Discord COVID-Talk: Lessons Learned And Lessons Ignored

The following is a Covid discussion on insights into the pandemic. This original discussion between The Discord’s Mick Zano and Pokey McDores occurred on 10-24 with the aid of a Yiddish translator, a tv with closed captioning, and a chimpanzee named Frappy. Pokey will start us off:
In order to really understand this subject, we must begin at the origin. All Covid related issues must be viewed through the lens of its origin. Three months after the coronavirus was discovered, many science journals stated definitively that Covid developed naturally and did not come from a lab. We now know this premise is false. At the time, these false ‘scientific statements’ were used to justify the censoring of information that ran contrary to their narrative. All official medical spokespersons made public statements discrediting this theory and it has since surfaced many of these spokespersons were actually involved with the funding of experiments to enhance bat coronavirus so that it could infect humans.

Zano: The focus initially was directed—and rightly so—on the response, whether it was created, released, introduced, or handcrafted by Keebler Elves. The lab escape scenario is still pending, and ‘created’ is also hotly debated. Don’t start by putting Wuhns in my mouth. In order to understand this subject, or any another, take off your lens and wipe it with an optical friendly cloth. Whereas the mainstream media was quick to judge, you are always quick to misjudge. My best guess was always accidental-lab-release, which is likely the case. You initially implied an intentional-lab-release, and you had to walk that back. Did you come to this conclusion wrongly, or did you have help? Hmm. Here’s the latest argument on the created front: ‘Molecularly Impossible’: Fauci Blasts Rand Paul for Covid Lab Theory – Rolling Stone.

Again, Bill Maher on Real Time brought in two scientists early on who eloquently made the case for accidental lab release (a liberal). Jon Stewart made the same case on Colbert (one liberal & one pretend conservative). And NY Magazine’s Jonathan Chait (so liberal he makes AOC look like Dick Cheney’s hunting rifle’s jockstrap) admonished his colleagues for ruling out the lab-release-scenario so quickly. Not everyone fell into line. You’re thinking of the rightwing.

Of course, as I write this, Fox News is lying about something else (at least according to Vegas odds). And they will likely never be corrected by their peers or own up to this lie. Why is one side held to standards while the other side clearly is not? I favor an investigation into the research-funding aspect of this situation, but I don’t think the US side of the nefariousness will amount to much.

Fun Historical Fact: my guesses = good. Pokey’s guesses = bad. 

Every major country on earth plays and experiments with deadly viruses for both beneficial and sinister reasons. That’s not going to stop. And none of these folks are going to immediately own up to any wrongdoing or missteps. That’s why we have investigations. A professor from NC worked with some Wuhan counterparts to conduct research deemed not gain-of-function. And, yeah, I’m sure the verdict will be another Pokey yawner. The bad news, you can still end up at gain-of-function unintentionally, which is not as big of a deal if it stays contained.

Pokey: I have never heard an official spokesperson emphasize the fact that severe symptoms of Covid were rarely seen to have developed in any person who was not either: 1) vitamin D-deficient; 2) obese or high sugar; or 3) over 80-years of age. From the beginning, the dangers of Covid have been overhyped. What I’ve a rarely heard mentioned is that the average Covid death is higher than the average life expectancy.

Zano: 736,000 US deaths and nearly 5 million worldwide is not a joke. A good friend of mine spent a week in the hospital and a coworker lost two family members (none of these fit any of your categories, certainly not the age one). If you want some helpful data, I just discussed this with a neighbor in charge of the data for 7 Phoenix area hospitals. He said last week 90% of those hospitalized for Covid were unvaccinated, and this week 87% were unvaccinated. This likely mirrors national statistics. So encouraging folks to have their Flintstone Chewables = good, but giving them faulty information that might kill them = bad. 
And:
News Flash: we live in a consumer-driven, late stage capitalistic society.
I do not believe, for a second, that meaningful (cheap) information will be provided to any of us, on any matter, medical or otherwise. Money is god here. The only intriguing medical information I find on Google ends up being an advertisement. I never get my answer, so I eventually stop clicking and make another gin & tonic. The punchline of my very old joke Who’s Looking Out For You? The answer was: no one, especially not Bill fucking O’Reilly. I have been my own lawyer, my own advocate, my own doctor, and my own project manager for decades, which is part of the reason I blog. Society is already broken, Poke, irreparably so. I covered this pretty extensively on The Discord, so how is this different from business as usual? Sure it’s inexcusable, but so is ‘Murica in general.

