Category Archives: Covid

Covid-19 and Covid-19 Vaccines

Ever since covid-19 appeared in 2019, the world seems to have gone mad. For some reason covid seems to have been identified with something like the bubonic plague, which killed between a third and a half of the population of Western Europe alone. To date fewer than three million people worldwide have died with covid. No comparison! Indeed, over the last year, far more than 3 million, some 50 million, have died from all the normal causes, above all, from old age. Death is natural and inevitable for everyone in our fallen world. Some seem not to know this tragic but obvious fact.

Worldwide we have witnessed extraordinary lockdowns, which have bankrupted hundreds of thousands of businesses, indeed whole sectors of  economies, made tens of millions unemployed, brought millions to near-starvation in many poorer countries, caused mass depression, and indebted the public of many countries for generations to come.

Instead of warning the vulnerable (that is, those with very low immunity, that is, the elderly and those suffering from serious underlying diseases, such as cancer, severe diabetes, severe asthma, heavy smoking, obesity etc) to stay at home as much as possible and take special care, governments have disrupted the lives of all. Instead of targeting the vulnerable through urgent advice, governments with their bullying lockdowns have forbidden by diktat the rest of us to get on with our lives, limiting our freedoms, enacting draconian laws, causing panic, depression and even suicide. Were such reactions by governments through panic or incompetence? We do not know. In any case, these government reactions have spawned the most incredible conspiracy theories about plots for social control, including that covid does not even exist!

Let us be frank: many of those who died would have died anyway. Probably many who died lost only a few months off the end of their lives. And even among the over 90s the survival rate of those infected in this country has been 85%. For the under 50s, the survival rate of those infected is incredibly high. Nevertheless, tens of thousands of elderly have died in thousands of care homes. Worse is the fact that some 10,000 deaths have been of much younger people who were perfectly healthy. Perhaps they had some previously unknown genetic immunity deficiency? We just do not know. It is these people, Mr and Mrs Anybody, who have been the real victims.

In this country one previously healthy 26-year old Russian woman died. Three weeks ago, her body was taken back to Latvia where she was buried by her grieving family. In a hospital in East London lay one of my parishioners. Aged under 40, he was on a ventilator for seven weeks, between life and death. Despite the incredible care of hospital staff which I witnessed on my three visits, despite our prayers and those of the many Christian hospital staff, and of his wife and two small children, he lay in a ward with many others of his own age. (On average over a third admitted to intensive care die and 70% of them are men). He passed away; please remember Oleg in your prayers.

Now we come to the question of vaccines. Naturally we ignore EU nationalism and isolationism, apparently provoked by their jealousy of the way in which the UK government has very efficiently protected its population through a vaccination programme. Thus it seems, the UK may avoid a third wave, as has begun in Continental Europe already, causing further strict lockdowns, bankruptcies, mental anguish and deaths.

The Astra Zeneca vaccine has been given at cost (£3 per dose). Clearly, sooner or later, airlines are going to refuse to take passengers who have not been vaccinated. Imagine the liability claims if an unvaccinated passenger gets on a plane and infects others and someone dies. Airlines will go bankrupt. The same is true for many sectors, from health and social care to hotels, even to plumbing companies, who know that people will not accept plumbers into their homes if the plumbers have not already been vaccinated.

Are vaccines made from aborted babies? Please read the following:

https://fullfact.org/online/foetal-cells-covid-vaccine/

https://www.chop.edu/centers-programs/vaccine-education-center/vaccine-ingredients/fetal-tissues#

As we can see, the short answer is no. However, it is also historically more complex than that, as you can read above, because cell strains from two aborted babies are involved.

Why were human embryonic kidney and lung cells from two aborted babies needed to replicate viruses in the 1960s? I discovered that human embryonic cells – fibroblasts – must be obtained from embryos as they only exist in embryos. For example a lung fibroblast is a specialist cell (a stem cell) which has the ability to become lots of different types of lung cell. The cell still has 46 pairs of chromosomes inside it (not 23) so its job is to keep on dividing itself (so it can become lots of other lung cells).  That is why it is so useful if you want to use it to duplicate a virus, you insert the virus and its job is to copy itself lots of times. These cells are only available in the early stages of embryonic development, in a newborn they would have all turned into lung cells with 23 chromosomes. The most important fact, which some overlook, is that the two babies in the 1960s were not aborted in order to make the vaccines. They would, tragically, have been aborted anyway.

