Informal conversation, and most writing, tend to be casual about the exact meanings of words. That doesn’t mean the words we use don’t have exact meanings. Moreover, those meanings are more important than most people are aware.
For example: What is a disease? Could you define the word intensively, with confidence that your definition could resist attempts to distort it? Most people couldn’t do so.
Here’s what dictionary.com has as the primary definition of disease:
a disordered or incorrectly functioning organ, part, structure, or system of the body resulting from the effect of genetic or developmental errors, infection, poisons, nutritional deficiency or imbalance, toxicity, or unfavorable environmental factors.
At the very least, it seems a disease must do something to the affected person that’s bad for him. It could be temporary or permanent, but it must involve a degradation of some bodily function. Depending on the severity and persistence of that degradation, we arrive at assessments of diseases as more or less serious. Cancer is generally deemed very serious. The common cold is less so, for obvious reasons.
Now, consider the category of microbial “infections” that do not involve a degradation of function. There are many such: all the microorganisms that reside in a healthy human body, for starters. The word disease would hardly apply to such infections, would it? Especially the ones the intestines can’t function without. So not all infections are diseases.
This leads us to consideration of the word cure. Again, here’s dictionary.com:
- a means of healing or restoring to health; remedy.
- a method or course of remedial treatment, as for disease.
From this we must conclude that if X is a cure for disease Y, then:
- Either X reverses Y’s degradation of function;
- Or X purges the disease agent – i.e., whatever caused disease Y – from the body so that the body’s own healing mechanisms can repair it.
This leaves open the possibility that X has undesirable side effects. As “No action is without side effects” (Barry Commoner), we must remain alert to the possibility that X’s side effects will result in a more severe degradation of the patient than the disease X is intended to cure – i.e., that “the cure is worse than the disease.”
There are several well-known jibes about cures that are worse than their associated diseases. Larry Niven made use of one in his novel Ringworld:
Louis saw it happen. The puppeteer charged into an intersection, one head held high, one low. The high head was suddenly loose and rolling, bouncing. Nessus stopped, turned, then stood still.
His neck ended in a flat stump, and the stump was pumping blood as red as Louis’ own.
Nessus wailed, a high, mournful sound.
The natives had trapped him with shadow square wire.
Louis was two hundred years old. He had lost friends before this. He continued to fight, his light-sword following his eyes almost by reflex. Poor Nessus. But it could be me next….
The natives had fallen back. Their losses must have been terrifying from their own viewpoint.
Teela stared at the dying puppeteer, her eyes very big, her knuckles pressed against her teeth. Speaker and Seeker were edging back toward the Improbable–
Wait a minute. He’s got a spare!
Louis ran at the puppeteer. As he passed Speaker, the kzin snatched the flashlight-laser from him. Louis ducked to avoid the wire trap, stayed low, and used a shoulder block to knock Nessus on his side. It had seemed that the puppeteer was about to start panic running.
Louis pinned the puppeteer and fumbled for a belt.
He wasn’t wearing a belt.
But he had to have a belt!
And Teela handed him her scarf!
Louis snatched it, looped it, dropped it over the puppeteer’s severed neck. Nessus had been staring in horror at the stump, at the blood pumping from the single carotid artery. Now he raised his eye to Louis’s face; and the eye closed, and he fainted.
Louis pulled the knot tight. Teela’s scarf constricted and closed the single artery, two major veins, the larynx, the gullet, everything.
You tied a tourniquet around his neck, doctor? But the blood had stopped.
Now, injured party Nessus in the above isn’t human. He’s a “Pierson’s puppeteer,” a non-humaniform sentient whose brain is not in his heads. A puppeteer’s heads are organs of sensation, communication, and manipulation. So a tourniquet around the neck is just fine for stanching Nessus’s potentially fatal bleeding. In Nessus’s case, the cure is not worse than the disease. But for a human…!
We don’t treat a bloody nose by amputating the head, either.
Now concerning the Wuhan Virus / Chinese Lung Rot / Kung Flu / COVID-19: the vaccines being distributed are not being touted as cures but as preventatives. At least that’s how they’re billed. But they don’t seem to prevent infection by the virus or transmission of the virus. Indeed, there are even some reports of persons who have recovered from COVID-19 infections, and have thereafter been vaccinated for it, but have then been reinfected. That’s poor performance by the standards that usually apply to contemporary vaccines.