Pokey: During Covid I studied people who had scientifically studied the effects of deep breathing and sunlight on our body’s ability to heal. In particular, Win Hoff has developed scientifically verified methods of breathing that according to Hoff “cure anything.” Never do I remember any of these methods recommended by the official “health experts.”

Zano: Study harder. How do you monetize breathing or sunlight? Please review Simpsons Season 7: episode 1, Who Shot Mr. Burns?, wherein our favorite fictional mogul attempts to block out the sun over Springfield with a giant disc. Look, I have a talented easterny dude on team Zano who recommends vitamin D,C, and zinc, but what does that have to do with the shot? What is not cool is how this ‘information’ is used to muddy the waters for would-be vaccinators. Everyone’s main protection is the vaccination, period. No offense Fred, Dino, Barney, Wilma et al. This Flintstone chewable scenario is translated by most republicans as don’t get the shot, just take Bessy’s dewormer meds instead. Poor Bessy.

Pokey: There is no evidence that lockdowns stopped the spread of Covid. There is evidence that the lockdowns stopped the spread of small businesses and broke down delivery chains.

Zano: A highly disorganized one doesn’t work; that’s for sure. So should we try again? No. We learned something, all right, not about the virus but about ourselves. The breakdown of supply chains was inevitable for reasons well beyond Covid (a topic that would fill another article), and it’s not going to get any better either. Had the entire country complied with the lockdown, the virus would have died in about 14 small-business friendly days, but many oppositionally-defiant older republicans (ODOR) ignored this strategy. It might not have ultimately mattered because the virus kept cycling around our airways, courtesy of our GOPtrotters. New Zealand is experiencing this imported uptick now. If I were Ardern, or any other foreign leader for that matter, I would only allow US visitors with proof of democratic party affiliation. That would be a good move …at least for those who believe in Vegas odds.

Pokey: Scientists now tell us that everyone will get Covid by natural infection or by vaccine. The Israeli study shows that natural immunity is much better than double vaxed immunity.

Zano: Sorry, the jury isn’t out yet. One promising study does not end this debate. The sad part about Covid is how our natural antibodies don’t seem to last very long. They are not very robust. More research is needed. Don’t forget the only country that went herd immunity from the getgo was Sweden and they screwed the pooch on this. Hey, let’s have China and the US collaborate on an antibody study in a clandestine dark site. Fauci is probably down.

Pokey: The mask policies make no sense. Four-year-olds are mandated to wear masks at school, except when napping in the same room and eating lunch in a crowded cafeteria, but they are required to wear masks on the recess playground. I just left a Penn State game where a repeated message told us all of the importance of wearing masks when inside. Almost everyone in the tightly packed stadium (96.34%) were unmasked. It’s all bullshit. And even most people who support mask wearing policies no longer take the policies seriously in their real world, lived experience.

Zano: No argument. We need sensible mask policies for the next pandemic, maybe with a mandated Batman theme. Batmandate? I don’t want to outlaw other Marvel or DC related masks, but let’s at least agree we should keep it to comic book based. Name something our country did well in the last ten years? Anything? You can’t? More of the same is not news. Incompetence is expected and, at this stage, welcome.

Pokey: The problem with the vaccine is that it’s mandated (just like Obamacare). If the state can mandate putting a needle into your arm, what can’t they do?

Zano: Let’s leave sensible healthcare out of this. Retraction: Obamacare came out in the last decade, so we did do one thing right. We are in agreement about the constitutional dubiousness of the mandate, but only because of the current dynamic of the country, aka low trust in government and high polarization. We needed to cut through the din of false information to encourage people to do the right thing, but that is becoming increasingly impossible. Besides, I never want to be placed in the reverse position of taking a vaccination mandated by a President ‘Clorox kills the virus’ (R-NE). This is also why we are very near a civil war.

Pokey: The official info and narrative from the CDC, The Who, and the NIH have been shown to be inaccurate with facts censored to support the ordained narrative. Through the Freedom of Information Act, we now know that many of the players in these organization were themselves complicit in the purposeful enhancement of coronavirus.

Zano: Have that investigation. Again, I fear any republican championed conspiracy theory in 2021, having been born considerably before that date. You will likely counter this with some form of: I only care about the truth! which, if true, would mean a revamping of your current sources.

