26. MINDING CORONA, Saving Livelihoods and Lives

August 21, 2020 Minding Corona No Comments

What we see concerning COVID at present doesn’t take into account what is scientifically known about the human brain and mind, and its influence upon the body.

►►► WHY read this? Most people, including body-experts, hide from the fact that the mind is part of the problem and the solution. ◄◄◄

[see: “Minding COVID: a Different Story“]

The causal role of the mind on COVID is being given the cold shoulder, not therefore consciously, but effectively indeed. It doesn’t ‘culturally fit.’

WHAT – A – PITY

The result is unnecessary deaths and economic downfall, causing more human misery.

It may also be the death of your business or loved one(s). I guess that’s important. Yet many people who – should – know better, keep quiet. They go with the flow.

Why?

Apparently, to them, it’s not that important after all?

This text is addressed to those who can easily make a difference, who think themselves rational, but many aren’t from the moment it’s personally challenging. Indeed, it may make one a cultural misfit.

Where are the brave?

Hiding the mind as a causal factor is starkly UNscientific at present. Since meanwhile, the relevant science progresses, this is more and more the case in many fields of healthcare. As has happened many times in the past, part of yesterday’s ‘regular medicine’ is becoming tomorrow’s quackery.

Yet I’m hearing it many times, by people about others and themselves. It concerns individuals from media, scientists, politicians, influencers:

People don’t dare to talk about the mind as a causal factor in COVID.

This way, the virus gets quite a free reign during the next year from now in the developed world, much longer elsewhere.

We know increasingly more about the disease and how to manage it. Also, we ‘know’ there will be no miracle vaccine, just as there is still none for influenza (*). Also, there is no miracle cure in sight. The one that was most promising in my view – convalescent plasma therapy – has been put on hold by the FDA a few days ago, after months of intense enthusiasm from scientists and despite an ongoing controversy, now citing weak data (placebo related) from the most extensive study to date. This is the best way to perform science. It shows how challenging science can be.

[Note, by the way, my placebo related critiques of remdesivir [see my book MINDING CORONA]. Concerning plasma, the FDA just saved me from writing another letter to the editor of the New England Journal of Medicine.]

Of course, we don’t know the future, but come on, be serious.

Also, we know what people should do to avoid contagion, and we know they will not, or, in large parts of the world, cannot. We also know much of the why, on both occasions.

That leaves us with our mind as the most promising cure

(to be investigated with utmost urgency if you please. A free app is at your disposal.)

But then why is the mind hardly mentioned as such? The way this is going on for half a year by now is mind-boggling. The mind, seriously, even in potential, as a causal factor in COVID, is nowhere in science. Also, hardly in popular media.

Readers of MINDING CORONA can see that my thinking went to the mind in March 2020, at a global death count of 9.000. There is much science from different directions backing this. I’m not complaining, just pointing out what may well become, in retrospect, the consequence of a maddening situation, date-stamped, open to anyone.

This book isn’t finished. Globally, we’re at 800.000 deaths, officially. That makes at least 1.2 million in reality if you know anything about this world. My worst-case was 3 million. Now I see we are going to soar right beyond that. Still, the deep mind may remain invisible. Unfathomable.

Contacts and some loneliness

I contacted people of whom I thought they would be interested. There was some interest, indeed, in the sense of “You might well be correct, but shut your mouth; this is not the time to come forward with such. It’s too dangerous.” Or, one after the other: “There is no time, no occasion. I don’t want to. Just leave me alone. I’m on vacation. I will contact you (nope).”

Some of my friends, as the saying goes, disappeared, becoming untouchable.

Indeed, that feels lonely. I know now.

No fearmongering, please!

There’s a big difference between fearmongering and telling people facts (even fuzzy ones) about what is bound to happen. I regularly pose someone the question about how (s)he would organize life in two near-future alternatives: COVID-disaster or COVID-blue-sky. Many would act VERY differently. That’s important because the COVID-whirlpool will (again) make a huge difference, with a big role for the mind. [see: “Only ‘Control’ + COVID-Whirlpool = DISASTER“] This is not a game.

Telling people a fact-based opinion is rational, challenging, and Compassionate. [see: “COVID Compassion“] Throwing people (again) in a whirlpool without every possible substantial measure of defense is not Compassionate. It may look friendlier. But when the time comes and people get into panic mode, it’s too late.

Also, look at the world situation, with arguably 10.000 deaths per day. True, this is a small part of daily mortality. True, there are other infectious diseases with a high death toll. But that is no excuse for these deaths. In my view, there is no excuse for even one single premature preventable death. What about you?

The main lesson is about deep mind.

