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This is The Rhythm of The Night…

Credit to David S. Goodsell

After three years of the SARS pandemic, I’m sure that nobody needs to know what COVID-19 is. However, a lot of people use it as a misnomer to what is spreading. COVID-19 is the sickness caused by the virus, SARS-CoV-2, which is one of many coronavirus. Viruses. Viri?

In this article, I will try to explain the current pandemic, pull out statistics, talk about treatment, talk about the vaccines available, and what is there for the future of the pandemic.

The pandemic is caused by a coronavirus, which is one of the most transmutable viruses. This means, it constanly changes its genetic makeup to create new types of infections almost every time it jumps from one host to another. It is believed that this virus is zoonotic, so there is no need for conspiracies against the Chinese government. It happens. Just like Ebola happens, HIV happens (which by the way is the world’s largest and longest pandemic), and the yearly Influenza (flu) happens. Viruses mutate and they reinfect. How does this happen? They replicate so fast that at least one mistake in copying is made. Sometimes it’s harmless; sometimes it causes another strain. It is God’s gamble with humanity.

This virus is designated SARS-CoV-2. SARS actually stands for something. It’s severe acute respiratory syndrome. It means that it primarily effects the lungs much like SARS-CoV-1. CoV stands for coronavirus, which is named after the spiky proteins on the outer coating of the virus. Corona means crown. Virus is a controversial “living” thing.


From the start, the World Health Organization did not want to ensue panic and economic failure across nations. It was not a slow response, and pandemic protocols have been written and revised since the Bush administration. However, this tactic did not work as people criticized the WHO, due to its cautious approach, to be in collaboration with China to spread the “man-made” virus all over the world. This tactic is known as finger-pointing, mostly amplified by a certain, fake-tanned, ex-president. I will not mention his name, because of his propensity to lawsuits.

The virus did not jump countries magically. This spread is due to close contact within circulated-air areas, such as buses, trains, planes and other forms of public transportation. It spreads much like the flu, where one person sneezes into the air and particulates will then spread and recirculate through AC units or fans, which are widely available in public transport. It just takes one person NOT to cover their nose and mouths for the virus to have a chance to get into the air instead of just your hand.


SARS-CoV-2 is quick like most flu viruses. It has a mean incubation period of 3 to 5 days. This means that, although the virus has already infected you and is starting to replicate, the symptoms will show up 3 to 5 days later, in which you could have already infected a few people. This is why masks work. And sometimes, it does not.

There are many types of masks out there, and obviously nobody is going to go around with their own oxygen supply and a HEPA filter attached to their face. Most people however are not taught how masks work, and how to wear a mask. The most common mask recommended are N95 surgical masks. They stop 95% of particles that come out of your mouth. That is the point. They stop particles coming out of your mouth, when people wear them as they are. As a surgeon once told me, “Green always touches green.”

Most people are not in the scientific field, but this is a pretty easy concept to grasp. The green end goes towards sterile, meaning that if you are sick, the green side goes towards the outside. If you are healthy and COVID-19 free, then the green side goes towards your face. This is because the masks are designed with one-way folds that catch particles. The way that most people wear masks is not effective, thus – despite wearing masks – the numbers of infections are still going up.

In addition to wearing masks, social distancing is a very effective way to slow down or stop the spread of any air-borne virus. The N95 masks will only slow down coughs or sneezes, so that most particles can only travel 30 centimeters. The recommended distance is two meters or six feet from the other person. However, in Asia, the distance is cut down to half that. It was pretty awkward for me to stand in lines at a distance of only one meter.

Why do I need a mask indoors?

Another good behavior to prevent any type of disease – not just COVID-19 – is to wash your hands regularly. This is the same message that we say for E. coli, cholera, and many other diseases. This works because of the structure of soap. Soap molecules are like little knives that cut through a membrane and break it apart. With agitation, it is like slashing multiple little knives into the capsules that surround a virus or bacterial membranes, leaving you with 0.1% bacteria or virus that is usually harmless. That is why hand-washing techniques are very important to follow, and the duration of hand-washing is important.

In love with the girl @01:30

The rate of infection is referred to as the R-value, which is easy to understand. If one person can only infect another person, the R-value is 1:1 or 1. If they can infect two people, then the R-value is 2. This is very high, because the virus can quickly go from 1 to 2 to 4 to 8 to 16. This is clearly an exponential growth and that is why the population is not headed to recovery if the R-value is anywhere over 1. When the R-value is less than 1, then the virus is not being spread; thanks to interventions such as immunity from already been infected, isolation of the population (this is temporary and will only slow the R-value), and vaccines (this is more permanent).

Looking at the spikes of infections over time, there is a clear trend that follows most air-borne type viruses, such as influenza. There is a peak before the summer and a peak before the winter. These correlate to the times when people get together again, which can be easily avoided. This could be due to religious ceremonies, seasonal work, and especially schools. There is a very high correlation to the times when air-borne viruses hit and children going back to school. Since children and the younger population are usually asymptomatic, they will lax on their usage of social distancing and masks, congregate in a classroom with others who might carry the virus, then bring them home to their individual households. Add to that a good 3 to 5 day incubation period, and the amount of contact that people have with other people. That will definitely increase the chances of an exponential spread of any virus, not just SARS-CoV-2.


