It is recognised that coronavirus is low risk for children. The highest risk groups are the over 70’s especially those with underlying health issues. It may have made sense for these highest risk groups to have undertaken a self-quarantine for the duration of the peak of the virus, and then gradually get back to being in the world again, socialising and seeing grandkids once the peak was over and enjoying their twilight years.
It is curious that Japan had a death rate of 1000 due to coronavirus and the UK had one of around 40,000. Japan has double the population of the UK making this discrepancy in figures even more curious. They also have a very large number of elderly. Japan didn’t do a lockdown by the way and kept many businesses open. Though they did go full-on with the mask wearing and they did close the schools quite early on as well as being more stricter with flights into their country. Perhaps if we had adopted a similar approach, we could have avoided destroying our economy and had a similar outcome. Consider also that despite locking down – the ‘death rate’ attributed to coronavirus still seemed to rise and rise.
Despite this, in its wisdom to save us all, our politak-crats placed everyone under house arrest, ordered all schools and shops closed. It also made life more challenging for families with small children by closing all soft play areas, zoos and museums. This I can understand, but it went further and shut all the playgrounds.
So I wondered, just what exactly are families with small children supposed to do? Especially if they live in an inner city flat with no private garden.
By doing so, they took away one of the few safe spaces for children to play in – ie playgrounds. For toddler-age children in inner cities, who do not have the luxury of private gardens, local playgrounds are invaluable. Playgrounds are usually gated, so parents can relax while their small toddlers can run around, use the climbing frames, slide, swing and not disappear off out of sight or be at risk of cars on the many roads.
Here are some photos of our local playground:
Interesting slogan: “Together…”
And just to make sure the message is clear, the local Kouncil placed chains around the gates.
The message is clear: Playgrounds are DANGEROUS. They must be closed.
Everything is always “For your Safety”.
By the way, it is summer time, the death rate due to corona is dropping and there doesnt seem to be any flu-like illnesses going around – coronavirus or even the regular flu (if you can remember that it still exists), and yet the parks are still closed.
I have noticed two side effects of this policy. Firstly, with no playgrounds, nurserys or pre-schools and no friends or elderly relatives allowed to help out (lockdown rules), young babies, and toddlers are watching more TV than is healthy.
This lockdown also places more strain on already tired parents who now have to entertain their smaller kids without a break when they are bored of watching TV, and are somehow supposed to do home schooling for older kids. Lest they end up playing video games all day long.
Secondly, when you did go out for your one time/one hour of allowed ‘exercise time’, kids now have to play on the streets and local grassy areas which have not been closed off. There are some downsides to this. On grassy areas, you have to watch out for dog poo constantly because many idiot dog owners let their dogs crap everywhere and just leave it.
Also ‘social distancing’ becomes a joke, when you have a small toddler who wants to run where he wants to. You have to constantly keep your child away from other people. You can see the mental and physical tiredness in other parents with toddlers who don’t want to have to police their child’s movements, but are obligated by the social distancing rule to keep their child away from others (lest lives are lost).
You also have to watch out for cars. As there is less traffic on the roads, people are speeding more. I wonder if traffic accidents have increased?
I wondered if by forcing this lockdown and social distancing rules, other problems have occurred as a result. Like how in the Chinese revolution, Mao ordered the killing of the sparrows that were eating all the crops in order to increase grain production. However, this led to an increase in the numbers of locusts, which ate all the crops anyway, as they lacked a natural predator (the sparrows apparently), causing an even worse grain shortage. The law of unintended consequences.
My local Kouncil went crazy in the way they closed off the playgrounds. They were not taking any chances. In one park, they actually put large fences around all the fun areas. Here are some photos:
This is a large metal fence around the zipliner. Behind, there are fences around the swings. I assume this is because touching the swings and zipliner can spread the virus and hence is DANGEROUS. Unlike pin card machines, door handles, the poles in buses or even shared computers at work. It appears that Coronavirus likes metal surfaces or rope exposed to sunlight and ultraviolet rays.
Here is another zipliner chained up. The Kouncil really hates zipliners.
Then there are the slides. Deadly harborers of infection. This fencing took some creative effort. Our glorious Kouncil actually put a fence all the way around this slide, which is on a slope:
They also fenced off the skateboard park and chained up the tennis courts. We hereby declare that PLAYTIME is BANNED! Get back to your CELLS for your LOCKDOWN Small little prisoner people. Go and watch some more TV and eat your sugar.
And the tire on a rope chain. Alas no more swinging:
Fortunately, in their compassion, our glorious Kouncil left the children this medium-sized rock to play with. Ah bles-sed are the small mercies. This rock was not fenced off. Though, I do wonder if the Kouncil had thought about putting one around it.
Perhaps this means that coronavirus cannot survive on rocks.
However, the kids had had enough. Lacking the regularity of school, haircuts and fun for several week, the children eventually went feral. They organised themselves into gangs and roamed wildly across the land. And then a few weeks later…
They tore down the fences!
Anarchy in the Playground!
The skatepark and tennis courts had also been un-officially re-opened. However, I didn’t take any pictures of it because there were lots of teenagers in there, skating, playing tennis and roller skating and I didn’t want to incriminate any of them. Particularly as none of them seemed to be practicing social distancing.
As far as I could tell they were having fun in the sunshine instead of being at home watching Nickelodeon or the Disney Channel and eating sugary snacks, where they would be safe.
But, do you know what…?
No one died!
There has been no outbreak of coronavirus in the kids in the local area. No teams of hazmat wearing doctors brought into my local area setting up field hospitals with helicopters whirring above. No people dropping dead in the street like those videos from China. No mass graves being dug on the football field nearby. Although there were some other visitors there.
No none of that. Just kids having fun.
BUT WHO DID IT?
I investigated and discovered that a small gang of local teenagers was responsible for breaking the lockdown and tearing down the fences. Here is a picture of the local gang from the Guardian newspaper:
I met with one of the local gangs of kids who were responsible for tearing down this fence and interviewed their leader Ralph.
Me: Thank you for agreeing to be interviewed Ralph. Can I ask, why did you tear down the fences around the playground?
Ralph: The fence around the playground was symbolic. We tore down the fence because, it represented a prison. It sent a message to young children to get used to living in a mental and physical prison state from now on.
Me: But what about the risk of the virus. Isn’t there a risk of infection when kids are touching the swings and slide, or when kids are breaking the social distancing rules?
Ralph: What infection? I don’t see anyone around me coughing or sneezing. Do you? I haven’t seen anyone sick for weeks and it is the middle of summer. Besides I thought that is what our immune systems are for – fighting off viruses.
Me: But the rules are there for a reason, if anyone started breaking down fences, or breaking the rules of the lockdown and social distancing when they felt like it, there would be anarchy. Society could not function. Is that what you want?
Ralph: We do not want anarchy. But there needs to be a balance of risk. No one can live in a bubble for ever. Eventually, we must face difficult things. If we spend our lives fearful of all viruses, disease and death, we end up losing the point of living or damaging ourselves in other ways.
Me: Thank you Ralph.
DISCLAIMER: The views of Ralph and his gang are not shared by the author of this blog and website. The interview is presented for informational purposes only.
Update (June 2020): The fences were put back up. I feel there is a metaphor here.
During the Great Corona Virus Pandemic of 2019/2020, one of the rules mandated by the UK government was ‘social distancing’.
You must maintain 2 metres (6’6″) between you and other people who are not immediate family.
This is especially essential in parks, where people might be tempted to break the rules. It’s called Robin Hood syndrome. Where people hide away in nature, build their own communes and escape the rules of the state.
And just in case, you didn’t know how far 2 meters is, the local Kouncils helpfully drew pictures on the footpaths to show us:
The Kouncils also put up signs to remind us that maintaining 2 meters between us and our fellow man, woman and child SAVES LIVES.
And this rule also applies to DOGS. You must keep your dog 2 metres away. Also only one walk a day was allowed.
Footpaths are not usually 2 metres wide, so some people actually walk on the road (the area where cars drive) to maintain the social distancing rule when they pass someone.
Personally I think its safer to keep on the path at all times.
By the way, if you travelled to Europe, you may only need to social distance 1.5 metres (Germany and Poland) or 1 metre (in Sweden and Norway). If you went to Australia, its 1.5 metres. In the USA, around 1 metre (6 feet). I don’t think they even did social distancing in Japan which had one of the lowest rates of Cor*na virus deaths in the world.
All makes perfect sense to me.
If there was a correlation between the length of social distancing and numbers of infected or number of deaths or cases, then in theory the UK should have the lowest number of cases and deaths as we have the furthest social distancing (a whopping 2 metres). And in theory Japan should have the highest number of cases and deaths. But that doesn’t seem to have been the case at all. The UK’s death count is over 40,000. Japan’s is around 1000.
And if you ever felt paranoid that people might be crossing the road when they saw you coming. Well now its true.
Disclaimer: I do not condone or support breaking the social distancing rules. I personally follow the guidelines. However, I do question the sense behind them.
Neither the original Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020 from March 26 nor the amendment enacted at 12:01am on Wednesday state that keeping two metres apart is a legal requirement.
This basically means to me that social distancing is not the law. So what is it?
My biggest regret of 2020 is not writing a diary and recording more of what is going on around me, along with photos. These are unusual times and it is becoming aware to me more and more that historical changes are occurring in the UK.
In nearby leafy Muswell Hill, a small Black Lives Matter Protest was held today, 14th June 2020 in the town square (if you can call it that). There were two black women speakers, who spoke about racial issues and discrimination with a degree of intensity. Some names were mentioned of people, who I assume had been discriminated against in the UK. Some people held up signs with these same names on. I was not able to record the names.
The protester’s, who I assume were local residents listened intensely and respectfully went down on their knees when instructed for what seemed to be around 10 minutes (must have been uncomfortable for some). A few people held the ‘black power’ fist aloft. It was a peaceful protest.
I would describe Muswell Hill as a Middle Class, high income area, with many professionals, and many of its young being university-educated. It is predominantly white. As far as I am aware the Liberal party has a lot of support here. It is a very pleasant area with a high amount of politeness and respect toward others. There were two police officers, though they stayed far at the back, out of the way with refreshments. It was highly unlikely there would be any trouble in this area.
The protest lasted around 30 minutes and then the small crowd dispersed. There was a mix of old, middle aged and young adults. Some wore masks. Some practiced social distancing, but due to the limited space, it was not really possible to maintain the full 2 metres. (So I suppose Corona’s gonna get some). Here are some photos:
Taking the Knee…
I do not share any particular affiliation or support for BLM or any other political organisation or protest group. I simple show this for historical purposes only.
In this article, I will highlight a few curious parallels between the 1968 Hong Kong Flu and the current – Great Corona Pandemic of 2019-2020.
What was the Hong Kong Flu?
As per its namesake, Hong Kong Flu emerged in Hong Kong and is said to spread worldwide, lasting from 1968 to 1970, with an estimated 1-4 millions deaths attributed to it. (Source: Britanica.com). It emerged in two waves, with the second wave said to have caused more deaths than the first wave.
