Sunday, March 29, 2020


“It is through body contact with the mother that the child makes its first contact with the world, through which he is enfolded in a new dimension of experience, the experience of the world of the other.  It is this bodily contact with the other that provides the essential source of comfort, security, warmth, and increasing aptitude for new experiences, the fountain of which begins with breastfeeding.."
Touching:  The Human Significance of the Skin by Ashley Montagu

I must have been in 5th or 6th grade, when the principal of our elementary school walked into our room.  He was very tall, a lanky elderly-looking man.  My child-mind thought he was ancient.  Now that I am older than he was back then, I must say he wasn’t ancient!  How our perspective changes, as we get older.   

This ancient man in his 3-piece suit scared me.  I believed that he could only be here, if our class or someone in our class was in trouble.  But for the life of me I couldn’t figure out what we had done wrong.  Instead of getting yelled at or threatened by this adult in charge of our elementary school.  He said he was going to recite one of his favorite poems from his childhood.  This man had been a child?  That boggled my child-mind.  But fear of this adult dissipated and all 40+ classmates of mine seemed to let go of our fear of this strange adult.

The ancient one leaned against the window sill near my seat and he began to recite a poem.  His voice was strong and the poem was long.  Even as a child, I was impressed by his ability to recite from memory a poem from his childhood.  I have always remembered the first 2 lines of the poem and mostly forgotten the rest of the poem. 

“If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs…” (If by Rudyard Kipling)  As a lactation consultant, I have done home visits where parents (and sometimes the grandparents) have been panicking about their newborn’s health and/or a mother’s ability to adequately breastfeed their little one.  Their panic has washed over me and I have had to force my mind to stay calm. Part of my job was to calm everyone down, so that everyone can figure out the best way to solve the situation.  In rare cases their panic was justified. But panic is never a useful reaction to real or imagined fears.  From another century Kipling’s poem speaks to our 21st century humanity.  We must take a breathe, be that calm in the center of the storm.

I thought of this poem when I was in the grocery store the other day.  It was 7am and people over 65 were given the opportunity to shop before the store actually opened. There was a crowded line outside the store, which was packed with some very sullen senior citizens.  I thought I was early because I got there at 7:02am.  Most seniors don’t get up at the crack of dawn and this was a mob scene.  Some seniors had obviously gotten to the store, hours before it was to open because they were now exiting the store with their prizes:  toilet paper and paper towels.  The look of triumph on their faces as they walked by those of us waiting in line was curious.  One might believe that grocery shopping had become part of a Senior Food Shopping Olympic Games—winner takes all-- the toilet paper and paper towels.  One senior winner said that he had got his necessities.  I am not sure that toilet paper and paper towels qualify as necessities.  How many trees do we cut down in order that people can wipe their butts or wipe spills off the floor?

There were long lines in the grocery store to pay for our prizes.  Some seniors didn’t understand that the lines snaked around the store and they cut ahead of others assuming the line could not possibly meander around the store.  At one point I thought there was going to be a fist-fight near me over cutting in line.  Memories or should I say nightmares of lining up in school flashed in my mind.  I remember asking my parents why the school made us line up in alphabetical order during nuclear bomb drills.   We went to the basement of that old school building to save us from a nuclear bomb.  Would that save us?  Was it so God would know who we were because we were in alphabetical order when we died from a nuclear holocaust?

Back to present day reality, tempers were definitely rising in the grocery store.  I could see the headlines, “Senior Citizens Riot in Grocery Store.”  The me-first generation believes that toilet paper and paper towels are worth fighting over. Isn’t the me- first generation bumper sticker, “He who dies with the most toys wins.”  Only the toys are toilet paper and paper towels!

There was some friendly faces in that senior crowd but not many.  To my surprise there were no actual brawls or fist-fights.  But I decided I am not going to any more Senior Food Shopping Olympics.  They are certainly not following the recommendation of social distancing.  And standing in lines for long periods of time surrounded by unhappy, possibly sick, and disgruntled people only accelerates my stress.

I was glad to go home wash my hands and practice some social isolation.  And maybe that isolation will give me the mental energy to do some research and writing.  I have been staying away from Facebook and away from writing in my blog.  My computer’s hard drive died and for 2 months I had limited access to a computer.  I realized how much I enjoyed the time away from the internet.  I felt peaceful and found myself writing with pen and paper.  I felt like I was doing something primitive in this day and age of computer technology.  Its simplicity was soothing to my brain.  I realized though that I depended on the computer for many things and after a few months decided I “needed” a computer.  I missed writing on my blog.  So I am back looking at patents.

