The Swine Flu A(H1N1) pandemic is one of the major headlines of 2009. Initially the media hype distracted our attention away from the depressed economy and instead created a worldwide health panic on which to focus.
From the beginning, the media's coverage only heightened the hysteria as we watched Mexico City close down for a week; Australia tell its citizens to stock up food and supplies for 14 days; Egypt order the slaughter of the country's 300,000 pigs; conspiracy theorists suggest the swine flu virus was genetically engineered by bioterrorists and would be used to create fear and mandatory vaccination; and in the US, school closures, overwhelmed emergency rooms, and consumer runs on hand sanitizers and flu remedies occurred throughout the month of May. Finally on June 11, 2009 the WHO declared the first pandemic at level 6 in 41 years.
The latest World Health Organization (WHO) headline suggests that the A-H1N1 pandemic will persist in the coming months, and that the North Hemisphere should prepare for the second wave. Last week, the White House unveiled a grim report estimating the swine flu will wipe out up to 90,000 Americans in the coming months.
However the head of the CDC, Dr. Thomas Frieden disputes the White House findings as he said in a CSPAN interview: "Everything we've seen in the U.S. and everything we've seen around the world suggests we won't see that kind of number if the virus doesn't change."
Frieden's downgrading of the swine flu threat marks yet another volley in what appears to be a growing battle between the CDC and the White House's top medical advisors over the dangers of the next wave of the A-H1N1 virus. Could pharmaceutical companies with stakes in the vaccine business be pressuring the White House to heighten the threat?
Perhaps it is because the US is going to dump its expiring Tamiflu stock. The US is scheduled to dispose of billions of dollars of Tamiflu stock that was purchased back in 2005 to counter a predicted avian flu that never happened. At that time the US government ordered 20 million doses, costing $2 billion.
Moreover, Tamiflu’s manufacturer, Roche, has confirmed that the shelf life of its anti-viral is three years. Isn't it convenient that it now may be put to use before it expires? On April 27, 2009 Homeland Security declared a health emergency and released 25 percent of 50 million doses -- about 12 million doses -- of Tamiflu and Relenza treatment courses from the nation's stockpile. However, Tamiflu has been reported to be ineffective against seasonal flu outbreaks, and may not be sufficient to combat an epidemic or pandemic. Even worse, some patients with influenza are at higher risk for secondary bacterial infections when on Tamiflu. And secondary bacterial infections, were likely the real cause of the mass fatalities during the 1918 pandemic!
An astrological assessment of this ongoing threat reveals some very intriguing and intense patterns. This fall is going to be extremely challenging with many planets spending time in their signs of debilitation.
September begins with Mercury, the ruler of commerce, communication, and travel in its sign of exhaltation, Virgo. It stations on September 7 and retrogrades from Virgo back to Leo at the end of September. When an exhalted planet is in retrograde motion it loses some of its strength. As Mercury rules the lungs, skin and nervous system it is considered the first line of defense of the immune system. The first case of Swine Flu surfaced in mid-March when Mercury was debilitated traveling with an exalted Venus in retrograde motion, making them both debilitated. In fact, with Jupiter in Capricorn, all the benefic planets were debilitated at that time. By the end of September Mercury will regain its strength, as it travels forward with Saturn in Virgo as an auspicious pairing for improvement in business and focused money management.
This window of focused economic activity will quickly be challenged when Venus joins them on October 10th. Although Venus is debilitated in Virgo, she gains a little strength traveling with Mercury in Virgo as this exalted planet raises her up. When Mercury enters Libra on October 24, the two benefics will be in mutual exchange, again cancelling Venus' debilitation.
However, there are more debilitated planets in October. On October 5, 2009 Mars will enter its sign of debilitation, Cancer, and remain there until May 27, 2010. The most malefic time of the month will occur around October 9th when Mars conjoins Ketu, the south node. Mars rules the blood, and Ketu rules epidemics, unpredictable disease, hard to treat conditions, hysteria, and conditions resulting from poisonings. Ketu has a fiery nature and when combined with Mars may indicate a sudden onset of fever and inflammation, or perhaps a cytokine storm. It is believed that cytokine storms were responsible for many of the deaths during the 1918 influenza pandemic, which killed a disproportionate number of young adults. In this case, a healthy immune system may have been a liability rather than an asset. Recent reports of high mortality among healthy young adults in the 2009 swine flu outbreak has led to speculation that cytokine storms could be responsible for these deaths.
Next Jupiter, ruler of the lymphatic system, will go stationary direct on October 13 and return to its full debilitation opposite the Mars-Ketu conjunction. If that weren't enough, the Sun, the ruler of vitality, makes its yearly visit to its sign of debilitation, Libra, between October 17 - November 16.
Wow. So what do we do if a healthy immune system is a liability? Prevention. I still believe that the key to preventing illness is maintaining strong cellular walls with flax and fish oils and/or reducing inflammatory levels with gluten-free and nightshade-free diets. Raw garlic is one of the best antibiotic, anti-viral and anti-fungal foods you can eat. Avoid sugar as is raises the insulin level inhibiting the release of growth hormones, thereby depressing the immune system. And I would avoid anything that increases cytokine activity like Elderberry extract.
And express your feelings, make time for meditation, and find what truly makes you happy. According to psychoneuroimmunology proponents like Candace Pert:
Viruses use the same receptors as neuropeptides to enter into a cell. Depending how much of the natural peptide for a particular receptor is around and available to bind, the virus that fits that receptor will have an easier or harder time getting into the cell. As the molecules of emotion are involved in the process of a virus entering a cell, it seems logical to assume that the state of our emotions will affect whether or not we succumb to viral infection. Presumably what happens is that when you're happy, the virus can't enter the cell because the norepinephrine blocks all the potential virus receptors. (from The Molecules of Emotion)
Next post: Venus Morningstar: Harbinger of Illness?