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Covid-19 – developing a vaccine or two and thoughts on global thinking.

A picture of Glenelg beach Easter Sunday 2020.

Here are some of my ideas for managing the virus – they are just random thoughts and ideas.

1. There is a weak spot or fracture site in the virus’ foot where it sticks to the special receptors we have on many of our cells. When the weak spot fractures, the cell membrane is broken and the virus genetic material (RNA) gains entry to the human cells. Covering the fracture site with an antibody that stabilizes the fracture site may slow the virus’ invasion. Alternatively, prefracturing the site before it gets stuck to our cells may incapacitate the virus’ invasive ability

2 Immunization against the protein on the virus’ foot may help.

3 The virus’ foot gets stuck to a specific receptor on the outside of our cells called the ACE2 receptor. The virus can invade and make our genes manufacture extra ACE2 receptors. Then more virus particles get stuck to our cells and invade. Blocking antibodies that diminish the virus’ ability to influence our own human genes to make extra ACE2 receptors may help.

4 Experiments with the many ACE inhibitors used for hypertension may find compounds that affect the virus’ ability to bind to ACE2 receptors, hence modifying the effect of the virus on the cell.

 

 

This experience is an early venture into global consciousness.

The Covid-19 experience is creating a sense of global concern – we are all in this together. We are collaborating in a way that is so unusual. Social distancing is working. Politicians, the media, and the public in general are asking for sensible evidence based ideas (i.e. science) rather than pursuing odd opinion-based ideas floated by groups such as the anti-vaxers of the past 20 years,

At the informational level, the major medical journals are giving us free access to the latest research. There is talk of having banks of new but discontinued medication that other groups can access, not just the company that developed the medication. Some of the best research I have seen has come out of China. Their autopsies of people with lung failure have helped us to understand how this virus prefers to live with its host, rather than kill the host.

So what does this tell us? I think this is a new stage in the way we as humans think. It is the willing engagement in a conversation about us and our world that transcends race, religion, politics, country. It is intelligent, respects facts over opinions, asks useful questions, sees the bigger picture. It is a global consciousness.

If we are going to sustain the planet, we have to learn to manage humanity’s growth, consumption, pollution and destruction of biological diversity. We need to develop that collective consciousness.

When we have a plague of wheat (a mono-culture) on the Yorke Peninsula, we are more likely to get a plague of crickets or mice. Plagues live on plagues.

When we drag the bottom of a gulf for prawns, we destroy the corals and shallow rooted plants that the little fish feed on. When we have too few little fish, we have to stop snapper fishing. Habitat destruction kills species we value.

When they dragged the bottom of Coffin Bay for cockles in the 1980’s it added to the silting up of the bay, destroyed a lot of biodiversity and paved the way for invasions of jelly fish, followed by plagues of sea urchins, and a decline in the number and variety of fish species. When we have plagues of any species we invite destruction.

Perhaps we need to re-introduce Zero Population Growth, build reefs and islands in our Gulfs as sanctuaries for snapper and other species. Recycle the nitrates/phosphates  that are feeding the mono-culture (plague) of sea grasses off the coast of Adelaide.

Our collective experience with Covid-19 is that we are sharing an unprecedented challenge and will have to act together. That is how we have to think – with a collective consciousness. The events in March showed how reluctant Governments were to act on good science, how slow they were to actually make decisions, and how fixated they were on financial rather than population damage. So we can rely on Governments to follow not lead. This is where collective consciousness comes in. What we have needed lately has been prompt decision making based on evidence, not opinion. And so many of you have read and appreciated evidence as superior to opinion, have thought clearly, acted promptly and intelligently; all this with a collective intelligence and consciousness.

Collective consciousness sees the planet as a whole, it sees humanity’s place as one of stewardship, and sees us all as being in this as allies and not as little or big vested interest groups.

If you want to see us as the Universe does, look for what Carl Sagan called the “pale blue dot” taken from the Voyager spacecraft when it was on the edge of our solar system. This planet is our home, and it’s all we’ve got.

converted PNM file

Terry

 

references – see previous posts

Coronavirus ‘spike’ protein just mapped, leading way to vaccine | Live Science