Anybody can get the virus, but the reaction of most people are asymptomatic (about 50%). However, there are risk factors that could increase the chances of hospitalization. In general, anything that causes chronic inflammation in your body could take away the body’s ability to fight a new infection. In a sense, these additional infections could be labeled as a superinfection, making anybody with those risk factors worse. Chronic inflammation is a pretty wide definition. It could mean anything from cancer to diabetes to smoking. As long as someone has a risk factor, it is best to keep distances from anybody carrying a respiratory virus. This is a good general rule, not just for SARS-CoV-2. When someone else is sick, it’s better not to be close to them.

There are long-term effects of the virus that are still being recorded, the most famous one being loss of smell and/or taste – anosmia. This is due to the virus being able to attack the upper respiratory tract, believed to be due to most people wearing masks BELOW the nose instead of fully covering their nose and mouth. There is a correlation between improper mask use and these upper respiratory tract symptoms. The other possible cause could be the return of virus to the upper respiratory tract by sneezing. Other long-term symptoms, to me, seem like psychological trauma.

Symptoms may develop 2 days to 2 weeks after exposure to the virus. A pooled analysis of 181 confirmed cases of COVID-19 outside Wuhan, China, found the mean incubation period was 5.1 days, and that 97.5% of individuals who developed symptoms did so within 11.5 days of infection.

The following symptoms may indicate COVID-19:

Fever or chills
Cough
Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
Fatigue
Muscle or body aches
Headache
New loss of taste or smell
Sore throat
Congestion or runny nose
Nausea or vomiting
Diarrhea

Other reported symptoms include the following:

Sputum production
Malaise
Respiratory distress
Neurologic (eg, headache, altered mentality)

https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/2500114-overview

Being unprepared for this type of acute respiratory syndrome, researchers and doctors and the entire medical field first had to figure out what the symptoms really were, and what the treatment is to reduce symptoms and stabilize the patient. That is why the WHO came up with “flattening the curve”. Due to high rate of infection, the hospitals can be overrun by patients, and there are very limited breathing devices, medication, ICU beds, etc. Most everybody will get infected, but the most important thing is not to overwhelm the capacity of the system. That way, everybody can be treated. That is why it was important, in the early stages of the pandemic, to isolate.

As treatment goes, like most respiratory viruses, it is mainly supportive. The body will handle the virus on its own. There are antivirals that have been tried, corticosteroids to reduce over-inflammation responses (cytokine storm), and a lot of oxygen to get the body oxygenated. There are also physical treatments like putting the person in a reverse prone position to let the liquid in the lungs flow to the top of the lungs, so the bottom of the lungs (which has more surface area) can get some oxygen. Other than that, doctors just maintain vitals (respiratory rate, heart rate, blood pressure, blood oxygenation, body temperature) and function of vital organs (brain, heart, lungs, liver, kidney, GI tract and spleen). Once your body is able to recover (or not), you’re transferred into a normal ward (assuming you were in the ICU) for observation and further recovery. Low risk patients go home to isolation.

The vaccines are an amazing shift in modern medicine using mRNA, although the technology to target proteins in that way is pretty old. I remember people researching it when I was doing my Biochemistry degree. There is a video explaining what they have done and how it is amazing, and it can pave the way to creating vaccines for almost anything with knowledge of the target’s DNA sequence. That is why this technology has not been used until now. It can be abused in a devastating way. People thought CRISPR was scary, but this can be even scarier.

What is mRNA vaccine?

However, knowing the target protein of SARS-CoV-2, vaccines can be made to emulate those spike proteins (the ones creating the crown) → complicated biochemistry → and start an immune response in the body towards the encapsulated virus. This will not stop you from getting infected nor stop you from being viral, but it will not give you serious symptoms that will land you in the ICU. That is why masks and social distancing is still needed, because the majority of conspiracy theorists will not get vaccinated. The vaccines work in similar ways, but the best combination so far was found to be AstraZenica or Pfizer + Moderna or Novavax.

Are vaccines dangerous?
Why get boosted?

Currently, in Malaysia at least, the R-value is at 0.85. A healthy path to recovery from the pandemic. There are strains that are more infectious, but that does not mean more potent. The SARS part of the pandemic is slowing down, as the Omicron variant does not produce much SARS. The most important thing for people to do is to just wear masks and social distance indoors. There has been no correlation between masking outdoors and spreading the virus, unless you sneeze in that person’s face. In that case, you would need to learn culture and manners. With cooperation, vaccination and QoL (quality of life) in consideration, governments and people will get through this pandemic better than the previous pandemics and epidemics.

Personally, I find it amazing that people have forgotten the other epidemics we have been through since the turn of the 21st century. Most people cannot name most of them. It is not the first time, nor will it be the last time. Learn from the past, don’t live day by day, and prepare for the future, because that is best for your society and humanity as a whole.