There were differences in its effects on countries. For example, in Japan the Hong Kong Flu affected a smaller number of people, but it was more widespread in the USA. The symptoms were of a typical influenza infection – chills, fever, muscle pain and weakness. Symptoms lasted from 4 to 6 days. The highest mortality rates again were in the very young and the elderly. A vaccine was created, but only became available after the peak of the pandemic.
It is worth mentioning that only 10 years prior, there was also the 1957 Asian Flu Pandemic. A curious ten year gap between the two pandemics. Again that started in Hong Kong and spread around the world. So here we go…
Some similarities between Corona and the Hong Kong Flu:
1) Both started in Hong Kong/China
Yes, I know that China and Hong Kong are separate countries with different languages and cultures, though it is more or less the same region. It once was one country during the Qin dynasty (221–206BC), and may become one country once again. And a unification may have been underway, if not for the Hong Kong riots of 2019, which the government could not suppress. Taking a cynical standpoint, it was quite helpful for the Hong Kong government to suddenly have a great big virus appear, enabling them to shut down all these protests in one swoop.
You do have to wonder why China/Hong Kong/Asia is a hotbed of viruses. Is it really because they like wet-food markets and eat bats? If so, how is it that anyone has survived up to now? Surely China should have become another Easter Island by now.
2) Possible prior warnings given by a doctor in both pandemics
In 2020, the western media covered a story of a Chinese doctor whistleblower called Li Wenliang, who warned the world of this new virus emerging in Wuhan, published on a social media site called Weibo. He was warned by the government to stop spreading false rumours. He then came down with symptoms. He tested negatively a few times till eventually testing positive and then died.
He does have a rather intense stare at the camera, when taking his own picture. I dare you to try and take a selfie of yourself whilst intensely staring at the camera. How does it feel? Does it seem natural to you?
Then I saw this newspaper clipping from 1968 and I thought deja vu. This Headline reads: “Hong kong doctor alerted world”. Unfortunately I can’t get a clear image of the text:
3) Use of Masks encouraged, though more so in 2020
It used to be seen as a quirk of the Chinese and Japanese wearing face masks and Westerners would make fun of them. So I was really surprised to see people wearing face masks on the street on London streets. Now everyone is wearing them. I even saw a supermarket worker wearing a visor.
Mask wearing may have happened in 1968, but I don’t think it was very common. There is this clip from 1968. The text reads:
Masks to Stop Flu
Atlanta, Jan 3. About 1000 University of Florida students will wear surgical masks on the campus this month in an effort to combat an expected outbreak of Hong Kong flu…
I did ask my father about the Hong Kong Flu. He was a young man at the time. I asked him whether people were wearing masks at the time but he said he did not remember anyone wearing masks.
He also said, – ‘if you take a picture of a few people wearing masks and then people see that later, they might think that everyone was wearing masks at the time’.
Zoo or seaworld mammals susceptible, but not birds in the sky
And then in 1968, was this headline: “Even Whales Catch HK Flu”:
San Diego, Saturday. Three whales at the Sea World aquarium came down with the Hong Kong flu yesterday and had to be dosed with antibiotic pills concealed in mackeral.
Dr David Kenney, veterinarian for Sea World, said the three – Shamu, Kilroy and Bamu – were sluggish and grumpy, The whales, which are mammals and subject to the same disease as humans, had blood samples taken which showed a flu virus.
Dr Kenney said Ramu had the worst case and was getting 375 pills every six hours – UPL.
So then if Corona can spread from animals (bats) to humans and then back to animals again (tigers), logically, we should assume that pet dogs and especially cats are at risk.
And yes, there were reports of pet dogs and cats getting Corona. But apparently it was not severe in pets and also the media did not hammer this fear too much, otherwise, we’d have a whole new market for dog masks. Oh wait…. We do.
By the way, did you ever wonder why zoo animals/sea mammals getting the flu (but not birds in the sky) seems to make the headlines, despite how bizarre it sounds..?
It’s so they can shut the zoos.
Johnson and Johnson: The two Johnsons
By strange coincidence President Lyndon B. Johnson of the USA in 1968 and Prime Minister Boris Johnson of the UK in 2020 both succumbed to the virus and needed to go to hospital.
The clip above reads:
Johnson is Recovering
Washington Dec 19. President Johnson remained in hospital today recovering from an apparent attack of Hong Kong influenza now sweeping through the United States. The 60 year old President was admitted to the Beth.. Naval Hospital yesterday with a temperature of …. (can’t make out the rest)
Then in 2020, Prime Minister Boris Johnson, went into intensive care with severe symptoms. Fortunately, he survived and that week, along with the usual ‘Clap for Carers’ – (a weekly event on Thursday at 8pm, where households would clap or bang pots and pans from open windows or on their doorstep in honour of frontline healthcare workers), instead a ‘Clap for Boris’ was organised. Though it did not seem to be as popular.
The Dreaded Image of Corona
Finally, Did you ever wonder where they might have gotten the image of the dreaded corona virus from?
Here is an image of the H3N2 strain, said to be the cause of Hong Kong Flu (taken from Wikipedia), magnified 100,000 times:
And here’s the Corona virus image:
Both look very similar, The Corona image, which I assume is computer generated, is polished and more sinister looking.
So basically, it’s a round ball with little sucker-like protrusions sticking out of it and looks creepy. The perfect villain. But then again they do kind of remind me of the Tribbles ( the furry like creature) in Star Trek, which are not so creepy. In fact they are cute pet like, otherwise Lt Uhura wouldn’t have brought one on board the Enterprise
Perhaps they are not actually tentacles. Instead, it is a kind of fur. Would that make corona virus less scary or more?
Hong Kong Flu – never heard of it.
So if this was such a big pandemic back in the 60s and 70s, why had I never heard of it until I came across it by accident? I asked my father about it, and he recalled it, but it did not leave a big impression in his memory.
I certainly never heard of it in from my mother. No one seems to talk about it. My school history text books always had a short mention of the Spanish Flu, but never the Hong Flu.
Fortunately a few people around the world do recall the Hong Kong Flu and also the difference in attitudes back then compared to now. Here are some examples:
Or this perspective of the 1957 Aisan Flu by MickyD1026 YouTube Channel:
The human rights activist, Craig Murray of Mori Momento wrote this about the attitudes towards the Hong Kong Flu compared to today:
There was no massive panic, no second by second media hysteria, over Hong Kong flu. Let me start being unpopular. “Man in his 80’s already not very well from previous conditions, dies of flu” is not and should not be a news headline. The coverage is prurient, intrusive, unbalanced and designed to cause hysteria..
What worries me about the current reaction to coronavirus, is that it seems to reflect a belief that death is an aberration, rather than a part of the natural order of things. As the human species continues to expand massively in numbers, and as it continues casually to make other species extinct, it is inevitable that the excessive and crowded human population will become susceptible to disease.
Heck, back then they even had musicans and reggae bands making songs about Hong Kong Flu. Way way better than the TikTok Dance videos in 2020.
By the way, the B side of the single Hong Kong Flu, shown above by the Ethiopians is a song called ‘Everything Crash’!! Wow, prescient or what? First you have the flu, and then next you have the economic crash.
These Lyrics in Robb Jarmain’s song above – Hong Kong Flu, would probably be considered racist today.
I’m telling you, you’ve got the Hong Kong Flu
Everybody’s got it, even Fu Man Chu
There is of course one notable difference between these two pandemics; In 1968, the whole world was not placed under house arrest into a prison-like ‘lockdown’, simultaneously destroying millions of jobs, livelihoods and the economy.
But here in Hong flu, we do see a model, a pattern. Writing this in April 2020, can we expect a second wave of Corona, possibly in autumn or winter, just in time for the usual flu season? Will that second wave have an even higher death count attributed to it, just like the Hong Kong Flu’s second wave? Will be see lockdown again over Christmas effectively shutting down Churches again in time for Christmas – the same way Easter was shut down in 2020? These are just speculations. If this is the case, I would recommend that people continue to stock on long-life foods, Turkey, Macdonalds, and dare I say it – toilet paper. I also recommend that people get torches and other emergency supplies.
Corona does not need to come back each year now. Only the fear of it does to change society. It may, even be like the eerie Sylvia Browne prediction, from ‘End of Days‘ where the Corona pandemic appeared in 2020, causing a “severe pneumonia-like illness” and then suddenly disappears, only to reappear in another ten years time; enabling the next set of lockdowns, stringent measures and other changes to society. By then the so called ‘New Normal‘ will become the ‘New New New New New New Normal’.
A side effect of the current apocalypse/pandemic/zombie virus/asteroid is that it seems to make everyone need to poop more.
On the plus side, people are making sure to wash their hands thoroughly after and even sterilising them.
I found this out when I went to Tescos yesterday to get our usual stock of baby wipes (for our one year old) and was met with this:
There were a few left over – the more expensive ones. which I’m not buying.
But it made me wonder – are mothers stocking up on baby wipes (after all – they are quite valuable), or are general shoppers buying them up to sterilise doorhandles and wipe their hands/phones etc? Whichever – it’s a real bugger. Can’t people just calm down a bit?
Fortunately, I usually buy in bulk so I still have a stock. But it’s kind of ridiculous.
My wife’s Mamma friends also shared their photos of shopping at Tesco’s:
Human psychology is fickle and easily influenced. If you see shelves like this, it makes you start to think you need to stock up too, and so you start to panic-buy too. This is the real virus. Not corona. It’s fear.
We are all already screwed anyway. If food supplies ever did get cut off. We’d run out of food surely enough. After all, few are able to grow and stock their own foods. We all rely on the food suppliers.
I already wrote here – my opinion on this virus. The only real panic is the hype stimulated internationally by all the media outlets. That is the real fear we face.
Just imagine if there was a real crisis? Like food or water was cut off? Or if there was a real viral pandemic, killing people in the way coronavirus is professed to do so? How long till we revert to cannibalism, witch-hunts or pitchfork mobs?
Is our supposed human civility and society merely a shallow veneer? Easily shattered when we face hardship.
If so, our highest point of civilisation must have been during the second world war – a time when society did not break down when faced with great dangers and in fact pulled closer together.
I don’t think we are made of the same stuff anymore. But then, back then, they had to impose rationing, otherwise people would have stocked up and sold the excess on the black market. The same is already happening today with facemasks and hand sanitisers sold at inflated prices on Ebay.
And it’s not just the UK. It’s happening everywhere – where-ever there is this entity called ‘mainstream media’, there is panic buying and virus porn.
Here are some videos by Daily Rant Australia showing it happening in Australia particularly with toilet paper and soya milk:
The Russian author Valim Zeland talks about the trap of Pendulums in his book series – Reality Transurfing. Pendulums are essentially waves that we as humans get trapped into, which sucks our energy and carries us into a direction that services the pendulums growth. We become fuel for the pendulum.
Daily life is full of a multitude of pendulums. As more people get sucked into the pendulum’s swing, the more its momentum grows and the bigger it gets, further sucking in more people.
The important thing about pendulums is not to give them our energy. Live apart from them as best as you are able. Be aware of them, but never emotionally invested. It’s a hard thing to do in this day and age, when pendulums are thrust in our faces.
