Category: Environmental catastrophe

Today’s Social Movements are Driven by Teenage Hysteria

Millenials no longer have regular contact with friends. Teenagers are even worse off. Their interactions with peers are mostly text-based, using carefully crafted online personae. A 2019 poll found that 27 percent of millennials have no close friends, and 22 percent have no buddies at all. When I read this, I was stunned. I thought, “This is a catastrophe for Humanity. How will those people, without any social skills, manage to develop close relationships and find a spouse, and raise the future generation?” These are the couples you see sitting at the same table, ignoring each other, texting.

Since about 2008, suicides among teenage girls have been on the rise; suicide ideation recently spiked under draconian anti-COVID measures. Isolation is a big part of the problem. The happiest old people live in Italy, where they are not sequestered but live among the young and help with the children. All people need mothers and grandmothers, aunts and cousins. When a girl reaches puberty—a particularly emotional stage—it is important for her to interact with everyone, not just other girls, so that she can see the ways she is the same and different from men and boys, and the ways she is (or is not) becoming more adult. For both boys and girls it is only by coming to understand what is different, that we learn who we truly are. But this has to be experienced out in the world, it cannot be found out when you are sequestered and shut away from society.

History has been punctuated by episodes of mass hysteria since ancient times, when Dionysian revels brought all the women together in ritual orgies. Priestesses led the procession and ensured everyone was inebriated. The rituals were intended to induce a transcendent state, bringing down societal constraints and unlocking a mystical, primordial nature. This was linked to the cycle of birth and death, and the wild abandon with which these rites were celebrated was indicative of the purest thrill of being alive. These natural Human impulses have been repressed since. 

Tortured souls long for release. Many events involve Nuns or students sent away to all-girls schools. Is there something about when a bunch of girls isolate together, that can lead to hysteria? 

Since the COVID hysteria, lockdowns and social distancing, isolation has gotten dramatically worse. Mass hysteria makes a toxic cocktail when combined with the smartphone. “Hysteria has always been a women’s issue, since at least 4,000 years. In Ancient Egypt, hysterical disorders were said to be caused by “spontaneous uterus movement within the female body.”

“In Greek mythology, the Argonaut Melampus cured virgins by urging them to have sex with young and strong men because their uterus was being poisoned due to a lack of orgasms.”

Hippocrates was the first person to use the word “hysteria,” from Greek hustera, ‘womb.’ He believed that the “restless” uterus was because of a woman’s “cold and wet” body — especially if it’s sexually deprived.[1]

In a psychogenic illness, a psychological trigger—rather than a biological or environmental one—causes actual physical symptoms. As sociologist Robert Bartholomew explains: “Mass hysteria is the placebo effect in reverse. People can literally make themselves ill from nothing more than an idea.” “In reality, it’s a collective stress reaction and found in normal people.”

Also known as mass hysteria or conversion disorder, mass psychogenic illness can be divided into two main types: anxiety hysteria (triggered by extreme anxiety in a close-knit group and causing dizziness, headaches and fainting) and motor hysteria (which disproportionately affects girls and women, and results from long-term stress, causing twitching, shaking, facial tics and other muscular convulsions). When a group of girls develop conversion disorder, it typically starts with somebody who is at the top of the social order.

Fifty years ago, with the advent of Beatlemania, they shared the experience by descending upon the venue and screaming their heads off. Many would faint, cry, scream. Though critics at the time wanted to write off the hysteria around the Beatles as yet another example of crazy, hormonal girls, or some kind of “social dysfunction,” their collective hysteria allowed a step outside of their prescribed identities. “Teen and pre-teen girls were expected not only to be good and pure, but to be the enforcers of purity within their teen society — drawing the line for overeager boys and ostracizing girls who failed in this responsibility,” saysBarbara Ehrenreich.

Has much changed? Girls are still expected to act a certain way — but screaming over a pop star gives them a sexual release that’s allowed.

We’ve always had this population of girls in severe distress, psychological pain; just not in the numbers we have today.  A typical reaction would be, “I’m so fat. If I just threw up more or stopped eating, I’d be happier,” increasing the spread of anorexia and bulimia through their friend groups.

Today, they’re doing it with transgender ideation. “Oh, if only I were a boy, my troubles would go away.” We’re seeing girls in greater psychological pain than we’ve ever seen. Teens and tweens, largely fueled by social media and feelings of inadequacy it produces, are more unhappy and in pain than we’ve ever seen before.

These are really fragile kids. And things that would be humdrum to prior generations are absolute crises for these girls, like getting dumped, like not fitting in with a group of friends. These are unpleasant things, but there are things that other generations were able to take in stride, and for these girls, are absolute crises.[2]

In the last decade, diagnosis of “gender dysphoria” — severe discomfort in one’s biological sex — has exploded across the West. Between 2016 and 2017, the number of gender surgeries for females in the US quadrupled; in the UK, the rates of gender dysphoria for teenage girls are up 4,400 percent over the previous decade. An ailment that typically began in early childhood, and overwhelmingly afflicted males, suddenly has a new dominant demographic: teenage girls.

