If companies and nations are going to introduce pandemic management strategies it is important to understand the source and nature of coronaviruses. There is plenty of data available but very little global agreement amongst people we all trust to know the solution. Unfortunately, you cannot manage something you do not understand.
Hopefully, this article will contribute to a greater understanding by encouraging readers to think outside the box.
I believe we are at a stage now where we can agree humans are the host of the COVID-19 virus and are responsible for one of the main methods of spreading the virus. Efforts to isolate and control the spread is damaging to the world economy, so the best strategy is to try and eliminate the virus at source.
Hopefully, this article will identify a possible source and hand the problem over to the pragmatic thinkers to come up with ways of eradicating the problem
The most likely source
If COVID-19 is a crime against humanity, then we can use science to place a close associate of the planet Jupiter at the scene of the crime. The extra-terrestrial chief suspect is the Comet Encke known to come close to earth every three years , but orbiting within Jupiter’s gravitational pull, and occasionally giving earth a shower of ice water containing microbes, bacteria, and viruses. The comet has been doing this for thousands of years. Much of what falls to earth has been soaked up in the frozen Artic ice fields, buried and has remained dormant for centuries.
As the earth warms the ice melts and exposes the viruses to the swamp lands in the tundra region around the permafrost edges. A fresh and concentrated batch of viruses was believed to have been deposited as recently as 1908 in the Tunguska region of Siberia when a suspected section of Comet Encke’s ice tail broke off and exploded before hitting earth.
Viruses end up in the plant and animal life in the swamp area and are consumed by the wild bird population that return to the region every summer to nest, breed and feed. The migratory birds unknowingly distribute the COVID-19 virus along their migratory route back home.
One of the cities on one of the major bird migratory routes is Wuhan (see the map further on), believed to be the start point of the human-to-human spread of the COVID-19 virus.
The melting permafrost layer
In the past the Comet Encke virus shower fell in the permafrost area around the arctic circle and usually ended up buried in the ice. Bacteria and viruses are able to survive for thousands of years in the ice. But recently the permafrost area is starting to thaw out due to global warming and past virus deposits are starting to emerge.
Because the viruses originate in another part of the universe, and humans do not have a natural immunity, efforts are being made to develop a vaccine.
Unfortunately, the viruses lurking in the wetlands of Siberia and Alaska will be visited again next Autumn and the cycle will start all over again when the migratory birds start their journey south to their winter residence.
The reality is, attempts have been made for the last 100 years to develop a vaccine and the world is still waiting. Strategy should now shift to stop the virus at source, in the Siberian and Alaskan wetlands, rather than wait until it reaches its’ human host: The human host strategy is proving to be a no-win battle and isolation and economy shut down is not the answer.
The possible Jupiter connection
There is a long held theory called panspermia. that identifies space as the likely source for viruses that impacts the health of humans. One of the supporters of that theory is Chandra Wickramasinghe, author of publications on the subject. He recently co-authored an article for the Journal of Astrobiology & Outreach on the subject of viruses and their possible source. The abstract of the article appears below:
The Journal of Astrobiology & Outreach published an article on Comets and Contagion: Evolution, Plague, and Diseases From Space.
Panspermia is an ancient idea that supports the existence of life throughout the Universe. Panspermia proposes
that life that can survive the effects of space get distributed in all habitable and non-habitable planets by meteoroids,
asteroids and planetoids across the Universe. Extremophilic micro-organisms known to survive and thrive in extreme
conditions on earth also pose a possibility of existing in other parts of universe delivered by comets or asteroids.
Viruses, being simple organisms, are also capable of such survival and journeys across space. Viruses are known to
be mobile genetic elements and install new genes into their host cells supporting the evolutionary mechanism.
In the article the authors refer to birds as the first to be infected and comets consisting of ice as being the likely source of diseases. That fits nicely with the theory that I have formed after extensive studies on the subject.
One reason a vaccine has not been found is because we are dealing with an unfamiliar enemy that launched its first assault over 100 years ago. If we have had 100 years and still can’t find a vaccine, so what chance now?