Alternative medicine is always preventive medicine. There is no quick fix to sicknesses and diseases using alternative medicine. Alternative medicines do not even stop pain immediately. That said, any alternative medicine to combat SARS-CoV-2 involves boosting immunity, social distancing and making sure every individual is responsible enough to stop the spread of a contagious virus. If zombies came at you, you would not want to get bitten. If you’re infected, you do not want to go around biting people. So wear a mask, socially distance yourself, eat a healthy dose of Vitamin B, D and E (Vitamin C does not increase immunity; see video), and think socially and responsibly to help humanity flatten the curve so that people who need the ICU get the ICU.


Indonesian Doctors’ Hand-washing Dance

The constant increase in the prevalence of BA.2 in more countries over the world has confirmed the growth advantage that this variant has compared with others. BA.2 reduces the protective effect of vaccination against infection. Omicron antibody cross-neutralization can be partially restored by a third booster vaccination, an aspect that becomes problematic in the context of a low vaccination rate, where peaks of Omicron may increase the likelihood of infection in the elderly and in other groups at a higher risk of severe disease. Omicron BA.2 opens up new evolution channels, but what do the experts think will happen?

https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/972238
Featured

Everything is Binary | No Gray Areas in Life | Lifestyle of a Libra

It’s all about balance.  I can only tell you my story, because everybody has their own sad story.  Their own cross to bear.  Their country song to sing.  I don’t believe that most people are happy, because depression and anxiety is a global pandemic that everybody has struggled with at least once in their lives.

Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a result of anxiety gone wrong; a complete imbalance of neurotransmitters.  How does this happen?  The mechanisms to understand the imbalances are simple.  However, to fix the problem requires a lot of work, self-reflection and acceptance.

Trauma is one of the common factors fueling anxiety, and eventually depression.  Although on different ends of the neurotransmitter spectrum, one influences the other.  That is why psychiatrists like to put people on a regimen of Rivotril and Fevarin; or whatever SSRI and anxiolytic of choice that the pharmaceutical companies “persuade” them to prescribe.  This chemically balances the neurotransmitters enough for a patient to listen, comprehend, accept the situation, and create new synapses or habits. In addition to drugging the patient, rebalance is accomplised with a LOT of psychotherapy, which does not happen in social healthcare systems.

I grew up in a happy childhood.  It had its traumas, but nothing that was life-changing, because I could logically explain things.  That is until I came to Croatia.  I then realized that my life was not logically explained, but was dictated by emotions of others, which was not very logical.  My tasks or chores would be either be completed, or be delayed depending on if the person got laid or not.  Obviously, that is a joke because making that statement MIGHT offend Croatians.

However, living in Croatia, every action was a lottery.  Nothing could be planned. Emotions effecting people’s ability to do their jobs, and comprehensively judging others, has affected me from passing classes in medical school, to getting a stay permit in Croatia to continuing university. I won’t even mention decisions based on skin color encountered in the 21st century. Those conversations are on my other blog and in my book.

This to me was not logical.  This to me was and is still my trauma.  This led to my anxiety.  That led to my depression.

I sought out psychiatrists, was on Rivotril and Fevarin, went to counseling with Gestalt psychologists, and tried cognitive behavioral therapy when I turned to social determinants of health.  CBT didn’t work, because apparently this type of behavior is acceptable in this culture. This is where I am now.  For me to start something takes a LOT of determination and energy.  Accomplishing something brings me no “Aha!” effect or joy.  So why does this happen?  How did my happy brain get to this point?

Being a medical doctor and biochemist, I’ll tell you how I got this way, and possibly how to fix it.

As many of you probably read, the brain remains plastic for your entire life.  Forty years ago, people thought that the brain settled after the childhood plasticity phase, but that has proven to be wrong.  The brain is able to create new neurons (neurogenesis) and create new connections (synaptogenesis).  This is the cause of creating new habits, new skills, and new beliefs.  On the other end of the spectrum; trauma, anxiety and eventually depression.

Danijel Dubicanac of Hatha Yoga Croatia then asked me to read into Yoga.  I have my opinions on Yoga in the “West”, but will keep them to myself at this point.  However, there is no harm to question why a few-millennia-old tradition and lifestyle have worked for so long.  Why does MDD happen mostly in Western nations, and less in Eastern nations that follow similar rituals of Ayurvedic or other Eastern cultural lifestyles?

Ignoring the other lifestyle habits of Ayurveda, Yoga seems to be the most adopted Eastern “habit” in the West. Doing Yoga regularly seems to “balance” people.  There are people on both left and right of the normal distribution, but on average, Yogites are less anxious, less depressed, and more balanced individuals.  I have met MANY “outliers” though.  So as a quick review to doing Yoga, which is similar to Islamic prayers and Tai Chi and other Eastern lifestyle habits, there are five (four) major points of Yoga that share similarities to those other lifestyles:

  1. Proper exercise (āsana)
  2. Proper breathing (prāṇāyāma)
  3. Proper relaxation (śavāsana)
  4. Proper diet and positive thinking (vedānta)
  5. Meditation (dhyāna)

I do not want to go into detail into WHY these Yoga points are beneficial nor compare Ayurveda to Islam nor Taoism, because the end result is basically the same (despite people fighting over these beliefs): the balance of neurotransmitters and the creation of good habits.