In 2016, Brown University public health researcher Lisa Littman was scrolling through social media when she noticed that a group of teen girls from her small town in Rhode Island — all from the same friend group — had come out as transgender. She guessed that transgender identification had become one more peer contagion among adolescent females. Anxiety-ridden, middle-class girls who once engaged in cutting or anorexia were now wearing “binders” (breast-compressing undergarments), taking testosterone and undergoing voluntary double mastectomie

Their stories follow a pattern: A girl never expresses any discomfort with her biological sex until puberty, when anxiety and depression descend. The girl struggles to make friends. She immerses in social media and discovers transgender gurus. Or her school holds an assembly celebrating gender journeys, or hosts a Gay-Straight Alliance club pushing gender ideology. At first, she tries out a new name and pronouns. Her school encourages her, keeping all this a secret from her parents. Then, she wants more.[3]

EVENT DETAILS (see table above)

  • Witch trials in the early modern period from 1450 to 1750 reached their height 1580 to 1630.
  • Dancing plague of 1518 – a case of dancing mania that occurred in Strasbourg
  • Salem witch trials (1692−1693) – In colonial Massachusetts, adolescent girls Abigail WilliamsBetty ParrisAnn Putnam Jr., and Elizabeth Hubbard began to have fits that were described by a minister as “beyond the power of epileptic fits or natural disease to effect.”[10]  
  • Würzburg, Germany (1749) – an outbreak of screaming, squirming, and trance in a nunnery led to the execution of a suspected witch.[13]
  • Great Fear (1789) – a general panic that took place between 17 July and 3 August 1789, at the start of the French Revolution.[14]
  • In Monroe, Louisiana in 1952, 165 cheerleaders fainted during a football game. 
  • Tanganyika laughter epidemic (1962) – began on January 30, 1962, at a mission-run boarding school for girls in KashashaTanzania. The laughter started with three girls and spread haphazardly throughout the school, affecting 95 of the 159 pupils, aged 12–18.[30][31]  In June, the laughing epidemic spread to Ramashenye girls’ middle school, near Bukoba, affecting 48 girls. Another outbreak occurred in Kanyangereka and two nearby boys schools were closed.[30]
  • June bug epidemic (1962) – A mysterious disease broke out in a dressmaking department of an American textile factory. The symptoms included numbness, nausea, dizziness, and vomiting. Word of a bug in the factory that would bite its victims and cause them to develop the above symptoms quickly spread.[33] Soon 62 employees developed this mysterious illness.
  • Welsh, Louisiana (1962) – With students’ sexual activity under close scrutiny by school officials, and following rumors of mandatory pregnancy tests, 21 girls and one boy in grades six to eleven were affected by seizures and other symptoms over six months.[18]
  • Blackburn faintings (1965) – In October 1965, several girls at a girls’ school complained of dizziness in Blackburn, England.[34] Some fainted. Within a couple of hours, 85 girls from the school were rushed by ambulance to a nearby hospital after fainting. Symptoms included swooning, moaning, chattering of teeth, hyperpnea, and tetany.[34] A medical analysis of the event about one year later found that outbreaks began among the 14-year-olds, but that the heaviest incidence moved to the youngest age groups.[34] It was considered that the epidemic was hysterical, that a previous polio epidemic had rendered the population emotionally vulnerable, and that a three-hour parade, producing 20 faints on the day before the first outbreak, had been the specific trigger.[34]
  • Mount Pleasant, Mississippi (1976) – School officials suspected drug use after 15 students fell to the ground writhing, but no drugs were found and hysteria is assumed to be the culprit. At one point, one third of the school’s 900 students stayed home for fear of being “hexed”.[18]
  • Malaysia (1970s–1980s) – Mass hysteria in Malaysia affected school-age girls and young women working in factories. The locals have explained this outbreak as “spirits” having possessed the girls and young women.[35][36][37]
  • Hollinwell incident (1980) – Around 300 people, mostly children, but including adults and babies, suddenly had fainting attacks, nausea and other symptoms. The incident remains one of the prime examples of mass hysteria.
  • West Bank fainting epidemic (1983) – a series of incidents in March 1983 wherein 943 Palestinian teenage girls, mostly schoolgirls, and a small number of IDF women soldiers fainted or complained of feeling nauseous in the West Bank. The wave of complaints was ultimately a product of mass hysteria. This conclusion was supported by a Palestinian health official, who said that while 20% of the early cases may have been caused by the inhalation of some kind of gas, the remaining 80% were psychosomatic.[39]
  • Day-care sex-abuse hysteria – a moral panic that occurred primarily in the 1980s and early 1990s featuring charges against day-care providers of several forms of child abuse, including Satanic ritual abuse.[40][41]
  • San Diego (1988) – The U.S. Navy evacuated 600 men from barracks; 119 were sent to San Diego hospitals with complaints of breathing difficulty. No evidence of toxins, food poisoning, or any other cause was found.[42]