The most likely source of the very first coronavirus can be traced to the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. In particular to a moon Europa that circles Jupiter. It is known to consist of frozen water, not land mass. But there is a comet that could have broken off from Europa a long time ago and has its own orbit that takes it close to Earth every 3 years before being pulled back into Jupiter’s magnetic force. The comet is known as Comet Encke and it has a long tail consisting of gasses and water. The tail has been interrupted before but has re-joined. It is visible from earth in a similar way to Haley’s comet but much more frequently.
Comet Encke’s orbit and the Tunguska incident
That closeness to earth could put Comet Encke on the “watch list”, but it is an event that took place in Tunguska in Siberia in June 1908 that is of most interest to the coronavirus situation. Encke’s comet is high on the suspect list. The Siberia event still cannot be explained. It flattened forests and resembled an atomic blast, but there was no crater that would be expected if it was a meteor with a solid mass. The popular belief is the blinding flash and massive blast that was witnessed could have been a liquid explosion before it hit earth. In other words, it could have been like a water bomb that exploded high above ground and showered surrounding districts.
If the explosion happened in June, in the northern hemisphere summer, most of the water would have evaporated and left little trace. But, maybe the water spray also landed on the permanent ice layer at the north eastern tip of Siberia. Some of the contaminated water was probably trapped in the ice and remained in an underlayer until now. Some of the surface water on the ice field could have found its way into the swamp lands the migratory birds that feed on insects and plant life may have become infected and spread the virus on one of their journeys. Of particular interest is the Spanish flu in 1918. Since the 1918 epidemic there have been other less potent pandemics, including the Russian flu, the Avian flu , MERS, SARS, Swine flu, etc.
It is unlikely every time Comet Encke comes close to earth we cop a shower and a new pandemic breaks out. There is no evidence of that happening.
If the Tunguska 1908 shower is now being exposed due to global warming and it is finding its way into the swamps and other birds are carriers of the virus we can expect to see outbreaks along many of the migration paths that start in Russia and touch many countries around the world.
The Urgency to find a solution
Current strategy is to identify where the virus outbreak started and then trace contact made from infected people. Australia is already talking about relaxing social distance rules and opening up sections of the economy progressively. The danger to keep in mind is if the current COVID-19 follows the same pattern as its distant cousin that caused the Spanish flu in the spring of 1918 the first wave had a high attack rate with a low mortality rate, similar to the current COVID-19 experience. The second wave later in1918 had a high attack rate and a high mortality rate: That is what introduces urgency into the search for a solution.
Are the Chinese wet markets to blame?
Before we rush to blame the Wuhan wet markets we need to think logically. There are wet markets all over China and throughout South East Asia and Africa. Most wet markets have similar produce and a logical question would be why Wuhan and not the others spreading COVID-19?
Closing the wet markets is not the solution. In China, the markets are monitored and controlled. If they were permanently closed they would simply go underground, there would be an “explosion of an uncontrollable black market”, as they did in 2003 when a similar ban was attempted. It is unlikely that migratory birds, suspected as spreaders of the virus, would be openly sold at the wet markets. China is very environmentally conscious and heavy penalties would apply if vendors were caught selling endangered species.
The simplistic virus spread theory is dangerous
There are a lot of things associated with a simplistic strategy, such as “close the wet markets”, that just don’t make sense. Logic has given way to emotion and there are serious questions that need to be answered in order to get to the truth and develop a strategy to make sure it does not happen again. Even if the first cases of the outbreak can be traced to the Wuhan wet markets the question must be asked “how did the virus get there in the first place?”. In order for an animal to have the virus, it must have picked it up somewhere.
I believe there is a logical explanation for where the COVID-19 virus originated and how it was spread. It has very little to do with Wuhan wet markets, 5g networks, secret laboratories near Wuhan, climate change or intervention from outer space. But, there is an element of truth in some of those rumours.
The scary thing is, if logic continues to be overlooked then COVID-19, and other virus family members, outbreaks are going to be an annual event.
The solution is more complex
The reality is a vaccine to prevent humans from catching COVID-19 has eluded scientists up until now. The chances of stopping the virus at the host (humans) is not a reliable answer: Prevention must start at the source and that is where “experts” have differing views.
