MONOLOGUE WRITTEN BY CLYDE LEWIS
I was thumbing through my news feed and I stumbled upon a story where religious leaders all over the world are now saying that COVID-19 and depression can lead to demonic possession. Well, we have spoken of Acedia and its connections to sloth and the demon Belphegor. It can be argued that this demon has already become a metaphor for our day.
I don’t think anyone wants to hear that the entire population or group have succumbed to some sort of possession, it just doesn’t seem like we can find our way out of the darkness.
The media expects you to focus on political matters and every crisis that can be dreamed up by news editors who are all too willing to pump up a crisis in order fulfill a particular agenda.
Most people can’t get enough of the political hate — it is as if they thrive on it and that the anger is such a powerful energy that if it were pumped into the electric grid we would not have to worry about using gas or coal for energy.
When I was young, I was often sullied by older generations that would say that we were a godless group. Now here I am – older and wondering if the future can become any more godless.
The older generations are forced to move forward into a world of future shock while clinging fondly to memories of when times were perceived to be simple.
In the last thirty years, times have become less spiritual and less religious.
When it comes to our health and wellbeing, we are told to follow the science and it can be argued that while many people assume that the science we are told to follow is given by know it all experts there are some that don’t even have enough wisdom to be in the same league as Bill Nye the Science Guy.
That shows you how I am feeling at the moment about the so called science that doesn’t want to show me how to control or deal with a virus—they only want to tell me about the band aids they have mandated and how people are still dying because they made the wrong choice for president.
This is a new kind of insanity.
Before COVID-19 was even an issue, we were warned that out of control fungal infections were attacking people all over the world causing them to fly into rages and then suddenly dropping into exhaustion.
The fungal infections would trigger convulsions, uncontrollable dry coughs, fevers, and would damage internal organs.
Twenty years ago, a clinician could have been excused for being largely ignorant about fungi as disease causing agents.
In fact, when most of the so called table top events that were carried out by Johns Hopkins University, The Rockefeller Foundation, World Economic Forum, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation – the fictional pandemic that they were simulating was not a corona virus.
It was a simulation where a fungal infection attacks the body and eventually people would contract what is known as the Nipah virus – it was actually a simulation for the zombie apocalypse.
Symptoms from infection vary from none to fever, cough, headache, shortness of breath, and rage and confusion. Eventually the victim would laps into a coma.
When we think of diseases that trigger rage and what can be called a zombie response, we can always look back at a fungus known as Ergot. Actually it was mold that could be ingested or inhaled. It would be found in rye, wheat, barley, rice, corn, millet and oats.
People exposed to this fungus were at risk of death, brain damage, hearing loss, learning disabilities, speech complications, seizures, and paralysis.
The frightening irony was that in the early 1600’s there were many people suffering from the same malady and they were burned as witches. The bewitchment that everyone feared was eventually proven to be linked to Ergot found in rye bread.
Individuals with symptoms believed to be the result of bewitching were not affected until December 1691 and their occurrence ended abruptly in the late fall of 1692, probably when that batch of rye ran out. The ending of witchcraft outbreaks was likely due, not to execution of witches, but to the fact that there was a drought in 1692 with conditions unfavorable for fungal infection and growth. Symptoms of bewitchment consisted of convulsions, hallucinations, manic melancholia, psychosis, delirium, crawling sensations of the skin, vertigo, headaches, vomiting and diarrhea, all symptoms associated with the ingestion of ergotized rye.
It is also coincidental that some historians and biographers who write about Robert Louis Stevenson have speculated that he was under the influence of the ergot fungus when he wrote the story of a young doctor’s descent into madness after using a strange concoction that would change him into the murderous Edward Hyde.
While under the influence, Dr. Jekyll would go into convulsions and psychosis as he transformed into a man influenced by demonic “bewitchment.”
As he transformed into Edward Hyde he would fly into rages, have superhuman strength and would lose all of his faculties.
While many people would see this as a form of demonic possession – it became endemic to the time and soon doctors and neurologists came up with the term, excitable delirium.
Excited delirium, also known as agitated delirium, is a condition that presents with psychomotor agitation, delirium, and sweating. It may include attempts at violence, unexpected strength, and very high body temperature.
Some psychiatrists have even talked of adding a “trance and possession disorder” diagnosis to the DSM, the premier diagnostic manual of disorders used by mental health professionals in the US.
There’s still so much about the human mind that psychiatrists don’t know.
Doctors used to be widely skeptical of people who claimed to suffer from multiple personalities, but now it’s a legitimate disorder called, Dissociative Identity Disorder.
The question is whether or not possession should be considered an infestation of the mind, the body and the spiritual health of the victim.
Should it be included in the DSM?
There is now a certain openness to experiences that are happening that are beyond what can be explained by MRI scans, neurobiology or even psychological theories.
As something becomes endemic to society, the fears and superstation surrounding it can be quelled as we begin to understand it and keep it under control.
As much as it pains me to bring up the debates and the presidential election, I am amazed at how certain topics wind up in front of the candidates and how they answer with a straight face some canned response that is supposed to give us some comfort about how they are looking out for us, and not trying to shove down our throats more government control.
It is obvious however that certain things that happen that are rare and quite bizarre are ignored and then when pressed on the issues that need attention, they pass the buck enough to where we really don’t care anymore about the issue.
That is the crucial point, when you enter the voting booth you make your choice and in most cases all other things and issues become tranquilized and flushed down the memory hole. After all, it is your patriotic duty to make changes and feel as though you are creating a better world with a candidate that gives you empty promises.
