A Coronavirus Comes To Dinner
Can we talk for a moment?
I promise I won't take much of your time. Don't mind that scary graphic. My agent said I needed to get your attention.
I figured I already have. I'm engaged in killing you (collectively).
It's not personal. You guys all look alike to me. I am not affiliated with any particular party, or social group. In fact, most other viruses barely know I exist. In my native habitats, bats, pigs, and other animals hidden in dark jungles, I exist in harmony with natural forces. Animals share me, get the occasional chest cold and if they are weak, I end their suffering.
It's my job.
Now, I have been reading newspapers all over the world. Okay, not everywhere, but that will happen soon enough, and I've noticed something.
You are all very distracted. You do remember my cousin SARS right? He came around in 2009, spread to around 8000 of you and killed around 800.
Not bad work, for a novel virus. But SARS was always a bit of an under-achiever. The most memorable thing about his efforts was a lingering cough which took months to get rid of.
SARS went out into the world with big hopes. All viruses who leave their native habitats do. We hope to spread into new genomes, enhance our terrain, make a name for ourselves, by culling other species who have weak, old, underdeveloped or vulnerable populations making the world stronger and better because of our efforts.
Honest. That's all we're doing. Okay, the Spanish Flu of 1918 did go outside of her jurisdiction attacking healthy vital adults with a vengeance but that was not in the job description. I blame you lot for that.
Why are we having this conversation? We beat the flu every year…
You aren’t really beating us. Influenza, on a bad year in the United States, can claim 80,000 lives. None of the technology you have are truly capable of stopping us. It is your ubiquity that works against you.
There are nearly 8 billion of you on the planet. An extraordinary number of Humans, packed so tight, you can’t help but become breeding facilities for us. Thank you for that, by the way, mutation is one of our favorite things to engage in.
The more of you we have to experiment with, the faster and more likely we are to mutate. Please keep living close together in unsafe and poorly maintained housing. We appreciate that.
I’m going to come right out and say it. You guys haven’t been taking us seriously. Pathogens all over the planet are in agreement. Humans, for all their vaunted intelligence, forget they are part of the Circle of All Living Things.
You are all busy playing with your computers, using your technology, exploring space and waging war. You LOVE to wage war. But I hesitate to point out, you are waging war with other Humans, like we aren't even here.
We are your natural enemies, not each other. We will exterminate every last one of you if you let us. You do seem amenable to this because your lack of preparation is clearly evident.
No one in America should be surprised by the fast spread of 2019 nCoV in China. There are at least a billion people, living in close quarters, with a very polluted environment to weaken the general populace. They are stressed, overworked, living poorly, eating whatever they come across and with their immune systems at an all time low, frankly they aren’t much of a challenge.
But the rest of you won't do much better. Yes, we have been slow getting around to you, but we have learned from our previous incursions. We make you sick slower. You aren't quite sure you have us, and your testing technology is less likely to be accurate at the airports and borders of your countries.
So we walk in off the planes and boats, people being asymptomatic and saunter right into your largest cities. Then while you are still showing no signs, you are touching and sharing viral particles with friends and relatives, our presence undetected for two weeks.
Ironic. I heard two years ago, the American president refused to fund programs which would have presented a possible challenge to our current stealthy invasion, but decided a border wall, military expansion and the development of his latest vanity project the Space Force, got all that funding instead.
Meanwhile, America, land of no affordable healthcare, the country of some of the least healthy, most obese citizens with their low-exercise, high-calorie, high-sugar, lifestyles, where the national past-time is watching professional athletes run around or engaging in that most sedentary of choices, “Neflix and chilling...”
We are simply salivating, okay, we're viruses, we don't technically salivate, but if we could, we would be embarrassing ourselves with the urge to come to America. You are vulnerable, ripe, and completely defenseless.
You will be invaded.
If not this time, the next time. Mutation is our super-power.
We will go farther this year than we did in 2009. Today we will breach the 8,000 mark and though the death toll hasn't caught up, we haven't reached peak flu season yet, so there is still plenty of time to raise our body count.
Right now, your scientists are still trying to figure out how fast we spread, what our incubation time is, what our lethality might be and how many people will end up being infected before this is over.
All admirable. But completely after the fact. You have never prepared for the war which has always been under your feet. Pathogens around the world are encroaching on you. In your food, in your livestock. Your environment is teeming with opportunities for us to strike. Now that your golden bullet of antibiotics are on the ropes, it is only a matter of time before the slightest scratch can lead to death and suffering.
You are all so convinced of your capabilities. You are certain you can beat us. “We’re going to science the hell out of it,” or some such expression.
You aren't even in our league. We have scoured this planet for millions of years. Our technology is as far beyond your capacity to understand as you're computers are beyond the amoeba. You will make vaccines. We will recombinate and try again. You will make new vaccines, and will come back, more lethal than ever.
Your mentality is your weakness.
You believe the solution is to create vaccines, after the fact. Let me assure you of something. It is possible for us to kill you all in under a year, with the right combination of viral traits.
Stealthy transmission: transmit us for weeks before a fast onset targeting the right bodily systems such as your brain, lungs, or other vital organs like hemorrhagic fever does, and you lot can be gone in a year. Unable to stop us, losing too many of the people with the knowledge to fight us, you will be forced to retreat to your homes as your systems fail and we will starve you into the streets.
Yes, you can mobilize your armies. But you can't shoot us. Your best tanks, ships, planes, mean absolutely nothing. Unless you plan on using them to destroy areas of intense infection.
You could do that. But it would definitely result in bad press. (And it wouldn't stop us.)
I Am Your Hundred Year Warning…
I came here today to warn you to change your methodology. Stop fighting wars with each other. You are more alike than different. You already have a worthy adversary you have been ignoring for decades.
After we warned you in 1918, you should have been on high alert. We didn't disappear. We were marshalling our resources. We are coming back. You have made no efforts to plan for us.
No unified protocols. You are all still playing nations and corporations, while your populations are weak, sick, uncared for, without enough hospitals, without enough first responders, without leaders who have any idea of what a virus or pandemic can do to a civilization.
Leaders who spend the bulk of their day trying to figure out how to steal from their populations, undermine the natural order of things, take control and maintain power for as long as they can.
Don't you people get it? Every day your feckless and venal leaders take away your healthcare options, spend money on things which may seem important, but in the end make you more vulnerable, is one day closer to your species inevitable end.
You will not end with a bang. Okay, that might not be true. You may end up nuking each other because you believe that will stop the spread of infection.
It won't. It will increase the spread as it destabilizes government. Go ahead. We won't mind. We sit here and watch as you scramble to figure out what is the best path when you have had a hundred years to prepare for this.
We’re coming. 2019 nCoV isn’t going to be the planet killer, though your scientists and doctors may think so. When we come for you, you won’t see us until it’s too late. We always have the option to randomly mutate and become so much more lethal than we are.
For now, think of it more as another hundred year warning. This time, without the resources to stop us. China is scrambling to build hospitals, mobilizing to get new medical supplies, to create the beds necessary for the 20,000 citizens who sicken daily.
None of you are prepared. Not even close. And if you want to prepare for us, here is our recommended list. It still won’t stop us entirely, but we will have to work a bit harder to get all of you.
Stop polluting everywhere! The only way to do that is to slowly scale back your populations and temper your manufacturing.
You won’t do it, but we thought we should suggest it. Overpopulation is the number one reason humanity can’t get its act together. More bodies for us to recombinate in.
Stop waging war. It’s wasteful, destabilizing, and creates pockets by which novel diseases can take hold in your society and spread.
Clean up your act. Your environment is a mess. The oceans are dying, your forests are burning up, the atmosphere is polluted; each of these things weakens you and the species on the planet making them vulnerable to our tender mercies. Take care of the planet or as ecosystems crash, new viruses will emerge to visit your vulnerable populaces worldwide.
Educate your populace. Stupid citizens may be easy to rule, but they are also easy to panic. When people can’t understand what’s happening to them, they make mistakes which cause diseases to be spread. Education means you have a chance to make sensible decisions on your planning and policies, which might slow our assault on your civilization. Do you know what stupid people stop? Nothing.
Build your infrastructure. Your national infrastructures are completely shit. Electrical system, sewers, roads, water filtration, and a host of other systems are under-developed making your citizens vulnerable to diseases from a variety of directions; from your farms to your tables, disease is all around you. Not always pathogens either. Pollution causes diseases, too.
Get rid of pathological leaderships. This is why we don’t worry about killing you. You are setting yourselves up to kill each other. Every time a so-called leader says “this safety net isn’t necessary” what they are saying is: YOU DON’T MATTER.
If that’s okay, then keep putting these lying bullies into office. We will be along shortly.
Strengthen your network of health systems. Do I really need to tell you this? I am a disease. I want you to die. The best way to avoid that is to prepare for our arrival by being healthy.
Live better. Eat better. Exercise. Enhance your minds. Having good immune responses, eating right, exercising, having healthcare for everyone is the best most effective way to do that.
We can’t afford to do any of those things...
Don't bother telling me you can't afford it. You always have money for wars you aren't engaged in. We are a war you can never forget. We will kill more of you than any war, possibly every war ever in your history.
I have nothing to gain by informing you, but I thought it was only right to let you know what you are up against. We are not your enemy. We are a natural force present on the planet since life began here.
If you are out of balance, if you don't plan ahead, if you don't take care of each other, then, you only have yourselves and your failed leadership to blame.
Outbreaks are inevitable. If you don't plan for them, you will die in one.
See you soon.
A semi-cordial coronavirus who believes itself on the verge of conquering humanity.
#virus #coronavirus #society #pandemic