The Higher Purpose, Opioid Crises and Influenza


Welcome to the 11th edition of Boomtown. If you’re reading this for the first time, then welcome. As of this writing, not only are we completely blazed out of our minds, but we can’t wait to continue blazing ahead for the rest of the weekend. In case there are crusades going on by so called ‘puritans’ and the ‘sober public’, what else can we do other than stand our ground and defend ourselves via purposes higher than such nonsensical charades, without an ounce of truth or logic? For it does not matter who the crusaders are, because our messages of peace and truth go beyond such trivial attitudes to life. Rationality and balance of the mind is what we seek, and if such pursuits are labelled otherwise, we’re ready to sit down and explain to whoever cares about civility, to listen.   

Let’s start blazing. 

The Higher Purpose

It is too easy to sit back and classify human beings into good and bad, black and white, after all dividing and comparing people for the sake of it, is what dictates most of the systems that human beings have created. For instance, companies want to hire the very ‘best’. Our children are ‘better’ than them. Our culture is ‘better’ than them. Our ‘style’ is ‘better’ than them. Contests, shows, elections it goes on and on, pitting one human being against the other and then watching one ‘win’ and the other ‘loose’, this is all too often that the common masses find themselves stuck around in a loop, never even bothering to realize that they’re in a loop, in the first place. 

All too often, an individual reaches a crossroads in his or her life, for one or whatever reason and then asks: what is ‘best’? Or how can I be the best? Get a graduation degree? And then go even higher? Work for years and then get ‘promoted’? Again and again the question inevitably boils down to the same few things: money, happiness, peace or any other versions of these, including images of a brighter, hopeful future with one’s future bride or groom, or any other variation with regards to reproduction, or scenes of beaches and mountains, large, neat homes, lots of food and drink etc. of a romantic, beautiful nature. 

And indeed, what more could anyone hope from life?

Amidst such a day and time, with individuals all over the world imagining notions more or less about the same few things, what is one to do? Sit back and satisfy ourselves with thrills that’re available to us right now? Gear in for the long fight and compete, especially if one doesn’t have the financial backing or the network of a rich family or otherwise? Or choose not to compete and be satisfied with the bare yet comfortable basics, the caveat then being that one’s mind would inevitably claim that you’ve somehow not ‘fulfilled’ one’s potential. What is it that one is to do?

We’ve chosen option 2: gear in for the long fight and compete. 

We’ll keep blazing since we need all the help we can get. 

Big Pharma Pleads Guilty For The Opioid Crisis

Opium, a plant that is used to make heroin, is also used by pharmaceutical companies to make painkillers, and it’s not rocket science that pain is a multi-billion global market. Pain afflicts everyone, no one escapes physical pain in some form or the other. Humans are imperfect creatures and our inventions and our capitalist system makes us push our bodies and minds to their limits. Therefore, pain is a feature not a bug.

Our ancestors struggled with pain, and so do we. A pain free life is a complete myth. No one can escape pain. And for people struggling with debilitating pain with no cures, pharma companies, especially in the US have orchestrated addictions on a global scale, that too legally. We aren’t saying their medications are bad. For many people they have indeed worked and provided relief. However, it’s the way they have sold it that has caused a lot of problems. Here’s the New York Times

“Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin, has agreed to plead guilty to criminal charges related to its marketing of the addictive painkiller, and faces penalties of roughly $8.3 billion, the Justice Department announced on Wednesday. The settlement could pave the way for a resolution of thousands of lawsuits brought against the company for its role in a public health crisis that has killed more than 450,000 Americans since 1999. The company’s owners, members of the wealthy Sackler family, have agreed to pay $225 million in civil penalties. Prosecutors said the agreement did not preclude the filing of criminal charges against Purdue executives or individual Sacklers.”

Remember this is just the US. And just one company

And now we come to India. Same companies. Almost the same brands. Legal. Tolerated. Here’s the outstanding Sarah Varney writing in from India: 

And American pharmaceutical companies — architects of the opioid crisis in the United States and avid hunters of new markets — stand at the ready to feed and fuel that demand. For Indian cancer patients who once writhed in agony, there are fentanyl patches from a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. For the country’s vast army of middle-class office workers wracked with back and neck pain, there is buprenorphine from Mundipharma, a network of companies controlled by the Sackler family, owners of Connecticut-based Purdue Pharma. And for the hundreds of millions of aging Indians with aching joints and knees, there are shots of tramadol from Abbott Laboratories.”

Two countries. Same companies. Different people. Same results. 

Is anyone listening? It’s time to move over synthetic opioids. Cannabis ought to be the painkiller we need. Safe. Natural. And it works. 

Let’s keep blazing.

Indians Want Their Shots

We’ve previously written how India has been having a thriving drug culture for centuries, so deep and entrenched that it baffles the sober public when we tell them that their ‘drug-free’ fantasies is good for talking, but will never become a reality, and indeed from an economic and human psychology point of view, quite impossible to achieve. The prohibitionist policies are not working and it’s time to reduce the harm we’ve already done to scores of people. Today from the ET: 

Doctors in India say more people are getting inoculated against influenza than ever before to reduce the risk of flu and hospitalisation amid the Covid-19 pandemic. The annual flu shot is not mandated by the government. Most Indians have been giving it a miss as the influenza virus strains circulating in the country vary season to season and even within a season, reducing the efficacy of the administered vaccine to about 50% on average.”

Is this fine to do from a health and safety point of view. We have Balram Bhargava, director-general of the Indian Council of Medical research talking about it. 

It is scientifically plausible that it may help because the virus belongs to the same family. However, there is no data or evidence to show that influenza vaccine will help. We know that in influenza vaccines, the strain changes every year. It is highly unlikely that the vaccine will benefit in the treatment Covid-19 patients,” Bhargava said at a press briefing on Tuesday”

Talk about playing with fate. 

Let’s keep blazing. Have a great weekend 🙂

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