The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man. – G.B. Shaw
It has long been known by psychologists that we perceive risk in quirky ways. We are not very good at assessing risks in modern life, where the main dangers are so dissimilar to those in our evolutionary past. People fear flying more than driving, even though there is a much smaller risk of death or injury per mile flown than per mile driven. It takes careful mathematical analysis to correct our primitive biases and misunderstandings about risk. And we must always beware because clever people with an agenda know how to deceive with statistics.
This essay provides a schematic account of how to determine the net benefit or detriment the COVID injections provide. In the process, we shall see how the health authorities who control the data manipulate their presentation of statistics in such a way as to make a proper risk-benefit analysis all but impossible, in pursuit of an agenda to get everyone injected regardless of individual benefit. The imputed agenda is not speculative; it is obvious from the fact that the health authorities are pressuring even those with a more robust and enduring natural immunity to get the injections on top of that.
The guardians of the official narrative are pleased to have you believe three propositions: (1) SARS-COV-2 is a very dangerous pathogen; (2) the risk of negative outcomes from the virus (principally hospitalization or death) can be greatly reduced by getting “fully injected” (still only two doses in most countries, but soon to increase); and (3) the risk of negative outcomes from getting injected is very low, “rare” even. When you believe all three of these vague and almost meaningless propositions, it is easy to convince you to mask-up, social distance, shelter in place, get the jabs, show your papers, and attack anyone who doesn’t do likewise. Those who try to translate these claims into useful statistics are troublemakers. Nevertheless –
Let us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherized upon a table;
Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
…Streets that follow like a tedious argument
Of insidious intent
To lead you to an overwhelming question …
Oh, do not ask, “What is it?”
Let us go and make our visit.
1. Is SARS-COV-2 a dangerous pathogen?
A pathogen’s danger is a product of two variables: transmissibility and virulence. These properties tend to change over time as the virus evolves. RNA viruses like SARS-COV-2 are especially prone to mutation and rapid evolution. In an otherwise stable environment, basic evolutionary theory predicts that respiratory viruses like SARS-COV-2 will become more transmissible but less virulent over time. Despite early attempts by the health authorities to raise the alarm, the Delta variant is now understood to fit this pattern: it is about four times more transmissible than the original variant, but much less likely to result in serious illness or death.
As for virulence, the outcomes experienced from an infection run the gamut from none at all (by far the most common) to death (unusual to very rare). Moreover, the probability of experiencing a negative outcome rises exponentially with age and infirmity, such that the old and infirm are about 10,000 times more at risk of hospitalization and death than the young and healthy. Children are at near-zero risk for reasons that go beyond having a more nimble and adaptive immune system. The virus’s spike protein binds to the ACE2 receptors in certain types of human cells; but children do not yet have very well developed ACE2 receptors, so the virus finds it difficult to gain entry into children’s cells.
Health authorities do not assist understanding when they report the “overall” or “average” risk posed by an infection (when they do even that much). This needlessly frightens people with the lowest-risk age and health profile while giving cold comfort to people with the highest-risk age and health profile. The health authorities should be routinely providing a breakdown of hospitalizations and deaths by age and major co-morbidities, and up-dating the information with the rise of each new variant.
People have great difficulty processing risks when they are expressed in numbers like “10,000 times greater.” It would greatly assist our understanding of the risk posed by this virus if, in addition to an age and co-morbidity breakdown, the health authorities offered comparisons with illnesses that are commonly experienced, such as the seasonal flu. We have known from very early in the pandemic that children are between five and 10 times more at risk of dying from the seasonal flu than from COVID. It would be illuminating to know this comparison, among other common-risk comparisons, for every age and health grouping. We might then have a better grasp of whether or not panic is called for.
One indication that the SARS-COV-2 virus might not be a great deal more virulent than the seasonal flu which it displaced in 2020 is that the total number of deaths in many countries has not deviated much from the linear trend line of the past five years. And insofar as “excess deaths” are found, it is very unclear whether they are a result of the virus or of the government’s panicked reaction to it. An increase in deaths from drug overdoses, suicide, sedentary isolation, lack of access to diagnostic and “non-emergency” health care, and so on, are also already evident in the data.
Ostensibly, the reason the health authorities do not provide these age and co-morbidity breakdowns, or comparisons of the risks of SARS-COV-2 with other common risks we face, is that the authorities are primarily concerned with stopping transmission of the virus as a means of stopping negative outcomes from increasing and overwhelming the health-care system. It might be unnecessary to delve deeply into the data if the virus were extremely pathogenic and transmissible, like Ebola or the bubonic plague or even the Spanish flu; or if the data were difficult to obtain. But none of those things is remotely true.
Among the most at-risk age group, the survival rate is around 95% (without even employing any of the effective treatment protocols now known to exist). Also, children and asymptomatic people do not transmit the virus, or not enough to be of much concern. Large-scale studies from Sweden and Scotland have shown that teachers are no more at risk of COVID than the average worker in those countries – and likely do not catch it from the children, anyway, but from co-workers or others they encounter in their outside-of-classroom life.
