Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Tales From The Virus Panic #3: "The Photocopy Protein"

Dr. K was hogging the photocopier again.

Dr. W sighed and waited for his turn to copy an article out of a journal.


She told him it would just be a minute, and they started talking.  He asked what she was working on.  She asked what he was working on.  A partnership was born.  Together, they tried to get messenger RNA (mRNA) to get into the body and tell cells what proteins to make to help fight diseases without the body's immune system freaking out and swatting it down.

After a decade of work, they thought they cracked the problem.

Some others did too.

In 2008, a company was founded to utilize mRNA to fight cancer.  They wanted to help people.

And make money.

In 2008, a child was born in Ohio as well.

The company and child were on a collision course.

The mRNA treatments showed promise but also triggered autoimmune issues.  A body could only take so many treatments before it started destroying itself in an effort to destroy the artificial mRNA.

The company started to focus on treatments that only required one or two doses instead of repeated doses:  vaccines.

Meanwhile, the child in Ohio grew up.  She liked to dance.  She was a healthy and happy girl who loved to help others.

In 2020, politicians and public health officials were panicking about a new coronavirus.  They tried lockdowns.  They tried masks.  The virus still virused.  They still hoped for deliverance.  They asked for a vaccine.

The company was already on it.  The genetic sequence of the virus was posted by Chinese scientists, and the company used it to create a snippet to slip into cells.  The little photocopier inside a cell started cranking out copies of spike proteins.  The body recognized these as intruders and started cranking out photocopies of its own:  antibodies that would smash the spikes.  Then when the virus showed up with its spike proteins, the body would smash them and wouldn't get sick.

That was the plan anyway.

The government was in a rush.  They had made the virus a big deal so they could look like heroes, and now they couldn't stop it.

They weren't looking good.

The company and others working on similar vaccines said we could help but the government needed to shield them from lawsuits in case it didn't work as planned.

The government said sure and invoked the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act, an earlier government giveaway to the pharmaceutical industry who gave money to the politicians who wrote the laws governing the pharmaceutical industry.

If you got injured from the vaccine, you couldn't sue the maker.  

If you got injured from the vaccine, you couldn't sue the government because of sovereign immunity.

America threw out the king in 1776, but they kept his sovereign immunity.

The government did kindly set up a fund for vaccine injuries though; so far, they've approved 5% of the claims that had successfully navigated the bureaucratic maze before they died.

The others were just shit out of luck.

After some hurried and dubious clinical trials (though the government and company would claim that "no corners were cut"), the government, of course, approved the vaccine by the company.  Then both government and company encouraged people to get it.

Since the virus mainly affected older people, the rush was on to protect them, so the vaccine was only approved for adults at first.

But the company wanted to help more people.

And make more money.

So they started the process to get the vaccine approved for children as well.

The child's father was a nurse.  The child's mother was an engineer.  They worked for big companies.  They believed in science.  They believed in vaccines.  They enrolled their children in the clinical trial at their local hospital.  The child was glad to help people.

They gave half the kids in the trial the vaccine.

For an illness almost no child is at serious risk from.

A photocopy of the rushed adult trial, the trial was declared a success, and the government approved the vaccine for children, starting first with adolescents.

The government photocopier copied out another approval.

But the child didn't feel so well.  Almost immediately after her second dose, she complained of stomach pain.  

The company dutifully noted this in their report data:  child had tummyache.

Maybe it was something she ate.

The photocopier made copies of the report for the regulatory panel.

The company didn't note how the child later couldn't walk and needed a feeding tube to live.

All to prevent a disease she was at little risk from.

The company and government didn't want to hear from her, told her she was just hysterical and it was all in her head.

It certainly had nothing to do with the vaccine or the autoimmune problems that plagued the early development of mRNA treatments.

Anyway, they were too busy photocopying press releases touting the vaccine's success.

One senator did listen though.

He also was ignored, when he wasn't being called a crank.

Instead, the government sent the surgeon general on The View encouraging every parent to get children vaccinated.

Save the 5-year-olds!

The View didn't invite the girl onto the show.  After all, unlike the company, how many commercials would she buy?

The company's stock price was up again today.

Meanwhile, virus infections were up in countries with high vaccination rates and down in countries with low vaccination rates.

Probably just seasonal variations in the hemispheres, the company and government said.  They also said if you tested positive for the virus and got shot to death, you died of the virus, but if you got the vaccine and died the next day, the vaccine had nothing to do with it.

It didn't seem as if the company and government could add things up, at least when they didn't like the results.

The girl learned a valuable lesson though, should she survive her adolescence.

Don't copy adults.

They're mostly fools.

This is a work of fiction, but it's based on real incidents.  Here are some links to source material:

And here's a commercial that was refused airplay:

If you need some cheering up after this, then please read Edna's Employment Agency where the idiots are fictional and amusing and not in charge of governments and corporations like in real life.

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