A person trapped in a pendulum may argue – ‘but if you don’t pay attention or play a part in it, it will affect you’. Actually no. The moment you get emotionally involved – either angry or fearful, the result is always a sucking and draining of your energy.
For the last few years in Britain, we’ve had the Brexit Pendulum. It has been full of non-stop debates and arguments between politicians, journalists and the general population. And now, just as a final ‘decision’ on Brexit seems to have been made, suddenly we have a coronavirus pendulum thrust upon us. Will we ever get a break?
And if a person can stop panicking for a moment and consider the last few pandemic scares – SARS, Bird Flu, Ebola, Mad cows disease, Aids… you can see the same patterns repeating again. It is yet another pendulum.
Disregarding the constant red-alarm bells going off in the media regarding coronavirus, here are some starter questions: What if there is no coronavirus? What if people died of other causes and a blanket cause was being blamed? A virus boogeyman. What if regular influenza viruses, pneumococcal infections or regular pneumonia cases were being misattributed to this same mysterious and terrifying virus and then overhyped?
Be aware that all through life and every year our bodies encounter and deal with numerous viruses, including coronaviruses. If our bodies are in a weak state, these viruses can be harmful to us, even fatal. If we are in relatively good health, our bodies deal with them, though we may suffer for a while. Such is life.
But watching the news in this age is fear porn. Stimulating and building us all up to a mad erotic frenzy. Blaming the Chinese, or the Africans. Doesn’t that seem racist? Or has this word been so beaten to death by now it has lost its meaning? Or blaming cows, bats, pigs, or monkeys.
One of the most notable things of the coronavirus is how it was first attributed to the Chinese eating bats. The ‘powers that be’, have a sense of humour. I vaguely remember the same thing about ebola originally being found in a cave somewhere in Africa and again there being a bat connection in the book – ‘The Hot Zone‘.
Here is a picture of a Chinese person eating bats that went viral.
Here is a picture of me eating bat soup. With chopsticks, so you can tell it was in China.
The bat is one of my son’s toys. He likes creepy things. It is made of rubber. It looks less gross than the one eaten in the actual bat photos above that apparently ALL CHINESE eat. Especially in Wuhan. And no, the picture wasn’t taken in China. It was taken in London.
We all remember Dinosaurs went extinct. What kind of flu got them I wonder..? Dino-rona.
What is the point of my bat photos? A little joke, sure, but the consideration here, is can we trust what we see at first glance. Photos can be used to create any kind of narrative. Some degree of objective evaluation should be adopted by the audience, especially in these times. But I am getting ahead of myself here. Back to bats…
Here is an article saying that some of the famous Wuhan bat pictures were actually filmed in Palau or Indonesia in 2016. Not Wuhan. And Apparently, eating bats is quite rare, even looked down on in China:
Videos of Asian people selling or eating bats have been circulating on social media since news broke of the coronavirus outbreak in China, with claims that bats are a possible origin of the new virus. The France 24 Observers team investigated six of the most shared videos. Five were filmed outside China, in Palau and Indonesia. None of the videos had any documented link to the outbreak.
Apparently, this lady in the screenshot above may have eaten the bat in the Pacific nation of Palau last year. And media reports of the Chinese eating bats were picked up and spun out of the control by sensationalist media outlets (pretty much all Western media then):
We found the Douyin account (Chinese version of TikTok) who posted this video (木タ木琪77).
In her profile, she says she is a student at the University of Wuhan. When we checked her account on January 28, we saw that she had deleted all her posts. She had also added a phrase to her profile, reading…
“Stop being idiots; these videos are from last summer!”
Just think, one day, you’re taking selfies whilst on holiday in Palau or Indonesia eating bats and bugs for your Instagram account. And then a year later, you’re Patient Zero in the Zombie Apocalypse. Who’d have imagined it?
This is just one of the unusual bits of drama and spin arising around the coronavirus. The other is the mysterious account of the whistleblower doctor Dr Li Wenliang, who first alerted everyone to the virus, was warned by the government against spreading panic, and then died from the virus. (despite testing negatively for it several times previously). It could almost pass for the plot of a movie. Perhaps it is.
Then of course, there are the various reports of bioweapons, predictive programming from a Dean Koontz book, and Bill Gates gets mentioned as he usually does. It’s all so very disorientating. And I think that is the point. The Pendulum wants us to be disorientated.
Lies and Panic
Can you really trust the information in front of you? Does anyone else remember that expression – “Weapons of Mass Destruction”? We are lied to all the time. How many families lives were destroyed because of that brutal piece of propaganda?
There are unseen costs to an epidemic, so we had better be sure we are in one. How much misery is inflicted on the world especially for businesses and hotels on the financial edge, going bust, or businessmen losing everything and committing suicide in despair due to the collapse in the tourist industry, leaving behind families. Will we see these kinds of stories emerging in the aftermath? We can wait and see, but I’m getting ahead of myself.
The message transmitted in coronavirus is simple – You are all going to DIE, so PANIC! Don’t think – PANIC! Shut your brain down. Listen to us. Believe everything you hear. Give your mind over to us!
Jon Rappoport questions the whole paradigm of these deaths being caused by a mystery virus. What if a virus is not the cause? Jon wrote a book called Aids Inc: The Greatest Scandal of the Century, and I did not know it at the time, but there were a number of distinguished doctors, scientists and molecular biologists in the 1990s who questioned the whole HIV = AIDS paradigm – here and here.
One physican – a Dr Robert Willner even purposely injected himself with HIV infected blood in a press conference in front of the cameras to demonstrate that the whole things was fake. He tested negatively afterwards,
One of the arguments in a nutshell being that they are unable to properly identify the virus. And yet, despite these credible scientists and doctors questioning the whole HIV = AIDS paradigm, the mainstream medical system and media ignored it. All through the 80s and 90s we had AIDS fear thrust in out heads. As a kid I remembered some of those terrifying TV commercials. Everyone was and is terrified of it. Yet was it all true?
Update: July 2020 – Interesting that the Immunologist Dr Fauci, who has been so prevalent in pushing the coronavirus fear in the US, was also prominent 40 years ago in the original AIDs epidemic.
Another virus on the block
What has AIDS got to do with Coronavirus? Coronavirus is another in a line of viral scares that ‘the powers that be’, throw at us every few years or so. If you think I’m a conspiracy nut, think about it for a while: We’ve had Zika, Ebola, Bird Flu, SARS. Every virus is going to kill us. This time it is the big one.
And there is a part of us that wants to think it is the End. We want to believe the collapse is coming. Perhaps it’s a fear ingrained in our psyches after experiencing the great flood of Biblical times, an event which was recorded by cultures all around the worlds. Perhaps, we have a collective memory of being annihilated. A kind of PTSD or Stockholm syndrome when it comes to matters pertaining to the apocalypse. Paul Simon sings – “every generation throws a hero up the pop charts”, here we have – every generation is terrified by a new viral boogeyman, or several.
Back to Corona virus – So what is causing these deaths?
Jon Rapport puts forward an argument that pollution could be a significant causative factor for these deaths. China is well known for being heavily polluted. In Wuhan, just last year, there were protests against an increased risk of pollution, since a new factory plant had been built. The kind of pollution the Chinese face, is a toxic combination of industrial age pollution (smog) and modern pollutants – chemicals, plastics and who knows what else in the air. Jon writes:
At the very beginning of my coverage of the “China epidemic,” I cited evidence the air quality in Wuhan is chronically dangerous.
Among other sources, I referred to a Yale review which stated that the mixture of toxic elements in the air is unprecedented in human history. The synergistic effects of these individual toxins is unknown.
I also mentioned the large street protests against air quality in Wuhan that took place last summer. These protests were also carried out in other Chinese cities. The government was obviously alarmed at the nascent rebellion.
The protests are now gone. Because the cities are locked down. It’s all about “the virus” as the cause of illness.
Horrific air quality brings on lung infections of all kinds, including pneumonia. Pneumonia is THE illness attributed to the coronavirus. How convenient.
The Chinese government has recently ruled that testing patients for the coronavirus isn’t necessary for a diagnosis of “epidemic illness.” A CT scan of the lungs is sufficient. If the patient thus shows signs of pneumonia, he is labeled “a coronavirus case.”
Air quality? Brushed aside.
Assessing studies of annual pneumonia deaths in China – covering years long before the supposed emergence of the new human coronavirus – I settled on the estimate of 300,000 deaths a year.
Assuming this death rate is more or less constant, hundreds of thousands of people could now be called deceased “coronavirus cases” without a flicker of interest in the actual cause of their illness. Those CT scans, picking up signs of pneumonia, and absurdly leading to the label “coronavirus”, are a perfect tool for deception.
Recent weeks have seen major protests there – in themselves a rarity in China – over plans for a new garbage incineration plant.
Holding banners with slogans such as “We don’t want to be poisoned, we just need a breath of fresh air”, thousands of people took to the city’s streets over two weeks in June and July calling for the suspension of plans to build the plant.
“We are fearful that the plant is too close to residence area”, one protestor in the city of 10 million told state media. Others expressed concern that emissions could worsen air pollution and harm residents health.
Local officials were apparently surprised by the scale and size of the protests, which came after several similar waste plants were reportedly found to be giving off dangerous emissions. Photos and videos shared on social media showed large crowds marching in the streets near where the plant was to be built, and police arresting numerous protestors.
The government has since suspended building of the plant, which locals said had halted protests, but a heavy police presence remains in the city where the situation is tense.
CNN article, written by James Griffiths, July 11th 2019
This is China. People have got to be really angry to protest against the government. I think that something like your kids and family members having to breathe toxic polluted air would be such a breaking point.
For years Western countries have been shipping their garbage – our plastics to China for recycling. A lot of these recycling plants were actually small scale family workshops where the whole families would work daily recycling these plastics into some kind of recyclable pellets. It is a hugely time-consuming process.
Here is an Amazon Prime movie called ‘Plastic China‘, which I recommend at least watching the trailer for, as it shows a small-scale family-run recycling workshop, with this man’s kids spending their days playing among a sea of plastic waste from the West (and no doubt ingesting small amounts of it into their bodies). But we don’t care, because we don’t see our plastic once we throw it away, and anyway they all eat bats.
According to the most recent statistics, provided by the Chinese Plastics Processing Association, in 2006 the country was home to roughly 60,000 small scale, family owned workshops devoted to recycling plastic.
Yi Jie, age 11 with her mother and sister, from one of these family owned recycle workshops – recycling our plastics. Screenshot from ‘Plastic China’.
These are some of the plastics they have to deal with. Can you recognise what they are?
If you cant see the picture clearly, it’s medical waste. I sure hope it wasn’t used. However, in the documentary, apparently, they also received things like used syringes to recycle. And one of the sorter’s biggest fears is getting pricked (and potentially infected with who knows what). This is very wrong.
Ironic, that the Western world panics about an over-hyped virus, while the real apocalyptic factors of this planet – plastics and pollution are ignored. Perhaps this really is the End Times.
Take it Back. We dont want it!
But now, the Chinese have stopped accepting it all. The whole plastic recycling thing just doesn’t work. And now, China is stuck with millions of tonnes of Western waste – a lot of it plastic. So what are they going to do with it all? Answer – burn it. Burn it all.