  • Kosovo student poisoning (1990) – alleged poisoning of thousands of Kosovan young people by toxic gases,[43] was concluded by professor of medicine Zoran Radovanović to be a product of mass hysteria.[44]
  • In 1998 in McMinniville, Tenneesse, a teacher noticed a gas-like odor and though the school was evacuated, her symptoms spread to 180 students and teachers. 
  • North Carolina (2002) – Ten girls developed seizures and other symptoms at a rural North Carolinian high school. Symptoms persisted for five months across various grade levels. Half of the affected were cheerleaders or former cheerleaders.[18][47]
  • Strawberries with Sugar virus” (2006) – In May 2006, an outbreak of the so-dubbed Morangos com Açúcar Virus (‘Strawberries with Sugar virus’) was reported in Portuguese schools, named after the popular teen girl’s show Morangos com Açúcar (‘Strawberries With Sugar‘). At least 300 students at 14 schools reported similar symptoms to those experienced by the characters in a then recent episode where a life-threatening virus affected the school depicted in the show.[48] Symptoms included rashes, difficulty breathing, and dizziness. The belief that there was a medical outbreak forced some schools to temporarily close. The Portuguese National Institute for Medical Emergency eventually dismissed the illness as mass hysteria.[48]
  • Mexico City (2006–2007) – Between October 2006 and June 2007,[49] near Chalco, a working-class suburb of Mexico City, mass hysteria resulted in an outbreak of unusual symptoms experienced by more than 500 adolescent female students at Children’s Village School (Villa de las Ninas), a Catholic boarding-school.[50][51] The affected students had difficulty walking and were feverish and nauseated, some becoming partially paralyzed.[49]
  • Vinton, Virginia (2007) – An outbreak of twitching, headaches and dizziness affected at least nine girls and one teacher at William Byrd High School. The episode lasted for months amid other local public health scares.[52]
  • Tanzania (2008) – In September 2008, 20 girls at a school in Tabora started fainting while taking their final year exams.[53] The mass fainting has been linked to neurosis related to the local practice of witchcraft.[54]
  • Afghanistan (2009–) – Starting around 2009, a spate of apparent poisonings at girls’ schools across Afghanistan began to be reported, with symptoms including dizziness, fainting, and vomiting. The conclusion of the investigators was that the girls had a mass psychogenic illness.[55][56]  
  • Brunei (2010) – In April and May 2010, incidents of mass hysteria occurred at two all-girls secondary schools in Brunei.[57] The most recent notable event happened on the 24 April 2014 in a public secondary school. Some of the students affected by the phenomenon claimed to have been possessed by spirits, or jinn, displaying histrionic symptoms such as screaming, shaking, fainting, and crying.
  • Le Roy, New York (2011–12) – After 12 high school girls developed Tourette-like symptoms in 2011, In January 2012, several more students and a 36-year-old adult female came forward with similar symptoms. They were all diagnosed with conversion disorder.[58][59]
  • Sri Lanka (2012) – From November 15–20, 2012, incidents of mass hysteria occurred at 15 schools in Sri Lanka. More than 1,900 school children of 15 schools in Sri Lanka and five teachers were treated for a range of symptoms that included skin rashes, vomiting, vertigo, and cough due to allergic reactions believed to be mass hysteria. 
  • Charlie Charlie panic (2015) – Four teens in Tunja, Colombia, were hospitalized, and several in the Dominican Republic were considered “possessed by Satan” after playing the Charlie Charlie Challenge viral game.[61]
  • 2016 clown sightings – Sightings of people in evil clown costumes in the United States, Canada, and 18 other countries were dismissed as a case of mass hysteria, stating that a fear of clowns (which is common in children and adults) may be an underlying cause.[62] 
  • Recurrent epidemic of mass hysteria in Nepal (2016–2018) – A unique phenomenon of “recurrent epidemic of mass hysteria” was reported from a school of Pyuthan district of western Nepal in 2018. After a 9-year-old school girl developed crying and shouting episodes, quickly other children of the same school were also affected resulting in 47 affected students (37 females, 10 males) in the same day. Since 2016 similar episodes of mass psychogenic illness has been occurring in the same school every year. 
  • KeterehMalaysia (2019) – In August 2019, the BBC reported that schoolgirls at the Ketereh national secondary school (SMK Ketereh) in Kelantan, started screaming, with some claiming to have seen ‘a face of pure evil’. Professor Simon Wessely a former president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, suggested it was a form of ‘collective behaviour’. Robert Bartholomew, a medical sociologist, suggested it was due to the stricter implementation of Islamic law in the school. 
  • Starehe Girls’ CentreKenya (October 2019) – 52 students were isolated with an unknown disease, showing symptoms of a high-pitched cough, sneezing and low-grade fever, a number that later rose to 68.[69]  Kenya’s Ministry of Health to the school concluded that the ‘mysterious’ disease was a case of mass hysteria.

