As Covid is here to stay – an excerpt from Breaking Together, forthcoming 2023

Some of the research I have been doing over the past 3 years for my forthcoming book on societal disruption and collapse seems too urgent to sit on until June this year. The poor state of public discussion about the Covid pandemic is a reason why I am sharing a section from Chapter 5 of the book. I believe my approach reflects how research analysts like myself used to approach matters of public concern before discussions became polarized (and somewhat hysterical) during the pandemic. I hope more of us will take that approach in future and then be heard, rather than shadow banned and demonised by people who used to behave better.

“As Covid is here to stay, it is worthy of some closer consideration of its impacts on society.

With a relatively low infection fatality rate in the near term, the initial impacts of the disease itself do not constitute a threat of societal collapse. However, at the time of writing, pathways have been identified for how the pandemic could contribute to such a collapse. The first of these is the nature of the virus itself and how it could turn out to be causing long-term damage to health and vitality, as well as suppressing immunity in general and even being carcinogenic. The second of these pathways is the currently uncertain longer-term effects of some novel vaccines, which have already been associated with significant negative health effects. Then there are the wider effects of the policy responses including massive disruption to government finances and the authoritarian turn of mainstream media, big technology platforms, and sections of the general public, as well as the backlash against all of that – together creating a combustible mix. As this is such a polarized and polarizing topic it’s rare that the relevant information is brought together in one place, so I will briefly attempt that here so that the nature of the risk from Covid can be appreciated. 

A year into the pandemic, evidence started to show the virus could damage cardiovascular systems, nervous systems and mental capacities.[i] In addition, evidence was emerging that the experience of long-term symptoms (named ‘long Covid’) could involve not just the damage from the period of initial infection but also damage from the virus establishing viral reservoirs in endothelial cells, persisting within the body for many months until those endothelial cells die naturally.[ii] That was particularly concerning because of evidence that the virus could disrupt both the body’s natural and adaptive immunity against infections. That would lead to secondary viral, bacterial, and fungal infections plaguing patients more frequently after initial Covid infection. Worse for public health, it could mean that other pathogens could reach an exponential rate of growth within a population due to the higher degree of immunodeficiency after Covid infections – and then evolve into new strains.[iii]

Another concern is that evidence emerged in 2022 that the virus was likely genetically engineered to include code that happens to disrupt one of the mechanisms within our cells to combat the origination of cancers. [iv] This was shocking to me when I first learned about it. The key thing to know is that on the spike protein of the virus, there is a sequence of RNA that top researchers state, in a peer reviewed scientific journal, is “highly unlikely” to be naturally occurring. This particular piece of code makes the virus more able to attack human cells, therefore making the disease more infectious and virulent than other coronaviruses. But the concern about this likely-engineered part of the virus is far greater than that. Cancer in our body is caused when our cells don’t replicate correctly and start going haywire. The first line of defence against cancer is therefore within our cells, which have two kinds of complex proteins that gobble up any deviant DNA. One of these two cancer fighting processes is disrupted by the novel, likely engineered, part of the Covid virus.

At the time of writing, the extent of the carcinogenic effect was unknown. It was also unclear the extent to which the vaccines might produce a similar effect with the spike proteins they generate in our bodies to mimic the spikes of the Covid virus. One of the factors influencing that effect from either the virus or vaccine is how long those spike proteins remain in our body. If there is an effect on the occurrence of cancers, then it might take years for any effect to appear in the public data, if at all. Another issue that was not being discussed in expert or mass media circles at the time of writing was that this dangerous and likely-artificial sequence in the spike protein could be produced by a technology patented by the vaccine producer Moderna.[v] That indicates that if the virus came from a laboratory, as seems likely, then it used US technology. The reason this fact was not discussed widely may have been because it would fuel ‘conspiracy theories’ about the origin of the virus and possible hidden intentions behind mass vaccinations using the novel mRNA technology. If young people start getting cancers at highly unusual rates, then it might even give rise to outcries and rebellion against the health authorities, medical facilities and corporations involved, from around the world, as well as new geopolitical tensions. 

