Mother Nature is a harsh mistress: weakness and mistakes are immediately followed by severe crippling wounds. I think the current COVID-19 situation proves this point perfectly. The weakness and mistakes in this case were the actions taken to quarantine people needlessly, thus destroying the economy more effectively than any bad Wall Street decision ever could. The severe crippling wounds – unemployment, business failure, bankruptcy and loss of homes – will be felt for years.
In the Middle Ages, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse represented the most common dangers facing the population:
Famine and War have been pretty well managed in the modern age. Death, of course, is still inevitable, and Pestilence has been, and will continue to be, a constant throughout human history. To be practical, we’re going to replace two of the horsemen with more realistic current risks:
- Bad Decisions
Let’s start with Bad Decisions, the most avoidable horseman. This would include things like:
- Texting while driving
- Having unprotected sex with an intravenous drug user
- Calling yourself an “Instagram Influencer” and wanting to post that photo on the edge of a cliff
- Doing the “Titanic Pose” (Emma Black from Plymouth, Devon, UK had been heavily drinking on a ferry from Spain to England when she plunged to her death in 2003. Apparently, her untimely death occurred after she stretched her arms out in the famous Kate Winslet pose from the Titanic movie. The pose caused Emma to lose her balance and fall from the ninth deck into the water. Her body washed up on the French coast eight months later.)
Politics is the real danger these days. Disconnected idiots are given a platform to make decisions and pronouncements that wreck economies, destroy businesses and spread unnecessary fear. Inducing hysteria by telling people to “Flatten the Curve” is a perfect example of (possibly) well-meaning politicians wanting a simplistic answer to a complex problem.
Our old friend, the horseman Pestilence, pays us visits throughout our lifetime. The head cold or stomach bug that makes its way through your office, or the annual seasonal flu, is Pestilence doing his thing. Pestilence is Nature applying population control. The weak, the sick and the old are taken out of rotation. You don’t have to like it, but you may as well get used to it. Occasionally, Pestilence is really on-game and throws a few years of Black Death, Spanish Influenza or Ebola into the mix. Look at those figures and you realize that COVID-19 is no big deal. The deaths related to COVID barely make a dent in the population, and is being so ridiculously over-hyped that one has to wonder why.
The horseman Death is always making his rounds. In fact, let’s take a look at what goes on in a NORMAL day globally:
26,000 deaths per day from cancer
49,000 deaths per day from cardiovascular disease
4,400 deaths per day from diabetes-related complications
2,000 deaths per day from suicide
1,917 deaths per day from vector-borne (mosquitos, flies, etc.) diseases
1,270 deaths per day from homicides
378 deaths per day from snakebite (*This is considered an under-reported figure by WHO)
In fact, about 57,000,000 people die globally every year! Anyone who thinks that the world went about it’s business in perfect health lived in a fantasy. The term infodemic has been coined from COVID-19, and is probably worse than the pandemic.
What would the right approach have been here? Quite simple. Advise the at-risk population to self-isolate with the appropriate precautions, and let the rest of the world maintain normal operations. Let the virus run it’s course, bury the dead, and move on. We prolonged the event through mass isolation, and caused more long-lasting damage than the virus itself would have.
As the great philosopher Benny Hill said, “Live every day as if it is your last, because some day you will be right.”