[1] Hysteria and Teenaged Girls https://www.thehairpin.com/2015/03/hysteria-and-teenage-girls/

[2] Problematic Women: Transgender Movement Seduces Teenage Girls https://www.dailysignal.com/2020/07/30/problematic-women-transgender-movement-seduces-teenage-girls/

[3] How Peer Contagion may play into the rise of teen girls transitioning https://nypost.com/2020/06/27/how-peer-contagion-plays-into-the-rise-of-teens-transitioning/

Teen suicide by poisoning on the rise, especially among girls 

May 01, 2019, 4:50 PM BC (Before Covid)

Suicide rates among people of all ages have been increasing since the turn of the century, but a new study points out to a particularly sharp spike in suicides among one group of people: teenage girls.

Suicide is the second leading cause of death among people ages 10 to 34. While boys die by suicide four times more often than girls, the study found that a bump in suicide rates among teens ages 18 and younger since 2011 was primarily driven by teen girls who attempted suicide by poisoning themselves.

This alarming trend among teens was “really different from what everyone else was reporting,” Henry Spiller, director of the Central Ohio Poison Center and clinical professor at The Ohio State University College of Medicine, told ABC News. “There’s an enormous change in this group that we have to pay attention to.”

Spiller and his colleagues determined rates of suicide by self-poisoning by comparing data from the National Poison Data System from U.S. poison centers to data from the U.S. Census Bureau. They specifically looked at poisoning deaths that were suspected to be intentional, and found that rates of suicides by self-poisoning were stable or even down-trending between 2000 to 2011 before they started increasing up until 2018 — the end of the study period.

The most dramatic increase, they found, was in suicide attempts among children ages 10 to 15, which ranged from 126% to 299%. These increases were mainly driven by girls in these age groups.

Although the researchers couldn’t directly link the suicide attempts to any particular cause, they suspect that societal shifts in the way we communicate and use technology contributed to the rise. “Screen time and social media — they’re probably not helping,” Dr. John Ackerman, co-author of the study and suicide prevention coordinator for the Center for Suicide Prevention and Research at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, told ABC news. “The advent of social media and smartphones and the manner and frequency with which youth talk to one another have clear positive associations.”

https://abcnews.go.com/Health/teen-suicide-poisoning-rise-girls-study/story?id=62730632

Headlines from Children’s Health Defense

TOP NEWS OF THE DAY 
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Source: Children’s Health Defense

Bill Gates’s Book is Rubbish! Vedana Shiva

Russell Brand

In my latest Under The Skin podcast I spoke with Indian scholar, food sovereignty advocate and environmental activist #VandanaShiva. In this video she speaks about #BillGates‘s book, the colonisation of land and food production, however she provides us with hopeful and powerful words of advice that might help us challenge these Tech Giants and monopolies.

In this 15-minute video excerpt, Russell Brand interviews OCA’s longtime ally, Vandana Shiva, on how we can stop Bill Gates’ attempted takeover of our food system and the world. Gates’ new food dystopia of GMOs, fake meat, and industrial agriculture as Vandana and Brand point out, is just part of the global elite’s master plan, revealed clearly during the COVID-19 pandemic, to impose technocratic and authoritarian control over every aspect of our lives. 

As Shiva reminds us “we must recognize that the universe is divine,” and “we are part of a One Earth family.” We, the global grassroots, our biodiversity and environment are not just objects to be colonized, manipulated, and exploited. Even though Gates and his cohorts working overtime to panic, drive, and coerce the world into a Great Reset believe that they are invulnerable and all-powerful, they are not. 

Brand asks Vandana “what hope is there for a new world campaign” of resistance and regeneration? Shiva’s response, with her always hopeful and powerful words, is that we must ally ourselves “with the spiritual power of the universe” and “never give up.”

Antimicrobial Resistance Will Fool Your Immune System

  • The overuse of antibiotics, biocides and disinfectants to fight COVID-19 may “raise disastrous effects” for antimicrobial resistance (AMR)
  • The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the spread of AMR, as the majority of patients are treated with antibiotics, despite most not having a bacterial co-infection
  • The excessive and liberal use of antimicrobial products like household and industrial disinfectants, hand sanitizers and other cleaners is raising the risk of AMR in the environment
  • Your mitochondria, which play a role in antibacterial and antiviral immune responses, are an off-site target of certain antibiotics, thus antibiotic therapy may in turn may weaken your immune response
  • With proper “training” at regular intervals denied by COVID lockdowns, your immune system can overreact when triggered by ordinarily harmless substances, leading to allergies and inflammation

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has been declared one of the top 10 global public health threats to humanity,1 and it didn’t disappear once the COVID-19 pandemic appeared. Instead, it’s gotten worse, as infection control measures and hand hygiene using antimicrobial gels have become ubiquitous.

AMR causes about 700,000 deaths globally every year, but researchers estimated in mid-2020 that an additional 130,000 AMR deaths would occur in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.2 The number of AMR deaths will likely surpass the number of COVID-19 deaths by at least threefold — annually — by 2050,3 with some estimates suggesting AMR deaths may reach as high as 10 million deaths per year.4

Prior to the pandemic, antimicrobial stewardship programs5 had been set up worldwide to help stop the inappropriate use of antimicrobials in hospitals, long-term care facilities and other settings, but a review by scientists with Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences in Iran, published in Frontiers in Microbiology, predicts that an overuse of antibiotics, biocides and disinfectants to fight COVID-19 may “raise disastrous effects.”6 Further, the overuse of antibiotics may also be directly harming immune response.

Antibiotics Given to COVID-19 Patients ‘Just in Case’

Now remember that COVID-19 is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which means antibiotics are useless against it. Despite this, antibiotics have been used prophylactically throughout the pandemic for COVID-19 patients, typically using the logic that it could prevent bacterial co-infections.

However, the rate of secondary bacterial co-infections has generally been low, while the use of antibiotics has remained high. This isn’t a case of antibiotics being used strategically for patients who develop bacterial infections, but rather using them “just in case.”7 In a study of 38 Michigan hospitals, 56.6% of patients with COVID-19 were given antibiotics early in their stay, but only 3.5% of them turned out to have a bacterial infection.8

“For every patient who eventually tested positive for both SARS-Cov2 and a co-occurring bacterial infection that was present on their arrival, 20 other patients received antibiotics but turned out not to need them,” Dr. Valerie Vaughn, the study’s lead author, said.9 Other studies have revealed similar signs of rampant antibiotic overuse.

