Saturday, March 7, 2020

Should You Be Afraid of the Corona Virus?

Should you be afraid of the Corona Virus?  What have I always said about fear?

Fear sells - products and newspapers.  And the papers and the television are having a field day with the Corona Virus, which generates boffo click revenue and ratings.   Hype, of course, never helps analyze anything - and that is all we are getting from the media - hype.

Should you be afraid of the Corona Virus?  Probably not, because fear isn't going to accomplish anything, and chances are, you are going to get this virus (or have already had it) no matter what you do to avoid it.

The common cold is a "corona" virus, which illustrates how easy it is to get.  I joked the other day we had a corona virus - not "THE" corona virus, but of course, I have no way of knowing.  All I know is, we were knocked down for nearly a week.   Massive amounts of pollen don't help matters any.

All it takes is one sneeze or cough to get it.   If you ever have seen someone sneeze while profiled in the sunlight, you know what I mean.  It creates a cloud of vapor, all from your nose, filled with mucus, saliva, and of course, whatever nasty virus or bacteria is residing in your nasal cavity at the time.   Coughing has a similar effect - hacking flem for yards.    If you are even in the vicinity of this, you end up inhaling it and getting whatever it is to be gotten.

Every year, we go through this - cold and flu season.   If you venture out at all, you are at risk, and there isn't much you can do about it.  I suppose wearing masks all the time - like they do in Japan - might be helpful.

But even assuming you wear a mask, wash your hands compulsively, use hand sanitizer, and never leave home for a year, you may still get this.  And if you do - it is so bad?  So far, the survival rate is at least 97% for the overall population.  For the general population, even higher.   The survival rate for the elderly, those with pre-existing medical conditions (I am being redundant) and men is much lower.   If you are already sick when you get sick, chances are, you are going to get sicker.   Every year, during cold and flu season, old people die of this - they get sick and their weakened lungs clog up and they get pneumonia and die.   It is sad, but part of life.   What kills you isn't one thing, but a combination.

My neighbor passed away recently at age 98.   "She fell!" was the reason given for her demise.  The actual cause was being 98 years old.  She likely had a stroke or something and then fell, with the fall being a symptom of what was happening.  But old people - like people everywhere - crave causation and want to pigeonhole things into something simple and understandable as "heart attack" when in fact, it may have been a combination of things that caused the actual death.

And it may turn out that like with SARS that the disease is more susceptible to the Chinese than the general population.  We'll have to wait and see.   But overall, I suspect like any other epidemic, it will flare up and then peter out, over time, just as all the others have done.   The death rate is too low for us to write the epitaph on humanity, just yet.

As a footnote, I was hoping that this outbreak would prompt the Chinese to shut down these wild animal markets, which are apparently petri dishes for disease.  The Chinese have a lot of superstitious beliefs about wild animals - for example, grinding up rare rhino horns to cure impotence. We have Viagra in the West - works a lot better and doesn't cause extinction.  I was hoping the Chinese Premier would use this as a way of eradicating these superstitions and the resultant trade in endangered species, but he doubled-down his bet by suggesting that "traditional Chinese medicine" be employed to cure this virus, which no doubt is why the death toll is high in China.  Myself, I would prefer anti-viral drugs, but then again, I believe in this superstition called "Science".

It just kills me that the Chinese are so sensitive about their reputation on the world stage - saving "face" and all.   They want to appear modern and sophisticated, but bungle along with one foot in the modern world and one foot in the third world.   If you want to catch up to the West, you'll have to do more than just wear Western clothing.  Eradicating superstition is a good start - hey, they did it with the Falon Gong, right?   Why not with this superstitious witch-doctor medicine that has been proven to kill people and start more than one epidemic.   I mean, that's the damn irony of the whole thing - this epidemic that has killed thousands was started because people thought eating bat's brains would improve their health.   Just stop doing that shit!   It is almost as bad as Africans killing albino children for "medicine" - sick, sick stuff (no pun intended).

The world, it seems, is still a largely uncivilized place.