There are certain things beyond control, in the short term:
· Global warming cannot be stopped
· China’s wet markets cannot be closed
· Bird migration has been happening for thousands of years and cannot be stopped,
· Migrating bird obstacles cannot be pulled down: When birds start their journey back to their winter homes the manmade obstacles (such as skyscraper buildings) cannot be removed,
· Age old hunting practices cannot be stopped
· It is impossible to test and isolate people. A person could be tested negative one day and then become infected the next. Unless everyone is tested every day that will not work.
· Shutting down the global economy will not work. That is evident from the result of the March/April 2020 lockdown.
Global warming and the melting permafrost create the ideal virus warehouse
The earth is getting warmer and Siberia is the fastest warming place on earth. Satellite images confirm the melting of ice at a frightening pace. Large areas that were once covered by ice are now transformed into marsh lands. The permafrost belt is melting and that is measurable. Some areas are seeing the light of day for the first time in hundreds or thousands of years. The northern hemisphere experienced a heatwave in the summer of 2016 and that is believed to have accelerated the melting of the ice in the permafrost layer.
What is being unearthed is not nice. Siberia was the location of the Gulag Prison camps for enemies of the working class and survival rates were not good. Carcasses of long deceased animals and the shallow graves of humans (the frozen ground prevented the digging of deep graves) are becoming exposed, plus viruses and microbes that could be the source of corona viruses. All of this on the feeding grounds of migratory birds that come to Siberia to spend the summer months, nest, breed and then fly south in the autumn to escape the cold winters. The birds take with them a mixture of viruses, including members of coronavirus family. Even if COVID-19 can be contained at host point today a new variation of the virus may appear next year and the containment and vaccine search process starts all over again.
Wild bird migration creates the ideal distribution network
Studies published in ScienceDirect’s article Cross-species transmission and emergence of novel viruses from birds have established that “birds provide the natural reservoir for numerous viral species and therefore gene source for evolution, emergence and dissemination of novel viruses”.
The two main areas of focus for coronavirus transmission are Siberia and Alaska. The map below illustrates the areas of concern where migrating birds are exposed to the melting permafrost in their feeding zone.
Under the ice layer is preserved bacteria and viruses from centuries ago. No one knows what nasties are hidden there: Relatively recent events such as the Spanish Influenza in 1918 and the unexplained Tunguska event in the summer of 1908 may have showered the Siberian region with microbes known to exist in the tail of comets. Some of the microbe shower may have found its way into the waterways and ended up as ice when the Siberian winter set in.
The permafrost melting may be exposing microbes and viruses but most would not see the light of day because they melt in the active layer just below the surface and the warmer summer temperatures do not give them a chance t survive in the atmosphere. If there is a method to reach the viruses before they transit the active layer it would probably involve an animal with a long beak that looks for their food just below the surface. That introduces our chief suspect: The Siberian Crane.
Siberian Crane: Chief carrier suspect and distribution leader
The Siberian Crane is a protected specie, a migratory bird and spends its summer in Siberia where it nests and breeds before flying south for the winter to escape the Siberian freezing temperatures. But, before it goes it shares the swamps and wetlands in Siberia with other shorter beak birds. So, if it did consume some underground insects that had been hosting viruses, it would be sharing the virus with other birds as well.
The Siberian Crane’s diet is known to include insects, rodents, fish and small animals.
The obvious question is where does the Siberian Crane go for summer? There is plenty of evidence that its migratory journey takes it to the wetlands in southern China (see the map below). On the way it flies over Guangzhou, the likely start point of the SARS outbreak in 2003, and Wuhan, the likely outbreak of the COVID-19 outbreak.
The Siberian Crane annual migration route shown in blue
The timing of the 2019/20 coronavirus outbreak seems to coincide with the migratory move. For example, the flight south from Siberia commences in Autumn (September, October, November in the Norther Hemisphere) and there appears to be evidence that the COVID-19 virus started to emerge as early as November 2019.
It also appears the Siberian Crane does not have exclusive ownership of the virus, having shared its lot with other birds in the Siberian swamp. Of the eight major migratory bird routes three go through China on their way around the world. So, if birds are the culprits they have a terrific distribution network.