If this is the first time you have heard about these aspects of the virus and potentially the vaccines, then that reflects the power of the corporate propaganda and censorship during the early years of the pandemic, which ensured widespread ignorance about the science of vaccinology and the risks involved with any new vaccine. Aside from the short-term vaccine injury statistics that were deeply concerning, uncertain longer-term effects of the novel vaccines were beginning to be taken seriously in the medical profession.[vi] The blood clotting and damage to hearts had been identified as rare side-effects, which then led to speculation about the long-term damage from the spike proteins of some of the vaccines potentially persisting in organs throughout the body.[vii] The unknown significance of the carcinogenic nature of the spike protein of the virus was also leading to concern about whether that might be a longer term problem from some of the vaccines as well. There was also the concern that some of the vaccines would compromise the body’s ability to fight off future variants of Covid. That can occur if the immune systems of vaccinated people try to fight off earlier versions of a virus that mutates in ways that evades their immune response.[viii] It can also occur by a complicated process whereby the antibodies from previous infections or vaccinations then accidentally help future versions of the virus to infect immune cells.[ix]

Cumulatively, by 2022, the impact from the virus itself, as well as potentially counterproductive vaccines, was showing up in data on employment in many countries. Statistics from many countries showed an increase in the amount of time off work due to sickness since.[x] However, the biggest novel phenomenon in many countries was the amount of people who were quitting their jobs. The Wikipedia page on this ‘great resignation’ phenomenon was fascinating for the data it cites from around the world, such as a million people quitting technology jobs in India in 2021 and 6% of the workforce in Germany quitting that year (which is more than double the norm).[xi] One study found that exhaustion was a contributing factor to people resigning their jobs.[xii] As we saw in Chapter 1, the economic system requires expansion for its stability, and so there is little systemic resilience to a disruption from a disease. What might have been a smooth slowing down could become a crash because of the monetary system. 

There have been wider effects on society from the policy responses to the pandemic. These include the disruption to government finances and the monetary system that I described in Chapter 2, which bring destabilizing inflation and undermine the monetary system. The restrictions on travel, commerce, movement and schooling in many parts of the world also had significant impacts on health and wellbeing, especially on small businesses and the self-employed.  The number of global poor rose to over 800 million people in 2020, much greater than the 672 million initially expected.[xiii] The World Bank estimated there were nearly 100 million people in Covid-induced poverty in 2021.[xiv] From 2019 to 2022, the number of undernourished people grew by as many as 150 million. The disease itself did not cause that number of people to fall into poverty or go hungry, but the policies in response to the pandemic contributed to it, alongside impacts from climate and conflict.[xv] An authoritarian turn in the mainstream media, big technology platforms, and much of the general public, meant that policy options were rarely discussed in an open-minded way. Instead, people were demonized and censored for disagreement with a policy paradigm that focused on movement restrictions, masks and mass vaccinations, rather than immunity-boosting nutrition, empowering workers to stay home if symptomatic, safe and cheap repurposed medicines, and targeted protections for the vulnerable.[xvi]

The response of the authorities reminds us again of the problem of ‘elite panic,’ which is the widely known phenomenon during crises where authorities cause worse problems through their reactions, driven by wanting to be seen as acting decisively while being mostly interested in shoring up their own power (it is something we explore further in Chapter 13, because it is so relevant to an era of societal collapse). Their response also illustrates the problem of ‘regulatory capture’ by corporations, so that policies allied precisely with the profit motives of large pharmaceutical companies. Lockdowns, masks and mandates, along with false statements about vaccine safety and efficacy, and the suppression of alternative approaches, all served to increase demand for the vaccines that generated unprecedented profits for their manufacturers. [xvii] How this situation both contributes to, and constitutes, a breaking of societies, is something that we will explore further in Chapter 7. What I wish to note here is that the backlash against the orthodoxy from authorities has led to the growth of networks that, quite understandably, dismiss the views of experts that work with government agencies. That has both positive and negative implications, including how societies might respond well to other crises, such as the ecological crisis described in this chapter and the next. At a minimum, the polarization between people accepting or rejecting the Covid orthodoxy creates a new schism in society that can be exploited by elite or commercial interests on either side of that divide. Unfortunately, that can only harm the ability of modern societies to respond intelligently to further cracks on both the surface and within their foundations.”

