What is COVID? (Pontius Pilate)

The first article I wrote for the then-prestigious World Medicine, though it took a few months to get published in October 1981, was a tongue in cheek piece called Tonsillitis and the march of science.

It was so tongue in cheek that the columnist who was delegated to carry it under his banner took a while to realise it wasn’t simply instructional, and the delay in its appearance was largely due to his slowly growing appreciation of what he supposed was its subtlety.

My basic aim at the time was to show how the literature on even an apparently straightforward and common condition like tonsillitis was totally self-contradictory. For my GP readership, of course, the message was “We’re supposed to treat this expertly every day, and even the experts have no idea what’s going on.” In retrospect the broader lesson is that biology is a lot more complex and confusing than either public or profession are ready to admit – and regarding tonsillitis I don’t think the situation is different forty years on. Doctors struggle to do good rather than harm, probably make a net-positive contribution, and are greatly helped by the fact that our bodies, through good design, generally have decent ways of dealing with such infections.

I was reminded of this specimen of my early journalistic career by this new blog by Dr Malcolm Kendrick, which has something of the same sense of “What is truth?” but with a much darker mood.

Dr Kendrick is one of the better known UK “COVID sceptics,” “bog-standard” in the sense in which I described Prof Fenton in yesterday’s blog, and like him, as it happens, a member of HART. Unless he is just going through one of those Dick Whittington “It’s hopeless, Puss,” moments that hit all of us trying to discern truth when everything in the world around turns entirely to jelly, then it appears the confusion has become so great that he no longer sees a way even to try and discern truth from error. He says he’s quitting the field.

The most significant difference from my World Medicine article is that the fog I wrote about was, for the most part, that of the natural complexity of biology and our inability to fathom it effectively. The humour was in the pretence of the experts that they had pierced the fog.

In the case of COVID, that fog also exists, and in much greater measure because the condition is new, evolving rather than long-studied, and in all likelihood unique in being engineered in a Chinese lab, making it potentially capable of tricks nature has not shown us before. But it is infinitely compounded, as Kendrick points out, by the deception and corruption deliberately employed at every level: in covering the origins of the outbreak, corrupting the scientific process for commercial gain, weaponising the virus for political and ideological reasons, using misleading science and behavioural methods to instill compliance rather than informed consent to government policies, etc, etc, etc.

This all matters so much more than it would if corruption had been involved in the management of tonsillitis, because in this pandemic it has all been going on at a vast, worldwide scale of (perhaps literally) biblical proportions. It affects all of us, all of the time, and it means that none of us knows the truth about anything, all of the time, as well – a devastating state for the world to be in.

Medically it matters because the situation is actually evolving in ways that, even without the mass-deception, would require decisive action, but with all the lies and censorship it means that not only the good guys but the bad actors are being wrongfooted: the waters they have muddied are likely to jeopardize even their evil plans, necessitating ever more drastic and uncoordinated action, and a veritable cascade of untruth.

For example, although some folks were warning from the start that mass-vaccination during a pandemic might select for deadlier strains, I doubt that the Delta variant’s greater targeting of the young, the speed of its bypassing the vaccines or its transmissibility amongst the vaccinated was expected. Not by corrupt Big Pharma, not by the Great Reset opportunists, nor even by the CCP, except perhaps in some crude anarchistic hope that the more mayhem the pandemic causes, the Better the Buildback must be. Or if the problem is that humans are the worlds’ enemies, that the only good person is a dead person.

But the speed at which new mutations are outwitting the vaccine is likely to work against the vaccine producers, because it is simply a practical and economic impossibility to vaccinate the entire world every five months (as Dr Fauci predicts), or even to produce new formulations that quickly forever, however profitable it might be in theory. Man does not live by vaccines alone; even the bread Jesus refers to must take priority. At some point the world must give up bothering with vaccines, and the market will collapse – and nobody has the faintest idea if and when the vaccine-enhanced disease will then regress to being endemic, and at what human cost.

Similarly, my tin-foil hat allegations, that behind government plans for vaccine passports lies the globalist agenda for digital ID, has now entered the mainstream with the issue of a handbook on such passports by the WHO. I’ve not read it yet, so am not sure if their suggestion that passports based on vaccine status “alone” may increase spread are a genuine “con,” or a “con-trick” to broaden the scope of the passport to include other information on our lives.

But the key thing is that the report has been funded by the Bill Gates Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation, both prominent funders and founders of the ID2020
movement, 4 years before COVID, aiming to bring in universal digital identities across the world. Surprise, surprise. If you want to know why vaccine passports are being pushed, search the ID2020 website, but be wise in interpreting the globalist crocodile smiles.

Still, on my present subject, the failure of vaccinations to prevent transmission is leading many citizens to reject the medical bait being used to introduce digital IDs. What use are they if vaccines don’t stop you infecting others anyway? And so millions more people look for, and find, the ulterior motives. I doubt that the “conspirators” could have foreseen this glitch, and they seem to be thrashing around to find complicated justifications for plugging on, when scientific logic would dictate simply abandoning the passports.

So when a fog of lies is created, even the people who created it end up stumbling around, as well as the people trying to navigate through it. Dr Kendrick shows that, at some point, even those who know that the fog has been generated by wreckers have to give up trying to penetrate the murk, and trust to providence.

My conclusion is also that we should trust to providence, but in two separate ways.

The first way is how the world should be reacting to COVID, and it will be ignored. Hubris is the sin of arrogant overconfidence, which was present in a small way in the literature I cited in my 1981 article. It did little harm back then, unless you were given amoxycillin for glandular fever and got the allergic rash.