Yes – all that plastic, we diligently separated out and shoved in the correct bin. Never aware of the carbon footprint as it is shipped to the other side of the planet. It turns out that even with billions of people and thousands of family-run recycling workshops – its just too much plastic to recycle. They don’t want any more otherwise the whole of China will turn into one giant landfill. It probably already is. So they are going to burn it.
It’s ironic. As we try to be more greener, we only make it worse for the planet. We could have just burnt the plastics in our own countries. Or at least buried it. But instead, we found it more efficient to ship it to China for them to burn. Can’t risk those carbon credits – we’ve got to get carbon neutral here. Perhaps, instead of sending them our plastic, we needed to ship out Greta and her cohort to educate them all.
And all that pollution burning… Wouldn’t that be a causative factor in causing respiratory distress, pneumonia, lung disease, COPD, even death in the local population. Also, as we are in the flu season, if you added in a flu virus, could that be the final breaking point? Well yes.
Images of recycling plants in China and burning of plastic computer parts.
I often wondered what happened to all those old white desktop computers that everyone used to have 10-15 years ago? They didn’t go to computer heaven. Well in a way they did – as their plastic components joined the ether as smoke and pollutants. To be breathed in by the Chinese and their children.
I bet that sometime in the past, this canal must have been so much clearer. Possibly people could bathe in it. Have picnics by the side of it. Is this really progress?
More than that, the pollution is affecting the health of the Chinese. The image above shows children with respiratory disease at a hospital in Hangzhou for various reasons, possibly pollution (But not Coronavirus).
Coal, automobiles, burning plastics and chemicals: A REALLY BAD combination of pollution
But real air pollution is not so simple. The new study argues that smogs in China contain more ingredients than those found either in the legendary “pea-soupers*” of 19th and 20th century Europe and North America or in the modern rich world, vehicle-generated smogs.
*’pea souper’ – English expression referring to Pea Soup fog’/’killer fog’/’black fog’. Pea soup fog – a thick yellowish-greenish coloured smog.
In China… the development of coal-fired industries and increased automobile use have overlapped, which has resulted in the emissions of a complex mix of air contaminants.
Three other cities listed as regularly suffering dangerous levels of four or five of the pollutants are Jining, also in Shandong, Wuhan in Hubei province, and Jiayuguan and Jinchang in Gansu.
Picture of Wuhan air pollution in 2009
It looks pretty built-up in this city in Wuhan. Are there any parks? Trees? Pandas? What kind of air do they breathe there?
Anyone remember the ‘Great Year of Smog’ in London, 1952?
It was before I was born, but my father told me about it. He grew up in London in the 1950s. The Great Smog was a combination of cold weather, no wind, and smoke from coal-burning, which created a thick heavy smog that blanketed the city for a week causing respiratory distress, and death. It also reduced visibility, hence the stereotype of London being a dark foggy (smoggy) city, frequented by Jack the Ripper types. Little has changed, except there is no more smog.
According to reports, 4000 people died as a direct result of the smog and a further 10,000 were made ill due to the smog’s effects on the respiratory tract. Most of the dead were young, elderly or had preexisting respiratory problems. (Source Wikipedia, yes, I know sorry)
Notice how they are wearing face masks (well kerchiefs). Just like today in Asia. Also notice how they are really well dressed compared to today. But that’s another topic.
Hard to imagine, but SMOG actually causes respiratory disease
Doesn’t that all sound kind of similar to Wuhan?
On February 13th, the death toll from the coronavirus was 1,367 according to China’s National Health Commission. Now deaths are over 2000 worldwide on the 24th Feb, 11 days later. And yet still this number is less than the 4000 who died in the Great Smog of London, which lasted only four days from the 5th December to the 9th December, until weather changed and quickly dispensed the pollution. Additionally, a further 100,000 were made ill with respiratory disease due to the Great Smog. The population of Britain in the 1950s, was undoubtedly much smaller than the population of China today.
However, it is still early days yet for coronavirus, and there is another trick they have. Here is another CNN article:
Note that the title of the article above reads – “as country expands diagnosis”
The BIG question is just what does that phrase “expands diagnosis” mean? Well that is the trick to dramatically increase the number of people infected with coronavirus, so that we well and truly have a pandemic.
Here is an extract from the article:
The government explained the spike as due to a change in how the cases are tabulated – the total will now include “clinically diagnosed cases” after rising numbers of residents complained about the difficulty in getting tested and treated for the virus.
“Clinically diagnosed cases” are those patients who demonstrate all the symptoms of Covid-19 but have been unable to be scientifically tested, or died before they were tested… Almost 34,000 patients have been hospitalised across Hubei, the central Chinese province of which Wuhan is capital, including 1,400 or so in a critical condition. So far 3,441 patients have recoved and been discharged.
Ok, so this symptom checklist is just too general. And also I think they need to add two more symptoms formally to the list. (Though they are unofficially there already). These additional symptoms are:
Have come from Wuhan, (but actually anywhere in ‘ASIA’ counts).
So I checked the WHO website and really could not find any actual definition of symptoms. The closest I found was this:
Infection with 2019-nCoV can cause mild symptoms including a runny nose, sore throat, cough, and fever.
It can be more severe for some persons and can lead to pneumonia or breathing difficulties. More rarely, the disease can be fatal. Older people, and people with pre-existing medical conditions (such as diabetes and heart disease) apear to be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill with the virus”
This sort-of-definition from WHO doesn’t even include ‘shortness of breath’ as a symptoms, making it more inclusive.
In black and white, these types of symptoms do not seem so sensational. It certainly doesn’t sound like a ‘death virus’.
As far as I can tell – these symptoms could be due to any other type of flu, pneumococcal infection or pneumonia. These are the types of diseases that sweep the world every single year, infecting tens of thousands, and in some cases can kill the very young, the elderly, the malnourished and immuno-compromised. The same kind of flu’s, which we are always being hammered into getting a flu va*ccine for. Again to put it in some kind of perspective, there were an estimated 50,000 winter deaths in the UK between 2017/2018, which the Telegraph reported:
It is likely that last winter’s increase was due to the predominant strain of flu, the effectiveness of the influenza vaccine and below-average winter temperatures.
That’s 50,000 deaths during one winter (and in one country) – no doubt the elderly, homeless and immuno compromised. But compared to Coronavirus deaths (2000 deaths worldwide), which sounds like the real pandemic?
Consider also that in 2018, 2175 people in the UK died of pneumonia (Source: Express & Star). Yet, to add an interesting twist, some pneumonia deaths in China are not all being attributed to Coronavirus (Source: South China Morning Post). Though I wonder if this is the case for all pneumonia cases and all hospitals? I kind of doubt it and suspect that corona is being diagnosed in a blanket type way. But then again, this is all just speculation on my part.
So if you have the symptoms of regular flu or fever, you too can get diagnosed with coronavirus. Of course, there needs to be an Asian connection. Either you came back from there or met someone from there. And by Asia, yes, I do mean the entire continent of Asia stretching from Russia to Japan. Singapore, India, Mongolia, Korea, Pakistan, Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia. Its all ASIA and they all eat bats over there. Seems kind of racist…
STOP THE PRESS: But wait, every week brings something new – now Italy is the new hotzone. Tomorrow: Who knows? It’s the Silk Road… The Silk Road Damn it. As it was for the Black Death, so it is with Corona.
The Dummies Guide to Diagnosing Apocalyptic viruses
So going back to the topic of clinical diagnosis – what this means is that if you present with symptoms of the flu or cold (e.g. high temperature, cough, sore throat, fever), then you too can be diagnosed with coronavirus. No actual tests necessary. Of course, there needs to be an Asian, bat and now an Italian connection. Though, no doubt that will expand over the next few weeks.
Just how accurate is that really? I mean its not like the bubonic plague where a 14th century, poor, malnourished peasant could be clinically diagnosed if he presented with multiple flea bites, enlarged swollen lymph nodes, bulbous abscesses (bubos), and everyone in the village had the same symptoms. Then it would be a pretty good giveaway that it was has the bubonic plague and you probably don’t need to carry out tests to be sure it is the Bubonic Plague. Clincial diagnosis would be good enough.
But with coronovirus, someone may catch a regular flu or fever and then suddenly its like…
Donald: CORONA DEATH VIRUS!!!! Screams in high pitch
Woman: No! its just a nasty cold!
Screenshots from Invasion of the Body Snatcher, 1970s version
Consider that in a regular flu outbreak, deaths in the sick and elderly increases. In these circumstances, the deaths can be attributed to flu. But would that be truly accurate, if the person was severely immuno-compromised or elderly with underlying health conditions and which led to pneumonia.
And by the way, at the time of writing this article in the UK, there is flu and cough going around. I see people coughing and sneezing in Town. People in workplaces and schools have colds. It is that transitional point between winter and spring when colds and flu’s become commonplace. How easy it would be to diagnose any of these cases as coronavirus – especially if you have just come back from China (or Italy now).
Flu and Pollution Deaths
Lets go back to pollution as a cause of death:
Notice how China comes up as a dark red – 500,000 to 1,250,000 deaths in 2017. Wow, that is a lot of deaths! How many deaths due to coronavirus so far? – around 2-3000. I wonder – will the number of pollution deaths actually go down in 2020 because deaths are attributed to something else? – Say like a mysterious virus?
And how about, Chinese politicians and big business gets tired of the rising deaths of pollution and people protesting, but they don’t want to cut down on business. What can they do?
Here’s the same chart interpreted a different way:
A record number of US patients died from flu last year, with 80,000 deaths recorded in 2017-18, says the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Robert Redfield.
He gave the 80,000 estimate during an interview with the Associated Press in New York… it means that the 2017-18 period will have had the highest number of deaths from flu, by some margin, since tracking began in 1976. The previous record as 56,000 in 2012-13.
Putting these figures into some kind of perspective, coronavirus deaths is far less than regular flu deaths in previous years. And much less than deaths attributed to pollution.
You may argue that the virus has only just gotten started. It will be a pandemic sweeping the world, killing everyone. Just like ebola, just like SARS, just like Zika, Oh wait…
Except that those particular diseases didn’t do that. Even though the media got us all thinking that they would.
Hmm… I spot a pattern here.
‘But NO’, you argue. It’s different this time. Its the next Spanish Flu! Its the next T virus! Its a bio weapon. The smoke in Wuhan is not pollution. They’re burning the bodies. It’s the CIA. It’s Bill Gates.
I’m not saying it couldn’t be any of those things. Maybe it is. I’m just stating that the one thing it most definitely is – is HYPE. Massive amounts of it. The media and the powers that control it are hyping and sensationalising it all. For what purpose I can only speculate.
I’m also throwing up another possible cause of these deaths in China – Pollution leading to an increase in pneumonia cases and lung diseases, with deaths attributed to the newly discovered mystery Corona virus. Followed by both the Chinese and Western Medias over-hyping it and attributing their own regular flu and pneumonia cases, in their respective countries, to coronavirus statistics.
And as I mentioned earlier, this idea is not my own – but something considered by Jon Rappoport who knows a lot about virus hype. Out of all the theories being banded around by mainstream and alternative media, that sounds quite logical to me. Far better than theories of CIA plots, GM viruses escaping labs in order to further Agenda 21 and the Georgia Guidestone’s Master Plan, mastered by Bill Gates.
