The Humblest Things: James Sheridan’s Covid-19 Commentary
“Consider that a single microorganism could win a decisive genetic war against humans; it simply wants to survive the same as us, and The Energy Field has evidently provided it with the weapons to do so, as The Black Death demonstrated by wiping out a third of all humans in medieval Europe. Almost 10% of human DNA is made of viruses, our ancient battle scars from this ongoing genetic war.” – From Part One of The You Code (written in 2019).
Last update: September 1, 2020
Just when humans thought they had dominated Mother Nature, she gives them a sharp reminder about who’s really running the show. Sadly, like almost everything else, our response to SARS-COV-2 quickly became politicized, meaning that any commentary on the matter walks the fine line that risks attracting opposing dogma from whichever “side” the commentary falls on. As I’ve said elsewhere, and will continually say: When a subject gets politicized, when it’s dumped into the prepackaged “red” or “blue” TV dinner box, we instantly lose objectivity about that subject.
Needless to say, this updating commentary isn’t taking any political sides, and it isn’t designed to sway you in one direction or the other. My goal is to present you with a bigger picture than is currently being explained and to give you some facts that, for some reason, aren’t being broadcasted on the main outlets. Therefore, any perception you may sense of this article swaying one way or another is a direct factor of what is being omitted from mainstream commentary. We can speculate as to why- election years and corporate sponsors, etc.- but it would be needlessly distracting us from the crisis at hand.
What else isn’t helping is that, in the increasingly common infantile fashion, we’ve been served a prepackaged moral dilemma (with one of the choices being vilified): Option A: SARS-COV-2 is deadly, therefore we must shut down the global economy until a vaccine arrives. Option B: We should accept that some people will die and let life go on as we develop herd immunity (but if you choose this option, shame on you). What about Option C? Whatever the initial choice was, shouldn’t we be open to continually re-evaluating it? This is the art of mutually inclusive thinking instead of the customary mutually exclusive thinking.
Was dropping the atom bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki a good thing? No. Would the subsequent loss of even more lives through an invasion of Japan been a good thing? No. Sometimes there are no good choices, but there is also usually an Option C found in the grey area humans struggle so much with (I’ll leave the historical debate about the Option C for ending the war in the Pacific for another time).
“By the toll of a billion deaths man has bought his birthright of the earth, and it is his against all comers; it would still be his were the Martians ten times as mighty as they are. For neither do men live nor die in vain… Slain, after all man’s devices had failed, by the humblest things that God, in his wisdom, has put upon this earth.”
– From War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells.
Fact, not viewpoint: for 2.5 million years, humans didn’t win the “birthright of the earth” that H.G. Wells refers to by locking themselves indoors until a scientist delivers a vaccine, but (the toll of a billion) “deaths” are an unacceptable price for contemporary humans to pay, with their relatively new luxury of international information flows and being able to control the global population in response to them. Fortunately, SARS-COV-2 isn’t going to claim anything close to “the toll of a billion deaths,” but, ultimately, will our response to it? We are at the end of the Strauss-Howe Theory eighty-year cycle discussed earlier in The You Code. Will SARS-COV-2 be our “Great War” climax of the cycle or merely the first domino in a chain reaction of events that lead to one, starting with The Great Depression 2.0?
As we saw in the last cycle eighty years ago, synchronized global recession = depression = angry people = demand for scapegoats = politicians providing scapegoats outside their borders = war. Protectionist policies set off the last synchronized global recession in the 1930s, in this cycle our response to SARS-COV-2, whether correct or not, set off a perfectly synchronized global recession. And recall that, unlike eighty years ago, today we have high-speed hate on demand with social media. Over 70 million people died in World War 2. Further perspective here, to help weigh up the “fight or flight” dilemma: https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/the-true-costs-of-the-covid-19-pandemic/
Everything started with this Imperial College document being published on March 16 2020 that predicted two million Americans would die unless steps were taken, and even if those measures were taken that 1.1 million Americans would die.
Pay attention to the chart on Page 5, regarding age range of people most affected (previous flu pandemics didn’t discriminate, SARS-COV-2 did):
Governments responded rapidly and dramatically, as you well know. The subsequent fatalities turned out to be nowhere close to what was first imagined, but now things were set in motion. Nine days later the author of the document, Professor Neil Ferguson, slashed his fatality estimate by over 95%, adding that over half of the deaths would have occurred anyway with the oldest people. As the report shows, in any case, the advice was never about accomplishing a goal of zero daily cases; it was about “flattening the curve.”
Time is of the essence. Everything now depends on our crisis management skills, and world leaders have had no such training, so they are thus at the mercy of whatever the CDC and WHO (name your alphabet agency) tells them to do, both bodies pushing for the most extreme responses, by their very nature. Why should we expect politicians to have such crisis management training when they’re usually everyday people who’ve grafted their way through the halls of power?
Our initial response to SARS-COV-2 reminded me of my first experience in crisis management as a rookie First Officer on the 737 simulator during my initial training. Lights were flashing and alarms were sounding, but a common rookie response is to get flustered by it all and make snap decisions just so the terror will end, so you can say at least you did something. That’s why they put you through that hell; to beat primal fear instincts out of you and replace them with crisis management skills. I stepped out of the simulator and dutifully awaited feedback from my training captain. His face said, Well, that was a total clusterf**k, but his words were more diplomatic: “Do you think you could’ve handled that better?”