But I was not looking at patents on human milk components.   I found myself doing a patent search on the corona virus.  I wanted to know a number of things, like what is the corona virus?  I found that some researchers suspect that some corona viruses are responsible for colds.  What about the “novel” COVID-19 corona virus?  Microbiologists define novel as that which is genetically engineered.  I found a youtube video dated 3/9/2020 of a Fox News interview of Alex Azar, Secretary of the US Department of Health and Human Services, in which he states that SARS, MERS, and COVID-19 are genetically modified and different from the common cold.  Alex Azar was the President of Eli Lilly & Company (USA) from 2012-2017.  One would suppose that a President of a pharmaceutical company would know a lot about drugs and genetic engineering (since a lot of our drugs and vaccines are genetically engineered). 
Meanwhile many US news outlets state that COVID-19 is not a man-made virus, not genetically engineered.  Who is telling the truth?  I believe that COVID-19 is genetically modified.  I don’t normally watch Fox News but this statement by Alex Azar is eye-opening.  
Azar's statement starts at 6:32 of the FOX News video

“If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster and treat those two imposters just the same” IF by Rudyard Kipling
The history of the corona virus as seen through US patents is interesting.  In a patent owned by the US Department of Health and Human Services and the CDC filed in 2004 and entitled, “Coronavirus isolated from humans,” they state,
“Coronavirus have not previously been known to cause severe disease in humans, but have been identified as a major cause of upper respiratory tract illness, including the common cold. Repeat infections in humans are common within and across serotype, suggesting that immune response to coronavirus infection in humans is either incomplete or short lived. Coronavirus infection in animals can cause severe enteric or respiratory disease. Vaccination has been used successfully to prevent and control some coronavirus infections in animals. The ability of animal-specific coronaviruses to cause severe disease raises the possibility that coronavirus could also cause more severe disease in humans (Fields et al. eds. Fields Virology, 3rd edition, Raven Press, Philadelphia, 1323 1341, 1996; Mahey and Collier eds. Microbiology and Microbial Infections, Volume 1 Virology, edition, Oxford University Press, 463 479, 1998).

In late 2002, cases of life-threatening respiratory disease with no identifiable etiology were reported from Guangdong Province, China, followed by reports from Vietnam, Canada, and Hong Kong of severe febrile respiratory illness that spread to household members and health care workers. The syndrome was designated "severe acute respiratory syndrome" (SARS) in February 2003 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (MMWR, 52:241 48, 2003).”

In another patent owned by the US Department of Health and Human Services and Versitech Limited of Hong Kong, filed in 2014, entitled “Human monoclonal antibodies against the middle east respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) and engineered bispecific fusions with inhibitory peptides,” they state,
Emerging viruses present a serious threat to human health and safety. In the past few decades, many infectious diseases, such as those caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), Ebola virus (EBOV), Nipah (NiV), and Hendra (HeV) viruses, have effectively made the jump from animal to human hosts and devastated entire populations and economies.

In 2012, a novel human coronavirus, the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV), was isolated from a Saudi Arabian patient suffering from severe pneumonia who later died of respiratory and renal failure (see Zaki et al., N Engl. J. Med., 367: 1814-1820 (2012)).”

It appears that some researchers knew that there was a novel corona virus that caused severe respiratory infections that morphed into pneumonia with high mortality.  It surfaced in the Middle East as well as China, Vietnam, Canada, and Hong Kong.  The patents suggest to me that some scientists, medical people, and researchers were aware of this as far back as 2002. And now we have another novel corona virus that seems to be far worse than these older, novel corona viruses. Or should we say genetically modified corona viruses?  What is known and what is being hidden from the public? 

What about the 4 US Senators who profited in the stock market from knowledge they were privy to in the Senate.  Insider trading?  This became news worthy headlines, only to be buried in an avalanche of novel COVID-19 statistics of those who tested positive and those who died. Are we witnessing a dysfunctional government or a emergency situation too difficult for any government to handle?  Should the US Government Health Department own patents?  Has the US Department of Health and Human Services become just a business entity with no outside oversight?  While the US government patents are not on the novel COVID-19 virus (newly named), they certainly show that somehow the corona virus of years ago had transformed into virulent forms.  

Genetic engineering?  Alex Azar called it genetic modification.  When genetic engineering is discussed in the media, the industry waxes poetic about the wonders of the science.  We are told that man-made splicing and dicing of genes is safe.  It’s in human food, infant formula, baby food, pet and livestock foods, supplements, drugs, and vaccines. Risks of genetic engineering:

The other day I received a post card in the mail entitled, “President Trump’s Coronavirus Guidelines for America.” On the card it states that for further information visit the White House and the CDC website.   One might get the impression that the CDC, Donald Trump, and the White House wrote the Guidelines. Elections will be in November.  Who paid for the postage of all these postcards?  The CDC?  Was the CDC aware that President Trump would be using the corona virus guidelines postcard as a political advertisement?            

“If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools.” IF—by Rudyard Kipling
I recognize that my thoughts put down on this particular blog post are scattered.  There is a wind storm stirring up random thoughts that to me seem connected.  It appears that this world- wide emergency situation will not disappear as quickly as the news cycles in our media.  We are all in for some very difficult times.  My heart goes out to everyone who is struggling.  We are all struggling with our fears of the future.  Fear can tear us apart. It can paralyze us. We no longer know what is the Truth and what are lies.  Truth has become a thread of gossamer shimmering in the air, tossed by the winds of Greed and Avarice. 
Copyright 2020 Valerie W. McClain


  1. Valerie, this is a poignant reflection on ourselves, our responsibilities and our plight. I would love to share this with friends and family. What are your suggestions for this?

  2. I am not sure of your question. Are you asking about sharing this post with friends and family? You are welcome to share my post as long as you give me attribution. Or is your question about suggestions for surviving this global pandemic? I think that living in Florida and dealing with hurricanes has made me recognize the need to stay calm. The media creates a lot of unnecessary panic regarding hurricanes and now with this global pandemic. Read media articles with a critical eye and recognize that there is a lot of false information floating around and there is a lot of unknowns.