Curing stupid… permanently
“When the dust settles, experts will look back on the Pandemic of 2020 and it will be clear that there was a certain percentage of the population that died, not because they were: (1) unlucky or (2) because their bodies couldn’t overcome the virus, but…”
Covid19 may end up being a permanent cure for certain kinds of stupid.
Historically, other pandemics have been different from the current CoronaVirus in one significant way; during every other pandemic in human history, people did not know what was making them sick or killing them.
Sure, there was speculation—and instinct told people to stay away from the sick. But, as recently as the Spanish Flu of 1918 that we keep hearing about, science had not yet discovered flu viruses. Hell, they didn’t even have antibiotics in 1918, and a lot of people died from secondary infections that are treatable today.
So, for all prior pandemics, this means that from a natural selection perspective, survival depended on one of two factors. Either: (1) you were lucky and didn’t get exposed to the virus; or (2) you got exposed, but your immune system was able to overcome the virus.
In other words, the people who died were both unlucky and naturally vulnerable to the virus.
This time around, those whose immune systems can conquer the virus will survive. But, this time we have much better odds of avoiding contracting it altogether. If we follow the sound advice of healthcare professionals.
This time around is different scientifically. We know about viruses—we’ve already genetically mapped this one. We know how they spread. We have antibiotics. We are able to track the virus’ propagation. We have computers to capture and manage infection, recovery, and mortality data, and to predict outcomes.
That means that this time around, there will be a new category of dead.
We have all seen articles about young people on spring break, ignoring recommendations to avoid gathering in groups. And we’ve seen follow up articles about how they are getting sick, and some are dying.
We’ve read about people who, well after the virus was spreading throughout the world, still chose to get on a cruise ship and risk their lives.
The latest and greatest in this vein was sent to me by a friend. Apparently, some states (my birth state of Texas is one) are declaring churches to be “essential” services. This means that people are not prohibited from gathering en masse to worship.
When this is over, scientists will have a new category of dead to study.
When the dust settles, experts will look back on the Pandemic of 2020 and it will be clear that there was a certain percentage of the population that died, not because they were: (1) unlucky, and (2) their bodies couldn’t overcome the virus, as in 1918.
Rather, they will have died because they were stupid and their bodies couldn’t overcome the virus.
That is a sad thing. But, Darwin would argue it’s not necessarily a bad thing… for the herd.