As I entered a grocery store in West Hollywood in March 2020, it was evident that humans’ first response to SARS-COV-2 was to stockpile toilet paper. This happened while neglecting immunity-boosting vitamin c sources on display in the grocery store such as oranges. Such behavior goes back to our ancient genes and how we need to conform with the tribe, to survive, and this is what fuels all similar hysterias such as the Dutch Tulipmania of the 17th century, not only the Covid-19 Toilet Roll Mania of 2020. Whether it’s tulips or toilet roll, the phenomenon is the same (except one could argue that at least tulips have no substitute), only now we have social media to grossly exacerbate the situation. In a similar vein, then there was a rush to secure cardboard cutouts of ourselves to be placed in sports stadium seating. If ever I required yet more evidence that humans are driven by emotion before logic, 2020 provided a bounty of it, and there are still a few months of the year left as I write.
Seven years before I joined the airline, it had suffered a tragic crash at Kegworth, England, killing forty-seven passengers, and the training department took no prisoners on the simulator to ensure it would never happen again. The pilots of that doomed Kegworth flight had encountered a bad vibration on one engine, and they panicked instead of studying the facts. A 737 has two jet engines and can fly perfectly well on just one of them, as experienced in the simulator, where pilots spend most of their time flying a single-engine 737. But if you shut down both engines on a heavy jet like the 737 you’re a sixty-ton glider. The captain asked the first officer which engine was vibrating, to which the first officer made a hasty guess. Without crosschecking his colleague’s assessment, the captain replied, “Shut it down,” referring to the engine that had been incorrectly guessed was the problem. In their haste and lack of facts, the pilots had shut down the healthy engine, only they didn’t realize this straight away because the vibrating engine hadn’t failed, it was just vibrating badly. Sadly, advancing the thrust lever on the bad engine (to compensate for the loss of the other engine) cured the vibration. However, upon approach for an emergency landing, the bad engine finally failed, and the aircraft crashed into a freeway painfully close to the runway. Had they taken a moment to reassess their decision, they still could have avoided the crash by relighting the good engine.
In March of 2020, we felt a bad “engine vibration.” Did we gather all the facts or did we hastily act without them? Did we shut down a “good engine?” You must decide and click accordingly, because what you click on is fueling the crisis narrative.
One thing I can say with certainty is that at least one gauge on our cockpit dashboard was showing a faulty reading: fatality rate. How can you say what the fatality rate of SARS-COV-2 is when you don’t truly know how many people have been infected with it? The 3% fatality rate is only based on confirmed cases. We know that a very large percentage of the population are asymptomatic or have had mild symptoms (we’ve been exposed to coronaviruses many times before) and were unaware that they even had it. This means that the current fatality rate of around 3% of all confirmed cases (in the USA) is grossly over-inflated. This also implies that we have a great deal more herd immunity than we think.
Another gauge in our cockpit may give us more insight into SARS-COV-2 fatality rate: average age of death. The average age of SARS-COV-2 deaths worldwide is around 80-82 years old, especially people in nursing homes, which accounts for 40-50% of all Covi-19 deaths in America. I’ve personally watched two close and dear grandfathers die in nursing homes, and it is horribly heart wrenching, but the cold and objective fact remains that by the time a person enters a nursing home the life expectancy is already extremely low, this I know from bitter experience. Had SARS-COV-2 been entered on my grandfathers’ death certificates I would not have blamed the death on that virus.
What wasn’t helping the faulty fatality rate gauge was a CDC directive to health professionals:
This directive resulted in incidents where people dying of gunshot wounds were reported as SARS-COV-2 deaths:
What skews perception (and perception drives headlines) are deaths being reported as numbers as opposed to percentage of population. In countries like India and China, each with a billion people, jointly constituting almost forty percent of the global population, a fatality rate of 3% is a terrifyingly large number (that makes more dramatic headlines).
Juicy rumors are abound that “you can get the virus a second time.” You can get any virus a “second time” or a hundred times, but once you memory B cells have acquired the antibody they can fly to the rescue to fight it off. It’s all a function of a race against time between the virus and your immune system. I don’t need to be a medical doctor to say this, I just needed to pay attention in grade school biology class, but here it is straight from the CDC, anyway: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/planning-scenarios.html#box
Confusion also reigns about testing: saliva tests will generally only tell you if you are currently fighting the virus, not if you already have the immunity (the test will simply say “negative” or “inconclusive”). Blood tests will have limited use unless within a few weeks of having the virus because memory B cells only start manufacturing the antibody after initial and subsequent infections.
Option A: Close the global economy and pray for a vaccine. Option B: Do nothing and develop herd immunity. What about Option C? Keep the economy open but isolate and care for the most at risk, and keep wearing masks?
I’ll let you be the judge, an objective judge who is aware of the future and present consequences, and I trust I’ve allowed you to do so with your eyes open and as much evidence as possible. But make your decision fast about relighting that engine, because the global economy is rapidly running out of altitude.