In a study of 99 COVID-19 patients in Wuhan, China, 71% received antibiotic treatment, but only 1% had bacterial co-infections.10 Overall, it’s estimated that 1% to 10% of patients with COVID-19 contract a bacterial co-infection,11 yet antibiotics remained a mainstay of treatment for the majority of cases.

Antibiotics Considered ‘Routine’ Part of COVID-19 Treatment

Despite decades of efforts to reduce the unnecessary use of antibiotics, one of the largest studies of antibiotic use in hospitalized COVID-19 patients revealed that such drugs are being used indiscriminately and inappropriately for COVID-19. More than half (52%) of the approximately 5,000 patients included in the study received antibiotics, and in 36% of cases, more than one antibiotic was given.12

Most of the time, in 96% of cases, the antibiotics were given before a bacterial infection was confirmed, either at admission or within the first 48 hours of hospitalization. As it turned out, only 20% ended up actually having a suspected or confirmed bacterial infection for which the antibiotics would be indicated. The rest received them unnecessarily. The Frontiers in Microbiology researchers explained:13

“It is noteworthy to be highlighted that the inappropriate use of antibiotics could considerably and silently lead to AMR development during this global outbreak. Unfortunately, recent studies reveal that, in several countries, common and extensive use of antibiotic treatment for COVID-19 hospitalized patients is considered as a part of the routine treatment package.”

Even the World Health Organization made it clear that countries were at risk of the accelerated spread of AMR due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They cited data showing antibiotic use increased throughout the pandemic. About 79% to 96% of people who reported taking antibiotics didn’t have COVID-19 but were taking them in the hopes of preventing infection, even though antibiotics don’t work against viral infections.14

Antimicrobial Overuse Could Damage Immunity

Antibiotics can cause a number of serious adverse effects, a little-known one being damage to your mitochondria, which are genetically closely linked to bacteria.15 Your mitochondria are responsible for most of your cellular energy production and also play a role in antibacterial and antiviral immune responses — and they’re an off-site target of certain antibiotics,16 which are known to inhibit mitochondrial activity, DNA synthesis and biogenesis.

“Thus, antibiotic therapy could be an important and not well appreciated cause of mitochondrial dysfunction. This in turn may weaken your immune response against the COVID-19 infection,” according to the featured review.17 In April 2020, scientists called for “urgent thinking out of the box” when it comes to antibiotics against COVID-19, as they noted:18

“ … mitochondria are vulnerable to antibacterial treatments, interrupting their physiology. Inhibition of these processes by antibiotics might render the immune system less capable of fighting acute COVID-19 viral infections.”

Concerning Overuse of Biocides and Disinfectants

The COVID-19 pandemic is poised to send antimicrobial-resistant disease sky high, as along with antibiotics overuse came the excessive and liberal use of antimicrobial products like household and industrial disinfectants, hand sanitizers and other cleaners.

The ramifications are immense and only beginning to be understood. There are potential adverse effects to human health from inhaling disinfectants, as such chemicals are known to accumulate in the lungs, liver, kidneys, stomach, brain and blood.19 Exposures were certainly elevated during the pandemic for many people, who were exposed to disinfectants by inhalation and oral routes, as well as via the skin and eyes.

There are also significant environmental concerns due to the “unusual release and dissemination of higher concentrations of biocide-based products into the surface and underground waters and also wastewater treatment systems” during the pandemic.20 When disinfectants and biocides enter the environment, they can wipe out beneficial bacterial species that are keeping drug-resistant microorganisms in check.

“[I]f the biocide concentrations reach the sub-minimum inhibitory concentration (sub-MIC), this event may augment the selective pressure, boost the horizontal gene transfer (HGT), and drive the evolution of AMR,” scientists warn.21

A team from the University of Plymouth in England also conducted a risk assessment to determine the potential environmental impact of prescribing COVID-19 patients antibiotics, which revealed, “The data for amoxicillin indicate a potential environmental concern for selection of AMR … ”22 The team urged such assessments be carried out in the future to keep tabs on the potentially disastrous effects of pandemic prescribing habits on AMR.23

Gut Microbiome Influences Immune Response to COVID

Antibiotics disturb your gut microbiome, which has far-reaching effects on your overall health, including your immune system’s ability to fight COVID-19 — marking yet another way that indiscriminate antibiotics usage is counterproductive.

When researchers with The Chinese University of Hong Kong analyzed gut microbiome compositions from 100 patients with COVID-19, they found gut commensals known to modulate the immune system were low compared to people without the infection.24 The makeup of patients’ gut bacteria — including both the volume and variety — affected the severity of COVID-19 infection as well as the immune response.25

Imbalanced gut microbiome could also contribute to the inflammatory symptoms associated with “long COVID,” in which symptoms persist for months after infection. According to the study:26

“In light of reports that a subset of recovered patients with COVID-19 experience persistent symptoms such as fatigue, dyspnea and joint pains, some over 80 days after initial onset of symptoms, we posit that the dysbiotic gut microbiome could contribute to immune-related health problems post-COVID-19.”

