (you get to live a long life free of disease.)
However, since vaccines – like all medicines – are designed to work with the majority of humans, and since all human beings are not all exactly the same – therefore, we all react differently to medications – including vaccines. Just like there are some people who exhibit sensitivities, allergies, and side effects to certain pain killers/NSAIDs, antibiotics, cold/allergy medicines, etc. – There are also some people that may exhibit vaccine side effects and vaccine sensitivity issues. Others may have pre-existing conditions that could possibly cause rare and possibly dangerous reactions, problems, and syndromes if they receive vaccines and/or other medications. If this is your case then please consult with your doctor and other immunology experts on the direction you should go to protect yourself from the higher chances of infection you might face due to your sensitivity and/or incompatibility with vaccines.
In the future, the personalized medicine approach will custom-fit medicine and treatments to each individual’s genome, and then, hopefully, medications and vaccines will be customized for each individual’s specific needs thereby limiting any sensitivity issues, reactions, or dangerous syndromes.
For now, however, and for the majority of people, vaccines are safe and the small chance of having a few side effects when compared to having a life-threatening/life-altering disease is by far the better choice. Like any medical treatment, vaccines are not perfect, but they are most often the most appropriate choice to protect you and your loved ones from the harm caused by the microscopic organisms out to use your body as an incubator for more of their kind.
Oh, and just so we are clear on this topic: vaccines do not contain nefarious microscopic tracking devices.
We need to collectively stop looking everywhere for fear focused, manufactured “conspiracy theories” surrounding COVID-19 (and so many other things) and try to focus more on facts, evidence, logic, reason, and reality.
If your doctor and lifestyle suggest vaccinations are the best and safest option for you and your family – then please, do the right thing and get vaccinated for whatever nasty bugs are the greatest danger in your part of the world.