Where do we go from here?
STRAIGHT QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS?
In our current sound-bite society, people tend to expect simple answers that do not require further thought or analysis. So demanding of someone a yes or no answer to a simple question seems reasonable, But, some questions, however simple they sound, can be answered yes or no, and some cannot. When a member of congress or a trial lawyer, asking a question of someone testifying under oath, demands a yes or no answer, he or she is not necessarily trying to get at the truth. More often than not, the questioner is trying to create an impression favorable to their own point of view, without regard to the actual truth of the matter.
Demanding a yes or no answer is a clever way to entrap the person testifying and create a biased view of the issue under discussion. An obvious example is the classic example of a lawyer asking a man on trial “Have you stopped beating your wife yet? Yes or no?” Whether answering yes or no, that man is in trouble. The quite correct answer for an innocent person is no, but if the questioner cuts him off before he can explain that he never started beating his wife in the first place, the interpretation that he is beating his wife is improperly conveyed to the jury or listening public.
This devious tactic is actually being used by unscrupulous journalists and politicians on a regular basis today with regard to the current pandemic, to promote narratives favorable to their political points of view. Both sides of the lockdown argument use it, but it is more prevalent on the left because of their belief that mis-representation of fact is justifiable if it furthers the cause, which is assumed to be the “greater good”. This is clearly stated in Marxist doctrine as “the end justifies the means”.
The use of this tactic is less obvious than its use in the simple example above, but that is exactly what makes it more insidious. Let’s take a look at two questions that are prevalent examples: 1) Should you wear a mask any time you leave your home? And, 2) If a person tests positive in any of the tests prepared for the COVID-19 pandemic, then is that person a dangerous threat to everyone with whom he comes in contact? These questions are designed to be answered “yes!” by those who favor continuing the lockdown until the November election for political purposes. And most of us, because of the sound-bite mentality, are apt to think that “yes” is the correct answer. But, in fact, these are questions that cannot be answered yes or no without misleading, and a seemingly innocent knee-jerk “yes” answer to either of them perpetrates a dangerous mis-representation of facts. These are definitely questions that require further thought and analysis. As a PhD environmental engineer, trained at Johns Hopkins and other major universities, with many years of experience in environmental health as a registered Professional Engineer, I am well qualified to comment on these questions.
If you believe that ‘yes, you should you wear a mask any time you leave your home’, then you are mis-informed about the proper use of face masks. Here’s why:
Face masks are only effective when in close proximity with others who are infected or to protect others if you are sick yourself. Otherwise, face masks are counter-productive to your health because they restrict your ability to breathe properly and concentrate whatever bacteria or viruses you may have in your pulmonary system. Also, the the size of the virus is much smaller than the mesh size of masks that you can comfortably breathe through, so masks cannot prevent an individual air-born virus particle from being drawn into your respiratory system, They can stop water droplets that might be carrying the virus, but after the water evaporates, the virus may still penetrate your mask.
Tests for coronavirus use two different methods to detect the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the cause of the COVID-19 disease, a form of pneumonia that can be deadly for those with compromised immune systems. Unfortunately, the pharmaceutical industry and the AMA allopathic medical community have emphasized treating symptoms, not causes, because there is a lot more money in treatment than in cures. As a result, most of us are unaware that the deadliness of this virus is almost purely because so many people have neglected protecting their own health by living a healthy lifestyle, and depend instead on drugs that only treat the symptoms and may actually damage whatever healthy immune system you may still have. And politicians are not going to inform you of the facts unless they support their political agenda.
The tests are:
- genomic detection in molecular material samples
- immunoglobulin detection in blood samples
GENOMIC DETECTION TESTS
The least time-consuming method used to detect the virus in people who are concerned that they may have been exposed to the COVID-19 virus, is based on detecting genetic material specific to SARS-CoV-2 viruses in a person’s nasopharyngeal secretions . Although tests kits vary widely in procedural detail (swabs of oral and/or of nasal surfaces, differences in solutions to transfer the swabbed tissue to, time and place to run the subsequent test reagents, etc.), they all use methods that detect a specific part of the viral genome.
