Day 1,098: "Alive"

Day 1,098: “Alive”

I’ll start tonight’s entry by saying I am *wiped*. Didn’t get enough rest this weekend, I suppose…though I definitely suspect that having had my flu shot on Friday night has something to do with it. Definitely woke up the past two mornings feeling like my immune system was fighting something…which it is. That’s how vaccine’s work.

I’d be fascinated to find out how vaccine’s REALLY work. I think we take them for granted. Because my very limited knowledge of viruses makes the thought of creating a vaccine pretty damn impressive. Most of us are told that vaccines are made of “dead” viruses…well, I know that’s not *quite* true. See, viruses (again, in my limited knowledge) are actually just strings of RNA, that stuff that our DNA spits outside the nucleus to make protein chains. That’s NOT a self-sustaining organism, it’s a chunk of chemistry. A string of molecules. THAT’S what a virus is. And it enters out cells, and because we’re made to use RNA, this rogue chunk of chemistry commandeers the cell to make its own proteins and more RNA, it eventually kills the cell, and we get sick as that process repeats itself over and over.

If it were just “dead” viruses that we needed to make a vaccine, we could just “kill” whatever virus was causing the problem…I dunno, like boil it, or something…and then start filling vials and pass them out. But I imagine it’s much more complicated than that, because of the fact that viruses aren’t actually alive in their own right. So, they can’t be “killed” in any easy normal way…no, I’d imagine that scientists have to figure out a way to modify that RNA strand so that it’s inert…i.e.- whatever it was coded to produce is rendered harmless…BUT AT THE SAME TIME that RNA strand still has to prompt the same immune system response that the full-fledged dangerous version of the RNA strand sets off.

That is quite a bit more complicated…I’d imagine.

I’d love if someone read this who actually knew how vaccines worked and could tell me if I’m barking up the right tree or not. But…I got my flu shot and read that little pamphlet they give you about how the vaccine contains “dead” viruses, which means you can’t actually get sick with the virus from the vaccine. You will feel an immune response, yes, but there will be no actual invader. And I was thinking to myself…if it’s just “dead” viruses we need for a vaccine, why don’t we just go and “kill” some ebola viruses for example, and then give people those and viola: ebola crisis over.

That’s what you might think from such a pamphlet…obviously not the case in the real world of chemistry and science.

Anywho…what a random tangent tonight! I love it 🙂

Today was Wolfie’s 3rd birthday. Crazy how fast he’s grown. Such a sweet kid, this he is going through this phase right now where he’s testing out if he can push people. Physically. Though I suppose that’s emotionally, too. But, he only tried it once with the Ho. We shut that shit down pretty quick.

Then we came home, took a nap, I did pup stuff, we watched Westworld, The Circus, and Last Week Tonight…Dayna came over to talk to Liz about maybe doing a Westworld podcast…I went grocery shopping and thought about how I am possibly going to finish everything this year I still want to finish…the Cubs won their second world series game, avoiding losing the series at home…and yeah. That’s it.

Long day.

Hooray for immune systems!

Artwork tonight from Steve Dodd.