“Into whatsoever houses I enter, I will enter to help the sick, and I will abstain from all intentional wrong-doing and harm, especially from abusing the bodies of man or woman, bond or free.”
— Translation of the oldest known copy of what we call the Hippocratic Oath
“Omicron, with its extraordinary, unprecedented degree of efficiency of transmissibility, will ultimately find just about everybody.”
That was Dr. Anthony Fauci talking to the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a think tank in Washington, D.C. The “Barbarian of Specialization” who has advocated for lockdowns, mask mandates, social distancing and compulsory vaccinations is essentially admitting all those measures have been for nothing.
We’ll have more to say about the not-so-good doctor later this week. For now, we’ll simply say that our in-house science advisor, Ray Blanco, agrees with Fauci’s assessment of Omicron.
“I’ve already told all my relatives: all you guys are going to catch it,” Ray says. “Every single one of you.”
But since the Omicron variant is less deadly than other strains of COVID, “it’s not that bad.”
Yesterday we talked about how a virus that doesn’t kill its host has a better chance of infecting as many new hosts as possible. So Omicron is likely just a product of natural selection. Ray tells us, however, that there’s also a chance that Omicron’s evolution hasn’t been natural at all…
It all goes back to the idea behind history’s very first vaccines. Many ancient cultures realized that once a person survived an illness, they rarely suffered from it again. Back then, it wasn’t uncommon for people to intentionally infect themselves with smallpox by rubbing diseased pustules on their skin.
The virus entered the bloodstream directly, instead of through the mucous membranes of the nose, mouth and lungs. So the immune system had a better chance at fighting it off. From then on, they were protected even if they came in contact with the airborne disease. The method was called variolation.
Then in the late 1700s, a British doctor noticed that the women who milked cows daily rarely suffered from smallpox. He theorized that they had been infected with cowpox — a disease similar to smallpox, but much less severe. Fighting off the milder disease had made the milkmaids much more resistant to smallpox.
His experiments led to the world’s first true vaccination — using a mild disease to train the body to fight off something deadlier.
It took more than a century for scientists to figure out the mechanisms at work. To fight a virus, the immune system develops antibodies — proteins that attach themselves to the invader and signal the body to attack it. If a similar virus shows up later, the body is ready for it.
Again, though, natural selection comes into play. Viruses can’t reproduce if a host’s immune system shuts them down. So they evolve new forms that the body won’t immediately recognize. It’s why the COVID vaccines have offered so little protection from the Greek-themed variations.
The vaccines prime your immune system to look for a specific protein. If that protein mutates, your body won’t recognize it as easily.
Ray says, “it’s like me teaching you my fingerprint exactly, but not my whole face and the rest of me.” If he sands off his fingerprints, “you don’t recognize me anymore.”
But imagine if you knew more than that one specific detail. Even just a general description of what you’re looking for would help identify him easier. Omicron is filling that role. “You’re getting exposed to a bunch of other pieces of that virus,” Ray explains. “You’re developing a much more complete memory of it in your immune system.”
In that regard, Omicron is “almost too good to be true. It’s not very deadly. It’s extremely, incredibly transmissible.”
And those traits lend themselves to conspiracy theories.
“If you were to engineer a COVID-19 strain that you would release out into the world and just forcibly vaccinate everybody against the bad thing and displace the bad strains, the deadlier strains, “ Rays says, “it could barely look better than Omicron does.”
Of course, that doesn’t mean Omicron was created in a lab… but it also doesn’t mean something like this scenario won’t happen in the future.
“People are actually talking about doing this with the next outbreak of whatever it is that comes next,” Ray says. “It could be next year, it could be in 20 years.”
We didn’t delve into the ethics behind the theory — and we don’t think anyone would admit it if such an experiment were underway.
More on what they are — and aren’t — telling us, tomorrow.
Follow your bliss,
Founder, The Financial Reserve