There’s a virus among us!
In case anybody thought they were gonna get a lecture with references to facts and figures, I state now – as I’ve done several times in the past – that I’m not here to spoonfeed anybody’s ass!
I’ve been very silent on the COVID-19 virus until now. I’ve been watching – observing – what’s happening; seeing how the humans respond. Some have decided to drink cow’s urine and bathe in cow dung, in order to fight the virus. Did I just make that up? No I did not!
I can reasonably assume that everybody knows that there is a terrible coronavirus called COVID-19, that has attacked the world. The best evidence suggests that it originated in China – so I dare to call it the Chinese virus! I focus not on the virus but the response of the humans to it. The following is a summary of my perceptions with some comments. You bet that almost all of it has a sound body of underlying evidence.
- The initial response of Chinese authorities was to muzzle word of the virus. 7 doctors were arrested and sent to Chinese gulags for ‘re-education’. One of those doctors died from infection with the virus.
- The virus then broke out and exploded like a bomb. Millions of Chinese were infected and thousands died. The truth could not be suppressed.
- The Chinese economy was brought to a total standstill – not by the virus but from the truth, or failed attempts to cover it up.
- International travel to and from China was not restricted initially. This contributed to international spread of the virus.
- In China as in every country that was infected, the numbers of people infected exploded in an exponential chaotic way.
- Every country in the world was slow to react. The slow reaction time appeared to be influenced by motives to protect stock markets from panic and a crash.
- The stock market crash happened anyway – down by 35% in 2 weeks, never seen before since 1987.
- South Korea and Singapore gained control over the exponential expansion of the virus infections by a brutal programme of restriction of social movement and wide-spread testing of their population.
- Countries which adopted a relaxed approach – namely the UK and USA – saw uncontrolled growth in virus infections. These countries resisted wide-spread testing. Mexico is adopting a relaxed approach at time of writing this.
- Everybody – has adopted a position of hope, that the virus will be conquered and that the world will return to normal soon.
- Stupidity has reigned – from bathing in cow urine and dung, to hopes of divine protection or intervention.
- The humans – probably about 20% of them – flouted regulations on social distancing. This was not surprising at all, to me. How? I know that the 80:20 rule applies in a lot of human life – it’s also known as the Pareto principle. This led the authorities to crack down on ‘everybody’, in order to cage 20%.
I’m sure some fool is wondering whether I think there is gonna be a cure or vaccine for the virus. I’m not interested in that only because the exponential spread of the virus makes delivery of a vaccine pretty useless, in the longer term. And why? Try catching a horse after it has bolted from the stable! In this case it’s not a horse; it’s a very microscopic bug that’s small like DNA.
Exponential phenomena are pretty rare in the ordinary world. With the virus, the authorities have relied on ‘the best evidence’. Well, that’s stupid. How? Because a tiny bit of common sense would have informed, that the evidence was lagging behind the exponential expansion curve of the virus. Why am I not advising governments around the world? Simple – because a) I’m nobody and b) I don’t have time to waste!
As I write this, there is already some evidence of two things about the virus that will beat scientists and many authorities:
- The virus is capable of not showing itself in antibody tests even in those who may be infected.
- Some who have been infected and recovered have turned negative on tests, but then later on become positive without active signs of infection (i.e. no symptoms).
If or when this comes into the public domain, it will be too late. What’s likely to happen is that governments around the world will relax restrictions on all sorts of movement shortly after there is some flattening of the virus-curve. The sneaky virus will then emerge again for the above two factors. When I say ‘will’ – I have to be careful because I do not own the future or can predict it. The use of the word ‘will’ is in a probabilistic sense.
In essence an itty bity virus comes along and pops tense over-inflated financial/economic bubbles. Everybody screams! Governments, financial institutions and public health bodies scamper in panic, to fight what they label as an unseen unexpected enemy.
But the virus is ‘smarter’ and more powerful. It exploits weaknesses in our human biology as well as our collective psychology and sociology. It expands its reach along exponential curves. The psychoevolution of ‘the humans’ was not designed to cope with exponential effects of such large scale and speed. This is in likeness to the dinosaurs who lacked the wherewithal to adapt to something novel, and exponential in their timescale, relative to their adaptational capacities.
Protecting economies from the ‘viral effect’, driven by political considerations, tangibly took priority over protection of people. Misguided – our leaders became oblivious to the basic fact that all economies are about real people.
The power and danger of the virus is only now being realised. It’s just getting started and it is deceptive:
a) those who are initially infected may not know.
b) some who are infected and recovered (without or post-complications) will remain infective to others for many weeks.
c) some who are infected with symptoms, will not show positive on tests.
d) some who were infected – who were positive – will have become negative on tests, only later on to become positive again.
(Where did I get all the above from? It’s right out there to be found if people will take time to read. The virus exploits human-laziness aka cognitive miserliness).
Our leaders are fighting a chaotic (non-linear) expansion with traditional tools i.e. waiting on the best evidence before making decisions. The virus exploits the traditional linearity of thinking (i.e. based on sequences of best evidence). Hence the virus exploits politics as well – because people depend on politicians to make decisions based on best evidence.
Well, by the time best evidence emerges, protective actions are significantly lagging. The virus exploits the lag.
Did I say ‘best evidence’ is a waste of time? I did NOT! How evidence is used is a different matter. Can it be used to fight – fire with fire – in a non-linear way? Of course it can. But I’m nobody – no authority – no virologist – no scientist – so, ignore as you will.
The virus will exploit a human need for authority – it respects none.