There are a lot of studies done with EEGs, fMRIs, rats, cadavers, and biochemistries that show benefits of Yoga (you can Google medical articles on your own time), but any regular exercise will have the same end result. The problem in MDD is to get motivated and get started.

Therefore, I will attempt to describe the biochemistry of the neural changes that potentially benefit mental health; since all the papers I read are, at best, “educated guesses” of neurology.

Depression and anxiety are often classed and treated together as synergic diseases, like chlamydia and gonorrhea.  If you have one, you are bound to have the other.  Logically, if you are constantly anxious, this will inhibit your ability to live life normally, and that will eventually lead to depression.  On the other hand, when you are depressed and are not living your life normally, you will be anxious around normal things.  Thus, the goal is to balance the neurotransmitters that are either too excitatory (anxiety) or too inhibitory (depression). 

The major players of excitatory neurotransmitters are monoaminergic neurotransmitters, which many non-pharmacological nutritionists try to upsell, are dopamine, serotonin, and epinephrine.  Most people try to increase these neurotransmitters by taking supplements and believing that you are what you eat (vedānta).  However, the small effects of dietary supplements is not enough to reduce the symptoms of major depression, which not only lacks neurotransmitters or receptors, but also is due to the increase in inhibitory neurotransmitters. This is the general idea, but it obviously gets more complicated.

In “newer” studies, MDD has also been linked to LOW GABA levels.  Despite being an inhibitory neurotransmitter, GABA has different receptors that can negate a negating synapse.  As the brain has billions of neurons with an infinite amount of connections, there is no way to isolate depression and anxiety into a few simple pathways.  Thus, the working theory is a disbalance of excitatory and inhibitory (E/I) neurotransmitters.

In the prefrontal cortex (PFC), GABA neurons control the E/I balance as well as the excitatory output to projecting areas; such as the amygdala, bed nucleus of stria terminalis, and the dorsal raphe nucleus.  The complex network of GABA neuronal connections from the PFC to these other areas of the brain are important in mediating complex emotional and cognitive processes in the brain.  Both are important in anxiety and depression, and the irrational decisions made while in the state of depression (and other sociopathic states).

When both monoaminergic and GABA neurotransmitters are either low or high (or disbalanced), this causes changes in emotions and mood.  Although this could be normal, large emotional changes, such as trauma, can leave a longer-lasting, stronger “negative” synapse.  This will cause an imbalanced pathway that needs to be corrected by either neurogenesis or synaptogenesis, and the only way to do this is to train your brain over time.

This is where Yoga comes in handy, both as preventive medicine and a treatment option.

A few studies have been done that measured EEGs, which show higher alpha and theta waves, which correspond with lower anxiety and stress.  Theta waves are also associated with information processing and alertness.  Looking at neurotransmitters, a study showed that GABA levels have also increased after regular Yoga sessions.  After 12 weeks of Yoga, subjects claim to be less depressed and anxious compared to a control group.  Yoga also increases production of monoamines, especially serotonin and dopamine, causing relaxation and reward.  Combining the explanation from above, Yoga potentially improves MDD and anxiety by effecting the E/I neuronal networks from the PFC by balancing out the GABA and monoamine neural pathways.

People know that Yoga works. But why?  So far, everything has been an educated guess (like most of neuroscience).  Reading through research papers and picking out more plausible explanations, I can briefly explain why the five points of Yoga works to improve symptoms (without writing an entire PhD thesis about it, and not getting a PhD in Alternative Medicine).

Āsana

Posture and positioning are important in muscle control, strengthening nerve endings, and is commonly used in physical therapy.  As an ex-wrestler (or anybody studying martial arts), perfect moves and practicing perfect posture create muscle control that gives you an advantage over your opponent.  This increases circulation to the muscles, and leads to generally better health.  Like Islamic prayers, having certain postures creates “goals” of movement, and the feeling of “something that you need to do”.  That necessity counteracts the negative neuronal networks of depression, although it could exacerbate anxiety by creating necessities.

Prāṇāyāma

The act of controlled breathing has been discussed in a previous article of mine.  That article was good enough to scare away a Yogite I went on a date with.  These are the people I try to stay away from, because despite listening to her gospel of pranayama, she is the typical Western Yogite who adopts Yoga without adopting any other part of Ayurveda or morality.

In short, controlled breathing decreases acidity in the body, and glutamate could potentially be turned into GABA by a shift in concentrations (Le Chatlier’s Principle).  See article here.

Śavāsana

Before anxiety starts, proper relaxation NEEDS to be taught and practiced.  I currently live in Croatia and coming from the USA, I realize that not many Croatians know how to relax properly.  In fact, nobody knows how to relax at all; not at work, not at home, and not even on vacations in their coastal weekend houses.  MOST CROATIANS I KNOW OWN COASTAL WEEKEND HOUSES AND USUALLY AN ORCHARD OR A VINEYARD! Why are they never smiling!?

A colleague said it the best when he said that he rather vacation away from Europe, because when he has to go to the coast, he ends up having to clean the coastal house, cook because restaurants are too expensive, and spend thousands of Kuna driving and paying for tolls. His vacation is just bringing your chores from Zagreb to the coast.