In the study, 50% to 75% of patients received antibiotics, while less than 7% had bacterial infections. While the researchers found no difference in outcomes with or without antibiotics, the drugs were not linked to improved patient outcome and, they noted, “it is still possible that a higher prevalence of antibiotic administration in severe and critical patients could worsen inflammation.”27

Isolation Disturbs Your Immune Response

Of all the negative effects of social isolation endured during the pandemic, those experienced by your immune system may be the last that come to mind, despite being among the most significant for your future health. What does staying home have to do with your immune system?

It alters your 24-hour light/dark cycle, on which your body is built to respond. With more time spent indoors, you have less sunlight exposure and less opportunity to produce vitamin D, which activates macrophages in your lungs that act as a first line defense against respiratory infections, among other immune activities.28

It’s true that taking vitamin D supplements can somewhat compensate for this, provided your levels are optimized, but other ill effects of lockdown are less easily remedied. Take exercise, another crucial component of a well-oiled immune response, that can reduce stress levels and diseases like heart disease and Type 2 diabetes, which are linked to worsened outcomes from COVID-19.

But even beyond that, staying indoors means you lose out on regular exposures to the natural world, which come with their own set of immune benefits. Trees release phytoncides, which people inhale and are known to alter natural killer cells.29 This is why, in Japan, shinrin-yoku, or forest bathing, is said to enhance immune function30 — but it’s difficult to spend much time immersed in the forest if you’re locked down at home.

The other factor that cannot be ignored is the lack of exposure to everyday dirt and germs that is missed when people stay home, socially distanced and sanitized. “Our immune system needs a job,” Dr. Meg Lemon, a Denver dermatologist, told The New York Times. “We evolved over millions of years to have our immune systems under constant assault. Now they don’t have anything to do.”31

What is perhaps most disturbing is that this comment was made in March 2019 — prior to the pandemic. Now, it’s exponentially worse, and your immune system is likely missing out on interactions with bacteria and other microorganisms that teach it, train it how to respond and keep it primed throughout your life.

Without proper “training” at regular intervals, your immune system can overreact when triggered by ordinarily harmless substances, leading to allergies and inflammation. Might a generation of children, kept isolated and masked, have immune repercussions when exposed to ordinarily routine childhood viruses post-pandemic?

Already, cases of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), which normally circulates in the winter, have popped up in the summer months, suggesting possibly increased immunological susceptibility.32

New Antibiotics Are Unlikely to Save Us

There are 43 antibiotics in clinical development, but none of them shows much promise for solving rapidly rising AMR, as innovation is stagnant — most “new” antibiotics brought to the market are variations of drug classes that have been around since the 1980s. Further, according to WHO’s annual Antibacterial Pipeline Report, antibiotics currently in development are insufficient to tackle AMR:33

“The 2020 report reveals a near static pipeline with only few antibiotics being approved by regulatory agencies in recent years. Most of these agents in development offer limited clinical benefit over existing treatments, with 82% of the recently approved antibiotics being derivatives of existing antibiotic classes with well-established drug-resistance. Therefore, rapid emergence of drug-resistance to these new agents is expected.”

Also at issue, hospital reimbursement systems discourage the use of expensive new antibiotics, because they are only reimbursed up to a point. This means patients may be given older drugs that won’t work as well to protect the hospital from financial losses.

Legislation to reform this — the Developing an Innovative Strategy for Antimicrobial Resistant Microorganisms Act — has been introduced to help open up the use of new targeted antibiotics for superbug infections.34 Preserving the efficacy of existing antibiotics is also important, and agricultural antibiotics overuse cannot be ignored in this equation.

Worldwide, most antibiotics are used not for human illness or companion pets, but for livestock.35Writing in the International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents, researchers stated, “the ongoing pandemic is stretching the limits of optimal antibiotic stewardship”36 and called for an end to unnecessary use of antimicrobial agents.37

So, be sure you always avoid antibiotics unless they are absolutely necessary. Additionally, choosing organic foods, including grass fed meats and dairy products, can help you avoid exposure to antibiotic residues in the food supply, while also supporting food growers who are not contributing to AMR.

You’ll also want to be careful in your use of disinfectants and sanitizers, using them sparingly and only when truly necessary, which — if you’re outside of a hospital — will be hardly at all.

Source: Mercola

https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2021/07/21/covid-19-antibiotics-overuse.aspx

Science Journals Engaged in Massive Disinformation Campaign

  • The Lancet and Nature have both promoted the natural origin theory for SARS-CoV-2, and refused to publish counter arguments and/or scientific statements by individuals with serious conflicts of interest
  • The Lancet’s COVID-19 Commission included Peter Daszak, Ph.D., president of EcoHealth Alliance, that collaborated with various universities and organizations on research in China, including the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV). He was recently taken off the Commission due to conflicts of interest
  • The Lancet’s COVID-19 Commission also includes Danielle Anderson, an Australian WIV virologist who left Wuhan shortly before the pandemic broke out. Anderson says she “does not believe” the virus is manmade. Anderson’s Commission biography does not mention that she worked at the WIV
  • In January 2021, 14 global experts submitted a letter to The Lancet in which they argued that “the natural origin is not supported by conclusive arguments and that a lab origin cannot be formally discarded.” The submission was rejected with the justification that the topic was “not a priority” for the journal
  • Richard Horton, the editor-in-chief of The Lancet is now being criticized for his long defense and support of the Chinese regime, and is accused of using The Lancet to pursue political causes and stifle scientific debate

More than a year ago, in February 2020, a group of 27 scientists wrote a letter published in The Lancet condemning “conspiracy theories suggesting that COVID-19 does not have a natural origin.”1

Although The Lancet — like other medical journals — requires contributors to disclose financial or personal interests that might be viewed as possible conflicts of interests with their submissions, the 27 authors declared they had “no competing interests.”