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[i] Full article: COVID-19: from an acute to chronic disease? Potential long-term health consequences (tandfonline.com) https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10408363.2020.1860895

[ii] Gastrointestinal symptoms and fecal shedding of SARS-CoV-2 RNA suggest prolonged gastrointestinal infection – ScienceDirect https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2666634022001672

[iii] What If COVID Reinfections Wear Down Our Immunity? | The Tyee https://thetyee.ca/Analysis/2022/11/07/COVID-Reinfections-And-Immunity/

[iv] All of the data in this paragraph comes from the following study: MSH3 Homology and Potential Recombination Link to SARS-CoV-2 Furin Cleavage Site (frontiersin.org)  https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fviro.2022.834808/full

[v] All of the data in this paragraph comes from the following study: MSH3 Homology and Potential Recombination Link to SARS-CoV-2 Furin Cleavage Site (frontiersin.org)  https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fviro.2022.834808/full

[vi] Curing the pandemic of misinformation on COVID-19 mRNA vaccines through real evidence-based medicine – Part 1 | Malhotra | Journal of Insulin Resistance https://insulinresistance.org/index.php/jir/article/view/71

[vii] Innate immune suppression by SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccinations: The role of G-quadruplexes, exosomes, and MicroRNAs https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S027869152200206X 

[viii] SARS-CoV-2 vaccination in the context of original antigenic sin (tandfonline.com) https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/21645515.2021.1949953

[ix] Multiple Routes of Antibody-Dependent Enhancement of SARS-CoV-2 Infection | Microbiology Spectrum (asm.org) https://journals.asm.org/doi/full/10.1128/spectrum.01553-21

[x] Absenteeism from work due to illness, days per employee per year – European Health Information Gateway (who.int). Average sick days per year over several countries:

2016 10.11 / 2017 10.52 / 2018 11.43 / 2019 11.22 / 2020 12.86 / 2021 12.52

[xi] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Resignation

[xii] RCN Employment Survey 2021 https://www.rcn.org.uk/news-and-events/news/uk-rcn-releases-results-of-member-employment-survey-301221

[xiii] The Pandemic Stalls Growth in the Global Middle Class, Pushes Poverty Up Sharply | Pew Research Center https://www.pewresearch.org/global/2021/03/18/the-pandemic-stalls-growth-in-the-global-middle-class-pushes-poverty-up-sharply/

[xiv] Updated estimates of the impact of COVID-19 on global poverty: Turning the corner on the pandemic in 2021? (worldbank.org) https://blogs.worldbank.org/opendata/updated-estimates-impact-covid-19-global-poverty-turning-corner-pandemic-2021

[xv] https://www.actionagainsthunger.org/the-hunger-crisis/world-hunger-facts/ World Hunger Facts & Statistics | Action Against Hunger

[xvi] It’s time for more of a citizen’s response to the pandemic – for a real #PlanB https://jembendell.com/2021/10/23/its-time-for-more-of-a-citizens-response-to-the-pandemic-for-a-real-planb/

[xvii] Curing the pandemic of misinformation on COVID-19 mRNA vaccines through real evidence-based medicine – Part 1 | Malhotra | Journal of Insulin Resistance https://insulinresistance.org/index.php/jir/article/view/71

3 thoughts on “As Covid is here to stay – an excerpt from Breaking Together, forthcoming 2023”

  1. Dear Dr Bendell,

    This is not a comment on chapter 5. Dorian Cave asked me to translate a text called ‘avoiding authoritarian responses to our predicament’.

    Because I was disturbed by the text, I wrote a reply to him to share with the people who made the text. It was not a well written letter, rather heavy handed and repetitive, I admit. Still I am surprised that Dorian did not acknowledge having received it. I am attaching the letter and documents I sent along with it. It would be good to hear from the authors of the text perhaps with your reaction included.

  2. Something else, a point that you might wish to ponder: you are one of the very (VERY) few people who get it about the horridly botched and lie-lousy and corporation-toadying and anti-worker (and perhaps other things even worse) nature of the covid response, while at the same time getting it about climate change. This really is extremely unusual. I can easily count on my fingers the people of like kind, and I’ve been actively looking for 2.5 years — mostly on twitter, but elsewhere as well. Almost all covid dissenter types are climate denialists, and almost all of the climate aware are credulous covidian shitheads.

    Maybe we should start a club. It is lonely hereabouts. But I guarantee it will be a small club.

    Sincerely, alan2102z (twitter)

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