Sunday 15 March 2020

The Great Corona Panic Of 2020: The Indian Perspective

Anyone likely to read this will already have been made familiar – like it or not – with the COVID-19 outbreak that is making everyone run to buy masks and toilet paper before cowering under their beds clutching cans of hand sanitiser. I am, therefore, not going to insult anyone’s intelligence by repeating all the stuff about how it appeared in China (though that is increasingly coming under question), spread to Italy and Iran and Germany, etc. That is not why I am writing this.

In this article I will focus on only a few points:

First, whether the panic over COVID-19 is justified, and, if not, why this panic exists, and whom does it serve.

Second, whether COVID-19 is likely to have been created as a biological weapon.

Third, the Modi regime’s response to COVID-19 and its implications for India.

Note:  In this article I will refer to this virus as COVID-19 for simplicity, out of all the other terms being used for it. It is merely one of a whole family of related coronaviruses, and so while the term Coronavirus is technically correct, in this instance we are dealing with COVID-19 only.

1. Never let a good crisis go to waste: COVID-19 for fun and profit.

You know what they say: when the media is all talking about something and demanding that you focus your attention on it, look for what they’re trying to distract you from. In this case there are undoubtedly many things they’re trying to distract you from; the world debt bubble that’s finally collapsing is just one of those.

I’m not an economist, but I’m not a total idiot, and it has always seemed to me that an economic system based on creating “money” out of thin air, “lending” it by shuffling strings of zeroes from one file on a computer to another, and “earning interest” by shuffling it back again, would ultimately come up against an insurmountable problem, to wit, that it’s all just strings of zeroes on a computer file. There’s only so long you can bring up zeroes before it all crashes to, well, zero. And when it does, the people doing the zero shuffling will be in hot water unless they can make everyone look at something else while frantically typing yet more zeroes into their computers.

It’s not exactly a secret that the world stock markets are crashing, They are crashing for many reasons, but one important reason is that the pile of debt made of strings of zeroes has grown to the point where it can’t be piled up any further and is beginning to avalanche down. At this stage it’s extremely useful that a sudden pandemic has caused international travel and trade to come to a shuddering standstill because, well, that’s an excellent thing to blame for the strings of zeroes coming sliding down on everyone’s head.

Then there’s the Amerikastani defeat in West Asia. Let’s not beat around the George W Bush – Amerikastan has suffered a bad defeat there. It had expected a compliant Sunni dictatorship in Syria like its client state of Jordan to emerge long ago, either to occupy the whole country or else the Arab areas while a Kurd zionistan was set up in the north. It splurged enormous amounts of propaganda, money, headchoppers, Kurds, and rat line weapons into this. It lost. It also attempted to crush Iran. Iran, though bloodied, is still standing and Amerikastan no longer dares – after the missile barrage on its occupied Ain al Asad airbase in January – to attack or threaten Iran directly. Amerikastani occupation war criminals in Iraq are isolated in their holes while Iraqi militia – far stronger and more experienced after 17 years of the war Amerikastan brought to their country – rain rockets on their heads. All these are coming together in an election year. That is not a good thing for Amerikastani politicians.    

Then there are the slaves of the European Union. This is the same EU which destroyed Yugoslavia, then Serbia, and then Libya, the same EU which pretends to care about freedom and democracy while buying oil from al Qaeda in Syria. This EU long ago realised that the flood of refugees its own policies had unleashed would crack its so-called unity open like an egg. It knew that it had to close its borders. Politically it couldn’t close borders after decades of demanding that everyone open theirs; and when aspiring member the Ottoman state pushed refugees across the border in an obvious blackmail tactic, Greek border guards found themselves blamed for beating back said blackmail tactic. But a pandemic? Why, that’s a lovely excuse to close borders. Even the Denmark of the Muhammad Cartoon-drawing Jyllands Posten closed its borders with Merkelist Germany. I’ll bet the gerontophile Macronist regime will also use COVID-19, or the fear thereof, to finally crush the two year long Gilets Jaunes protests in France. It’s like a gift to them.