However, because of just a small number of cells taken from two embryos decades ago and then replicated artificially, millions of people have been saved from rubella and other diseases from which so many used to suffer and die. For it is not just covid-19 which has been developed from embryonic cell lines. Four such vaccines exist, including that against rubella. This is a fact – just as it is a fact that two aborted babies are at the origin of the cell strains involved.

These babies have saved millions. It is so easy for some to be confused and imagine that babies are being cloned for every batch of vaccine and the cells are directly inside each syringe. It is not at all true. If it were the case, the episcopates of each Local Orthodox Church would long ago have banned vaccinations. They have not. On the contrary, a good many bishops of all Local Churches have encouraged vaccinations against covid. The Synod of the Georgian Orthodox Church has stated that all are free to choose. It is in that spirit that this article is written: to present facts and to leave all free to choose.

Everybody should have the choice and nobody should have to have a vaccine (unless it falls under essential for their profession, for example hepatitis vaccines for nurses in the UK). We wonder if people do as much worrying about every food, cosmetic, clothing, or medicine they come into contact with?

Let us not confuse cause and effect, as do the atheist conspiracy theorists. A cause can be bad, but an effect good. For we believe in the God, Who can always make good from bad. For example, many of us ultimately are Orthodox thanks to the Russian Revolution. Does that mean we approve of the genocide of tens of millions of Orthodox by a Marxist State after that Revolution? Of course not! In the same way, the cells of babies who died many years ago have saved millions. From bad, there is good. Now it is for each person to make their own choice about vaccination. This is already the case on Mt Athos, where vaccinations have started for the monks who wish. All must make up their own mind.

 

 

 

Consequences of Covid

Now that the covid epidemic, with so far three million victims worldwide, is beginning to come to an end, we can see certain consequences. For example, we have seen a huge acceleration in the inevitable growth of online sales and the use of plastic money. What perhaps would have happened over the next ten years in any case, will have happened in only one year.

However, there have been other consequences. These include the bankruptcy and unemployment caused by government deprivation of liberty (so-called ‘lockdowns’, in fact lock-ups). In order to protect the 5% of the vulnerable, the other 95% have had their lives upset or even ruined. And then there has been the psychological damage and distress caused by these lock-ups. Their extremity has given rise to countless paranoid conspiracy theories, which confuse cause and effect and attribute to panicky and hysterical governments and media an intelligence and competence which they clearly lack. These theories have been fatal to the mental health of those who have no faith and believe that sinister men successfully rule the world, and not the Divinity, as is the true case.

Another phenomenon has been vaccine nationalism. The ultra-nationalistic EU has tried to deride and deny the Oxford Astra-Zeneca vaccine, with dire consequences for its peoples. And Western countries have derided the Russian and Chinese vaccines, which, if anything, seem to be superior to and have been produced faster than Western vaccines and will save the Third World from covid. Certainly, they must be superior to the only Western vaccine that has been associated with the cells of aborted babies, that of Johnson and Johnson in the USA. That vaccine is to be avoided at all costs.

However, another consequence of covid has been the accelerated and permanent closure of churches. For instance, the Church of England is preparing to close 20% of its churches, some 3,000 altogether. Having closed its churches and deprived its people of services during covid, many there have now become accustomed to ‘zoom services’. After the lock-ups are over, many will not bother to go back to real services. Why bother? It is much more comfortable to sit in your armchair and watch others. And having seen the clergy, especially the episcopate, so frightened of possible death, many, very many, have concluded that their clergy are mainly atheists anyway. And they are probably right. We fear God, not death. If, that is, we actually believe.

