On January 8, 2022, the Schenectady Gazette published the Letter to the Editor set out below submitted by NYPPL science consultant Robert A. Michaels, PhD, CEP.
In view of the significance of Dr. Michaels' remarks, this item is posted per bono.
I recently published the hypothesis that SARS-CoV-2 might enter organs, such as the brain, where immune surveillance is ineffective.
An NIH study soon confirmed this. The virus could persist, reactivating when we become weaker. The weight of evidence now suggests that Covid and long Covidcould become lifelong Covid.
Opportunistic virus reactivation is common. Childhood chicken pox becomes adult shingles. ‘Cured’ Ebola re-emerges years later, without external reinvention. Yet, the US FDA and CDC have remained overly restrictive regarding vaccine boosters.
Our overriding priority should be on preventing as many COVID-19 cases as feasible, not tolerating them because they tend to be mild. Even mild cases might impose future health and economic burdens. We therefore must adopt the precautionary principle.
That is the lesson we should have learned from Michael Crichton’s infamous Jurassic Park. Lacking dinosaurs, our communities are microbial Jurassic Parks. They must separate people from a vaccine-escaping virus, for example, via colleges conducting classes remotely.
Omicron is more vaccine-resistant than previous variants. All are evolving toward still greater infectivity, and the pace of this evolution seems to be accelerating. These challenges may overcome careful containment plans, as happened in the real (that is, fictional) Jurassic Park.
A ‘new normal’ is around the corner. Pharmaceutical firms are developing vaccines tailored to emerging variants within 100 days, and this process already is under way for omicron. The U.S. Army soon will conduct clinical trials of an mRNA vaccine to protect against all corona viruses, including future variants. To quote Pete Seeger: we shall overcome.
Robert A. Michaels, PhD, CEP
The writer is president and toxicological health risk assessor at RAM TRAC Corporation in Schenectady, New York.