Of course, there may be some of that in there too. But in this situation, I’m going to veer towards it being the hype hypothesis.
I argue here – that we can’t believe all the reports or the hype. Nor can we believe that this virus is the killer it is said to be. We should even question the presence of a virus in many of these ‘confirmed cases’. I believe there may be other explanations for the deaths and diseases in Wuhan, that need to be considered more thoroughly.
STOP: don’t ask questions. don’t evaluate anything you hear….
PANIC – DO IT NOW! It’s the Apocalypse!
Forget these surgical masks. If anything instills panic, it’s them. No, If you’re going to wear a mask, then get one that covers your face and has holes for eyes. Look like you mean business.
And buy a chainsaw.
Fear is contagious
It is what we are not being told that matters. And we will rarely get the full facts. Instead all we get is media hype, fear mongering, ie fear porn, which activates the reptilian brain fight or flight response.
Just last week, I heard a story from someone. He had gone to hospital for a consultation. In the waiting a room, a family came in with a small child with cold and fever. It was heard that they had just got back from “Asia”. Suddenly, fear and panic swept over the hospital waiting room. The other patients started leaving the area. The family were told to return home. No doubt guys in white suits would come along after to disinfect the waiting room.
Asia is a big continent. And kids… kids get colds and flus and fevers all the bloody time. Especially in the winter and spring months with the change of temperature and weather. C’mon. But no, if you are Asian and have a fever and have come back from Asia (Pakistan?) then you have the death virus.
It can be worrying enough dealing with a young kid with a high temperature or infection. But then when you add something like fear of the coronavirus into the mix, it can easily become the final fuse blown in a tired, frazzled parent’s brain. We get mental shutdown and people just go along with it. It is hard even for the most rational-minded person to not get sucked in by the pendulum, when they are facing a continuous onslaught of hype and media fear-porn.
Panic, everybody panic.
The Marie Celeste
In Yokohama, there has been this somewhat bizarre quarantine-type drama going on, with passengers on board the cruise ship – the Diamond Princess, confined to their cabin rooms after an outbreak on the cruise ship. I suppose the cabin crew are still allowed to move around to feed the holiday makers, otherwise we’d have seen a famine as well as a siege. (Update – now there is a similar quarantine drama going on in a hotel in Tenerife full of British holidaymakers).
Just what kind of movie drama was going on there? Where is Steven Seagal when you need him? Under Siege III needs to be made.
Steven: WE KNOW YOU LIKE JAPAN. Get over there and SUSHI some CORONA ASS!
And get your ass to China on the way there Steven. Kung Fu some Corona. In fact, Steven did star in a movie where he killed some vampire-type creatures. There’s your bat connection there.
What has corona go to do with Steven Seagal? Well what has corona got to do with bats or even seafood markets?
Are we so fragile as a species that a minuscule virus can appear in a bat in a Chinese wet market and within weeks destroy human civilisation? Really question – Just how on Earth did we survive all these years without hand sanitiser and face masks? Boy we must have dodged so many bullets (or bats) just to make it this far. And this does not mean I believe in it being a bioweapon either.
In fact, I am so fed up with this discrimination against bats (and Chinese), that I have decided to attribute the cause of coronavirus to Steven Seagal. Yes that is right. Steven is responsible. Forget animal to human viral transmission. Here we have Steven to Humankind transmission.
I mean it’s no less scientific an explanation than anything else the media drudges up.
The Diamond Princess
And what of the elderly couple that died on board the quarantined cruise ship the Diamond Princess? Did they truly die of coronavirus as was reported? Or was it the fact they were confined to a cabin without fresh air, like prisoners? What if they had other health conditions? Will we hear about that? Or will their unfortunate deaths be counted as coronavirus statistics? Which they have done already.
And in fact, we now know that they did have underlying health conditions:
Two passengers from the cruise ship quarantined in Japan have died after contracting the new coronavirus, the first deaths among the more than 600 people on board who have been infcted, a Japanese health ministy official said on Thursday.
The two people, both Japanese, were an 87 year old man and an 84 year old woman, the Japanese broadcaster NHK reported. They were taken to hospitals on Feb 11 and 12 and both had underlying health issues, the broadcaster said. No other information about them was immediately available.
And just how were they tested? You have to dig very hard to find any examples in the news of how the tests were carried out. All I can find is that people were tested as either positive or negative and there was some questioning about the accuracy of these tests by some of the infected. Yet little about how the virus is actually tested. So I assume they were tested based on symptoms.
But here you have Elderly couples cooped up in a prison cell, I mean cabin, unable to go out, get fresh air, get exercise, and are fearful and stressed – then get sick. What a surprise. They had underlying medical conditions, which we are told nothing about. What if they ran out of medication? What if they needed to see a doctor but were unable. So many ‘whats’.
The only thing I know for certain, is I will never go on a cruise. And if at any time in my life (perhaps when I am elderly), the idea starts to appeal to me, someone please slap me. We’ve had cruise ships sinking and now Ghost ships. No thank you. I think if I travel, I’ll do like my father, and backpack.
(Update: 20th April – Now a few weeks after the whole world has been put into a so called ‘quarantine’, i.e. lockdown. I realise now that the original lockdown on board the Diamond Princess was probably an early test for doing a lockdown on a wider scale – ie on entire countries. And we can see from the Diamond Princess just how ineffective that was). So what is the point? I wonder if we are being treated like lab rats in a giant social experiment?
There are deep concerns laboratory tests are incorrectly telling people they are free of the coronavirus. Stories in several countries suggest people are having up to six negative results before finally being diagnosed.
Meanwhile officials in the epicentre of the epidemic, Hubei province, China have started counting people with symptoms rather than using the tests for final confirmation.
As a result, nearly 15,000 new cases were reported on a single day – a quarter of all cases in this epidemic.
A question: Why do they keep retesting the same person, until they get a positive result for coronavirus? Is it a case of – ‘we’ll just keep testing you, until the we get the result we want’? ie. The ‘Positive result’ being the right one – like a test on an exam.
Well I suppose they will argue that people can still be infected even without a positive result, or perhaps they will argue that it takes time for the virus to show up. Who knows? It all sounds like a fudging of results.
This BBC article also brings up other points where the tests can show fake results. I won’t go too deeply into this, But I think the main point to take from this article is not that people are not being diagnosed enough. But that testing for coronavirus is inaccurate and flawed.
Hence why diagnosis is based on clinical signs and symptoms rather than actual tests. But considering that the symptoms of coronavirus are EXACTLY the same as symptoms for other flus and fevers, just how accurate is this? Not very.
What we then get is not an under-reporting of coronavirus cases. But actually an over reporting. That is not true science. Or medicine.
Additionally, again by changing the way they diagnose it – by basing it on these generalised symptoms – suddenly the number of cases dramatically increases. Like widening the goalposts. By a lot.
BUT wait: Update – the Chinese reverted back to the old way of counting cases. So now the cases will go down again. Its a magic counting system. Kind of like snakes and ladders. The pendulum swings again, giving us more drama and frustration and keeping us on our toes
The problem with writing about this particular coronavirus scare – is that news updates and panic about the whole epidemic/pandemic/apocalypse comes thick and fast every day and every week. Even the smartest, most vigilant people can find their resistance worn down by the constant spin, till you start believing in the stories and then start fearing. Then the pendulum has you.
For example, just now, we hear of an outbreak of cases in Northern Italy accompanied by images of people spraying the streets with ‘who-knows-what’ kind of chemical in order to kill the evil death virus.
How effective can such a method be? Very ineffective, I should think. Generally viruses don’t survive well outside the body, and I should think there’s even less chance of surviving, let alone infecting people if remnants of such a virus are lying on some street or road.
I suppose theoretically some pigeon may get infected by hopping around on the street and then spread it to some pigeon-loving local, feeding it pizza on a park bench. So hey, let’s spray that poison (or whatever it is). It looks more dramatic and action-like. And it contributes to the pendulums growth.
If it was really lethal, we would be seeing a real lockdown
Instead, people are allowed to travel and ‘infected people’ allowed to return home. If it is so lethal, people wonder why people at risk of infection are being flown back into their home countries? To spread it of course – the fear that is, and the virus. The pendulum needs more people infected to continue its momentum.
If it really was a death virus – for example – that you only have to be in the same room as an infected person, and you will die – then it is highly doubtful, these people would be allowed to travel. The rich and poweful need servants too. They don’t want to catch something from the help.
Ebb and Flow
Another thing to consider is that in a year’s time, the whole hype and epidemic will be finished, and be collectively forgotten about, much like SARS and EBOLA. Does anyone even remember Zika anymore? And then everyone will settle back into collective complacency again. Until the next big scare is released and our apocalypse PTSD is triggered, kind of like a Manchurian Candidate trigger is switched on in our brains.
Coronavirus is a pendulum. It is running its course. When it is finished, a new fear will be invented. And it will probably have a quirky name like they all have.
Do we want our emotions and minds toyed with, manipulated like we are test subjects in a lab rat experiment? We must question everything we hear. Even the alternative media should be questioned.
That is how to escape this pendulum. Don’t succumb to fear. Question everything.
And if you want some guidelines, here are some:
Wash your hands (especially after using the toilet), don’t defecate on the street, don’t spit on the ground or in elevators and don’t eat bats. Some things are just not meant to be eaten. Oh, and perhaps it’s time to so something about our garbage and plastic problem. But unfortunately, that may be beyond our ability at this point in reality.
(DISCLAIMER: No fear-porn will be promoted in the following extract):
Update – 15th March 2020
So a few days after writing this, Japan succumbed to the fear and shut down their schools setting off the wave of panic in Japan… The pendulum grows. Mind you, they do have big stakes in all of this. Japan is holding the Olympics and I am quite sure they absolutely do not want to cancel or even postpone this event. This is a country that likes running to clockwork, so I can understand this action.
(Update 4th April 2020 – Olympics were cancelled till 2021)
And since then, the rest of the Western world is also in the process of being locked down. Curfews in place – right in front of our eyes. Police state powers introduced and incredibly, people are actually welcoming these changes. This is truly a different event.
Odd that celebrities and politicians seem to be getting infected all over. Though, I am yet to meet a Bill or Betty around me with the diagnosis*. **, And curiously whenever these celebrities and politicians get it, it’s so mild because they still seem well enough to make broadcasts.
I remember catching flu in past years, and the last thing I wanted to be doing is speaking with the outside world in any way at all because I felt so wretched. Yet they all seem quite alright, considering its a killer disease. Of course, when the average person gets it, it’s a killer. FEAR FEAR FEAR.
*Update 16th April 2020 – Ah wait, Prime Minister Boris got it and had to go to ICU.
Curiously, this whole ‘celebrity-getting-the-corona-virus’ seems to be a worldwide anomaly from the USA to Britain, Japan, even Thailand. It’s not the homeless on the street getting it, with their dirty unwashed and unsanitised hands and poor diets. Oh no, – it flies right over them and goes straight and attacks the famous in their 5 star hotels and gated mansions. They had better hire a new cleaner. Their old ones are clearly not scrubbing the surfaces adequately.