Whereas, with the same amount of money spent to go to Hvar from Zagreb by car and staying there for a week, you can fly to Malaysia and stay in a resort on the beach, eating in restaurants and not having to worry about cleaning, feeding or the unnecessary responsibilities of life.  Life in Croatia has been overly complicated for me, from dealing with racism to unnecessary bureaucracy. After a vacation, I need a vacation.

Since the pay is so low here and the prices are more expensive than East Coast USA, I use my vacation to save money instead of spending money to pay for gas to get to work to earn money to pay for gas to get to work.  This causes anxiety and that led to my depression, as my vacations are spent in my living room, unable to afford any form of eustress.

Vedānta

The power of positive thought is one of the most important tools for treating depression that CBT and sometimes hypnosis is used in psychiatry to implant positive thoughts and habits into an individual.  Positivity is self-explanatory; that creating a belief of goodness will reaffirm the rewarding dopaminergic neural pathway.

An excess of excitatory neurotransmitters in this area without balance of the E/I neurotransmitters from the PFC might cause a manic behavior, and when those neurotransmitters are exhausted, a person can sink into depression.  However positive thoughts and proper diet in a distraught environment balances out not only the internal self, but the outer social aspects if most people in society are this way.

Dhyāna

Meditation relates to positive thinking with a mantra.  There are many meditative techniques (not just Ayurvedic Yoga) and depending on the culture, meditation can consist of clearing thoughts to accepting all thoughts and “releasing them” by acceptance.  When a person thinks enough on a subject matter, the brain can come up with solutions to the problems.  Two brains are better than one.  Three are better that two.  Social interactions can also be a form of meditation, and group meditation can increase social awareness.

Meditation can then contribute to combating depression and anxiety by balancing mood and behavior; and most importantly, acknowledgement and acceptance by the society that the person is in.  Meditation can also put logic to traumatic situations, which the binary brain needs to process the uncertain and troublesome situation.

Should you Yoga?

Therefore, it does not really matter what you do to manage MDD and anxiety. You can be a Cali girl and do Yoga in petroleum-based yoga pants (article) and think you’re saving the world (OMG!), or you can be a devout Muslim ritually praying five times a day.  The point is to create a stable belief system that will rewire your brain to accept the faults of life, and create a regular habit that promotes better behavior.  Anxiety and depression lie in the gray areas of uncertainty.  In order to believe and accept, you must choose.  Negative or positive.  Black or white. Or to be a little less racist-sounding; brown or browner.

Do not forget the mantra of BELIEF, ACCEPTANCE AND REGULARITY! Or the BAR, which I have been going to to deal with my own personal depression.

Contact me for references.  I don’t feel like linking them in, but people seem too lazy to Google for information, think they’re right, and know better than peer-reviewed research.  Even better yet, let’s meet in person and talk about it. Because if humans don’t socialize, then they haven’t learned how to “human” and combat MDD nor anxiety nor other sociopathic “diseases” we treat SO WELL with pharmacotherapies.

How to Get Proper Medical Treatment

I read clickbait articles on MedScape about other doctors who get sued for either intentional or unintentional mistakes, and the lessons were always the same: Scare me into revising my thoughts multiple times before even making a peep to my patients.

Doctors have lost their respect with the general public, and I have seen mechanics get more respect when they mock their “patients” for abusing their cars. When we tell patients that they abuse their bodies, we would get complaints to our superiors, get financially punished, or even worse, fired for being honest.

I agree that there should be tact when dealing with that sensitive issue. After all, you should be sensitive about telling a 150 kg obese person that they should eat less. They might just sit on you. People laugh when I compare doctors to mechanics, but there are very many similarities. They both fix the symptoms of the problems without fixing the cause. They both release people into the wild with the capability to harm themselves or others. They both are responsible for the source of the problem.

Mechanics, when they miss a screw, might not fix the brakes correctly, which will cause the car to swerve and crash; potentially harming a life. Doctors, when missing a differential, might not give the right medication, which will cause the patient to start the wrong treatment; potentially harming a life. Both can be honest. Both can educate and empower.

The difference – from a third person and from most news reporters – is that hardly anybody would blame a mechanic when a person crashes a car on the highway. However, when a person is harmed from wrong treatment, reporters, family members and the entire village will pick up pitchforks and torches to storm the hospital; ready to hang the one “responsible”. Blood for blood.

In my experience, most missed diagnoses is not due to my incompetence, but due to the patients’ inability or unwillingness to communicate. When the entire truth is hidden through shame or guilt, it is nearly impossible for a medical doctor to read minds and come up with solutions. I am sure every doctor has been through the STD cheating chain. It would be so much easier to stop the spread of the STD when people are honest and bring in their ACTUAL sexual partners, so both can be treated. Guilt, embarassment and cultural blocks are the mainstay of why doctors treat patients like statistics.

Mechanics do not have to know the entire story of why only the rear tires are bald. They just know it needs to be replaced, and they will replace it. In my experiences, most mechanics do not take the time to point-check other systems to make sure they need replacing. If and when these amazing mechanics do, they are also accused by their “patients” that they are mentioning fixes to increase the charges.