The truth is the new normal or the idea of a new order is expanding and wanting to rule your life and force you into all sorts of situations that seem like cures to social ills but are nothing more than traps to continue the process of “need” of expanded government rule.
There have been many cases throughout history where we have seen this same thing happen where crisis such as these have developed into a much deeper story that like an onion can unravel layer after layer and each time we see that somewhere an alphabet agency or intelligence cabal is somehow responsible for starting the process of a rare iatrogenic artifact being release to public causing injury and death.
An Iatrogenic artifact is the so-called drug or cure that is worse than the disease itself.
We become much like Dr. Jekyll where we allow ourselves to be exposed to an unknown concoction, drug, or vaccine that could turn us into Mr. Hyde.
The strange tale of the good doctor turning into the devilish Mr. Hyde sets a precedent. The solution, or panacea that we are offered to stop the bodies from stacking up is most certainly an opportunistic approach to the crisis.
We can only assume that this will lead to some sort of law or provision that will definitely change the way we are able to get the drugs we want and the supplements w need to get rid of our pain and suffering.
The story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is certainly applicable to the times we live in now.
We can’t say with any certainty what the future of COVID-19 is but based on our experience with other infections, there is little reason to believe that the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 will go away any time soon, even when vaccines become available. A more realistic scenario is that it will be added to the (large and growing) family of infectious diseases that are what is known as “endemic” in the human population.
With the worldwide spread of the disease increasing again, it seems unlikely that the currently available measures can do more than bring that spread under control, except in countries that can effectively isolate themselves from the outside world. The fact that the vast majority of people are still susceptible to some degree means that there is sufficient fuel for the fire to keep burning for quite some time.
This will be the case even if specific locations reach what is known as population (or herd) immunity (and it’s not clear how likely this is to happen). When a sufficient number of people become immune to a disease, either through vaccination or natural infection, its spread starts to slow down and the number of cases gradually decreases. But that doesn’t mean it will disappear instantly or completely.
Outside any areas with population immunity, there are likely to be plenty of locations that still have enough susceptible individuals to keep transmission going. No measure of isolation is so strong that it will completely stop human interaction between regions, within and between countries, or globally.
It’s also possible that the spread of an infection will eventually stabilize at a constant level so that it becomes present in communities at all times, possibly at a relatively low, sometimes predictable rate. This is what we mean when we say a disease is endemic.
Some infections are present and actively spreading almost everywhere (such as many sexually transmitted infections and childhood infections). But most infections are endemic in specific parts of the world.
This can occur when effective control has eliminated the infection elsewhere, or because the conditions needed for effective transmission can only be found in specific locations. This is the case for malaria and many other infections transmitted by mosquitoes.
Theoretically speaking, an infection becomes endemic if on average each infected individual transmits it to one other person. In other words, when the reproduction number (R) = 1. In comparison, during an epidemic when the spread of the disease is increasing, R is more than 1, and when the spread is decreasing through control measures or population immunity, R is less than 1.
In practice, there are a number of patterns that can be observed in endemic diseases. Some can exist at low levels throughout the year, while others might show periods of higher transmission interspersed with periods of low transmission. This might happen if seasonal factors influence how much contact people have with one another, how susceptible they are to the disease, or other organisms that spread it such as insects.
As long as there is a sufficient supply of people still susceptible to the disease for each infected person to pass it on to, it will continue to spread. This supply can be replenished in various ways, depending on the characteristics of the disease.
In diseases that give permanent immunity after infection, each new child born is susceptible after the immunity obtained from the mother wears off. This is why childhood infections such as measles are endemic in many parts of the world where the birth rate is high enough.
In diseases that only give temporary immunity through natural infection, people lose that immune protection to become susceptible again. A virus or bacteria can also evade the immune memory by mutation so that people with immunity to an older strain will become susceptible to the new version of the disease. Influenza is a prime example.
We don’t yet know how long immunity from infection from COVID-19 will last, or how good vaccines will be at protecting people. But other coronaviruses that are endemic in the human population, such as those that cause colds, only confer temporary immunity of about one year.
Another important point is that people with immunity, whether from infection or vaccination, are rarely evenly distributed throughout a community or country, let alone the world. Certainly in the case of COVID-19, there are areas where the infection has spread more intensively and areas that have been relatively spared. Without even distribution, there is no population immunity even if enough people have been vaccinated to meet the predicted necessary threshold.
In these cases, the average R naught factor can be low enough that the infection is under control, but in the unprotected pockets it will be well above 1. This leads to localized outbreaks and allows the disease to remain endemic. It continues to spread from place to place, seeded by a few locations where population density and interaction are high enough, and protection low enough, to sustain transmission.
How we deal with COVID-19 once it becomes endemic will depend on how good our vaccines and treatments are. If they can protect people from the most severe outcomes, the infection will become manageable. COVID-19 will then be like several other diseases that we have learned to live with and many people will experience during their lives.
Depending on whether immunity – either from natural infection or from vaccination is permanent or temporary, we may need yearly vaccine updates to protect us (like influenza). Or it could be controlled by vaccination at some optimal age (like many childhood infections).
If vaccines not only prevent clinical disease but also strongly reduce transmission and confer long-lasting immunity, we can envisage other scenarios, such as the potential eradication of the disease. But realistically this is unlikely. Eradication is notoriously difficult, even for diseases for which we have almost perfect vaccines and permanent immunity. Endemic disease is therefore, the most likely outcome.