June 21, 2021, The Lancet published an addendum admitting that “some readers have questioned the validity of this disclosure, particularly as it relates to one of the authors, Peter Daszak.”2

As a result, The Lancet asked the 27 signers to “re-evaluate” their competing interests and to declare any “financial and nonfinancial relationships that may be relevant to interpreting the content of their manuscript.” So far, Daszak has updated his previous claim of having no competing interests to include a 416-word disclosure statement clarifying that, indeed, he had several conflicts of interest.

First, he is the president of EcoHealth Alliance, a nonprofit organization that receives funding from a “range of U.S. Government funding agencies and non-governmental sources.”

Second — and most importantly — Daszak also explained that, although its work with China is currently unfunded, he and the Alliance have collaborated with various universities and organizations on research in China, including the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV). Specifically, this work includes studies of bats and viruses, including “the isolation of three bat SARS-related coronaviruses that are now used as reagents to test therapeutics and vaccines.”

The Lancet Kowtowing to China

The COVID pandemic has brought attention to any number of problems within the academic arena. Disturbingly, we’ve discovered that scientific journals held in high regard for many decades — The Lancet has been around for 198 years — are colluding to censor important facts and stifle scientific debate. The Lancet statement deriding the lab leak theory as a conspiracy theory to be ignored is a prime example. As reported by the Daily Mail, June 26, 2021:3

“The Lancet letter, signed by 27 experts, played a key part in silencing scientific, political and media discussion of any idea that this pandemic might have begun with a lab incident rather than spilling over naturally from animals.

It was even reportedly used by Facebook to flag articles exploring the lab leak hypothesis as ‘false information’ … Yet it emerged later that The Lancet statement was covertly drafted by British scientist Peter Daszak — a long-term collaborator with the Wuhan Institute of Virology, which was carrying out high-risk research on bat coronaviruses and had known safety issues …

Four months later, The Lancet set up a ‘Covid-19 Commission’ to assist governments and scrutinize the origins. It was led by Jeffrey Sachs … Incredibly, he backed Daszak to lead his commission’s 12-person taskforce investigating Covid’s origins — joined by five fellow signatories to The Lancet statement … 

Last week The Lancet finally ‘recused’ him from its commission and published an ‘addendum’ to its statement detailing some of his Chinese links. Yet critics say the journal has still failed to admit that six more signatories to that February statement have ties to Daszak’s EcoHealth Alliance as directors or partners.

‘It would have been better for The Lancet to have stated that Daszak’s and other signers’ previous declarations were untruthful and to have attached an editorial expression of concern,’ said Richard Ebright, a bio-security expert and professor of chemical biology at Rutgers University in New Jersey.

Now The Mail on Sunday has learned that The Lancet is set to publish a second statement by these signatories that presses the case that Covid probably emerged through natural ‘zoonotic’ transmission from animals to humans.”

Richard Horton, the editor-in-chief of The Lancet is now being criticized for his long defense and support of the Chinese regime, and is accused of using The Lancet to pursue political causes and stifle scientific debate.4

In January 2021, 14 global experts submitted a letter to The Lancet in which they argued that “the natural origin is not supported by conclusive arguments and that a lab origin cannot be formally discarded.” Horton rejected the submission, stating it was “not a priority” for the journal.5

The Lancet also published an entirely made up study claiming hydroxychloroquine was dangerous. This fraudulent paper made the media rounds and led to countries banning the drug’s use against COVID-19.

Any medical journal worthy of a good reputation needs to be an open platform for wide-ranging debate. Horton’s refusal to publish the other side of the origins argument has without a doubt damaged the credibility and reputation of the journal. Tory MP Bob Seely told the Daily Mail:6

“The claims of a cover-up over the most important scientific issue of our time grow stronger by the day. It is vital we get to the truth over what appears to have been a cover-up on the pandemic origins with the collusion of journals such as The Lancet.”

Let’s also remember that The Lancet published an entirely fake study claiming hydroxychloroquine was dangerous. This paper using completely fabricated data made the media rounds and led to countries banning the drug’s use against COVID-19.

This too raises serious questions about the journal’s credibility. How was this fraud not discovered during the peer review process? Could it be that The Lancet allowed it because it would help protect the roll-out of profitable new COVID drugs and “vaccines”?

What’s Behind Science Journals’ Censorship?

What could possibly be behind science journals’ decision to silence debate in what appears to be a concerted effort to protect Chinese interests? In a June 18, 2021, article,7 Matt Ridley suggests it might have to do with the fact that “scientific papers have become increasingly dependent on the fees that Chinese scientists pay to publish in them, plus advertisements from Chinese firms and subscriptions from Chinese institutions.”

