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:
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.