We’re also seeing his pattern of aged comedians in various countries apparently dying from it. Ken Shimura in Japan. Eric Large in Britain. The media… is going into overdrive, ney – hyperdrive. And we are still not at peak media fear-mongering yet.
**(Update 04/04/20 – Actually, I am aware of one person who was told she has Coronavirus, but no test was carried out, it was based on her symptoms and the person in question was told to stay at home and was not sent to one of these makeshift hospitals)
Oh, yes, and toilet paper, and various other products are stripped off of supermarket shelves all over the world. People are afraid – afraid of death, afraid of the unknown, and this fear is being played upon by those that people trust (the powers that be) causing them to panic and act irrationally. All they are trying to do is protect themselves and their families. But they have been swallowed by the pendulum.
My opinion on this whole coronavirus hype has not changed, despite the headlines and ‘supposed increasing death rate’ (mis) attributed to coronavirus. I still stand by the assertions I have written about in this article.
Further Update 04/04/20
At the time of originally writing this article and publishing it, the corona virus was mostly predominant in China and on board a cruise ship in Yokohama. Since then, it has decimated Italy and is now spreading through the rest of the world. It is just getting started in the USA. I wonder how lockdown and curfews will be received in a country that has guns? I wonder how they will cope when all fast food restaurants are shut down? When Postal meets Corona. The may be another reason for all those makeshift hospitals, that will become apparent as events unfold. What happens when the citizenry of a country rebel?
And what of the arguments I raised in this article – that corona virus is a blanket term for different causes of death related to lung and respiratory type diseases – pneumonia, pollution-related deaths, influenza as well as other complications particularly in those with compromised health and disease?
On the face of it, these arguments seem weaker, however, if we do a little research we can find that some of these arguments still apply. For example, I discussed about how a particularly pernicious form of pollution should be considered as a factor in the high death count in China. In fact, this also applies to Northern Italy. One of the few true journalists left in the world – Peter Hitchins, explored this in his interview with Professor Dr Sucharit Bhakdi, one of the most highly cited research scientists in Germany and an infectious medicine specialist.
Here is a quote from Dr Bhakdi:
Different mortality rates may well be due to different local situations. For example, what does Northern Italy have in common with China?
Answer: Horrific air pollution, the highest in the world. Northern Italy is the China of Europe. The lungs of inhabitants there have been chronically injured over decades. And for this simple reason the situation may not be comparable to elsewhere.”
So Northern Italy has more in common with China then we think. In fact, you could even call it the Italian China. This is because, the Italian manufacturers have been playing a little trick on us consumers. Whilst the rest of the world has shipped all their industries and factories to China to take advantage of their lowly paid slave-work force and lower quality. The Italians didn’t want all there supposed luxury clothes and handbags to have the “Made in China” label. So rather than ship their factories over there. Instead they shipped thousands of Chinese to come over there to work in little factories in Northern Italy.
I had wondered why some products with the “Made in Italy” lately seemed so cheaply made. Now I know. Here is a video from the YouTube Channel ‘China Uncensored” which discusses this sleight of hand. Watch it soon, because China Uncensored will probably get censored at some point.
If you can’t bring Mohammed to the mountain. Bring the mountain to Mohammed. Or something like that.
This is not to say that pollution is the cause of it all. Or that it is the Chinese that are spreading it. Certainly a very bad form of influenza may well have been spreading among the Chinese migrant workers from Wuhan to Northern Italy and into Europe. But that this virus (corona) is mutating and spreading like a demented version of the T-Virus in the movie Resident Evil and infecting the planet, is questionable. It is just one factor among many in this huge event that will be known in future history textbooks as the ‘Great Coronavirus Pandemic of 2020’. Our descendants will be looking back on this time the same way we look at the Spanish flu. So wear your best clothes when taking selfies of yourself wearing a mask. Future kids doodling in history text books at school will be judging what you are wearing.
Conclusion (Update 4th April 2020)
I would also like to leave a little fuel for thought: Just the fear itself of getting ill can make a person ill. This is the power of the placebo effect. The body has the ability to heal itself. especially spontaneously heal itself with the power of the mind, as we can see with the phenomenon known as ‘Spontaneous healing’, but it also has the power to make a person sick.
If you are under lots of stress for various reasons – perhaps you lost your job (which has been happening a lot recently), or you have financial stress. And then perhaps a bereavement or divorce thrown in for good measure. And don’t forget the quarantine – the lack of sunshine, fresh air and Vitamin D. All this makes your immune system weak. And then at the same time you get symptoms of a cold.
Well if you are already weak and then you are also subjected to this 24 hour media fear-mongering porn which the media is firing at you, telling you you are going to die if you walk within 6 feet of someone especially if you don’t have on a mask and gloves, then in your mind, suddenly that cold may be something much much worse. The programmed thought creeps it – “it could be the killer virus!” How will that affect your healing with that fearful state of mind? It could possibly make it much much worse.
This pandemic is a challenge to our mental state more than our physical state. It is an assault war against our minds.
Instead of healing naturally, the excess worry and fear may slow down healing. The mental stress will subdue the immune system. Then it is not inconceivable that this cold or flu becomes pneumonia, and then is diagnosed as corona virus. Such is the power of the mind. Things are not always so straightforward when it comes to health.
By the way, are homeless people getting corona? Is there an epidemic of homeless people flooding the hospitals? I don’t think they wash their hand all that much. Well???
I had hoped to leave this article alone and be enjoying the spring and summer. I had been planning to travel abroad. But I feel the need to keep updating it, because I am in the middle of this movie and it is still playing out. Also I am ordered to stay at home.
Much of the world is being shutdown, quarantined, locked down. By the way, the expression “Lockdown” is prison speak for shutting up the rioting prisoners. It is a form of punishment.
A cynical, conspiracy-minded person may think we were being lock-downed as punishment. For what? – well perhaps for misbehaving. All those protests – the Yellow Vests in France. The Hong Kong riots. Maybe even Brexit falls under that. As Micheal E Jones said – “the oligarchs are losing the narrative. This is their way of regaining it”. This is one of several plausible explanations.
Personally, I don’t believe in 5G or in the bio weapon theory escaping from a lab in China, which kind of reminds me of the storyline from the ‘Return of the Living Dead’ movies back in the 1980s – “Brains, Brains, Brains” – where has everyone’s brain gone?). And I really don’t believe in Qanon. Anything where President Trump is the hero has got to be a joke. As I said before, The Powers That Be have a sense of humour. But, I think the answer is much more right in front of your eyes.
Very few people are looking at the wider issues that this whole lock down is bringing up. We all need to stop the panic and take a broader view of the whole situation. Also look at what is to come.
We are following China’s model. China is a police state that treats its citizens like worker slaves. China has a tradition of murdering millions of its own people. By the way – google ‘illegal organ harvesting in China’, to see just how awful that country is. In the West we are meant to stand for freedom. The Chinese government lies – all the time. It also uses very crude, almost comical levels, of propaganda. This is not the model we want to be following. Seriously, no matter how scared of this invisible virus we are; after the whole thing abates, what kind of society are we going to be living in? Read or reread 1984 again during this lockdown to understand where this can all go.
Secondly, do you think we can shut down all these businesses, cut all these jobs without there being a massive impact on people’s lives and the economy. It was sucking before. It was abnormal before. But we are going to be seeing big changes. It may be months down the line, perhaps years, but things are going to change in a big big way. Because what we are looking at is another 9*11 event. And that is the real thing we should be paying attention to.
Because maybe then, we will finally need all that toilet paper we’ve got stocked up in our spare rooms and balconies. To eat.
Sometimes we are faced with choices. These may be choices to change your life course. Or to move someplace new. Perhaps start a new job, or relationship.
Choices can lead to big changes in your life. And so it is normal to be a little anxious. Most choices require an active decision on your part. Do you take the new path or stick to what you know? What is the right choice for you? What to do… What to do?
How to make a decision
One time, when I had to make a big decision, I spoke to a colleague who advised me to make a list of all the pros and all the cons of the possible choices, and then make a decision based on that.
This idea of running through the pros and cons seems sensible. It seems logical, but it doesn’t work for me. On that occasion, even if I did the list and decided that one of the choices was better, I still found myself second-guessing and pondering again on my choices. I would basically keep changing my mind. Not good.
I think that human life is not always logical. Certainly not the way I live it. I prefer an intuitive approach.
This made me think of something the British philosopher Alan Watts once said when making decisions. It went something like this – ‘you spend hours and hours going through the pros and cons of a decision, and then finally when the time comes to make a choice, instead, you make a snap decision based on how you feel’.
Yes, this sounds right to me.
Listening to your internal advisor
The advice that really speaks to me came from the Russian author Vadim Zeland, in his book series called ‘Reality Transurfing‘
Vadim says that if you have to really convince yourself to go ahead with a particular decision, then this is the heart speaking to you that it is not right.
He believes that your heart knows on a deeper level what is right for you and what is wrong.
I have learnt that if you feel any unease deep in your heart over a decision, or you have to convince yourself to make a decision a certain way, then it is not the right path.
I recall something my driving instructor once told me many years ago, when I was learning to drive. She said, ‘when you are at a junction and you are not sure whether you can go, then don’t go’.
One example from my own life was the choice to move to a different part of the country for work. Though logically, it seemed a good choice to take. I could never shake the feeling that it was wrong for me. There was a lot of doubt in my heart and mind.
In the end, I overrode my heart, and chose what I thought was the logical decision. I moved but it didn’t work out. Even after making the decision, I could never shake the feeling that it was the wrong choice. Numerous small obstacles came up. My family was unhappy. In the end, it didn’t work out, and I ended up backtracking, but I lost time and money doing so. Fortunately in the end, I also learnt from this experience. I learnt that I had to trust my heart and intuition more and listen to it, when making big decisions.
The alternative space
The Russian author Vadim Zeland talks about the ‘alternative space’ – a different dimension or reality, which your heart is tuned into. This means that your heart (not the physical organ) sees the different possibilities, realities or future behind a choice.
On the other hand, the mind (which we tend to use when making decisions), attempts to use logic, but probably more likely operates on past-conditioning when making decisions. The mind may also operate from a perspective of fear or survival and can override any messages coming from the heart. You can think of the heart as intuition. Also what we call the ‘gut feeling’.
I believe that if we can follow our heart, it can lead us to a more fulfilling and prosperous experiences in life.
Anxiety and Fear
A choice to do something new or different can be scary. It is natural to feel some fear when embarking on a new endeavour. But you have to distinguish whether this fear is just the normal kind of anxiety a person can get from doing something new, or whether it is a message from the heart telling you that this is the wrong choice for you.
A sense of fear and anxiety when doing new things is normal and will help you to grow if you overcome it. On the other hand, a sense of unease about a decision may well be the heart directly communicating to you from the ‘alternative space’, that this particular decision is not right and can lead to an undesirable outcome.
Fear or Heart?
If decisions scare you, you should judge whether this fear is because you are being challenged or stretched in a way that you are unfamiliar with, but which may be good for your development. Or is it fear, because your heart is communicating with you that it is the wrong decision?
