Daisy wrote an article recently on the “othering” of the unvaccinated. She went into detail regarding how individuals are blaming the unvaccinated for absolutely everything going wrong these days. I share her concern. There is a long, detailed history of the “othering” of a population leading to all sorts of horrors. However, it is wrong at a more mundane level, as well.
Public discourse surrounding the pandemic seems to focus solely on vaccination as a means of achieving herd immunity. Those who have recovered from the disease and have natural immunity, are being completely ignored.
The most frustrating thing to me, the past year and a half, has been the constantly changing narrative and the dismissal of formerly well-understood scientific truths. Natural immunity is one of those concepts from freshman biology that many seem to completely disregard these days.
I think this is a natural effect of the “cult of expertise” we have in the United States. Seemingly, anyone with specific credentials is automatically deferred to, regardless of how competent they are… or more insidiously, where their financial interests lie.
If more of us were willing to think critically about the “science” in the news these days, we could be more confident in managing our health. A healthy, confident population willing to argue and drag its feet on accepting medical treatments with which they aren’t comfortable is hard to push around.
A population willing to do anything to just “get back to normal” is not.
We’re not going “back to normal.”
As early as April of 2020, Daisy wrote that we were never getting “back to normal.” And I agree.
But we can move forward a little more well-informed.
I’ve gotten into some discussions with medical professionals about whether people who have recovered from the disease need to be vaccinated. These conversations would have been seen as utterly ridiculous three years ago. However, now, it seems, we all need to relearn freshman biology. So I’d like to review the concept of natural immunity to help organize my thoughts and maybe help others that feel like their heads are in a whirl.
I’ve got my old college biology textbook-Life: The Science of Biology, by Purves, Sadava, Orians, and Heller. I’ve got the sixth edition, published in 2001, so it’s about 20 years old. I also have a newer college biology textbook because I’m a big nerd. It’s Campbell Biology, by Reece, Urry, Cain, Wasserman, Minorsky, and Jackson, published in 2014. Both textbooks detail how our immune systems work, and both say pretty much the same thing.
Our bodies have two major ways of defending against disease.
Our innate defenses are things like our skin and mucus. We’re born with these, and they make it difficult for various pathogens such as bacteria, viruses, and multicellular parasites to enter our bodies. Our bodies also have an immune system that recognizes and attacks any infectious agents that make it past our innate defenses.
Our immune system is really sophisticated, and in healthy individuals, it works pretty well. Suppose some kind of pathogen makes it past the body’s innate defenses and begins infecting cells within the host. In that case, the host’s body will, in turn, start producing antibodies that will specifically attack the invading pathogen. The host body will continue producing antibodies until either the host dies or the invading cells die, and the patient’s body can return to normal.
The best part is, even after the active infection is over, the host’s body will retain the memory of the antibodies it produced during the infection. So if the formerly infected person reencounters the pathogen, the body will immediately have the antibodies to kill the pathogen. They rarely get sick again, and if they do, it’s generally very mild.
Even the incredibly pro-vaccine Wall Street Journal had an article on this recently.
Usually, the WSJ leaves their articles up on the Opinion Page for about a week. However, within twenty-four hours, WSJ buried this article on natural immunity. Jeff had a great article about alternative media just the other day. This definitely feeds into his narrative about how much good info is getting buried right now.
Anyway, the WSJ article discusses mucosal immunity vs. internal immunity. The author (a neurologist) states that while vaccines stimulate internal immunity, they do nothing to address mucosal immunity. The viruses don’t penetrate the host’s organs, which is why most vaccinated people don’t get really sick. But, the viruses still live and reproduce in mucus-lined mouths and nasal passages. That is why vaccinated people with no symptoms are still spreading Covid like crazy. However, those of us that have recovered have both mucosal and internal immunity.
In case you needed further proof of the efficacy of natural immunity.
An Israeli study showed recently that vaccinated people were 13 times as likely to become infected and 27 times as likely to have symptomatic infections as people with natural immunity.
Alex Berenson posted this information on Twitter on August 25, and the platform permanently banned him on August 28. However, medical professionals are starting to make noise about it, such as Martin Kulldorff, a Harvard epidemiologist. Hopefully, more people begin to listen.
The benefits of natural immunity shouldn’t be as shocking as they seem to be.
After all, we’ve been observing this with other diseases for a long time. A case in point: when I was a kid, everyone still got chickenpox. We all got to miss school and stay home for about a week. I’m the oldest of eight kids, and I think the vaccine came out when my youngest siblings were kids. But I know the oldest four of us caught chickenpox.