World of Wonders, World of Virus

I am sorry to bore you dear reader, but that nasty virus has found its way into this blog, too. What is, of course, no wonder. After all a virus’ job is to spread, and it does so, not absolutely unimpressed, but at least a bit irritated, by our helpless efforts to built some obstacles in its way.
The virus sees us humans only as places for multiplying. And it does so until the host’s body feels the need to fight against the virus load, for example with fever, or other reactions that we call symptoms. Only then we realise that we have an unwanted guest. But because the incubation time is up to ten or twelve days, we carry the virus around and easily spread it, by coughing, talking, touching other individuals, or surfaces. The only way to break this circle is the isolation of the virus carrier, or distance between possible carriers. In those societies hit by the virus now, this should be understood by basically all grown up, rational thinking, and responsible humans.
With the notable exception of some parts of Michigan.
(Edit : And elsewhere.)
But this is not what makes me write this chitchat here. I only wonder what these middle-aged, white, male protesters (at least that is the group I saw on photographs) mean with their “freedom” they demand ?
The freedom to catch a potentially deadly virus ? Goodness, that’s the virus’ business, and be assured it will get all of us. The freedom to spread it ? See above. The freedom to be irresponsible, reckless, and plain idiotic ? I guess this is guaranteed by the American Constitution, if a little limited, possibly, but who knows. In a country ruled by the creature who right now besmirches the White House, anything is possible.
No, what makes me wonder is the numbers in Northern America, the United States to be specific. Of course I am “mathematically challenged”, sorry if I bore you while repeating this ; but they can not be accurate. It simply can not be that the US reaches a kind of plateau already. And according to this article here, things are pretty much – excuse me – crap. If you do not want to read this text completely now, allow me to cite a paragraph that summarises it partly :

In that light, America’s 20 percent positivity rate is disquieting. The U.S. did almost 25 times as many tests on April 15 as on March 15, yet both the daily positive rate and the overall positive rate went up in that month. If the U.S. were a jar of 330 million jelly beans, then over the course of the outbreak, the health-care system has reached in with a bigger and bigger scoop. But every day, 20 percent of the beans it pulls out are positive for COVID-19. If the outbreak were indeed under control, then we would expect more testing—that is, a larger scoop—to yield a smaller and smaller proportion of positives. So far, that hasn’t happened.

In layman’s terms : The official numbers do not show that anything slows down. There is seemingly absolutely no implication to assume that the spread of the virus and the illness it causes – that is deadly for a still unknown percentage of patients – slows, levels, or even goes down / declines. This means that any (serious or un-serious) talk about “opening the country” is, right now, baseless rubbish.
One could assume that the US in total is a kind of life experiment. The federal state under this abomination of a “president” failed totally to tackle the pandemic, not least because the “leader” is intellectually unable to understand how a virus-based infection works, and is absolutely resistant to experienced expertise. This nothing new, but under these circumstances it is, sadly, causing deadly consequences. But it is not the vacuum at the top, it is also the ignorance and mistrust of parts of the society towards anything called “state”. I even go as far as to state that those blokes in Michigan abrogate the contract social, the basis of a civilised society. They simply put their own, short-sighted idea of “freedom” or whatever they mean, before the interest of the rest of the society, the well-being if their fellow citizens : They insist on the freedom of spreading a deadly virus.
So they seemingly all believe in so-called herd immunity, or in short : “Let GOd sort them out. The old, the weak, those with pre-existing illnesses – heck yeah, everybody has to go sooner or later, doesn’t he ?! Just nature’s way of thinning the herd. Survival of the fittest, ya’know ?!”

Am I over interpreting ? In parts of Europe, in Germany at least, we see that the rate of those who have survived the infection slowly rises, the number of new infections stabilises or even shrinks, the death rate is stable. But it is a fragile situation, it can turn back to rising infection rates, hence deaths. We were able to keep the hospitals and clinics away from collapse. Italy, Spain, others, were not so lucky. And GOd alone may know how it will develop in the UK.
All this “opening up”, “going back to business” here is slow, and rightly so – let the merchants holler & cry. All the actions taken, sanctions even, worked, in the sense that they helped to slow the spread of the virus. Nothing is here on Earth that can eradicate this virus. We can eradicate the illness it causes by vaccination, perhaps some day the damn thing can not breed anymore in humans – but even then it will take very long until it vanishes, and is then still alive in some high security lab as sample only.
This means that our new “normal” will be a bit different from our old “normal”, and, frankly, I can not imagine what this will involve. I think we will have to learn from Sweden and similar societies with similar approach. But what you can already see right now is that the Swedish society, as a whole, is very different from others, not only in Europe, but of course in an international perspective. The keywords may be trust, consideration, in the end humanistic values : Nothing that counts in Michigan, or any other part of Trump world.

9 thoughts on “World of Wonders, World of Virus

  1. Sadly, my friend, you are right.
    Here, in Australia, our head of State also talks of a “partial re-opening ” of some businesses.And my home country, New Zealand, is also calling for business to resume. And some voices want our borders re-opened! Hell! No! Not yet.
    Perhaps, when all this is over, schools will look carefully at what and how they teach in science classes.Particularly in mathematical calculation!