How many of us has had an alternator replaced, and have been advised to change the waterpump at the same time? How many of us ignore that and let our engines heat up, so the mechanic has to take apart the same screws again? How many times did that waterpump fail, drenched the alternator, and the mechanic had to tell you to replace the alternator that you JUST replaced a few hundred miles ago?

Do most patients listen to the advice of professionals before jumping to blame them for their own consequences?

Since people have stopped looking up at us as honorable advisors and healers, we have to heal with whatever information is presented to us. That leads to some unavoidable errors. Working in Emergency Medicine, I do not have the time to patiently wait for information. I also do not have the luxury of people bringing in their patient history and list of medications. I do not have access to hospital or primary health care data (at least in the form of ICD 10 list of diagnoses, current medications and allergies), so I just have to rely on the patients’ inconsistent memories, and be ready with my anti-anaphylactic kit.

Thus, sometimes I rather empathize with my peers instead of reading about the “atrocities” of doctors’ actions. We are paid too little to deal with lives of dishonest individuals. Fault should be given to the patient, as clues to illnesses are mostly based in patient history. That is why we were constantly barraged with learning clinical propaedeutics throughout our education.

Patients have to be 100% transparent. If they are not, they should not expect the correct treatment, because symptoms overlap. In these cases, “I do not know.” will not protect anybody.

Dulcius ex Asperis

I’ve been writing a lot about mental and social health these days.

Despite what everybody thinks about health, it is not just physical well-being. Many governments, and people stuck in the status quo, regularly ignore mental (for some reason, is still taboo in the 21st century) and social health (worsened by the social media technology in the 21st century).

That said; Please Like, Share and Subscribe! Yeop needs his dopamine!

In all earnest, please leave constructive criticisms in the comments below. I would love to be able to evolve my writing, get it out to the world, and eventually monetize to digital nomad level.


Almost everybody lacks empathy. Those who don’t are often misunderstood as being a pushover. Those pushovers are stepped on until they explode. Then they are often misunderstood for being crazy. They are medicated until they also lack empathy. We can all change this with a little acknowledgement.

I was having lunch with my doctor uncle and – in common Yeop-style – was ranting about the lack of innovation in this Malaysia. He asked, “So why don’t you innovate something?”

I replied, “What problem do you want me to fix?”

To which, the reply was crickets.

There are an abundance of problems in this world that need to be addressed, but are we willing to find solutions to them? Or do we stand there with no thoughts nor ideas to contribute, and let crickets do the chirping?

As I sit in his sterile, first-class home, that has doors and a Mercedes (among other cars) parked out front, I was not expecting any answer from this apparently redundant question. You cannot ask the status quo this question. There is no need to ask this, as people hardly empathize with someone who is at their lowest point. I have been in my uncle’s position, and I have been in the opposite position. Believe you me, lowest can always get lower.

I have been homeless and left for dead. Not of my own volition, but of the whims of a government that would not let me work due to my citizenship. A piece of paper stood between homelessness and a position as a medical doctor. My qualifications did not matter; my experiences did not matter. Just a piece of paper stood in my way from eating trash to working and improving Outpatient Emergency Medicine in every county I worked in.

Unlike those who haven’t had the humble experience of homelessness, I do not like taking praise or credit, so I allow others to do so.

More of my adventures in my previous blog posts.

There are many problems that can be fixed in Malaysia (and most other nations) ranging from human rights issues to religious non-freedoms to governmental corruption. All of these can be found in many articles on Google, which I won’t even bother to list out. Being a Biochemist, most innovations and inventions that I am interested in usually happens in more advanced countries; Malaysia not being one of them.

I was informed that my cousin is working on stabilizing protein structures (I’m assuming at higher temperatures), which has been done many times within the past 25 years, through help with heat-shock proteins, or with what you have now with the new mRNA vaccine (spike proteins are proteins). There are many people working on this – I have read a lot of the research – so I’m not sure which level my cousins are inserting their skillset into.

Yes. Innovations are hard, but they just require thought. Inventions are harder, because they require anticipation. Hardly anybody thinks that far ahead into the future to invent solutions to problems that have never existed. Most people today who innovate, tweak a product, and then claim it as theirs. Therefore, most “ground-breaking” innovators are there to just “manage symptoms” of the issues we are facing today.

For a superficial and redundant example; do we really need a better cellphone? Do we need this step-by-step approach to RAM and processor speeds? Do we need this trickle-down method of medicating the rich – as the poor gets treatment only decades later? We are SO marketed for “bigger is better” that nobody stops to question the numbers and the necessities of society before buying into something “bigger”, and disposing the old.

Innovations take inventions and make it available to the masses. It took years for normal people to afford quad-core phones with a 12.1 mpx camera; whilst the rich are going out and buying phones with processors that are constantly “ground-breaking”; the flagships.

I know only a few people in the world, and less companies, who are thinking of sustainable solutions to flagship materialisms. If I am criticizing innovations that “fix” problems of societies, what more do I expect people to do in order to maintain and (hopefully) evolve society?