2. How effective are the injections?
The effectiveness of the injections is almost always promoted using a “relative risk reduction” statistic rather than an “absolute risk reduction” statistic. The following table, derived from the data in the U.K.’s “Second Generation Surveillance System,” can be used to illustrate the different ways of reporting injection effectiveness. Before delving into the numbers, however, it is important to register a complaint about how the categories in the table are generated. The population is divided into the “unvaccinated” and the “double vaccinated.” But of course there is a third category: the incompletely vaxxed. It’s not that these folks are unaccounted for in the table reproduced below; rather, they are deceptively lumped in with the “unvaccinated.”
The “double vaccinated” category, in fact, includes only people who tested positive, were hospitalized, or died 14 days after receiving their second dose. Thus if you went to the hospital or died 13 days after getting your second jab, you would still be counted as an “unvaccinated” casualty of the virus. Since 80% of the adverse reactions to the injections occur within this two-week window, it is entirely likely that some of those suffering adverse reactions to the injection were miscounted as “unvaccinated” victims of the virus.
Three negative outcomes are measured in this table: “cases,” hospitalizations, and deaths. The effectiveness of injections against each outcome is given as a relative risk reduction statistic in the shaded columns. A negative sign indicates that the injections increase the risk of a negative outcome rather than reduce it – which was found to be the case in the four age groupings from 40 to 79, and in the over-50 age grouping, for “cases.” The way to interpret this data is that the injections do not reduce, but rather enhance, transmission among more than half of the population.
This finding is not as paradoxical as it might sound. It is consistent with “antibody-dependant enhancement,” a process found in a variety of circumstances by which antibodies actually increase the infectivity of a virus. Reports have started coming out that suggest the vaxxed, when infected, contain much higher viral loads than the unvaxxed, and may actually be “super spreaders” rather than barriers to transmission. No wonder the U.K. government decided not to proceed with vaxxports. In the race to end the pandemic, vaxxports are the equivalent of participation ribbons.
With respect to hospitalizations, the relative risk reduction of the injections ranges from 67% to 100%; and for deaths it ranges from about 70% to 90%. A treatment that is 70% to 100% effective sounds impressive, indeed! However, a quite different impression is to be had from looking at the absolute risk reduction of the vaxxes, which can be calculated from the “per 100,000” columns in the table. To use whole numbers rather than decimals, the numbers are multiplied by 10 and results are stated in “per million.” Here is how the calculation goes for a few select examples.
Consider first how much the injections reduced hospitalizations among the over-80 age group in the U.K. For every million double-jabbed people, 141 still went to hospital for COVID, because the jabs aren’t perfect; whereas for every million unjabbed, 556 went to hospital for COVID, because our unaided immune systems aren’t perfect, either. Assuming that none of these people caught COVID after going to the hospital for some other condition, this means that 415 people over 80 were saved from a hospital visit with COVID for every million in that age group who were double-jabbed. This is an absolute risk reduction of 0.0415%.
Similarly, for every million double-jabbed people under age 50, two died of COVID; whereas for every million unjabbed people under age 50, five died of COVID. Assuming the deaths were genuinely “from COVID” rather than merely “with COVID,” this means that three people were saved from dying for every million who were double-jabbed, which converts to a 0.0003% absolute risk reduction. (The relative risk reduction in this category is actually 60%, not the 53.6% found in the table. N.B.: always recheck others’ work!)
If people have a hard time processing numbers in the tens of thousands, they have a much harder time processing numbers in the millions. What does it really mean that two million injections save 415 hospital visits or three deaths? It might be due to the difficulty of grasping such numbers that the health authorities choose reporting the “vaccine effectiveness” using the relative risk reduction statistic. Let’s proceed and see.
3. How safe are the injections?
When the health authorities talk about the risks of the injections at all, they tend to report them using a form of absolute risk statistic that minimizes the negative outcomes. “Sure,” they admit, “people can experience anaphylaxis, myocarditis / pericarditis, Bell’s Palsy, bleeding and clotting, neurological disorders, death, and a host of other adverse reactions to the injections… But don’t worry, they are rare! Only a few hundred or a few thousand of each of these outcomes has been reported out of tens or hundreds of millions of doses administered!”
Clearly what is required to do a proper risk-benefit analysis is to convert both the effectiveness of the injections and their adverse reactions into a common statistic – such as negative incidents per million double-jabs – so they can be compared “apples to apples.” Most of the statistical reporting by the health authorities prevents any such comparisons. One report is available, however, that can be used for illustrative purposes.
Public Health Ontario produced a report to examine one specific type of adverse reaction to the injections that gained prominence earlier in the summer, namely heart inflammation (i.e. myocarditis and pericarditis), especially among young men. The most alarming statistic in the report is that, among males aged 18-24, there were 263 reports of myocarditis or pericarditis per million doses after the second dose of the Moderna shot. Note that myocarditis and pericarditis cause life-long injuries to the heart; the condition might be called “long Moderna.”
