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Rolla Peace News

September 1, 2020
Dear Friends:
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In this newsletter is:

3. THE MISFIT MATHEMATICIAN (Tom's column, http://tomsager.org)
          a) Africa: Missing COVID Cases — Missing Deaths
          b) What If China Develops a COVID-19 Vaccine First?
          c) Muhammad Ali: Still The Greatest!
          d) Two New Cartoons



We vigil for peace in front of the Rolla Post Office, THIS THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 3, FROM NOON TO 1:00 PM (and most subsequent Thursdays until Peace is established). Please join us again this Thursday in saying NO WAR AGAINST IRAN or any other country. The temperature is predicted to be around 80. If you do not feel comfortable standing with us in front of the Post Office, please consider driving by and showing your support for our message by honking your horn and flashing a peace sign.

Note: Since there are so few of us, generally 2 or 3, no need to cancel; but let's maintain social distancing.


Friday, September 25 will be the date of the Global Strike for the Climate. If no one organizes a more ambitious project for Rolla, we intend to move the Thursday vigil to Friday on that week to coincide with the Global Climate Strike. Last year we had a great turnout. Photos are posted here (scroll down).

3. THE MISFIT MATHEMATICIAN (Tom's column, http://tomsager.org)

Africa: Missing COVID Cases — Missing Deaths

I've been writing since April about how COVID-19 appears to be primarily a disease of wealthy countries, although in recent months it has spread into some less-wealthy countries.

Here's a very interesting article by Linda Nordling discussing some recent findings from Africa, where it appears that in multiple areas, large numbers of people are developing antibodies to the COVID-19 virus without actually getting the COVID-19 disease or at least not having symptomatic cases. While one might surmise that the health authorities are “missing” a lot of cases, this appears unlikely, as there does not seem to be an uptick in mortality

Medical researchers surmise that it might be due to Africa's youthful population or perhaps even genetic factors; but here's the conjecture that really caught my eye: Due to their exposure to other diseases such as colds and malaria; Africans have developed more robust immune systems better able to adjust to novel germs like the COVID-19 virus.

I'd like to take this conjecture one step further. Perhaps those of us in wealthy countries, who are over-vaccinated and over-medicated have damaged our immune systems to the point where we cannot easily adjust to novel microbes.

Do we really need to be vaccinating the entire population for chicken pox? Do we really need to be exposing the population constantly to antibiotics through the meat we eat? Over-vaccination and over-medication may be causing unintended consequences.

And if you think the medical establishment knows best, consider:

The human immune system is tremendously complex and no one, not even Donald Trump, fully understands it.

Dr. Yoshihiro Sato published over one hundred peer-reviewed papers and even had a medical protocol based on his research adopted. Later his publications were found to be based on fake research.

But, getting back to Africa: One epidemiologist quoted in the article by Linda Nordling, Yap Boum of Epicentre Africa, the research and training arm of Doctors Without Borders, suggests that because of the high prevalence of antibodies in the population and the low prevalence of active cases and deaths, Africa might try for a relatively painless herd-immunity to COVID-19 without waiting for a vaccine.

In a proposal that I made recently, I also suggested a way in which we might arrive at a relatively painless vaccine-free herd immunity in more immuno-compromised populations, such as our own.

What If China Develops a COVID-19 Vaccine First?
“As we enjoy great advantages from the inventions of others, we should be glad of an opportunity to serve others by any invention of ours, and this we should do freely and generously.” —Benjamin Franklin

“I have no private interest in the reception of my inventions by the world, having never made, nor proposed to make, the least profit by any of them.”
—Benjamin Franklin

The first out with a vaccine will become world famous. Wealth, power and acclamation will certainly accrue. But, shouldn't we all be working together instead of competing? Does it really matter who is first? Isn't it more important that the job be done right?

This article presents dire predictions should China be the first to produce an effective vaccine, an event which is appearing more and more likely all the time. I think competition is just fine on the playing field; but I'd rather not take a vaccine that was the result of a high-stakes competition.

Muhammad Ali: Still The Greatest!
“I ain't got nothing against no Viet Cong; no Viet Cong never called me nigger.” —Muhammad Ali
Over 50 years ago, Muhammad Ali refused to be conscripted into the US military. As a result, he was stripped of his boxing titles and banned from the ring — essentially ruining his career — they thought.

But Muhammad Ali won the Right to box again through the courts and regained the championship title: not once, but twice.

Like Martin Luther King Jr., Muhammad Ali drew the connection between injustice and racism at home and injustice and racism abroad. This is what really strikes fear into the establishment: that people will begin to draw this connection.

To my knowledge, athletes today like Colin Kaepernick and LeBron James have not drawn this connection yet; but I suspect they will soon.

Two New Cartoons

I've added two new cartoons to my website, both on the coronavirus theme.

For those of you old enough to remember mid-20th-century absurdist theatre: Waiting for Dr. Fauci

And for the mathematically inclined: Asymptotic Spreaders

Also the section on Benjamin Franklin and the Postal Service has been redone and some of my more serious writings on the COVID-19 pandemic have been updated.


Rolla Peace News is distributed by email once a week on Tuesday evenings (except on rare occasions) and is posted on the web at http://tomsager.org (click on Grassroots Rolla: at the top of rightmost column).

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Wage peace,

yushasager (at) yahoo.com