As the covid situation continues to unfold, two things strike me:
- Without any consideration, “we” thought of this as a technical problem to be solved.
- Without any consideration, “we” thought of government as the institution to implement our technical solution.
Both of those assumptions are peculiarly modern. And that sort of thinking is so thoroughly embedded in our collective consciousness, no one gives a second thought to whether or not it is reasonable.
And maybe it is reasonable. But it still strikes me as odd that we make those assumptions without realizing we are making those assumptions.
As for Vanden Bossche, we’ll know soon enough. If he’s correct, then somewhere in the late summer/early fall (and there is a real risk in the fall/winter as the long, warm days of summer come to an end) there will be an absolute explosion of new cases. The younger cohort will be hard hit, unlike the waves we’ve already seen, and mortality will be significantly higher than before.
I don’t see much point in debating his ideas. There’s no way his recommendations (ie, “stop mass vaccinations NOW!”) are going to be accepted. And we’re probably well past the point where it would matter anyway. Vaccination rates globally are probably already high enough to ensure that the new variants Vanden Bossche talks about are already here.
The die is cast. Whatever is going to happen is going to happen. “Virus gonna virus”.
But I do wonder if, in the semi-distant future, his core premise isn’t accepted. What he is saying, more than anything else I think, is that once a pandemic is upon you, there is next to nothing you can do about it other than just take the hit.
Which goes back to our unstated assumptions. It never occurred to “us” to “just take the hit”. No, we insisted that there was a technical solution, and demanded that government provide it. Government isn’t going to turn its back on that, so here we are. Masked and isolated and vaccinated…and potentially breeding a super-covid that is actually as deadly as we pretended 2020-covid was.
I remember mentioning months ago “Contagion”, the 2011 movie about a deadly pandemic. In the movie, the virus was far worse than covid (25% fatality rate), but the underlying assumptions were the same: Hunker down, isolate, pray for a vaccine which will liberate humanity from the plague. The missing piece to the puzzle is the notion that the virus is a dynamic thing. When it is highly prevalent in a population, abundant opportunities for mutation also exist.