Public Health Ontario is not alarmed by this statistic. They say that long Moderna is a “rare” adverse reaction, and conclude by advising young men to continue to get the jabs. They define ‘rare’ as an event that occurs between 0.01% and 0.1% of the time. And indeed, 263 reports per million jabs is 0.0263% – thus “rare.” But by the same token, the absolute risk reduction for hospitalization with COVID for a person aged 18-29 in the UK is only 0.0094% – so very rare, barely a third as likely. Why would a public health authority advise anyone to accept a risk of 0.0263% of getting myocarditis or pericarditis, in order to reduce their risk of ending up in hospital with COVID by a mere 0.0094%?
The risk of getting myocarditis or pericarditis from the jab among women and older age categories, or from the less potent Pfizer injection, is considerably lower than the 263 per million used here for illustrative purposes; but it is still in the tens per million. And this is for only one type of adverse reaction! One statistical trick employed by the health authorities is to separate each type of adverse reaction into its own small category with its own small risk, rather than adding them all together into something that would be comparable to “hospitalizations” on the benefits side of the ledger. Again, we are searching for “apples to apples” comparisons.
Based on our discovery of the true risk of long Moderna, it is already difficult to take on faith that the jabs produce a net benefit for the vast majority of the population. The fact that public health authorities would so flagrantly misrepresent the safety of the Moderna injection for men aged 18-24 should put everyone on their guard. If a sound risk-benefit analysis produced results that clearly supported getting the jabs, surely the controllers of the narrative would happily persuade us with the detailed data needed to establish their case.
4. Additional complications.
All of the preceding analyses are based on reported risks, which as has already been noted are significantly under-counted because 80% or more of the adverse reactions are actually counted as negative outcomes for the not-fully-vaccinated. We have no idea how many adverse reactions (such as heart attacks) go unobserved because they are masked by pre-existing conditions, or are simply not looked for – like the reactivation of latent viruses (such as herpes zoster), or cancer. We have no idea how many adverse reactions go unreported because the health authorities are trying to defend a narrative and an agenda, and so suppress this data.
And then there is the whole category of unknown, long-term risks. Doesn’t anyone remember thalidomide anymore? Undoubtedly the most frightening of the “unknown” long-term risks of the injection program is the possible incubation of escape variants. Injecting billions of people with leaky “vaccines” whose effectiveness rapidly wanes creates a perfect breeding ground for variants that escape the narrow antibody immunity generated by the spike protein technologies. We risk immersing ourselves in a never-ending pandemic by starting an arm’s race between variants and vaxxes that only Mother Nature can win.
Finally, it must be noted that the effectiveness of the injections is always measured relative to a “standard of care.” The more effective the prevailing standard of care is, the less effective the injections will turn out to be, for the simple reason that better care means fewer opportunities for the injections to do their work. If we had a pill that was 100% effective and safe, then the injections (no matter how good otherwise) would show zero effectiveness, since it is impossible to improve upon a baseline of zero hospitalizations or deaths. Conversely, if the prevailing standard of care were to apply leaches to the infected, then giving them injections instead would save many more lives than they save with the existing standard of care.
Regrettably, the standard of care behind the U.K. data above is scarcely better than applying leaches: when you feel COVID symptoms or test positive in the U.K., you are sent home to self-isolate until you can’t breathe, at which point you are brought to the hospital and put on a ventilator. This poor standard of care makes the effectiveness of the injections artificially high. What if, instead, the standard of care had been to send people home with any one of a dozen early treatment protocols that have shown some effectiveness – an assortment of vitamins and minerals, ivermectin or HCQ or quercetin, antibiotics and corticosteroids, monoclonal antibodies, nebulizing hydrogen peroxide, etc.? Injecting people against a standard of care that is just about as good as the injections themselves would produce all of the risks of injections with virtually none of the benefits.
It is beyond the scope of this essay to assess the evidence in favour of and against various prophylactic and treatment protocols, or even to engage in a battle of links on the subject. It is worth noting that in central Africa, Uttar Pradesh, and other poor regions of the world where ivermectin is used, it appears to crush even the Delta variant quickly and decisively. By contrast, wealthier countries like Israel and Gibraltar, which have very high rates of vaxx up-take, continue to experience world-beating surges in cases. How can spending trillions of dollars on first-world vaxx technology produce worse outcomes than spending pennies on third-world remedies?
Saying that people who try ivermectin are eating “horse dewormer” is like saying that people who take a tall, cool draft of water are drinking fire retardant. When the CDC conducts a campaign to ridicule people who try something that is listed by the World Health Organization as an “essential medication,” you know they are pushing an agenda. If people do not trust the health authorities, the authorities have only themselves to blame. The blood is on their own hands.
People who fulminate and pound the podium, demonizing the “vaccine hesitant” for not “following the science,” are being disingenuous at best. Science is pedagogic, not demagogic. The reason for “vaccine hesitancy” is that the health authorities have done an abysmal job of persuasion, with evidence that only they control. We need a much better breakdown of the harms the virus does to different groups of people, and a much better tracking and reporting of the full range of adverse reactions to the injections. And we need an honest discussion of the treatments that are available, as opposed to censorship and threats to the livelihoods of the scientists and medical practitioners who are pursuing them. We deserve better than health authoritarians.