But the world launched into this pandemic full of expert ideas about how it could be controlled; ideas that were rapidly and hubristically (though of course expertly) changed at the drop of a hat, even before the lies set in in a big way. In previous pandemics (at least before the 2009 dry run) we didn’t pretend to know it all, did relatively little, and God and nature honoured that by dealing with the Asian Flu and the Hong Kong Flu without even denting our economies. It does seem to me that if we trusted our immune systems and instinctive behavioural responses more, and governments and scientists less, we might find the quickest way out of this. But that’s useless advice when, as seems the case, many players never wanted the quickest way out of this.

The second way, for despairing Christians, is to remind ourselves that we are, and always have been, at the mercy of God’s providence even when we didn’t know it, and we must depend on him more as, like Dr Kendrick, we despair increasingly of finding truth in our situation. I had a phone call from a poor pastor friend in Sri Lanka this morning. Sri Lanka is still in the grip of its worst COVID wave, lethal lockdowns and all the rest, but absurdly he phoned mainly to pray for my bad cold to get better. I say “absurdly,” but the call was an immediate reply to my own heartfelt morning prayer for some encouragement in my own rather Kendrick-like mood.

So the call was providential, but so was the prayer, which included the words, “We have no-one to rely on but you, Father…” How true that must be for a poor Sri-Lankan church planter every day, I thought – but it’s true for Westerners experiencing the breakdown of their civilisation too.

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About Jon Garvey

Training in medicine (which was my career), social psychology and theology. Interests in most things, but especially the science-faith interface. The rest of my time, though, is spent writing, playing and recording music.
This entry was posted in Medicine, Politics and sociology, Science, Theology. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to What is COVID? (Pontius Pilate)

  1. Elizabeth B. says:


    Nothing the MSM says can be trusted. Much that the alternative media says cannot be trusted either. But, so many people put trust in the msm. Anyone dependent on Rolling Stone for news deserves what he or she gets.

    From the National Review, here is just one of the couple of stories devoted to the Oklahoma ivermectin overdose scam stories that ran in the U.S. a few days ago. https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/cnns-daniel-dale-attempts-to-defend-false-ivermectin-story-scolds-critics-on-the-right/?utm_source=recirc-desktop&utm_medium=article&utm_campaign=right-rail&utm_content=top-stories&utm_term=fourth

    From another NR article about this, “Most notably, Rogan’s announcement was followed by a Rolling Stone piece erroneously alleging that Oklahoma’s hospital system was being overrun by people overdosing on ivermectin. So pervasive is this artificial epidemic, per the publication, that gunshot victims are being denied care while emergency rooms work feverishly to treat overdoses. Rachel Maddow promoted the tale along with a number of other outlets, media figures, and public health experts.”

    Also on the front page of National Review today is a story on Australian lockdowns. I will add that I don’t accept at face value everything that every writer for National Review says. But, here are the stories and I don’t have time to go digging into the corrections that any of the msm might have issued.

    I would have thought that any sensible Australian would have been against these lockdowns. Sensibility, of course, being more scare than I would have thought.

    In the U.S. there is a popular homeschooling forum, WTM, to which I do not want to link. Best just do a web search for well – trained – mind forum. It’s easy to find. Under the topic wuhan – coronavirus in the chat forum, you will find a passle of Australian homeschooling mums who want lock downs. There are some other covid related threads too.

    Don’t know why I was shocked, except that I was under the mistaken impression that homeschooling types tend to be more rebellious and free thinking. On this site are a lot of Americans posting as well. A number are beside themselves that their children have yet to get the vaccines. No questions of safety with them. I cannot understand their confidence in a CDC and big pharma that has at every step been at best contradictory, at worst, dishonest.

    I say this as someone who has twice come very close to being vaccinated when something changed my mind. I will continue to wait for Novavax, unless it becomes clear that the other options are reasonably safe. This will take at least another year or two, looks like.

    Anyway, thanks for all your writing. Much appreciated!

    • Avatar photo Jon Garvey says:


      I remember seeing that “hicks OD on horse medicine” story in the Mail and skipping it because I didn’t believe any, let alone many, farmers would fail to get their dosage right as it’s what they do, nor that so many would get significant complications from a drug with such a low side-effect profile and high safety margin.

      Of course, it plays into the metropolitan elite’s stereotype of the MAGA masses in the hinterland. Later I heard a podcast on the story which pointed out that gun-shot victims being crowded out of emergency rooms in rural Oklahoma was always less than credible. But they still trot out the myth that Trump seriously advocated drinking bleach to treat COVID, so no doubt a majority believed it, and will continue to do so despite the retraction.

      The propaganda on ivermectin is shown less by that one story, and more by the persistent reference to it as a “horse de-wormer,” rather than as a WHO “essential medicine” that won its discoverer a Nobel Prize. Notice that even as a fake story, the OD fiction draws attention to the “horse medicine” concept, which is more useful to Big Pharma. Debunking the story actually increases its propaganda value.

      I noticed that aspect of PR even as a teenager: in the TV ad, nobody really believed that Daz washes whiter than Brand X – but the subliminal normality of the new kitchen setting must have sold millions of new appliances.

      Your experience of Australian mums matches all our experience of most people we meet. The truth is that propaganda works, and that most people either have no knowledge of Goebbels or Pravda, or simply like being told what to think. Intelligent people in my own church are shocked to hear there has been any censorship of work on re-purposed drugs or that there is a political agenda behind BLM, or that the definitions behind the COVID stats make a significant difference (and then return to swallowing what the BBC says anyway).

      “So as to deceive, if possible, even the elect…”

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