Most of the problems of the maintenance of society do not involve innovations. As mentioned earlier, innovation and invention are mostly for the advantages of the rich. Societal and mental problems, such as recycling and commercial wastes and access to education, are based mostly on post codes and zoning areas, which are controlled by the government and the illuminati types. This affects the health of the society as a whole, and are commonly ignored by the society of the few.

Deceitful press, negative marketing and political barriers are usually the mainstay of the stagnant situations people are in. In a previous blog, I mentioned that statistics are hockey-sticking upward, but nations seem to have a snail’s pace in evolving to take advantage of examples from other more advanced nations.

As I walk around Malaysia, I realize that the mentality and cultureif the status quo seem to be adopting the worst of other nations. I hear people proud to say that “we have Five Guys now!” and “We have Taco Bell!” They seem to be proud to promote the fact that they have adopted the lowest side of ideals, and that is illogical to me.

I have even seen a Perodua Myvi converted to a Daihatsu. Because it’s s better to have a foreign-branded car instead of a local one. However, my headaches come from the fact that everyone knows it is a Myvi, and Daihatsu is not the best of car brands. It is just marketed to the people that foreign materialisms MUST be better.

This is the type of mentality that keeps people from questioning the government, and stops people from realizing the governmental barriers that block the adoption of innovations that promote social, environmental and humanitarian justices. I have seen this type of behavior in almost every country I have been to and lived in.

However, in some countries, the critical mass make a difference. More advanced nations – not the outdated concept of “first-world” nor the racist concept of “Western nations” – who have more forward-thinking peoples, have been able to advance societal and mental healthcare by transparently marketing physical, social and mental health concepts to their populations.

A critical mass is needed to create positive changes, adopt innovations that promote sustainability, and fight for equality and equity for all peoples. Society then is in the hands of the many, instead of in the hands of a few. That makes a positive 180° shift (a revolution is 360° shift in which nobody wins) from the stagnant societies we live in now.


Personally, I wish there were more people anticipating problems. In my hobby of people-watching, it seems that people are bouncing off bumpers until they ultimately fall into the trough. If people take the initiative to be socially active and interact with the “icky” people outside their social classes, then there would be more empathy.

Once there is understanding of peoples’ problems and issues, there would be an initiative to fix physical, social and mental issues facing society; especially the societies that I have seen in developing countries, such as Malaysia, Croatia, et alia.

Culturally, Croatia and Malaysia and most Arabic League nations have something in common. That is not to share problems outside their own personal space. Talking about problems are taboo. Going to a psychiatrist or psychologist could get you disowned or fired.

Mental health is attributed to not being religious enough, and mental illnesses are attributed to being possessed. In the 21st century and in the times of scientific knowledge and understanding, I am more amazed by the 16th century mentality of ignorant persons who put outdated, theological beliefs over evidence-based, scientific theories.

A friend once said, “Yeop, not everybody is you!”

I wish they were, so there would be no need for me to write social justice articles, and concentrate more on arcane alternative medicine in different regions of the world. If you have any critiques of my blog, please comment below.

Tell me if I should return to alternative medicine, because what I am concentrating on is more mental health at the moment; as it is Mental Health Awareness Month.

Credit to cultureforsolidarity.eu

An Op-Ed Break

“Loneliness is often the product of a gifted mind.”

– Arcane, League of Legends

By writing this op-ed, I will probably be mislabeled as egotistical and pushing my own agenda towards my own means of survival. However, this society has clearly misunderstood many people with intelligence willing to push for changes that they see wrong in their surroundings. They are suppressed and categorized into labels, so they can be further medicated to fit into today’s society.

It is hard to understand the minds and thought processes of people who can think at a million miles a minute. Even though I feel my mind is fast, there are many minds who are faster, and I too fear them. Not because I fear what they can do. I fear that I cannot keep up.

The only way that I can absorb them is to slow down the wonders that they present. Take it one at a time and let my own brain organized them. It is lucky that most of these people have good intentions. There are people who explore space, create new ways to sustain this planet, put their own efforts above their own desire to just survive.

While they create wonders, the majority of the people forget that these people are still human. They still make mistakes, but they learn from them and use those opportunities to rectify. They do things to bring themselves to society – to seem almost human – so that they are not considered outcasts within their surroundings.

Should they suppress themselves, so that they are understood? Or should society take the time to pick up their “smart” phones, do a little research, and understand them? There are only a few of them, who take the time to bridge the gap. Personally, I read and watch the videos to understand the marvels that they create. Those marvels, which allow people to scroll through memes, get stuck and complain about the traffic that they themselves cause, or the over abundance of nutrition they put on their own plates and eventually throw into the trash. Unseparated.

These problems that society themselves cause create newer problems, which people of intelligence have to deal with. There are only a few of them who question those problems. Most people flush their toilets without marvel of where their own excrements go. What if you have an entire village flushing their excrements into the system? What if you have an entire megapolis flushing their toilets?

It is very detrimental to the environment to release that much waste into rivers and oceans, most not caring what happens downstream from them. Most do not care what happens to lower society living in the filth of the upper class. There are only a few of them who create solutions, but they are usually ignored, mocked and cast aside. Only a few survive and create something, through clever marketing, to make the people – who are blindly stuck in the rat race – switch over.

