By Chance Lunceford
I’ve been thinking a lot lately of what the long-term ramifications of the responses to this viral outbreak will mean, how the paradigm has shifted and what that will mean for all of us in the coming years.
On the one hand, the idea that through a few actions – obnoxious though they may be – the lives of many thousands can be preserved, and many episodes of very ill health avoided causes my compassionate side to swell with gladness at the measures being taken.
On the other hand, the majority of the world was shut down and rolled up in a matter of a few weeks, and there are now punitive measures being taken against many of those who choose not to comply with orders to quarantine themselves.
The idea of flattening the curve is one oft repeated over the past couple of months, and the thinking behind it is quite sound, and assuredly there has been a decrease in cases of contagion where measures which promote this flattening have occurred.
The vast economic impact is another theme that continues to surface as the course of this global event unfurls. We’re only beginning to see the impacts that weeks turning into months of decreased or non-existent productive output will have upon the global economic paradigm, and – more importantly – the lives of individuals.
As the hospitals across the world begin/continue to reach – and go beyond – capacity, and the weak-links in the emergency medical systems across the globe are strained and broken, it has become increasingly clear that we – humanity as a whole – were/are entirely unprepared to deal with a global pandemic.
It may sound callous to say – context to come – but we are truly fortunate that this revelation has come packaged with a relatively minor virus, and that our vulnerabilities have been noticed and, ostensibly, are being addressed in a way that will bolster our preparedness in the future.
Consider, the SARS-CoV-1 virus had a fatality rate of around 10% overall, but around 15% outside of China – more on this to come – and were the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) as lethal as it’s predecessor, and as contagious as it is, we’d be looking at millions an millions of deaths across the globe.
|Country or region||Cases||Deaths||Fatality (%)|
|Total excluding China[a]||2,769||454||16.4|
|Total (29 territories)||8,096||774||9.6|
Further, MERS showed a lethality rate of around 40%, and those who survived it were very likely to have long-term/permanent health issues due to the propensity of that virus to damage organs, the digestive tract and the nervous system.
|WHO total as of Jan 2020||2519||866||34.3%|
|Reported confirmed cases per country|
|United Arab Emirates||74||10||14%|
I singled these two viruses out because they are both members of the Coronaviridae family of viruses. There are several other members of this family that are already permanent features of our contagion landscape – causing approximately 1/4 to 1/3 of the “common cold” cases worldwide – and they behave in a mostly seasonal manner similar to flu or rhinovirus.
Given the widespread reach of SARS-CoV-2, and the clearly highly infections nature of the virus, it seems quite possible – likely, really – that COVID-19 is not going to be a one-time event. Indeed, that it will join the pantheon of persistent seasonal maladies that humanity has learned to endure.
Also, though much less virulent than either of it’s more savage cousins, it does appear to be slightly more fatal the all but the deadliest of flus. Given the strain that seasonal flus place upon the medical infrastructure, not to mention the economic impact, the idea of another similarly infections and similarly virulent virus adding to that strain in a seasonal manner is daunting to consider.
There are a couple of peculiarities about the family Cornoaviridae that cause me a bit of additional concern. Firstly, they’re what are know as positive-sense single stranded RNA viruses. That’s a mouthful, but the significance here is that these types of viruses mutate rapidly.
This means that the potential for reinfection during the same seasonal outbreak is higher than with many other types of viruses, and that vaccination efforts may be much more difficult. It also means that while – relatively – mild as it stands, it has the potential to mutate into something far more virulent within a single seasonal outbreak. You can learn more about that here.
In addition, coronaviruses in general – SARS-CoV-2 included – tend to be highly opportunistic. People with underlying maladies, immune deficiencies and those already infected by other pathogens tend to fare far worse when infected with coronaviruses than healthy individuals.
This is not a trait solely belonging to this family of viruses, but when we consider that the seasonality of the already widespread coronaviruses aligns with that of the flu, we must then also consider the ramifications of a flu/COVID-19 co-infection – or sequential infection – which would almost certainly increase the severity of both.
With all that in mind, consider the massive failure at containment that the initial response to this outbreak constitutes. It has spread across almost the entire world, and containment measures that were eventually taken – but were not taken earlier due to political roadblocks, skepticism and deception by the CCP – have only barely begun to curb the spread of infection.
Would this have been something like SARS-CoV-1, MERS or (God forbid) an airborne variant of Ebola, this sluggish and piecemeal response to an outbreak would have resulted in millions and millions of deaths.
Before continuing on, I feel it necessary to state that the Chines Communist Party lied about SARS, they’ve lied and continue to lie about COVID-19, and their deception in these matters has caused thousands of deaths worldwide.
That’s tantamount to an act of war.
Further, in an effort to save face, they’ve continued their long-standing practice of influencing mainstream media’s presentation of their wrongdoing as something heroic – rather than corrupt – with their money, and enforcing that distortion with hundreds of thousands of social media accounts spreading disinformation and ambiguities.
That’s also tantamount to an act of war.
Given that a MAJORITY of the pandemics of the world have emerged from China, the deceptions, delays and diversions that the CCP continue to create in response to these events should give you pause.
That’s malice. That’s enmity.
Now, moving away from the monstrous actions of the CCP, I want to take a moment to consider another angle here.
Much of the world is on lock-down right now. In fact, in several European and Asian countries – the US is now beginning to follow suit – breaking quarantine can result in fines, imprisonment and even beatings by law-enforcement personnel.
The entire world economy has slowed, and we’re only beginning to see the first order effects of this slowing – the second and third order effects will emerge over the coming months and years – and there have been massive political/financial maneuverings in the past weeks – undoubtedly, there are many more to come – which are quite concerning.
Trillions of dollars are being created and pumped into the US economy right now – I predict that many other nations will shortly follow suit – to bolster industries and institutions considered “essential” by the political class. Some money is being given directly to individuals as well, and this widespread increase in government assistance begs the question:
Will people expect the handouts to continue?
COVID-19 seems to have spread wide enough that it will indeed become a seasonal virus. Does this mean that we can expect a lock-down for 6-10 weeks once per year?
I wanted to express that I take the threat of this virus, and of emergent pandemics in general, very serious before I went very deep into this line of thought. I’m not callous or ignorant of the potential for disastrous impacts that such events can cause.
Still, the consolidation of centralized power, the martial-law-adjacent nature of the quarantines and government direction/control of certain industries causes me great concern.
These are the same entities that continue to mismanage nearly everything that they touch, that create and enforce laws crafted by those who seek dominion over others in the name of personal gain, and the idea of allowing the governments of the world to be able to seize industry and enforce home-imprisonment of the populace sends alarm-bells ringing in my head.
When government seizes power, it rarely let’s it go. When it exercises that power, it usually does it again.
Are lockdowns, multi-trillion dollar bailout/stimulus packages and government seizures of industry the new status quo? And by the way, though the roll-out of the containment efforts was relatively sluggish, the roll-up of power certainly wasn’t.
Makes one wonder, how long have the governments of the world been waiting for an opportunity like this? For surely they couldn’t have made moves like this so quickly without already having plans in place, could they?
The reality of this pandemic is has yet to completely reveal itself, and the responses to this reality will continue to impact the world order for many years to come.
I can’t shake the feeling – a nagging and growing suspicion – that the moves made here are part of a much larger paradigm, and that the catalyst of the virus was merely a convenient trigger.
I can’t help but feel that a new chapter in the war on personal sovereignty has begun.
I urge you to pay very close attention in the months and years to come, and to raise your voice in revolt should you see the Leviathan breaching in an attempt to swallow us whole.