These scandalous deviations have also affected fringe Orthodox dioceses. Priests in one group in the USA have attacked their bishops who forbade them from giving the faithful communion. One bishop in Great Britain actually banned his priests from giving confession! And, again in the USA, one church in Chicago is up for sale, as the local bishop so upset his flock with his covid hysteria that they stopped going. After all, if a church is merely an ethnic club or an empty ritual, it may as well close down and cease existing. Its closure is no loss.

As for zoom services and zoom confessions, I have told everyone that there is no such thing. Physical contact is necessary for sacraments to take place. We are not Protestants. Zoom services are fit only for a consumer society, not for an Orthodox Christian society. The Church is not virtual, but real.

 

Covid-2019 at the end of 2020

And there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. (Matt, 24, 7-8)

Nearly exactly 0.1 (one in a thousand) of the UK population has now died with covid-19 (in an average year the death-rate is 0.94%, nearly one in a hundred). How many real excess deaths there have been is debated, since how many would have died anyway is unknown. Notably, however, although the death-rates in the UK, the US, Italy, France and Spain are very similar, the death-rate in Germany is about one third of them. This suggests that the definition of ‘died with covid’ is totally different there. In Germany all those who are listed as ‘died with covid’ died because covid played a major role in their death rather than a minor one.

Now that there are 35,000 infections per day in the UK, even according to official statistics, it is a matter of debate, what will happen first by next July: will all have obtained immunity or will all have been vaccinated? Last summer an immunologist from a famous London hospital informed us that his guess was that a third of the population had already been infected even by then. The degeneration of the virus into a new, more contagious, but less harmful strain is a sign that the end of it is coming; it is always like that. Normality will return next year. Clearly, only the tiny minority with very low immunity has been tragically affected.

This largely means those already dying from serious illnesses, mainly the very elderly (the average age of death is 83), sometimes as the result of a poor diet and obesity, smoking, alcoholism and drug-taking, sometimes as the result of some tragic illness like cancer or diabetes, or else, fortunately very rarely, as the result of a genetically deficient immune system. These last cases are very tragic and account for 1% of the total numbers of deaths with covid and have largely occurred among those between 20 and 40 (the under 20s are basically not affected and 90% of them have no symptoms at all). This virus is ageist and the younger have suffered much less from it.

Nevertheless, there has been much tragedy and those who are vulnerable to the virus (probably 1% of the population) should take the utmost care. Others must behave responsibly, compassionately and considerately towards them. However, during the time of covid ten times more people than those who died with covid have, as every year, died of old age, illness and accidents. Some of these have died prematurely, as their treatment has been neglected by a covid-attacked health system that as a result of chronic underfunding has been in crisis for decades. Because governments have for decades refused to fund the training of healthcare staff, the NHS relies on cheap imports.

Thus the government policy of building and equipping emergency (‘Nightingale’) hospitals has been shown to be absurd – after all, there is nobody to staff them, which is why they have largely remained empty. Many have died by suicide at the prospect of no future, offered them by totally irresponsible media which have promoted despair. The suicides and frequent depression and anxiety among the non-believing population should remain on journalists’ consciences for the rest of their lives. True, however, many people switched off the media long ago and the impression is that journalists are largely talking to themselves in an incestuous feast of gloom.

Similarly, the government which has destroyed or damaged the lives of millions through its irrational lockdowns of the national economy. Clearly, as a result of government anti-democratic totalitarianism (not allowing the individual to choose how to live), irresponsibility, incompetence and sheer panic, it will take years for the country to recover. Western democracy is increasingly being seen as the myth it is. After the crass lies about Iraq and then Brexit, media and government alike are totally distrusted on covid. Few believe liars and the government and media alike have almost totally discredited themselves. The exceptions are the elderly and naïve, who still actually believe that the BBC tells the truth!!

The only real question is: will the virus bring repentance? Because if not, other pestilences will follow. This is a warning. Accept death as the only inevitable reality of human life and learn how to deal with it through faith and everything will take on a completely different perspective. Atheists find it very difficult to deal with this reality, as death is their taboo. That is why their reality is a living death, the zombified life of the undead. The taboo can only be overcome through faith, which alone brings hope. Until then Western societies will remain crippled by joyless faithlessness, cynical hopelessness and the sorrows that inevitably come to all atheist societies throughout history.