Peoples do not like to break out of their comfort-zone. They gladly climb within their level by buying the “biggest” and the “best” of what their society is bounded by. They do not like to think of the downstream. Why think about what could happen in 2030, when they enjoy their “now”?

What is admirable is that some of these game-changers do not even have children to bring into the new generation. They fight for changes to bring salvation to humanity’s children. They will fight for the bigger picture; while societies slowly benefit from their work; usually not realizing that most of these miraculously modern efforts put affordable food on the table, roofs above their heads, clean water from their pipes, and clothes on their backs.

People fear change, even if it is for the better. I see this in every society that I have had the privilege to live in. From being stuck in traffic, because people decide to not follow the rules; to losing life and love, because people are tied down to their narrow band of societal pressures. These days, it takes more than just a thought to get out of the box. It takes a step and a fight against societal norms. People have become too comfortable in their hedonism to take that leap, and need a metaphorical slap in the face to do so.

However, there is no more need for preaching and lectures.

I am one of many repeating the message from the same broken record. It is time for people to decide to think about the others and to work together as a society, instead of embracing the fact that they are merely controlled by a paycheck and the fear of loss of it. So strong is that fear, they do not take a step towards better gains. Towards knowledge. Too many times have we been manipulated and hypnotized by our 5″ brains in the palm or our hands, that we absorb even the worst without any fact checks.

I was nurtured as a scientist, and that comes with a curse of cynicism to any fact that comes across my senses. I am the type to never say no until it has been tried. I would fact check even my own birth. I have caused anger and resentment among people by undermining their beliefs with facts; much to the point where I have been treated as a nothing. My own family is ashamed to talk about me, because despite my accomplishments, I have broken their belief structure. I stepped outside their system. I am not even hated; that requires acknowledgement. To them, I am a nothing.

That is today’s society. Living in bliss of the ignorance of the faults that they themselves cause. Climate changes, systemic racism, social inequalities, etc. Most people I know live without consequence to themselves, and they ignore the consequences to the bottom rung of the social ladder. People are marketed to live in the NOW! and the FUTURE!, but people seem to forget to learn from their past; as these problems are shoved back down until they reemerge stronger and louder than before.

The few have created wonders for the norms to exploit. These norms then trickle down their wealth to those who fear loss. Then they trickle down further, until there is nothing left at the bottom. Hardly anything makes it to the people who have lost and/or have to start with nothing.

We, the nothing, do not fear loss, as we have nothing to lose except for our lives. And for a few, not even that. I have lost half my life to the whim of those who enforce, those who promote societal norms, those who hold pride for false ideals. I have lost to people who hold higher positions on the social ladder, to social ‘normalities’ of skin pigmentation, and I have lost a lot in compensating for others who do not even care about the planet they live on.

Yet, I can live a life of high moral grounds, despite my immoral doings to get to that height. I had to lie, steal and cheat the system to, in a bigger picture, display truths, distribute wealth, and fight for equity and equality. For the people of the lower rung. In my mind, when I step back, I see the fault in the advertising and marketing to these ‘normals’. The power, held by corporations who control their choices, is constantly abused. I feel sad when I see people choose wrongly instead of wisely. For it does not take much, these days, to choose wisely.

“Why should I step down, when I could step up?”


A personal example.

This aggravates me, and gives me a headache. It’s the reason I cannot sit down at the dinner table and have an intellectual conversation.

The Malaysian government is known not to have signed the 1951 Refugee Convention nor its 1967 Protocol and does not have a legislative or administrative framework to protect refugees and asylum seekers within its jurisdiction. This means that most of the support comes from NGOs, mainly UNHCR and private donors who give the minimal support. Refugees are not allowed to work nor are they allowed to register nor are they allocated healthcare and education. The government is keen on kicking them out, and will as soon as they are caught with minimal cause.

I have been there. Not having anything. Being a nothing.

I talked about not paying Zakat (alms) to the Zakat comittee, because they are usually corrupt. Any organizational money collector has some corruption. I rather know where my money goes, and do invidual payments in the name of alms and donations. My mother then says that they do not need support, because they are the ones who break into houses. They are not welcome here. Why should they come to Malaysia? This gave me a headache when I had to listen to this in Europe. People were fleeing war zones, persecution and poverty. They needed to make a better life for their future generations, and not just themselves. This seemed to be lost in the minds of the upper classes; upper from where I am.

I had to walk out of there, because I felt anger swell up. I told her that this is not a conversation to be had. I am surprised my parents ended up xenophobic, racist and right-wing. It is one thing to live in ignorance of the misfortunate; it is another thing to promote the abandonment of them.

Image Courtesy of Netflix / League of Legends

This is an op-ed, simply because I did not feel like putting in sources. I am hoping people can and will take time to Google the facts, which will lead them down a rabbit hole of sadness for the human race. I put links in my articles, but I doubt anybody clicks on them for further reading (they’re mostly videos).

To Write or not to Write and What to Write

#shortstories #thoughts #reflections

The Christian Tech-Nerd

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