This is really invisible in present-day medicine. I had no idea that this is so, well, almost total. Or what? There’s much anxiety in this regard. As to COVID, everybody seems to wait for everybody. Even so, one loud voice and the heads disappear even deeper into the desert sand. I would gladly take any challenge. Meanwhile, COVID reigns

and keeps reigning

and keeps reigning.

Ironically, the sector that is supposed to teach us about human depth, the cultural sector, is largely being ignored for the sake of the economy. No money for depth. Isn’t that precisely an essential cause of the happening?

Will the real mind eventually come forward?

Science progresses rapidly. That’s why it is so valuable, not because it’s immutable, but precisely because it’s mutable. Especially in the last few years, scientific developments are promising. These go from unexpectedly in-depth visualization of nerve patters in the brain, to artificial intelligence techniques for discerning patterns in the human mind with a potentially huge influence on health, and to a growing emphasis in medical science on real-world data and pragmatic trials. Thus, we are seeing the dawn of a new, additional kind of health-related science: no extrapolations from randomized controlled trials, but real-world evidence, driven by Artificial Intelligence. This will show which mind-related factors make people ill, and better again.

There may be more already, hidden in labs or scientific journals, like viruses ready to leap to mainstream. Post-corona, it all together will show relatively soon what we could have done, but didn’t.  In retrospect, it will be unimaginable that this could happen in 2020.

In 2020!

Who will dare to say in 2030 that “I didn’t see this obvious thing?” Or even in 2025? Or even in 2022 if I get what I want in time?

I keep on writing MINDING CORONA.

So tired of this virus.

One cannot escape it. I mean, the talk about it. And rest assured, my wife is even more tired of it than you are since I’m intensely writing this book. I wish the thing would miraculously disappear.

Imagine I’m right. In that case, I may be given the Nobel prize and give it directly to research.

Imagine. Then how many people could have been helped profoundly? We’re talking millions. If I don’t get through the mindless veil, it will not be done. This is the weirdest situation.

At least, study it.

If the mind were a pill with similar indications of efficacy, billions would flow to its use in prevention and management. Nothing flows to it now except the little that I can spend on it, making an app that can change the course of the world if the world cares to listen.

For many years, I’m delving into the science of mind-body-unity and the influence of mind on the body. I compare medical science to an ivory tower with an unscientific swamp on all sides. Since mind-body-unity doesn’t get a proper place in the tower, it’s drowned in the swamp.

WHAT – A – PITY

The deeply meaningful mind has been denigrated for millennia.

It’s high time we wake up to it.

Meanwhile, to ‘go with the flow’ is not rational, by definition. ‘The flow’ is not a rational argument. It has never been one. Even more, Western Enlightenment, one of our primary sources of pride, has come into existence out of a desire to not go with the flow in science and rationality. Therefore, it’s especially unfortunate to see it happen so gratuitously in the matter of COVID.

I write this to an open future, hopefully, a very near one.

 

 

(*) Science is not always easy, especially for scientists with an ego. Interesting in this regard is the Cochrane report from 2018: “Vaccines for preventing influenza in the elderly” (https://doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD004876.pub4). Cochrane is like scientific heaven. They work with the utmost rigor. In this case, they searched all highest-level medical, scientific databases for evidence (Randomized Controlled Trials) from 1966 till 2017. Some quotes from their report with highlights by me:

  • “Older adults receiving the influenza vaccine may have a lower risk of Influenza (from 6% to 2.4%)… These results indicate that 30 people would need to be vaccinated to prevent one person experiencing influenza
  • “The evidence for a lower risk of Influenza and ILI with vaccination is limited by biases in the design or conduct of the studies. Lack of detail regarding the methods used to confirm the diagnosis of influenza limits the applicability of this result. The available evidence relating to complications is of poor quality, insufficient, or old and provides no clear guidance for public health regarding the safety, efficacy, or effectiveness of influenza vaccines for people aged 65 years or older. Society should invest in research on a new generation of influenza vaccines for the elderly.”
  • “The study providing data for mortality and pneumonia was underpowered to detect differences in these outcomes. There were 3 deaths from 522 participants in the vaccination arm and 1 death from 177 participants in the placebo arm, providing very low‐certainty evidence for the effect on mortality.”

So apparently, this is the conclusion in the case of influenza from the beacon of science after decades of investigation: arguably 3% less chance of getting the disease; 0% less chance of dying from it. That might seem a bit weird to someone who doesn’t appreciate the importance of prevalence in statistics. Also, there is poor quality evidence about safety. Of course, other vaccines, such as against measles and polio, are super life-savers. Is COVID more like polio or more like Influenza? The general scientific agreement points to the latter.

 

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