WHAT DO GENOMIC SAMPLE GCORONAVIRUS TEST RESULTS MEAN?
Positive or negative results from these tests do not indicate whether the person is infected with SARS-CoV-2 and is capable of transmitting the disease to others or not, because the test cannot tell whether a person has genetic debris from past infection which his immune system was able to handle, or from recent exposure, in which case he is still in danger of becoming ill.
IMMUNOGLOBULIN DETECTION TESTS
Immunoglobulin detection tests are based on the qualitative detection of IgM and IgG that are specifically generated by the body in response to SARS-CoV-2 infection.
IgM is usually the first, specific antibody type generated by the body in response to infection. Then, the IgG antibody type is generated and replaces IgM as the predominant antibody in the response to infection.
IgM and IgG fight infections by targeting specific antigens on the surface of the SARS-nCoV-2 virus. In general, immunoglobulin tests use specific viral antigens to detect the IgM and/or IgG antibodies against those antigens. IgM and IgG fight infections by targeting specific disease-causing organic compounds on the surface of the SARS-nCoV-2 virus.
These tests work as follows:
- Collect 2-3 drops of fresh blood/serum or plasma and place it in a sample container and place 2-3 drops of provided buffer in the same container (cassette)
- The cassette allows the diluted sample to move through the cassette by capillary action
- The cassette has labeled SARS-CoV-2 antigen that may bind chemically with either IgM or IgG; thus, forming an antigen/antibody complexes of antigen/IgG and/or antigen/IgM
- After that reaction, the antigen/antibody product passes over anti-IgM and anti-IgG antibodies that are immobilized in a line within the cassette
- The anti-IgM and/or anti-IgG then will capture the specific complex and signal a result (a red line) if either complex is bound to the immobile anti-IgM or anti-IgG
- The results need to be read after 10 minutes and no more than 15 minutes (In this way, the test resembles a home a home pregnancy test.)
- A third line is a control line; it indicates that the sample has finished flowing through the cassette, indicating the test is complete.
WHAT DO THE COVID-19 IMMUNOGLOBULIN TEST RESULTS MEAN?
- Negative Result: If only the quality control line (C) appears and the detection lines G and M are not visible, then no novel coronavirus antibody has been detected and the result is negative.
- Positive Result, IgM only: If both the quality control line (C) and the detection line M appears, then the novel coronavirus IgM antibody has been detected and the result is positive for the IgM antibody.
- Positive Result, IgG only: If both the quality control line (C) and the detection line G appears, then the novel coronavirus IgG antibody has been detected and the result is positive for the IgG antibody.
- Positive Result, IgG, and IgM: If the quality control line (C) and both detection lines G and M appear, then the novel coronavirus IgG and IgM antibodies have been detected and the result is positive for both the IgG and IgM antibodies.
Immunoglobulin tests cannot confirm the presence of the virus in your system. they can only tell whether you have been exposed in the past or if you have never been exposed to SARS-CoV-2. Consequently, they should only be used alone as a screening test and should be used in tandem with a genetic-based test to determine as much as possible concerning the individual’s condition related to a possible COVID-19 diagnosis.
So, in summary, Yes, there are times when it may be a good idea to wear a mask. But wearing one in the open while maintaining social distancing, is unnecessary. Wearing a mask in confined spaces, even in your own home, is more likely to prevent the spread of the disease than wearing one outside . Wearing a mask for extended periods of time, hours on end, is likely to increase your chances of infection that your immune system can’t handle.
And yes, a positive test is cause for concern, but if you have no symptoms, you may or may not be a danger to others. None of the tests are conclusive regarding your status if you have no symptoms. Because of the tendency to report all positives as cases of infection, the statistics can be very misleading, to the point of causing panic, and politicians are eager to spin even scientific results to support their agendas, So, the bottom line is: It is most important to build up your immune system as much as you can. Second, be careful and respectful of others, especially those with compromised immune systems,; and finally, avoid misleading with partial information and posturing for political purposes. Such behavior may have a more serious impact on public health in the long run than the virus has by causing unnecessary panic and misunderstanding.