“Hope springs eternal in the human breast; Man never is, but always To be Blest.” -Alexander Pope (1688-1744)
GOOD NEWS: As you probably have heard, good news travelling almost as fast as bad, Johnson & Johnson has announced that it may have a vaccine for COVID-19 available within a few months. Would that the news be true!
BAD NEWS: Vaccines, however, can be more harmful than helpful. Recall the Salk-vaccine that caused polio or the flu-vaccine in 1976 that caused cases of Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS). To paraphrase William Congreve in 1693, Act in haste, repent in leisure. The pressure from our power-hungry, panic-stricken politicians to release a vaccine, any vaccine, is immense. It was the same sort of political pressure that caused in 1986 the explosion of Challenger. Let a premature “cure” not be worse than the disease.
As an example of the consequences of a politically-driven premature release of a vaccine as in 1976, the following excerpt is a description of GBS from the recent novel, Retribution Fever (2018):
Typically, GBS presents with paresthesia followed by muscular weakness followed by paralysis. The signs and symptoms can spread from the extremities upwards to the head or from the head downwards to the extremities. The latter variant especially is associated with respiratory distress. The loss of motoric function accompanied by pain can progress over two to three weeks followed by a period of stability for one to two weeks. Recovery usually requires several months to a year; in severe cases, it may be incomplete.
A potentially effective treatment is the use of high doses intravenously of immunoglobulin administered over a period of five days. Other immune-suppressing drugs may be useful although the use of corticosteroids remains controversial. More severe cases require a high level of intensive and expensive nursing care over a prolonged period.
“A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can exist only until a majority of voters discover that they can vote themselves largess out of the public treasury.” -Alexander Tyler (1747-1813)
Current governmental policies regarding the Chinese virus are amounting to the worst governmental power-grab in our peacetime history. Furthermore, to finance the policies, the politicians are forfeiting the financial futures of our young to benefit the voting old. Severe COVID-19 largely is a disease of the old and chronically infirm.
A safe, effective vaccine likely would thwart the current, political policies. To what extent Americans can regain that which already has been lost … or even want to … only time will tell.
In the end, what shall we Americans have learned? Be past prologue, nothing!
Note (30MAR2020): Please be advised that Amazon temporarily is refusing deliveries from small publishers using independent distributors. Not to worry! You still can get Retribution Fever via other booksellers such as Barnes & Noble, your independent bookseller if still open, or our distributor directly. Alternatively, the e-book remains available via Amazon as may some limited printed copies.