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Immunity: Immune to misconception?

It seems people have chosen to die of fear. The crazy preventive restrictions may kill the rest before the pandemic may do it. Only the government is in a safe zone with rising tax collections and trade surplus. Lenders are making huge profits. The equities are roaring. Everything is up, while commoners are down to poverty. Policymakers have set the stage for a third wave! Somewhere there is a grievous missing link.

Like every other animal, human beings also have innate immunity. We are also supposed to live in interaction with organisms around us, as other animals too do. That is in the inviolable order of nature. Our inadequate knowledge or over-hygiene practices makes us worry about even something trivial. 

A life synchronised with nature saves us and helps us live a happier life for more periods. Nevertheless, upon our selfish approach, believing that human beings are the only deserving living beings on earth, we approach every other being with less importance. That also shows our poor basic knowledge of human capacity to live on the planet of flora and fauna. Every educated person, including doctors, carry this blind notion. 

Instead of discovering our immense capacity and immunity rendered by nature, we depend on an inorganic mechanism to settle our health concerns. Our quest for exploring a territory that does not, in any way, influence our life leaves behind us an element of fear and compels us to be irrationally cautious. 

For over a year, India has spent ₹ 15000 crores on citizens for helping them develop immunity. Interestingly, almost the entire sum went to five major pharmaceutical companies. 

While we spent a large sum on re-targeted drugs on the emergency approval list, we taught yoga to the world to enchant the power of nature within us. Yet, we keep yoga behind drugs and allow medicines to overrun us. When I say that I am afraid of a backlash. No doubt, anything that helps us fetch the power of nature is appreciable. Every yoga practitioner knows those who do it without fail could be safe from the adverse impact of infections. 

Nevertheless, our so-called “Yoga Tycoons” have taken U-turns after they shouted against modern drugs for fear of a danger to their business empire. A yoga guru had to apologise for his comment. Overnight he began to admire modern medicines and became an ambassador of the vaccine. 

I agree, the high priest of yoga, like our Prime Minister, has limitations in openly opposing a dominant medical system. Barring some rebuke from some sections, there could be nothing that would attract a backlash had he encouraged yoga. Natural immunity is always better. 

Now the third wave is in the air. No one knew where the Covid-19 task team members, who had failed to predict the second wave, got the information about possible third and fourth waves. Is it merely an exercise of positioning themselves with their anticipation? Or is there any rationale for this? People deserve answers.  

Nonetheless, mega-size preparation is on spending billions of rupees and tightening the noose on business and traders. Lawmakers and public servants are safe so long as the tax collection of the government keeps rising. They engineer fear among people for manipulation. That helps every dirty business grow at the wrong times. I am sure, this will continue till the last person is vaccinated, and the fashion of vaccination becomes an annual routine. Life without the new vaccine is going to be unimaginable.  

Many businesses can be built on the foolishness of people. As we miss our wisdom, we become ideal customers of certain businesses as someone gets a chance to take advantage of our folly. They take us for an easy ride. Much later, we realise it. By that time, we would be helpless.  

With the overuse of hand sanitiser, one of my colleagues could make his hands fairer. Ethyl alcohol worked well not only as a disinfectant but also as a skin solution. Some people used saree to cover their open terraces to stop the entry of viruses by air. Many people keep the groceries, after arrival from stores, on the balcony for days before using it. In the monsoon, they cannot do this exercise. At the height of fear and foolishness, people even check the temperature of Amazon deliveries. Incidentally, these are not rural illiterates. When I interacted with some tribal inhabitants, they said they were never afraid of coronavirus. They were confident that coronavirus could never infect them. That showed the illiterate tribal people live a fearless life with no case of Covid-19 around them.  

Herd immunity or population immunity is possible through vaccination, by letting people exposed to the virus, by silent infection or with a healthy lifestyle. In multiple waves of the pandemic, if a large portion of people could stand invulnerable, they might have built an immunity within them without vaccinating. Their genetic system might have vaccinated them. Now the time is up. We are coming to terms with our common sense. 

Let us not overlook some recent reports. In the fourth week of July 2021 a national serosurvey found, on average close to 70 per cent of Indians have developed an antibody, the natural immunity against Covid-19. As much as 60 percent of the non-vaccinated could acquire immunity. A similar survey 11 months ago found 20 percent of people had the antibody. The consistent rise in the size of people having developed immunity owes much to the opening up after August 2020. A fortnight before the announcement of the survey report, Pfizer and its partner BioNTech said, evidence was building that people’s immunity started to wane after the vaccination. That means the inorganic way of immunity building is only transient. Once we read the serosurvey report and what the vaccine makers said, we may naturally ask how did the massive inoculation drive help in building immunity? We could also ask, should the remaining people also be vaccinated in a hurry?

BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) reported, there were no common illnesses like cold, fever or cough. These diseases have vanished from Mumbai. That was laughable because all the viral infections identical to the symptoms of Covid-19 were re-categorised and counted as Covid-19. 

ICMR has also said primary schools can open classes as children have developed natural immunity. That questions the futility of shutting schools through two academic years and creating menaces among children and parents. When a teenage boy killed his alcoholic mother, a psychiatrist said, there was nothing special in this case during the lockdown period. You may read it with your common sense and rationale.

Sajikumar Nair


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