What will you choose – Immunity or a Vaccine?

Actor and comedian Jim Carrey once said “150 people die every year from being hit by falling coconuts. Not to worry, drug makers are developing a vaccine”.

I was seriously infuriated while watching the UNICEF advertisement for vaccines. It shows children waiting for the vaccines to come so that they can go back to their normal life and play. In fact so many people are endorsing the upcoming vaccines so much that it seems these vaccines are so kind of flagship smartphone from Apple or Samsung. I understand that everyone is anxious and really undone by the lockdown and are stuck at home with dwindling resources. But, will the vaccine solve anything, even if we are able to develop a few?

Experts believe that even if the trials are fast-tracked then also a normal human being will have to wait until 18 months to get the shot. What if between this time period one gets infected or suffers some other ailment. I hear nobody is talking about this.

Vaccines are just tip of the iceberg

There are 15 companies in the US and numerous around the world that are trying to develop a vaccine against the COVID-19. Some of them are planning to start clinical trials in a few months. But a few things are bothering a lot of people. First of all, let us get some perspective here. The drug that we consume for various ailments requires a lot of investments by the big pharma companies. Not only financial strain but it takes up to 12 years to get all the approvals from the FDA in case of America and a similar timeframe in most of the developed countries. In the US the patent is valid for only 20 years from the date of the invention of the drug. Considering the time taken to get the drug approved, it will carry the patent for about 10 years. If this drug fails to sell in the market, then pharma companies incur huge losses. This is what was happening with all the major pharma companies in the US and even other countries for the past decade.

But due to this pandemic and the whole fiasco around it, FDA is left with no choice but to conduct fast track approvals for supposed vaccine candidates. Many companies have come up with experimental vaccines that are in the phase II trial stage.

Now you see, what’s happening? The fear of the disease is making us believe that the vaccines will save us. As these pharma companies are skipping animal trials because of the scenario created by the popular media and propaganda news agencies humans will become the lab rats. And mind you, if you get some kind of allergic reaction or some other disease because of the vaccine you can file a petition with the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. Redressals are time taking and seldom one gets any reprieve.

One more thing. How will you ever create a vaccine that is ever-evolving like the coronavirus? There are about 10 strains in India itself. Thus, it will become a yearly shot for everyone. I think we have to search for answers somewhere else. Vaccines are definitely not the answer.

Immunity is the key

Immunity boosting foods are safer and help you combat germs.

I live in a part of the world where we fight off deadly diseases through age-old home remedies and easily available condiments. For example, we eat a lot of ginger, garlic, and turmeric that have anti-bacterial properties. It is also being emphasized in our culture to have a lot of Vitamin C rich food like lemons, oranges, and grapes to boost immunity. Another really important food that should be integrated into the daily diet is green leafy vegetables. All these foods are really valuable for general health. Viruses like the coronavirus will come and go, but your immunity is the only thing that will help you in combatting deadly diseases.

Lessons from the past

Influenza patients getting sunlight during the Spanish flu of 1918. (National Archives)

During the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic when all hopes were being lost a possibility emerged from a little known technique today. It was found that the patients who were treated in open-air recovered faster than the ones that were treated indoors. At that time, open-air hospitals were set up to cure influenza patients. A combination of sunlight and clean air acted as a germicide killing deadly viruses and bacteria. Even the healthcare workers and doctors were benefitted with this technique. The people at that time called this the open-air factor and it was helpful in the day time and even during the night.

What else can you do?

We are sitting at home, eating, watching Netflix and some of us might be working as well. But, you can do a few things differently to make a lifestyle change. Try to be in the sun for at least 15 mins daily. Walking is one form of exercise that is really helpful for everyone. A 30 min’s walk wherever possible can do wonders to your overall health. Maintain hygiene at all times. More importantly, keep yourself busy. Take up a project, write something, connect with people, take an online class, or read books that were on your list. Keeping busy will help you maintain good mental health. One last thing is to be hydrated at all times. You have to drink more water than usual during these testing times. It will help faster fluid exchange and create conditions for your cells to work properly. Drinking water also helps maintain a better heart rate and blood pressure.

This is not going to end soon!

Data-Driven Estimation of End Dates (updated on April 29)

People who are hoping that the pandemic will get over in just a few weeks are in for a shock. A data-driven prediction of COVID-19 suggests that the pandemic will get over around December in the world as a whole. Although some countries might recover fully in August some might take more time. Thus it is clear the infection will stay with us for longer than expected. The only thing we can do is never let our guard down and work on our immunity to create a shield.

The sad part of this pandemic is that the establishment and the governments around the world are not acknowledging these anecdotes from the past and various cultures. Our body accepts these natural substances readily and responds to them positively. But instead of propagating these substances that do not have any side effects, the government machinery is advertising the good for nothing vaccines.

Although this pandemic is a great advertisement for big pharma companies. They have been able to instilled fear and created a demand of virtually 7.2 billion units of COVID-19 vaccines. Do not forget that the virus is mutating and you will require to have a repeat shot after a year or so. It’s a very profitable business. The establishment and the big pharma nexus do not care if you live or die, it’s up to you now. You can use the anecdotes and optimize your lifestyle and wait until a vaccine arrives.

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