Pokey: From the circumstantial evidence we have from China’s behavior, their known bio-weapons programs, the NIH’s secretive funding, and Fauci’s lies, it’s reasonable to assess the likelihood that Covid came from a lab—either accidentally or on purpose—and it’s reasonable to see the official institutional response to Covid as being largely politically motivated.

Zano: This is where you climb down into the Hannity hole. What? The rest of the world is just playing along? Most of Asia dons masks in public areas for decades because Fauci got to them early, when he was very young, and now he’s hatched his decades long, evil plot? To what? Sell his wife’s designer face masks? All the data is fixed, everywhere? If enough of us got vaccinated, this issue would be in the rearview mirror. Given two choices, a republican will never choose the right one. It is their superpower. Creating new variants, like the MAGA-variant and the Proud-variant, is not a great hobby.

Pokey: Those exposed and then recovered show a low risk of reinfection. Standard estimates expect 40% of current 5-to-11 year-olds already having been exposed and recovered. Policy: Let’s mandate 5 to 11. All of these little “trees” of Covid must be assessed from the context of the big picture “forest” which involves Covid’s origin.

Zano: Yes, yes, we will learn more as this goes on. At least most of us will, because you can’t see the forest for the disease. We If we can break this down into six main points:

1. COVID X-Men Origins: The origin of coronavirus may well be Wuhan. We both agree on this.
2. The Mainstream Media Sucks. For this one, yes. The media would not even entertain this lab release scenario for quite some time, but this proved irrelevant to the major task at hand: the pandemic strategy and response. They did some retractions and were admonished for their oversight by certain colleagues, but others doubled down. We are really starting to see some rightwing tactics blossom on the left.
4. Mandated Jabs. We both agree the constitutional implications of mass injection is dubious, for decidedly different reasons.
5. Misinformation. Flooding the media with home remedies and alternative medications only created confusion for those trying to decide whether to become vaccinated. We don’t agree on this, because you added to the confusion and I chose not to.
6. Vax, or not to Vax? Yes, we should all be vaccinated for this one.  And this will be a very easy one for me to link back to when vaccination rates and further statistics arrive across the globe. Can’t wait.

My opinion, for the next round:
Social distancing & sensible masking = YES, and shutdowns of anything but major events = NO.
Shutdowns were not enforced effectively by republican leaders and were overly enforced in some areas by democratic leaders (to the point of ridiculousness). Both sides must atone. Citing people for watching the sunset in their car or walking alone in the woods is idiocy, but so is participating in Sturgis and Megachurch sermons during peak outbreaks. It was a dumb and dumber moment.
Even though we agree on a lot of the finer points, the biggest decision is whether or not to get vaccinated. For that one you have missed your shot at making a difference, and that’s the difference.

Pokey: I’m not arguing whether or not the shots are safe and effective; I’ll hypothetically grant you that the shots are the most safe and effective decision that a person could make. So what? I am a sick man …I’m a spiteful man …I am an unvaccinated man. I’m arguing that a mandate that gives the state the power to force a needle into a child’s arms against the parent’s will is tyrannical in nature.  Vaccine mandates violates the Nuremberg Code that emerged as a public statement of unified conscience in support of personal bodily liberty against fascism and totalitarianism. 

I profess this public resistance to the state mandating access to our children’s blood and DNA. Everything else I provide is simply evidence of past political exploitation or disinformation regarding Covid shown by CDC, NIH, WHO, and other political-medicine players. Now these exploitative and disinforming entities are tightening mandates on vaccines. If they are going to create two classes of people—the vax v. unvax, then I will gladly stand with those who are being scapegoated as he problem. Saying NO to totalitarianism is often detrimental to your health. 

Zano: Nuremberg! We offered ze welt order!! Fine, that was well said. We agree on this topic more than most. My final point is a pattern piece you miss at the heart of this. What will all the people voting R do with these important points of yours? Is one more republican going to get the shot because it’s the right thing to do? They will get the shot, but fight the mandate? I don’t think so. The mandate wouldn’t have been necessary, minus the bullshit. You forced the hand of the government. Biden made the wrong decision, but it’s understandable.