The Lancet is not alone in its less than objective stance on China. In 2017, the Nature journal admitted it censors articles containing words like “Taiwan,” “Tibet” and “cultural revolution” in its Chinese editions at the request of the Chinese government.8 “In April 2020 Nature ran an editorial apologizing for its ‘error’ in ‘associating the virus with Wuhan’ in its news coverage,” Ridley writes.9

Nature also attached an editorial note to several old articles, saying they were being misused “as the basis for unverified theories that the novel coronavirus causing COVID-19 was engineered,” and that “there is no evidence that this is true; scientists believe that an animal is the most likely source of the coronavirus.”

One of those articles, published in 2015, was titled “Engineered bat virus stirs debate over risky research.” The research being questioned was done by WIV researchers.Trending Articles on Mercola

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Gaslighting: Abusers Now Play the Victim Card

For the past year and a half, scientists, doctors, reporters and anyone else who dared point out blatant discrepancies in the natural origins narrative have been attacked and painted as quacks and dangerous conspiracy theorists. They’ve been censored, deplatformed and publicly defamed and shamed. Many a fine career has been ruined or seriously tarnished by baseless personal attacks.

Now that undeniable evidence is finally reaching critical mass, natural origin defenders are playing the victim card. For example, Amy Maxmen, Ph.D., a journalist for Nature for the past 13 years, has been covering the SARS-CoV-2 origin debate. In a May 26, 2021, tweet, she stated the “debate over a lab-leak has become toxic and risky.”10

Angela Rasmussen, Ph.D., a natural origin proponent, responded saying that “the origins debate has become a toxic milieu dominated by opportunists, dilettantes, racist/misogynist assholes, and trolls.”11 Rasmussen claims she’s been personally attacked and abused for trying to explain the natural origin theory.

The irony is that the same people who abused others for talking about the lab leak theory are now getting a taste of their own medicine, and they don’t like it. They’re the ones who have been peddling misinformation all along, and as the masses are catching on to the deceit, they’re catching heat.

To deflect and finger-point yet again, abusers are now playing the victim. Another tactic is to claim that attacks on them are attacks on science itself. Dr. Anthony Fauci, for example, has stated this on more than one occasion already.12,13 In a June 2021 MSNBC interview, Fauci said criticizing him was “very dangerous,” and that:14,15

“A lot of what you’re seeing as attacks on me quite frankly are attacks on science because all of the things I have spoken about from the very beginning have been fundamentally based on science … If you are trying to get at me as a public health official and scientist, you’re really attacking not only Dr. Anthony Fauci, you are attacking science.”

His comments didn’t go over well, based on social media responses.16 Reporter Glenn Greenwald’s Tweet will suffice to summarize the general consensus:17

“Beyond the dangerous arrogance and pomposity of proclaiming ‘anyone who criticizes me is attacking Science’ — thus placing himself off-limits from questioning — he *admitted* he purposely issued false, anti-science, politicized claims … Once you *admit* that you made false statements in violation of The Science™, you don’t then get to equate yourself to The Science™ such that attacks on you are attacks on it.”

Another example is that of Dr. Peter Hotez, one of the most shockingly hateful people in the medical field who has publicly stated he wants to “snuff out” vaccine skeptics and has called for cyberwarfare measures to be deployed against me and others who share vaccine safety information. Coincidentally, this public plea was published in the journal Nature.18

This man, who has spewed all sorts of vile language at parents of vaccine-injured children and called for physical harm and imprisonment of people who don’t agree with the one-size-fits-all vaccine agenda is now complaining about getting bombarded with “anti-vaxx hate speech.”19

Billions of Dollars at Stake

To circle back to the question of why prominent and previously respected science journals are publishing propaganda and suppressing open discussion, the most likely reason — aside from their dependence on Chinese publishing fees and advertising dollars — is the fact that if SARS-CoV-2 is proven to be a manmade virus that escaped from a lab (regardless of its location), billions of dollars in funding for gain-of-function research and even vaccine research could evaporate.

As a publisher of research, it makes sense that journals would be willing to protect the research industry as a whole, and provide a platform for chosen spokespeople — such as Hotez — who shamelessly promote the official narrative, no matter how tenuous or unscientific it might be, or how clear the conflicts of interest.

Here’s another case in point: June 28, 2021, Bloomberg tweeted out a short video featuring Danielle Anderson, an Australian WIV virologist who left Wuhan shortly before the pandemic broke out. Anderson says she “does not believe” the virus is manmade. In response, Hotez tweeted:20

“And we’re in agreement: SARS-2 coronavirus has natural origins, was not produced through GOF [gain-of-function] research, and probably has nothing to do with the Wuhan Institute of Virology.”

Coincidentally, Anderson is also on The Lancet’s COVID-19 Commission,21 the same Commission that Daszak was on. Her Lancet Commission bio22 says nothing about her work at the WIV, only that she is a senior research fellow at the University of Melbourne, Australia. Why is that? Is Anderson’s link to the WIV yet another “random coincidence” that has no bearing on her message? Or is it part of a pattern?

I believe the engineering of viruses and other pathogens is one of the greatest threats to life on earth at this point. We lucked out with SARS-CoV-2, as it turned out to be far less lethal than initially predicted. The next time we might not be so lucky.

As reported in July 2020, China has plans to erect high-security biolabs in all of its 23 provinces, despite concerns about leakage risks.23 Worldwide, there are hundreds of laboratories where this kind of research is taking place on a daily basis. Considering the history of lab leaks, it’s only a matter of time before something truly nasty gets out.