  2. I must agree with Dinah! Trumpito has absolutely no idea how to lead and his recent tweets have given even more purpose to the white supremacists who follow him! Their ignorance is only prolonging the timeline for all of us to “stay inside” and consequently, impede the “re-opening” of America! The bottom line on all of this will be the defeat and burial of the Republican party and also, the very hard work for the Democratic party to rebuild our country! I know I’m partisan, but I believe that more Americans want to deal with this pandemic realistically with serious plans for action and not just the empty words of the grifter-in-charge! xoxo

  3. It simply needs more time until we can open all borders again. I really do not like travelling restrictions, especially within the more or less “United States of Europe”, but we still need to contain that thing.
    I am really bad at mathematics and statistics, but even I understand that when one does not look for something, one can not find it. If one does not test for an infection, one will not know about it. And hence the numbers for a calculation that should be the basis for future actions to be taken, will be inherently wrong. This can only lead to wrong decisions. And I fear that the UnitedStatesofAmurga are bound for a nice little, self-inflicted, desaster, with a hefty toll of “human” “cost”, what means nothing else but preventable deaths.
    I hope I am absolutely wrong about this Dinahmow, but much adding to my fear is that I can not “hear” someone who seriously tries to halt this idiocy. Shouldn’t Mr Biden have to say something about all this ? Or someone else ? Maybe I read the wrong news outlets.
    MEanwhile methinks lass’ fahren dahin ! It is useless to waste a thought on this, let history run its course. maybe I am privileged to watch the last “superpower” implode, caused by its own hypocrisy & hybris.

  4. Sorry Savannah, I was staring too long in front of me.
    I am not too sure about the “defeat & burial of the Republican party”. The next election is not yet won, it is not even in reach. Besides a little plague, el supremo’s willing underlings actively do “rebuilt” the democratic institutions of the federal state. And they are effective, think judges. I am really not sure that this guy will leave the White House sometime next year, sorry.
    I am sure that the majority of the Us citizens understands how things work in fighting this virus and the illness it spreads – what always makes me shutter is to know that nearly all of these guys carry weapons. There is a streak of violence I can not get used to.

  5. Following the public health guidelines for this outbreak is VERY simple. Keep your distance from other people, wash your hands, stay at home or seek medical help if you feel sick, etc., etc.

    So why can’t people follow these simple guidelines? I don’t understand the mentality of those people who won’t follow the advice of the public health experts.

  6. Me neither Mistress. But I think there is not much to understand after all. It is simple, good old-fashioned recklessness and egoism : “My self-interest is of more value than behaviour responsible towards other humans”. AND : “I have a gun, bäääh” ! I think this is the message : “We own the public space, we do what we want, no stinking gouvernement run by a damn woman has to tell me man what to do”.
    If I am right, it is puerile. Like Calvin fighting against Rosalyn the babysitter.
    And because the dead are not piling up in the street, there is no virus, yoh. Experts, shmeckperts – as a white, middle-aged male, with a gun and a maga-hat, I knows all, and better : “And what I do not see, is not there – simple as that you dumb expert”.
    Of course I may be wrong, and all these arseholes in Michigan & elsewhere have sophisticated philosophical arguments for their behaviour and their roles as responsible citizens, but frankly I feel a bit doubtful about this.

    I do not understand why one has to bring (semi~)automated weapons to a civil demonstration – that from this point onwards is not “civil” anymore but bordering on civil unrest, at least from a European point of view.

    I think the little fuehrer now looses his marbles totally with these “liberate whatever” tweets. This “man” can be happy that there is no war declared, he just called himself a “war time president”, because in war he’d be shot for high treason : He calls for the overthrowing of the legal gouvernements in states of the federation – and because this little wannabe dictator has absolutely no humour (and does not drink) it can only be meant serious.
    I said it before, and I repeat it : I believe this man suffers from the result of a badly treated syphilis, similar to what NIetzsche had. The socalled president’s megalomania is manifest (“Größenwahn”), his incoherence – this man is unable to utter two coherent, reasonable sentences in a row ! – became even worse (“Verblödung”), and he flirts with violence. What else do these tweets mean but violence between those self styled “liberators”, and the lawful stately force ? After all this is Amurga, solutions to even complicated problems should be kept simple, so that Jim Bimm, Jack Danny and Billy Booze can follow.
    Trudeau is right, keep the borders closed. Any one coming from the South must be kept in quarantine for at least 14 days. The road they march down now is theirs, and theirs alone.
    For our own health, in any respect, we need to keep distance.

    As edit to my post :

    This article sheds some light on the Swedish “Sonderweg” – and it may be not so nice as thought.

  7. It’s basically over in the US I think. They can’t seriously do something about this virus any more. It will be endemic there, like Malaria. Maybe a harsh winter will help. But any form of containment is phantasmal, for this it had simply too much time to “go viral”. They can do damage control only, and in the long run hope for a vaccine. What undoubtedly will exist in the near future, but you know Looby – it’s Amurga, where everything is a commodity or merchandise (eine Ware, ganz im Marxschen Sinn) and you pay for what you get. Or do not get. No NHS.
    And it is Amurga, the cuntry of antivaccers – so all that is left for the rest of the world is to quarantine them. Wasn’t once a slogan there “Amerika den Amerikanern !” / “America for Americans ” ? It may translate to “America First”. So be it, let them stay on their island : It will be great.
    I only hope the Canadians keep their frontiers shut.

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