If the heart is communicating to you that it is a wrong choice, the feeling will be heavier and tied in with a sense of foreboding. The choice simply feels wrong, regardless of whether it would be best for you from a logical standpoint. It may also be a choice that you have to continuously persuade yourself to do, or one where you can’t stop having doubts about it, even after making a decision.
I also believe that life throws us small signposts or synchronicities when you embark on a new life or path that is in tune with your spiritual and life development. These are signs from the universe that you are going the right way. So just keep going.
These signposts may be things like meeting a new person that you totally in tune with. Or even obstacles simply disappearing from in front of you, making the path smoother. It may even be money flowing to you, to encourage you on your way.
On the contrary, when you are not in tune with a decision or choice, you may find many small annoyances or obstacles keep coming up. For example, you may meet more annoying people, who just keep turning up in your life. Or perhaps if you move somewhere new, small things keep breaking down – and you have to deal with them. It may seem coincidental but I don’t believe such things are. They are negative synchronicities.
When a choice you make is in tune with your heart, then the decision will make you excited even if it will be difficult. These feelings are good indicators that it is the right path and is likely to lead to all sorts of interesting experiences in life.
Sometimes in order to move your life forward, you have to put yourself forward. You have to make decisions or choices that stretch you. It may be going for a new type of job, or promotion or creating a new business. Or it could be training in a new field, for which you have little experience in previously. It may even be moving to a new city to escape a place where you were stagnating. Or it could be writing that book or creating something to put out there for others to gain from.
It’s something, we have to go through
It is likely that in our lives, at some point, we would have had to done this already. For example, the young man or woman, embarking on a new career early on, would have required courage to do so. It may have been scary and challenging, with some difficulties early on. It also would have required meeting a whole load of new people from different backgrounds and getting on with them. However, if you passed through these challenges, you would develop confidence and sufficiency at this new work. As well as self-belief. It is at this point, you are actively learning and growing as a person. As we all need to do.
Once a person becomes comfortable after passing this stage, one of the pitfalls would be to stop growing and be content with where you are. In the past, some people would be able to stop and stick with this level of development for the rest of their lives. There is nothing wrong with that. But in this age, where jobs and work are less secure, it does not hurt to stay hungry.
Staying at the same place can also get boring. For example, my father has been a gardener for the last 40 years. A few years ago, he started to tell me how he was getting bored of his work and wanted to do something different. So he started to invent a new design of seeding tray. Perhaps, if he’d had the same thoughts 20 or even 10 years previously, he would have come up with a lot more different ideas and opened up a new type of life and work for himself. Still, better later than never.
The easiest option for everyone is to stick to what you know. But some people would like to do something different before they get too old to do anything new. And if you embark on something new, you may just find a re-emergence of those feelings of fear and anxiety. The same kind of feelings you may have had as a young person starting off in a new job. That is what it is like to be young again. Do you remember it? Youth is about exploration. Don’t get old too early. As I wrote here – youth is as much a mental state as a physical one.
A friend told me this:
My only advice to guarantee prosperity and contentment is to go where the risk lies. Unless you are extremely uncomfortable, nothing will change.
The path of courage
It is the path of courage. And it involves taking a leap of faith sometimes. To do something new, may require you to move away from the path you know well and to do something different. You may have done well for yourself the last 20 years. Perhaps in a job, where you know everything in-and-out. You know all your co-workers. They know you. Why would you want to start doing something new and scary again? The answer is – to grow of course. And maybe even to find something you are really good at.
Leap of faith
I think the best analogy comes from the movie Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. There is this scene where Jones enters an underground cavern. He comes to a ledge overlooking an abyss. He needs to get to the other side, but there is no way across. Not even his trusty whip could be used. As he looks down, all he sees is darkness and a likely drop to his death.
But this abyss is one of several tests to reach the holy grail. For this particular test, it is required that the challenger must take a ‘leap of faith’. There is no other way to cross. He must take one step into the abyss and into certain death.
Jones closes his eyes and takes the step. He expects to fall to his death, but something happens. His foot finds a step. It was there all the time, hidden in plain sight by the darkness and by optical illusion. It first required an act of faith on his part to find it.
Another scene that fits, comes from the classic movie – The Matrix. Neo must leap from the building and jump to the other side. This test is different. In order to make the leap, Neo must believe in his own abilities. There can be no doubt in him, otherwise he will fall, which he does the first time.
These are analogies from popular movies. But I think the same applies to real life. Obviously I’m not talking about leaping from buildings, but I am talking about getting started on something new – something, that you really want to do, but have never gotten round to, because life got in your way. Here’s a hint – life will always get in your way. The challenge is to make time in your day to work on something else.
And I think that once you get started, you may find that the path was already there – just waiting for you, but hidden. When the flow in your life starts moving, you may find new doors open up for you that you never imagined were there.
And whilst the sensible and most comfortable thing to do in life, is to continue on our everyday path, doing what we already know; If you are one of those types of people agitated by feelings of – ‘I really want to do this before I die’, then now is the time to get into it. Those feelings, are your heart communicating to you. The heart operates within the realm of possibilities. It does not operate from the same calculated and logical decision-making processes that the brain operates by. Instead, the heart, knows what is good for your soul. So listen to it when it whispers to you.
Sticking to dead-end lives
Many years ago, I was stuck trying to survive, doing minimal wage jobs in hospitality and hotels, just to pay the bills and rent. I was putting my acupuncture business on hold because I thought it was more important to pay just to live. I figured that paying bills was the priority in life and that I could build my business in my spare time. However, there was no spare time. There was never any spare time. Or energy. Or motivation. I wasn’t even at the level of the mouse in the mouse-wheel. It felt more like I was a rat in a sewer tunnel, running round and round in a circle, in muck.
Low income jobs are traps to suck your time and energy and keep you on the mouse-wheel. They never pay enough for you to do anything else, and you always get treated like a disposable object.
One night, I’d had an especially bad day at work, and something snapped in me. ‘That is enough!‘ I said to myself I will not do this kind of work anymore. Instead I will focus on my acupuncture business, even if it doesn’t work. Even if I go bust, I don’t care. As long as I do it.
And that is what I did. I quit those jobs and threw myself into my own business. I found a place to work from. I made flyers and handed them out in person. I made a website and listed it on several different online directories. I met and trained with fellow acupuncturists and other therapists. I volunteered for an acupuncture organisation. I threw myself out there.
And things got harder financially. Even, when I was working my low-income jobs, I had often struggled with bills. Now I’d stopped doing that, there was even less money. It put a strain on my relationship and we needed to take a break for a while. I had to leave my apartment and move into a shared house.
Looking back, do I regret it? No definitely not. It was hard at the time, but it eventually brought me to where I want to be in life.
This time of struggle provided an opportunity to redefine my objectives in life and what I really want. While I was no longer having all my time and energy sucked by a dead end job, I had the chance to consider my life purpose and self-exploration of other potential talents. This time gave me the mental and physical space to start writing. I have always been writing, but it really took off in this period, and has never reduced.
By releasing this one thing that wasn’t working in my life, I invited fresh energy and a new experience into my life. Gradually, my practice started picking up. I was renting space at a local clinic on an adhoc basis and I was getting more and more inquiries. The business manager mentioned on a few occasions, how I was always calling them to book rooms several times a week. This was a good sign.
Also a new opportunity to work in a paid position as an acupuncturist in a hospice came up some time later. This came about, because I had more time to volunteer doing acupuncture for a healthcare charity. This was something I could never do, while I was spending all my time in a low income job.
After a while I was able to get a new place for myself – small but mine. As I became more satisfied with my acupuncture work and who I am, my relationship resumed and became much stronger than before. Now I have children. A break is not a bad thing in a relationship, particularly if things get a bit stagnant.
When I look back at this time, I am truly grateful to the universe for allowing me those opportunities and experiences, even though, sometimes, they were difficult things to go through. Yet, none of this would not have been possible, without a leap of faith on my part in the first place. By releasing things that are not working for you, it enables new energy and flow to come into your life. You must close one door to open another.
By the way, I do not advocate quitting your job to start a business! There are much easier and smoother ways to transition into something new. If you have obligations, bills, mortgage to pay, or dependents, then you have to be responsible, possibly even delaying your actions. The important thing though, is to get started, even in a very small way. For example, starting a new part-time course, or setting up something in your spare time. it may be applying for a new job, or aiming higher in your current work. I also strongly advise against taking on debt to finance it. However, if you don’t have anything to lose, then you can be more gung-ho about it.
A few years ago, I was hugely into 9 ball pool. I went to a pool club on days off and would play or practice for 3 hours straight. Sometimes I’d do it for 6. This was in Japan and pool halls in Japan are great value. It cost me 1000 Yen for 3 hours, playtime (about £8).
My pool hall was in Kamata, in a kind of downtown area of Tokyo. On the way to the pool hall I would walk through a somewhat seedy district full of pachinko parlours, Chinese restaurants and hostess clubs. It was great.
I still sucked at pool, but over the weeks and months, I started to improve and made some good friends at my hall.
Be more interesting
The point of this article is that hobbies and interests have benefits to our mind and bodies. They make us more rounded as people, but also as practitioners. I think we learn things through hobbies that can help us achieve mastery in other things. Especially in my case, something like acupuncture. I believe that having interests in life, makes us more interesting as people. It gives us a perceptible glow that others can pick up on. A kind of internal passion that is attractive.
Though, I spent hours in a darkened, smoky hall, away from fresh air and sunlight, playing pool provided me with certain health benefits, not least being temporarily shaded from all those other hard-nose-to-the-mill salaryman, rushing, careering, cramming the rush hour trains on their way to offices, meetings and oppressive workplaces. I suppose I was a slacker, but it was fun. My pool partner Kikumaru-San was an accountant, though he seemed to spend more time playing pool than working.
All the bending, stretching to reach shots and moving around the table keeps you thin. You may notice that most snooker players are usually quite lean. There is actually a lot of energy expenditure and movement in pool. It helped keep me relatively flexible.
Pool is a game of concentration and emotional balance. You have to focus on the shot. You also need to develop patience and focus to practice shot after shot, over and over again.
And you have to learn not to get too emotionally upset when losing to someone, as happened often. One thing I learnt is that you can occasionally beat a superior player to yourself, if they lose their composure but you keep yours. Hint: Don’t drink alcohol.
When people lose their composure, no matter how good they are, they start making mistakes, which then turns into frustration and tension, even anger. This causes them to miss shots they would normally pot 10 times out of 10. And if you keep your composure and can pot, then you can win games, when ordinarily they would destroy you in minutes.
This is not to say, I was a high level player. I was mediocre. But I did have my moments.
And pool hall usually have bars. Bars sell Guinness, which contains minerals and b vitamins, which are good for you. Case closed.
Some pool halls in Japan even allow smoking (banned in the UK). So if you are reminiscent for the past, with its smoke-filled cafes and pubs, then go to Japan.
I think that hobbies are things that therapists, in fact anybody, can and should do – whether it be dance, yoga, martial arts, drawing, painting, writing, playing a musical instrument, singing, deep-sea diving, acting, flower arranging… the choices are many.
All of these hobbies and interests make a person broader and well rounded. They also give a person balance.
