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A Minister of Health was responding to epidemic disease. He said:

‘Too many people are dying. We need to save more of the confirmed cases.’

He gave orders for a comprehensive survey of patients’ health conditions.

‘We need to know the diagnosis for each and arrange the best possible corresponding treatments.’

A survey team visited hospitals and identified the main categories of illness for every patient.

The Minister ordered that every patient would be able to access the best practice treatment for their condition.

A junior doctor who had studied statistics said: ‘They should have done their survey in the morgue. They should have surveyed causes of death and identified treatments that would have prevented each. By mistake, the best practice treatments were applied to conditions that had a prognosis other than death. They have surveyed survivors, when they should have surveyed those that succumbed. This would have saved more lives.

Is it a paradox that treatment needed might be inferred from a sample who can cope, rather than from those who have failed to cope?





Jenner’s 1796 cowpox vaccine generated lymphocytes to attack the smallpox pathogen. According to New Scientist 21/03 vaccine development takes 5 years.

In the meantime, Louis Pasteur’s (1822-1895) theory is to prevent and treat disease by killing germs. Alternatively, Antoine Béchamp (1816 -1908) proposed his ‘cellular theory’ or ‘biological terrain’, based on fostering good health. Principia Scientific on April 7th, 2020 updated respect for his theory.

Towards the end of his life, Pasteur renounced his germ theory and admitted that Bechamp was right all along.

All three theories are in use against COVID-19. A vaccine is being attempted, Pasteur’s method is trying to prevent spreading, transmission and inhalation of germs, using distance, barriers and disinfectants. Bechamp’s method strengthens immune system responses with diet, hygiene, fresh air and exercise. The three are complements but reducing exercise and fresh air would be contrary to Bechamp’s and anything enabling germ access would oppose Pasteur’s.

Public health advice has elements of all three approaches. Whether a person follows ‘germ theory’, or ‘vaccination’, or ‘cellular theory’, empirical validation would relate it to the health outturn.

Get over it?


PTSD is characterised by failure to recover after experiencing or witnessing a terrifying event. The condition may last months or years, with triggers that can bring back memories of the trauma accompanied by intense emotional and physical reactions.

In the novel ‘PRESUMED DEAD’ a key witness could be affected by PTSD.



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