[This is a draft]
The world response makes no sense – it’s unique in the last 150 years of human history.
Why would countries cripple their economies and shut down their populations?
Only one reason seems plausible … there’s something more serious about this ‘RNA virus’ that we are not being told (see the section on virus mutation and amplification below).
Normally a ‘novel virus’ takes weeks or so before the specialists have a handle on it, and maybe a few months before response comes into play. Whereas China had locked down three cities, each bigger than London, in weeks.
Now, Wuhan is where China has two of it’s bio warfare centres ( see attached article ). So, if they knew what had escaped and what it could do then that might explain the sharp and firm response?
On masks. Don’t waste your time. Without proper training in use, handling (when eating), disposal and frequency of changing them (daily) they just become a vector for transmission. Apparently, enterprising folk are rescuing used ones, ironing them and selling them as new!
On risks. My view is that time will show that smartphones / tablets were an important factor in transmission. Watch people in public, phone in one hand, itchy nose wiped on the other hand and then used to touch the screen. Then people say ‘Come and look at this’ (huddle together), ‘let me zoom in’ (touching other person’s phone) – guess what, virus spreads.
On likely deaths. Current CFR (Casualty Fatality Rate) published by WHO (World Health Organisation in their Situation Reports) indicates between 1 in 20 and 1 in 5 of over 65’s will die. Across all age groups in the world that’s up to 200 million (worse than so-called ‘Spanish ‘flu’ after the First World War). I assume that is why governments are implementing these measures. However, the data are incomplete at present. Many people will get coronavirus and never know they have had it, so not on the stats. We’ll see.
On sources: It’s been called an information pandemic – disinformation spreading faster than the virus!
Part of that is to do with people being ‘fed’ unreliable information via their (personally customised) social media accounts. They get ‘pushed’ skewed information and ‘click-bait’ based on their Likes. Alexa one of the worst.
I have been shocked how passive people are – being content to be mere receivers of what’s trending.
Few people seem know how to seek out unbiased information, eg by manually putting in URLs to reliable sources such as:
Instead, they type something into a search and take whatever it puts up. I heard recently of someone who had been scammed financially because they thought that the financial package at the top of Google’s search must be the best – otherwise why would Google have put it at the top! I’ve heard others say ‘But Google IS the Internet, isn’t it?’
Virus Mutation, Amplification and New Variants
[This section is still in draft]
1. Mutation. Virus breed by hijacking the mechanisms within affected cells to make copies of themselves *within one species of host*. Eventually the cell dies, bursts and the virus spread, eventually leaving the host body. But virus have only RNA which does not have ‘error correction’ (which the double helix of our DNA does have). Hence it is common for virus to mutate. Analysis of these different variants of same virus generates a ‘family tree’ – once you have a vaccine for the grandmother virus, all the descendants can therefore, usually, be treated (Los Alamos has done a lot of work on this down the years, open source).
2. Amplification. This is where the virus is breeding in a species whose replication mechanism enables the virus to turn into a new type which is able to jump species (as happened in this case, maybe from bats as food in China). This is Amplification (-ish), the bats amplified the virus’ ability to spread beyond the species it was in before. Now, if amplification happens in humans the new-new type may also infect humans, but with different symptoms from the current coronavirus. For the epidemiologists this would be, in effect, an entirely new outbreak.
3. Host self-induced infection (not the correct phrase). This is the scariest and is what Greg Bear’s ‘Darwin’s Radio’ is mostly about. OK. Sorry, getting a bit long … I’ll break it up:
– In our DNA we have what used to be called ‘junk DNA’. It is becoming apparent that it is anything but junk. A lot of it codes for virus / bacteria (and other things, beyond this scope) that mammals / humans suffered from in the past but which eventually became part of our biology (eg friendly gut bacteria – in the same way that the mitochondria energy generators in our cells were once free-swimming but are now symbiotic with our cells). The archaic virus are called ERV (endogenous retro-virus), the human ones are HERV (human-ERV).
– OK, so what? Well, it has been shown that when the wider human context changes in some fundamental way signals are sent which trigger the HERV to express. They go from junk DNA into active virus / bacteria (what the exact triggers are is not yet known, but triggers cause the DNA to ‘dance’, a writhing which brings unusual parts of the DNA close together). Potentially, activating an archaic HERV could be as bad as bringing back the dinosaurs (no natural predators etc).
– So! Maybe the BioWarfare lab in Wuhan was working on a virus which would deliberately trigger HERVs? (Wuhan is China’s main lab – according to one of the Chinese doctors who blew the whistle early on and died in Jan).
If so, then we are in trouble … it would explain the following.
SUPPLEMENTARY Re China ‘Protesteth too much’
It all just doesn’t add up …
Why would China’s **immediate first action** be to lock down two cities of 10 million plus people?
Historically, new outbreaks don’t happen like that – it takes time to work out what is happening and why, **then** the action comes in – not first.
Conclusion, surely, is that somebody knew something up front … (apparently Xi Jinping knew in Nov 2019)
Is that why WHO and others (seem to be) so alarmed about this one. Measures now in place are the same, if not more stringent, than those for Ebola or Anthrax. Is this going to be as deadly as Ebola (CFR of about 50%)?
Current CFR (Case Fatality Ration in %, proportion of cases that die) data suggests not …
BUT, Italy / Iran has just notified of cases which have died – with a CFR of over 10% -which would be very alarming.
For info: the post WWI Spanish ‘flu had a CFR of about 3%, and millions died – mind you, a third of the European population was infected.