Saturday, March 14, 2020

Coronavirus and the Marching Morons

What is the difference between a zombie and a moron? Answer: A zombie can't vote.

     The Marching Morons is  a science fiction story by American writer Cyril M. Kornbluth, originally published in Galaxy in April 1951. The basic plot is a futuristic view of the future wherein a minority of "genius" leaders work behind the scenes to keep a population of five billion idiots from destroying themselves. The future is now and the leaders have failed miserably.
     An example of the devolution of humanity comes from a Kroger grocery store manager. He related to me how difficult it was to find competent help. "We have to use digital clocks because young people can't tell time with a clock that has hands...and I have to print everything because they can't read cursive writing either." 

     It is worse than that. A recent article revealed that many Millennials don't even know how to change a lightbulb, or do simple repairs to drains. They rely on "googling" the information.

     The issue of morons leads us to the irrational COVID-19 panic.

     On Friday I was at the Atlanta VA clinic for a diagnostic appointment. Everyone had to answer a few questions before they were allowed inside: Have you been out of the country in the last 30 days? Do you have a cough or a fever? 

     My question is What moron would answer yes if they needed medical care? But just in case someone says yes, a friendly policeman was there to escort you to a quarantine unit. At this writing, a whopping 2 "suspected" coronavirus carriers have been quarantined.

     But what about the high death rate in China and Italy, you might ask? As of March 9, there have been 463 fatalities out of 9,172 confirmed cases in Italy. One factor, according to an article in Scientific American, is the age of the population in Italy. The older one is, the greater the chance that one's immune system is weakened from medical conditions. It is higher in China because the epicenter of the outbreak was in Wuhan. 

     Across the world schools are closing to "prevent" the spread of the coronavirus. But since children are 99% immune from the coronavirus, unlike flu outbreaks when they don't close schools, why close the schools?

     In the private sector, Apple has closed its stores and Starbucks is considering drive-thru sales only. Publix has reduced its store hours, and other businesses have made similar decisions. Why? Because of the legal liability. If even one person dies after visiting a store, the usual slew of dirt-bag lawyers will sue them for not taking "reasonable" precautions. This increases the panic.

     In another bit of insanity and misinformation, people are volunteering to donate blood in order to get tested for the coronavirus. However, there is no evidence the COVID-19 virus is transmitted by blood, which is why you are not tested for it. But facts don't matter in a panic. Now we are having a blood shortage because people are afraid to go to clinics. I wonder if more people will die from the panic than from the virus?

     Bottom line: More people die from smoking, eating fast foods and lack of exercise than from the coronavirus. Take reasonable precautions and relax: you will not die unless you join the marching morons.
     As President John Adams once said: 

"Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence."