Category Archives: COVID-19

THE GREATER GOOD OR GRANDER EVIL

Western democracy has a long tradition of individualism which has usually been ascendant over collectivist regimes.

This article from Spectator Australia, February 9th, 2022, summarizes Australians’ experience with collectivist-inspired regulations, with individuals subservient to the collective.

From the beginning of the Covid epidemic, Australia’s governments have adopted collectivist policies: segregation; state-sanctioned discrimination; stalking apps, vaccine passports, state vaccine employment policies. All violated what Australians understood to be their individual rights. In order for government to protect themselves from public backlash, they drafted and implemented ever-more tyrannical health orders.

Government was desperate to enforce mass compliance to their public health plans. Any form of contrary debate or conversation that challenged the ‘science’ sprouted by the Department of Health had to be erased — not discussed.

My forthcoming novel ‘Turkeys Not Bees’ has a dilemma of individual and collective Covid actions.

See posts on Covid and my novels on my blog: martinknox.com

https://www.u3abrisbane.org.au/documents/classes/uploads/aspwymf19/The_Greater_Good_or_Grander_Evil_Spectatot_Feb_2022.docx

CLIMATE AND COVID FEARS

Fear is an existential phenomenon with three types of possible lived experience:

(source Heidegger, M Being and Time, p179)

1 Something fearsome can seem to threaten because it is detrimental, can harm you, has something ‘queer’ about it, drawing close, coming constantly closer, still far-off and veiled, could reach you, but may not, may stay away and pass you by.

2 Fearing threatens and matters to you but you may not have ascertained a future evil, or what it is, or its fearsomeness, because it is a state of mind that can be looked at explicitly.

3 Your being is afraid; fearing disclosure that you are endangered and abandoned, proximally affected, bewildered and ‘losing your head’. 

In summary, climate alarm could be a response to some of these concerns. 

1 Fear of threats.

2 Fear of the unknown.

3 Panic

Fear is one of the most basic human emotions. It is programmed into the nervous system and works like an instinct. Responding to fear may not be reasonable. 

See writing on my blog: martinknox.com

HOW SOON WILL COVID END?

I have made an historical review of world incidents, disasters of the calibre of Covid 19, to better see what we could be in for in the medium term. This is a list of events that seemed dire and interminable at the time, as Covid 19 does now. I have tried to identify those most similar to the current virus pandemic. As we wait for the Covid 19 pandemic to end, we can reflect on the endings to previous world incidents and look for any pattern that could indicate how long we may have to wait.

WWI ended in 1918 when Kaiser Wilhem abdicated and Germany signed an armistice. After depression lasting 10 years, the Great Depression ended in the US with the New Deal and start of the war. World war 2 lasted for 6 years until atomic bombs brought Japan to surrender. A polio epidemic peaked in 1940-1950 and continues in Afghanistan today. Smog deaths were reduced after the UKs clean air act in1956. The Cuban Missile crisis ended in 1962 when Russia backed down and withdrew its missiles. In 1972, OPEC hiked oil prices causing a global economic shock. In 1973, the US quit its war in Vietnam. In China, Mao’s Cultural Revolution created turmoil until 1976 when he died. In 1986, a Russian nuclear power station exploded causing concerns about radioactivity that continue even now. In 1987 an international treaty in Montreal agreed to limit ozone destroying gases. Concern about global warming began and continues today. In 1992, the Soviet government collapsed, ending the Cold War which had continued since the 1950s. An outbreak of BSE brought UK livestock farming to a halt in 1993 and continued at low incidence in 2015. In 1997 AIDS, which had commenced a decade earlier, began decline but continues at epidemic levels in some countries. In 2000, the Millenium Bug, which had generated computer investment, was a furphy. In 2001, an attack on the World Trade Centre in New York led to invasion of Afghanistan that lasted 20 years, until the US quit in 2021. In 2016, after 40 years, Ebolla was declared to no longer be an emergency. In 2019, an outbreak of Covid-19 in China spread worldwide and continued to be active in 2021, with some prospect of restrictions being lifted when vaccination had brought protection.

Of the above, the AIDS and Ebolla epidemics seem most likely to presage our Covid 19 future. Covid is likely to be a significant presence for another 30-40 years, diminishing and with sporadic outbreaks. Travel restrictions could be lifted as populations are vaccinated and infections become accepted, like bad strains of influenza have been. Covid restrictions have mitigated the flu but as restrictions are lifted, we can expect the ‘flu to return. Economic conditions could return to normal and could even boom. Some businesses and jobs perceived to harbour or promote infection could be lost but others facilitating remote dealing could be gained. If I had known Covid was coming, I would have toured overseas along the humanized routes that will in future have dehumanizing restrictions and be closely monitored for disease. There can be expected to be jobs and ambitions that will try to keep restrictions going, magnify outbreaks and exaggerate risks from self-interest. My interest in travel and social gatherings may never recover.

I have omitted natural disasters because they can recur, with no end.

My blog: martinknox.com

THE COVID GAME

Dealing with Covid 19 particles has interaction and uncertainty, with a hope of overcoming them through technological skill, population commitment and good leadership.

VIRUS PARTICLE MOVES POSSIBLE

Dormant; Contact transmission; Surface transmission; Vector transmission; Infection; Reproduction; Virility increase; New variant; Deactivated

HUMAN MOVES POSSIBLE

Travel restriction; International borders closed;  State borders closed; District borders closed; Quarantined entry; Self-Isolation; Public transport restricted; Private transport restricted; Event crowd restriction; Restriction of gatherings in public spaces; Social distancing in public spaces; Restriction of custom in restaurants, businesses; Home gatherings restriction; Closure of businesses; Closure of schools; Compulsory masking; Cleaning; Sterilisation; Wearing PPE; Compulsory testing; Contact tracing; Vaccination; Immune System Strengthening.

HOW TO PLAY

Human purpose of play is to prevent infection by virus particles. The virus purpose could be to reproduce and infect humans. An infection could result from one, or very many, virus particles. Human moves can oppose virus particles movement. Because there are many virus particles and they are small, human defence can counter applying many technologies simultaneously. Because virus particles are small, elimination of virus particles cannot be observed. Implementing many technologies can disrupt social and economic living. Alternatively, humans can decline to defend and accept casualties. The consequences of inaction are not known. 

THE WINNER

Reduction of deaths and hospitalisations to pre-pandemic rates is sought, indicated by decline in number of positive tests to zero.

THE CHALLENGE

Opposition to an almost invisible enemy requires an objective response based on testing, contact tracing and diagnosis. Controlled tests are required to detect its presence and prevent spreading. Preventive cautionary moves require sound objective reasoning to show benefits that surpass the value of costs to the community. In default of reason, allowing the disease to run its course should be considered.

40 of my previous Covid posts are on my blog: martinknox.com

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