One side is wholly incapable of interpreting and processing information, which may be the very reason why the mainstream media avoided discussing other treatments in the first place. Keep it simple, for stupid. I am not sure of this, because the media today, left or right, isn’t healthy or helpful. But, when you reintroduce information to republicans, post these collective decisions of theirs, it’s meaningless. Ninety percent of registered republicans will stick with the original premise, no matter how absurd. Every Fox News host and politician is vaccinated. Most politicians, right and left, are encouraging the shot, including Trump himself, yet these pleas are falling on deaf ears. The polls are still staggering consistent, nearly two years in.

Your statements, right or wrong, clouded this issue, and a country this divided will not respond correctly to a rise of fascism on the left or the right. Votes will go down along party lines, which is why you and I are cut from a different cloth.

I am being told they are throwing out that cloth. Damn.

Added on 11/2:

Pokey: Please clarify if this is not your position: the official narrative surrounding “Covid science” as informed by the NIH, WHO, CDC, and FDA has been misinforming and deceptive regarding Covid since the original outbreak. The media has been misinforming and deceptive regarding Covid since its original outbreak. But still we should trust the NIH’s redefinition of “gain-of-function” and the CDC’s redefinition of “vaccine,” while following their narrative of publicly exposing, marking, and blaming “the unvaxed” for the continued outbreaks of Covid.

Zano: The way you phrase it: no, that is not my position. Grading system, if this helps:
Big Pharma = 75%. They deserves kudos for the speedy vaccinations, but as a general rule they are an evil empire bent on milking our unhealthyness. But since they did pull one out of their ass for this one, or several …let’s give them 75%.
Covid science = 65%. Covid science too deserves some credit for the vaccinations. They did a lousy job recommending a coherent strategy. Fauci waffled about masks at one point to keep them in the hands of first responders. Right or wrong? Fauci changed his approach with the science, which was both ever-changing and somewhat shaky. But unlike you, I am thankful The WHO, Fauci et al, focused on response and strategy rather than origin-speculation, accusation, and finger-pointing. An investigation is warranted in that area (as a wholly separate issue, so please take that lens out). There are ethical implications for experimenting with such viruses.
The Media  = 50%. They ruled out lab-release early on. Thankfully, they were called out on this, but they didn’t want to entertain what the rest of us were suspecting. Pretty sad. Again, the strategy early on was probably this: let’s not muddy the waters and focus on approach and safety. I agree, but I would never have ruled it out. There was a smugness to their schtick. They could have said, pending investigation and have saved face. Of course, republicans will take a totally different tack …into the rocks. But this could be a bellwether; the mainstream media may well be following Fox & Friends into the abyss.
Democrats = 50% Dems tried to follow the meandering science, but they were too focused on shutdowns and even lockdowns. Again, some governors had people cited while sitting alone in their cars or in forests, entire regions were forbidden to trespass in. Unacceptable. Lockdowns should not be a thing. If you can socially distance safely somewhere, god speed. This overreach was senseless, spurred mental health issues, hurt businesses, and strained supply chains. They need to do be better next time, but thus far there’s no evidence that they learned anything. I am also against Biden’s effort to mandate the vaccination. Poor effort.
Republicans = 0%. There’s really only one major conclusion that this planet Earth agrees on, nearly 2 years into this affair: Take.The.Shot. So, of course, our republican friends won’t. They are an amazing compass that will forever point south. In the right hands, we could solve the mysteries of the universe through their terminal and steadfast wrongness. As time goes on, we will have more and more data on vaccinated v unvaccinated, but I am afraid it will not help you, your cause, or your soapbox. Neither will the Wuhan investigation (See history).

Added 11/5:
Pokey: So you agree that the mandate is dubious? What do you propose to be the best way to resist this dubiousness?
Zano: I don’t know. When does your right to infect people end and someone else’s health freedom begin? Currently estimates are this: Your unvaccinated friend is roughly 20 times more likely to give you COVID (theconversation.com). This is a tough situation. I liked the shot tied-to-work thing, better than some every-citizen-mandate thing. I certainly understand the tough decision Biden faced, but, again, I don’t want to be forced into anything by our next resident ignoramus (see: any future R administration). No thank you. Take it to the Supremes, above my pay grade. 
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Mick Zano

Mick Zano

Mick Zano is the Head Comedy Writer and co-founder of The Daily Discord. He is the Captain of team Search Truth Quest and is currently part of the Witness Protection Program. He is being strongly advised to stop talking any further about this, right now, and would like to add that he is in no way affiliated with the Gambinonali crime family.