I have to admit that my overactive imagination is getting the best of me in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, especially now that I have so much time on my hands. Look at it from a science fiction perspective and tell me an extraterrestrial is not responsible for this mess.
Mankind had been progressing quite nicely day-to-day up until just recently, without consideration to the crazy political environment in the country. The economic situation was under control, or at least it was in the US. There are squabbles occurring globally all the time, just like there have been since the beginning of time. The large players were managing to get along with each other as they attempted to increase their dominance militarily, economically, politically and religiously.
But something really bizarre is occurring now. An unknown virus has been unleashed on all of mankind. By whom? Mother Nature? Someone from another planet?
It began in China, where the locals always try to cover up serious problems to save face. The outbreak of coronavirus has been particularly contagious, so getting off to a slow start to combat it, was not good for anyone including the Chinese. You owe us one Mr. Xi.
But the virus is not really a brutal killer, although any loss of life is always a tragedy. It makes people sick, but not that sick unless a patient is hampered by other health issues, such as respiratory problems and old age.
However, the virus spread like a wildfire. Two people passed it to four, four to 16 and so on. You get the picture. It’s been exponential. Entire countries have been overwhelmed in a matter of days.
The affliction is spread by airborne contact. Just to make the situation more eerie, many are wearing protective masks as every other human is a potential coronavirus Mary (reference Typhoid Mary).
World leaders in conjunction with infectious disease experts, are taking action. They concluded almost immediately that the way humans socialize makes the disease stronger. Big crowds where people are close to each other can easily pass on the bug.
World leaders decided to bring the planet to a complete stop. No travel, no going to the office to work, no schooling in classrooms. In fact, everything that humans did as a group before this bug surfaced was now being done online, with no physical contact.
The staggering implications of this new way, and hopefully, temporary way, of interfacing with others are so great that world leaders are concerned that their societies might change permanently, lest new bugs uncontrollably assault us every few months. But the experts are still hanging their hats on new (and old) treatments and new (and old) vaccines. If a drug can stymie malaria, maybe it can stop this virus.
In a world where everything revolves around political, economic and religious domination, humans globally are now depending upon the most creative medical minds to stop the spread of the disease. And this leads to conversations that are not pleasant relating to medical ethics. They include who should live and who should die.
For instance, if an elderly patient is on his last legs being completely overwhelmed by the virus, why use a bed or a ventilator that can be used to save a younger, healthier patient? Very tough question with no good solution.
And now social talking heads are considering the implications of un-socializing mankind. It is safer to spend less time in large groups, at work, in restaurants, at sporting events, at family get togethers and at religious ceremonies. The experts are saying that if you don’t create some separation from your neighbor, you have a substantially greater chance of becoming sick and dying, if not from Corona, a bug that blooms in the near future.
And what about all the sociology books written by scholars who claimed that social interaction is the key to a great society? Those that don’t participate with others will be left behind they say.
Another monstrous sword is hanging over our heads as the economic implications of all this spacing between people and working at home become more obvious. Our economy morphed from the best ever, if you believe our fearless leader, to an economy that is dead on its ass. When the disease passes just like they have for millions of years, will everything resort back to what it was previously? Will we have low unemployment? Great productivity? A high standard of living? Will we be happy?
One thing that will change will be our readiness to deal with another pandemic.
My family has been fortunate. We had a few cases of the virus and outlasted the little buggers. But we are in suspended animation as we wait for light at the end of the tunnel and a signal to return to our former lives.
The New York Metropolitan area is now the center of the world relating to coronavirus. The medical people keep telling us to separate and wash our hands, hoping that new cases and death will subside. We need to turn the corner. Every day I read the papers and listen to the talking heads, I want to hear about how we are about to experience better conditions. I miss the old days that ended three or four weeks ago.