The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Friday, August 07, 2020

Virus Gonna Virus

The SARS-Cov-2 virus is a malevolent force of nature and like tsunamis, hurricanes, dust storms, and other natural phenomenon—it cannot be easily stopped. All we can do is recognize the potential danger these phenomenon pose and accept the fact that they are unstoppable. To paraphrase one of the few honest and informative journalists on SARS-Cov-2, Alex Berenson, "Virus gonna virus."

The impact of SARS-Cov-2 on humans can and has been measured in detail. We understand what demographic groups are most vulnerable  (those 70+ years old with pre-existing conditions) and which groups are relatively safe (those between birth and 40 years old). We recognize that the likelihood of a child dying from the virus is about 1 in a million. Yet despite the fact that COVID-19 is a respiratory ailment that is only somewhat worse than the common flu, Team Apocalypse has succeeded in creating hysteria across the land, leading to ineffective and often counterproductive measures to combat the virus.

Christopher Roach comments further:
Shutdowns and masks are brute force measures of dubious utility. So far, they either have not worked or their benefits dissipate as soon as life returns to normal. It appears the virus has its own agenda, and the stoic approach of herd immunity, which does much to keep the flu and other diseases from becoming ravaging pandemics, has been set aside. 

Oxford epidemiologist Sunetra Gupta appears eminently more sensible and balanced than many of her colleagues. She is a prominent lockdown skeptic and says in this excellent interview,

... the only way we can reduce the risk to the vulnerable people in the population is, for those of us who are able to acquire herd immunity, to do that. Even if there is a little bit of a risk. I’m 55 years old, there’s some slight risk out there. But I would be willing to take that, just as I do with the flu. There’s a risk I might die of flu, but I’m willing to take that risk, because I know that if I don’t then flu will appear as it did before, it will enter the population of immunologically naive individuals, and then there will be a high risk of infection which will have a disproportionate effect on the vulnerable sector of the population. . . . Flu is clearly a very dangerous virus, but the reason we don’t see more deaths from flu every year is because, through herd immunity, the levels of infection are kept to as low a level as we can get.

While the coronavirus mitigation measures are sometimes framed as pitting the economy against lives or greed versus compassion, Gupta makes the useful point that there is a terrible moral and social cost that comes with many of these measures. They encourage people to be afraid of others, avoid human connection, and willingly confine the most vulnerable to grinding poverty. 

Admitting that we may simply be required to accept the inevitable and manage a difficult situation is counter to the assumption of modern medicine that the world and death itself can be fully conquered through science.
Because they have been the strongest proponents of a national shutdown, prominent political leaders in the Democratic party need to step forward and paraphrase President Franklin D. Roosevelt, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." Instead, the Dems and their trained hamsters in the media sow fear, uncertainty and doubt among the public, hoping that the virus can be used as a lever to win the November election. The damage they are doing to all of us—children, adults, businesses, the economy, cities, states, and the nation as a whole—is incalculable.

I suppose it could be argued that this catastrophic damage might be worth it if the public health measures proposed by Team Apocalypse worked. But they do not.

Roach writes:
The recent resurgence of the coronavirus in California, as well as in Spain and Japan, is happening in spite of long and rigorous lockdowns and widespread masking. Even if these measures were fully successful, it’s not clear they can ever be lifted in a way that didn’t lead to the virus resuming its course. Moreover, by preventing the acquisition of herd immunity, these measures seed the conditions for a truly devastating pandemic in the process, including from other diseases. Our approach is analogous to the outdated policy of aggressively fighting small forest fires, which seems logical enough, but creates the fuel for larger and more devastating conflagrations in the future.
We have to have the courage to accept the presence of COVID-19 and live our lives, not hide behind masks or shelter in place.. The virus is gonna virus. Humans just gotta be brave and return to school, to work, to life. But will we?

Lionel Schriver writes about the U.K's experience with COVID-19:
There’s nothing unprecedented about COVID-19 itself. The equally novel, equally infectious Asian flu of 1957 had commensurate fatalities in Britain: scaled up for today’s population, the equivalent of 42,000, while the UK’s (statistically flawed) COVID death total now stands at 46,000. Globally, the Asian flu was vastly more lethal, causing between two and four million deaths. The Hong Kong flu of 1968-69 also slew up to four million people worldwide, including 80,000 Britons. Yet in both instances, life went on.

What is unprecedented: never has a virus been so oversold. Why, I’d like to sign on with COVID’s agent. What a publicity budget.

In a recent Kekst CNC poll, British respondents estimated that nearly 7 percent of the UK population has died from the coronavirus. That would be 4.5 million people. Scots supposed that more than 10 percent of the UK population has died. That would be seven million people. Astonishingly, Americans believed that COVID has killed nine percent of their compatriots, or almost 30 million people! 

... [t]rue, your average everyman and woman are not dab hands at statistics. Nevertheless, broadcast news has bludgeoned audiences daily with COVID death totals. 
And before you argue that the U.K is different than the U.S., recognize that the CDC estimates that the 1968 H1N1 flu killed about 100,000 people in the U.S, not all that much different than the 160,000 killed by CIOVID-19, particularly since death counts have become politicized and are therefore inaccurate (and always err on the high side).

So the next time you hear a catastrophist argue that COVID-19 is much, much, much worse than the conventional flu or other pandemics over the last 50 years, recognize that reality says otherwise.

And when the same catastrophist argues, "... but, but, but look how many 'cases' we have!!" Ask him or her whether you have a 'case' of the the common cold if you're not sneezing, not coughing, have no runny nose, no fever, and no aches and pains—NOTHING, but you've run a test that shows trace amounts of the virus. The majority of the COVID-19 case are analogous—they are asymptomatic.