But wait: there’s more! The vaccines have side effects of their own…and one of them is death. At this time nearly 7000 vaccinated persons, nominally healthy at the time of their vaccinations, have died shortly thereafter, with the vaccine itself as the most probable proximate cause. Of course, the vaccine makers and promoters would prefer not to discuss that minor matter, but…
A “cure” that might kill the patient is rather hard to sell to the majority of healthy Americans, at least if the disease itself isn’t normally fatal. As the COVID-19 virus is non-lethal at least 99.8% of the time, and the overwhelming majority of fatalities have been persons with one or more serious “co-morbidities,” the vaccine seems more of a crapshoot than the infection itself.
Add to the above that:
- It is possible that the majority of COVID-19 infections are wholly asymptomatic;
- There are cheap and reliable palliatives for the symptoms of COVID-19 infection, hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin being the best known and verified;
Suddenly the vaccines don’t sound attractive to a normal, reasonable man.
The Sturm und Drang over COVID-19 has been constant for more than a year. It’s been used:
- to isolate us from one another;
- to force us into face masks and “social distancing;”
- to suspend religious services, entertainment spectacles, and the majority of public gatherings;
- to close businesses and cripple the American economy;
- and to put millions out of work.
All this, for a disease that’s frequently asymptomatic, is dangerous mainly to the already seriously ill, and can be cured or endured with cheap, readily available drugs with known, very mild side effects. Is it not superb!
But what has the Usurper Regime had to say about this? Oh, not much:
Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra said Thursday it was “absolutely the government’s business” to know which Americans haven’t been vaccinated yet against the coronavirus.
Responding to GOP criticisms of the Biden administration’s planned “door-to-door” campaign to encourage unvaccinated Americans to inoculate themselves, Becerra told CNN the government has had to “spend trillions of dollars to try to keep Americans alive during this pandemic.”
“So it is absolutely the government’s business, it is taxpayers’ business, if we have to continue to spend money to try to keep people from contracting COVID and helping reopen the economy,” he said.
Becerra doesn’t seem to be aware of the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution, but then, what else would we expect of a member of the Usurper Regime? At any rate, he has backers in the Main Stream Media who are equally unaware of it:
It is time to impose vaccine mandates and passports. The Covid-19 vaccines continue to perform extraordinarily well, but the rate of infection is worsening in unvaccinated populations. The Delta variant is offering a sobering reminder that the pandemic has faded in much of the country but certainly not ended.
Both political parties have made the mistake of framing vaccines within the tradition of individualism. Even President Joe Biden, who has demonstrated his comfort with a muscular role for government, keeps appealing to individuals to make the right and patriotic choice when it comes to receiving their jabs.
Governors are imploring residents of their states to vaccinate soon. For many, the goal has been to keep making it as easy as possible for persons to have quick access without being too overtly pushy. Incentives, from multimillion-dollar lotteries to baseball tickets to a shot and a beer, have all been thrown in as part of the package. The message has been that the government will keep making vaccines as easy, accessible and attractive as possible.
It’s not enough. Easy, accessible and attractive are important; nobody should face barriers toward receiving vaccines. But citizens must also not see this as an optional inoculation.
Biden and other political leaders need to start thinking about the good of the collective and not just the rights of the individual. Doing so is not some sort of move toward socialism, as conservative critics inevitably argue. Thinking of the common good is as American as apple pie.
Anything to expand the Omnipotent State’s powers over us peons, eh, Mr. Zelizer? Once again, this is only what we’d expect from a Regime bootlicker. Still, you’d think that CNN would want its “political analyst” to be more conversant with the Supreme Law of the Land, wouldn’t you?
If I might recontextualize a quote from longtime favorite Ragin’ Dave, the Bidenista doorknockers had better be wearing Level IV plates.
I’d say that’s about it for today, Gentle Reader. The rain and wind are very severe at the moment – Tropical Storm Elsa has come to town – and I’m running around looking for leaks. Do try to have a nice day, and remember: it’s legal throughout the country to refuse to answer the door…or to answer it with a loaded shotgun at port arms.
Ah, life in the Land of the Formerly Free!