Source: Researchgate’s Scientific report
In the map above:
Route 2 goes through central China and passes through New Zealand,
Route 3 goes through western China and passes through Iran. We know from studies one of the members of the Siberian Crane family do migrate through Pakistan and Iran. They have been the target of hunting, instances of war and environmental challenges and could potentially be spreading the COVID-19 virus along the way.
Route 4 goes through Italy.
Route 5 not only goes through Italy, but New York as well.
Route 6 and 7 are interesting because they pass down the west coast of the USA after spending the summer in Alaska and feeding in the melting permafrost belt.
Collision with skyscraper buildings
If early cases of COVID-19 could be traced to Wuhan it is most likely that migratory birds face a similar fate to millions of other birds around the world that fall victim of skyscraper buildings. Wuhan, with a population of over 10 million have some of the tallest buildings in China and Wuhan, like Shenzhen, is right in the middle of the bird migratory flyway. Cities like New York report hundreds of thousands of birds colliding with their skyscraper buildings every year (some estimates place the number in millions) and a similar casualty rate could be expected in Wuhan. What happens to the carcasses in Wuhan is anyone’s guess, but touching infected birds without gloves is a very quick way to catch any disease the bird may be carrying.
Is anyone on earth to blame for the 2019/20 pandemic?
Russia? You cannot blame Russia for migratory birds travelling to Siberia each summer because that is something they have been doing for thousands of years.
Migrating birds? You cannot blame the birds because they are doing what birds do.
America? You cannot blame America because they cannot stop birds flying to Alaska for the summer.
Global warming? You cannot blame global warming for melting the permafrost layer because climate change will always happen as earth’s rotation around the sun changes and the axis upon which earth spins changes. Irrespective of what some people would like to think mankind cannot make such a huge difference and behavioural change will not stop the melting of the permafrost: The earth is not flat.
China? You cannot blame China or the Chinese Wuhan wet markets because that is a long shot: There are many obstacles to the annual bird migration through China and human consumption of infected birds could occur anywhere along the annual flight paths. Chinese wet markets have existed for hundreds of years and for a population that has faced famine, poverty and starvation through its’ long history you cannot expect a sudden alignment to western culture where everyone goes to the supermarket to buy food, especially meat products.
How to manage the pandemic
Assumptions: We must accept that COVID-19 will arrive every year as birds migrate from the thawing out and coronavirus re-emergence swamps of Alaska and Siberia. The assumption must be everyone is infected and to avoid transmittal keep an acceptable physical and social distance approach to human interaction.
Prevention: Globally, there must be an awareness of migratory birds potential to carry the virus: That means no consumption under any circumstances, clean up of bird carcasses killed during flight, no hunting or trapping birds, plus thorough cleansing of any means of transport (such as ships and aircraft) as well as fall zones around high rise buildings.
Most important is the elimination at source: That means monitoring the melt line of permafrost. Devise a plan to intercept the virus before it reaches the surface or is accessible to long beak birds, such as the Siberian Crane.
Spray, if safe, to kill the virus without upsetting the wild bird food supply. It is a bad example, but the Agent Orange strategy used in Vietnam to kill plant life is an example of the extensive nature of the exercise that needs to be applied. Of course, safe spraying is essential and continuous spraying around the melting perimeter is the only way to keep pace with the virus emergence.
Stop the disturbance of the permafrost by drilling and exploration, as well as fossicking for pre-historic remnants which is a lucrative trade infiltrated by criminal elements.
It is most unlikely there will be an effective vaccine. Scientists have not been able to come up with a vaccine to any coronavirus so far (including SARS) and COVID-19 will prove difficult because of the nature of the virus and its ability to ”hide” within a shield or envelope.
The world must manage the prevention and kill the source before the virus spreads, especially in the permafrost regions in Alaska and Siberia
Footnote: This article is written without a political, religious or commercial agenda. It lacks scientific detail, but links to articles will fill in that detail: It is intended to take an objective look at what we know so far about the COVID-19 pandemic and look for logical explanations.
There are over 40 scientific and credentialed authors articles linked to text in this article and I would encourage readers to go to those articles, read them, and form your own opinion because no one can claim to have all the answers at present.