I think in Japan, acupuncturists are quite balanced in their interests. My colleague in London, Eitaro, a Japanese acupuncturist is a black belt in Aikido.
One of my earlier acupuncture teachers, Mr Honda also has a black belt in aikido. He taught three classes a week in Yokohama.
One of his acupuncture students – Ishimaru, was a karate guy and came from Osaka. He could be cheeky and made fun of me at the beginning, basically because I didn’t understand Japanese and didn’t have a clue what the teacher or anyone was talking about (nothing has changed since), although I later became friends with him.
I have met many acupuncturists over the years, but these two stood out. I think it was their interests and hobbies, which made these particular individuals stand out more for me.
What really stood out for me is that despite being blind, Mr Taniuchi had a huge interest in building strength and physical fitness. Before he went blind as a young man, he was into judo. He had to give it up when he lost his eyesight. However, this did not stop his love of exercise.
Exercising at Work
Before meeting Mr Taniuchi, I had heard from another Toyohari member that during breaks, Mr Taniuchi would lift weights in one of his treatment rooms.
Mr Taniuchi came to London, to teach in the European acupuncture seminar. During the group meal afterwards, Mr Taniuchi initiated an arm-wrestling match with all of the Toyohari members, and subsequently beat everyone. He easily dispatched all his opponents with a cheeky grin on his face.
His interest in arm-wrestling had begun when he beat one of his patients at an arm wrestling fight. This patient then invited him to his arm wrestling group. Mr Taniuchi went along and got really into it.
Mr Taniuchi is not a big person but he showed me how you can build real strength and bone and muscle density with regular weight training.
Though, I don’t think any of us pasty-faced, limp-wristed acupuncturists provided him with any real competition.
The lesson was actually quite straightforward and very relevant to people who work with energy. As we focus on the energetic aspects of life, Don’t neglect to focus on the physical. We need a balance of yin and yang.
Hobbies add to us
Perhaps, Mr Tanuichi’s armwrestling is not directly related to his acupuncture or healthcare in general. But it does make Mr Taniuchi a more interesting person. It also means that he can relate more wider to people. Especially young men who feel that strength and fitness are important, would be especially inspired by his interest in arm wrestling.
Also, I am sure there are crossovers. There will be things about his arm-wrestling that would make him a better practitioner. Not withstanding, the general health benefits that regular weight exercises has the body.
Miro and Diving
Another example is my friend Miro Baricic. He is an acupuncturist with an interest in diving. This is one of the most physically demanding activities that a person can do. Swimming into the depths of a lake or body of water requires strong muscles, stamina and lung capacity. There is no doubt, that this will have positive effects on his health in years to come.
Additionally, he found an ancient sword in a deep lake Norway and made the news!
What has 9-ball pool got to do with acupuncture?
To finish, I will answer – how does a hobby like 9 ball pool make you a better acupuncturist? Or any hobby?
The answer is that there are skills we develop which can be transferred to our acupuncture practice. Or any practice we take on.
Precision and Intention
9 ball pool is about precision and intention.
Before you even go into the stance, you must decide what shot you are going for. And you must decide where you want to position yourself for the next shot after.
Acupuncture is also about precision and intention, (especially in a system like Toyohari).
Before treating a patient, you must position yourself in the best way to reach your patient and that allows a better flow of Ki in your wrist and arm.
In pool, you pay special attention on your stance, measuring the shot and taking aim. Even the pause before you strike has great significance.
This is because you must hit the cue ball at a very specific point on the ball. If you hit over centre, the cue ball follows after the target ball. If you hit under centre, the cue ball will spin backwards after hitting the cue ball. If you hit dead centre, the cue ball stuns and can stop dead on a straight shot. Hitting to the right or left of the cue ball also causes it to follow a different trajectory. Hence why precision is so necessary. You want to aim to position your cue ball in an area ready for the shot after. If you don’t do this, the cue ball will end up somewhere you don’t want it.
Like the cue ball, when needling the acupuncture point, you must find the correct location of the acupuncture point or you can miss it and not get the desired effect.
Here is an extract from Shudo Denmei discussing his teacher’s accuracy when locating the correct acupuncture point:
Some practitioners locate points by rote and thereby fail to take the time to examine the area around the points carefully. My teacher practiced the Sawada style of acupuncture which puts great emphasis on locating acupuncture points where there is some palpable reaction. He was very particular about point location, and at certain points would press the skin with the head of a match or the end of a blunt pencil to find the tender spot. When he examined an acupuncture point carefully, he literally looked for reactions one square millimetre at a time. As a result, I learned to locate points with special care. When I am looking for a point, my fingertips are constantly on the move feeling for differences…
Generally speaking, the skin surfaces at acupuncture points on meridians with imbalances is less resilient than the surrounding area. Sometimes a tight band of tension of a knot-like induration can be palpated in the subcutaneous tissues with the fingertips. In other cases, the patient may feel tenderness when these points are pressed.
In pool, the drawing back of the cue, the pause and then striking the cue ball is the crucial moment.
Your aim must be correct or you may miss the shot. You mind must be calm and focused. Your breathing as calm as you can make it no matter how pressured you feel. You learn to maintain calm though hours of practice. It is like a form of mental training or meditation.
When taking a shot, you must let go of tension, breathe normally and avoid holding your breath. If you feel any tension or worry, you can miss even easy shots. Likewise you must not feed any negative feelings like anger, frustration or fear. This can occur easily if you are losing to someone.
All of the above applies to acupuncture needling (again especially in Meridian Therapy).
Needling focus and intention
With the needle, you advance to the skin and insert it with intention. Your needling technique must be correct or you can miss the spot. You learn to do this through years of regular practice. To be calm and focused on feeling and connecting with the point and the patient. You must be relaxed and yet alert. Your touch must be soft. Holding the needle firmly, but not gripping with force.
The Chinese acupuncture bible, the Huangdi Neijing places importance on the sensitivity of needling with this quote:
In order to reinforce the deficient activity of the organs, it is advisable to insert the needle as carefully as a blind person handles things, inducing the vital energy, and then withdraw the needle as swiftly as a mosquito or a horsefly flies off as soon as it has landed, and as a taut string of a lute is broken suddenly.
Needling is not something you just do, like slapping paint on a wall or slopping a few bricks down in a hurry. A painted wall or brick wall can be created with beauty and care and be appreciated for it. Or it can look like a bodge job and noted as one.
The technique itself is a part of the treatment, not just the end result
In the West, Medical doctors, nurses and allied health professionals can learn acupuncture in a few weekends, learning point prescriptions for specific conditions like knee pain, back pain, stopping smoking or nausea. Acupuncture becomes a kind of Oriental painkiller. Ki does not exist. It is explained with endorphins and so on.
With such an attitude, the delicacies of technique are discounted. All that matters is sticking the needle in without connection, without care. The famous Japanese acupuncturist Shudo Denmei writes this:
According to Yanagiya Sorei, forcing the needle is akin to rape, and if all we do is stick the needles in people, we are nothing but needle stickers. These words are really to the point. The secrets of acupuncture are no different from those of life itself. We need to pay attention to all we do. Qi is gathered around the point by stroking, brushing, and pressing the point. When the preparation is good, the area becomes slightly reddened. When the skin is ready to receive the needle, all one has to do is place the needle tip on the point and the needle practically goes in by itself.
My overall message here is to cultivate other interests and hobbies. It will make you more rounded and there is a crossover. No matter what you do, you can find parallels with your profession. Like with my example of 9 ball pool.
Taking the time to learn something new will help you develop discipline, patience and an appreciation of the small details. Such things can help you in other fields of work.
Improving by Observing Nature (& art, sports and movies)
Traditional Chinese medicine is based on Taoism, which is based on the observation of nature. Observing nature does not just mean observing animals, seasons or the cycles of the sun and moon. It is also about observing the daily activities that humans do. Yes, 9 ball pool falls into this category.
It may be the reason, why the Japanese put so much emphasis on perfecting the art of flower arranging (Ikebana) or Calligraphy, or even perfecting the air conditioning unit in a car.
Take a look at their electronic toilets to see how precision and beauty can be applied even to something like a toilet. If you can’t get to Japan to see it, you can always try and visit the Japanese embassy in London to see one. There seems to be an innate desire for perfection in all areas of life and work. And yes, even things like going to the toilet. A philosophy where the minute details are just as important as the overall outcome.
The act of doing is as important as the final result
Even the process of learning a new hobby is part of this process. As a beginner you suck. But as you practice more, you gradually develop your ability until you become fairly capable. You start to get recognition from others. As you improve further, you become more experienced and may even be able to guide others. There is beauty in this full process. We always admire the final product, but what of the full journey?
Another example can be felt when walking up a mountain. Why do people want to walk up mountains? It is extremely tiring and your legs ache for days afterwards. It is so much easier to go the gym, instead of getting bitten by bugs and overtaken by elderly Japanese walkers wearing their hats and fanny-packs.
When I have walked up mountains, I remember feeling satisfied when I got to the top , but then I would suddenly feel at a loss.
‘Oh, Ok, I’m here, now what should I do?’ I’d think. And then as soon as I felt rested enough, I would start descending again.
I realised that it is really the journey that gave me the pleasure. Not being at the top. The top is just for taking Instagram selfies with my selfie stick.
The act itself is as important as the result
This is the real application of being in the now. Every weave of the flower stem in Ikebana, or stroke of the quill as in Calligraphy is important in its own right. Every moment, every act is a frame in time. It all leads to the end result, which when that point comes, could be said to be dead, because it is finished. It is a metaphor for life.
It is not the final result, but the journey that gives life meaning. Which is why, when people have accomplished something great, they then start to seek the next challenge. This is because they recognise that life is about motion. To sit back and enjoy your successes leads to stagnation.
The famous Japanese aikido teacher and author Koichi Tohei in his ‘Book of Ki‘ talks about ‘always extending your Ki (energy)’ to be healthy. Once you relax your Ki, you can grow stagnant, slow down, old, even get sick. Here is an extract from when he returned from fighting in the War in 1946:
The day I returned, I began farming. My mother recommended I take a month’s rest at a hot spring resort. I said, “No, mother. I could endure hardships like sleeping on the ground because I did not relax my Ki. If I slack my Ki now, I’ll be in trouble. I’ll start farming in order to keep my Ki strong. I’ll visit friends and relatives after I get used to it.” After a week, I began visiting. I did not get sick at all. I heard later that some returning soldiers went to the spring and died since their Ki weakened. I again realised the importance of filling myself with Ki.
Perhaps it is the same way, a person who retires after working hard for many years, looking forward to a life of afternoon pub, daytime TV, cruises and general relaxation -finds himself losing his energy, becoming bored, dull and gets really sick for the first time in his life. It is because he is no longer projecting his Ki.
So always project your Ki. Keep on moving until you truly reach a time, when you feel ‘it’s enough‘; Now is the time to sit back and observe the others on the mouse-wheel.
Practicing a different hobby may even give you a new perspective on your other work. Having wider interests in other things that are different to what you do for a living can make you a broader and more rounded individual. It will make you more interesting as a person. Life is short, just a few decades at best. Just enough time to master one single act.