Then, while a pandemic is extremely bad news to some businesses – airlines, for example – it’s extremely good news for some others. You know all those jokes about people buying toilet paper by the ton? You know how supermarket shelves are emptying out? Well, nobody is giving those goods away. Every sale means profits for somebody. Mass panic buying makes lots of profits for some people.

Major pharmaceutical profits are waiting to happen as well. Already there’s babble about vaccines that will prevent COVID-19 infection. Now viruses have an extremely well known tendency to mutate into various strains. All genetic material, both DNA and RNA, do mutate while copying themselves (that’s what mutation is, a mistake in copying). Viruses, unlike literally every other form of life, are active only when copying themselves. They do not breathe. They do not eat. They are inert when they are outside a living cell, and when they are inside a living cell, all they are doing is making more viruses. So their extreme multiplication rate means a very high mutation rate. And if you invent a vaccine to protect against one strain of virus, there is absolutely no kind of guarantee that the vaccine will be effective against another strain of the same virus. Therefore I discount the chances of these vaccines being effective. But you can be sure that they will be marketed and possibly made compulsory, and that the vaccine manufacturers – who have already, as an “emergency” measure, dispensed with time-consuming (and costly) laboratory trials - will make a very good profit from them.

It’s also going to be handy for politicians who are eagerly waiting to kill off subsidised medical programmes. Let’s imagine there’s a country (we’ll call it “Britain”, just for fun) with a long standing and quite successful publicly funded health service (let’s imagine it’s called the “National Health Service”). Let’s also imagine that certain political forces have been long out to snuff out this NHS so private medicine and health insurance companies can make a fortune. Now a pandemic that swamps the NHS hospitals and eradicates the old people who form the primary NHS beneficiaries will be wonderfully convenient for that, won’t it? And helping along the pandemic by essentially taking no steps whatsoever makes total sense, does it not?

As to how dangerous COVID-19 is, once again let me remind you what I said about looking to see what the media is trying to distract you from. It is true that people are dying from COVID-19 infection. But who are these people?

Well, they are mostly people who fall into one of these categories:

People who are elderly and already have compromised health and immune systems. Ageing societies with a high proportion of retirees will see a correspondingly higher death rate.

People whose respiratory tracts are already damaged by other factors: for example, chronic air pollution as in China or chronic bronchitis or emphysema from smoking – again as in China. A substantial number of the people who died in Iran are actually veterans of the Iran Iraq war of the 1980s and were at the receiving end of Saddam Hussein’s Amerikastani-supplied, Amerikastani-targeted, chemical weapons. Their raddled respiratory systems, burned by nerve agents and mustard gas, simply could not stand the strain.

People who are denied treatment because of other factors, such as hospital beds being unavailable because every one is occupied and so triage is performed with those “less likely to be successfully treated” turned away. Ironically this turns out to be a self fulfilling prophecy since this usually means the elderly turned away while the young – who are already with their more robust health much likelier to survive – being treated.

Collateral damage: people with other, curable illnesses, who will not receive treatment because of the hospitals being full to the brim with (often far less ill) COVID-19 infected. I would even suggest that by the time the dust has settled this section will comprise more fatalities than the rest put together. This is exactly why the Chinese built all those speciality Coronavirus hospitals in Hubei province, so that normal hospitals could keep functioning and treat people with other illnesses.

If you disregard the collateral damage, the actual mortality rate from COVID-19 is fairly low. It is, at the most, 3.5% in China, and even in Italy it is about 7%. That’s actually not very high where pandemics are concerned, and in fact it may even be a massive overestimate. Why? Because that’s the official death rate among people who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 infection. Any infectious disease has a substantial number of infected people who either do not show any symptoms or else show subclinical symptoms; someone with COVID-19 may have a sore throat or a very mild fever, not a potentially fatal respiratory collapse, and will thereby never come to the attention of the health system. They may have symptoms that are identical to common influenza, will be thought to be suffering from common influenza, and recover like people do from common influenza. So the actual, undocumented, number of COVID-19 infections may be much higher than thought, which means that the death rate may be far less than commonly stated. Meanwhile the influenza I just mentioned kills something like 40000 Amerikastanis alone every year, and killed between 50 and a hundred million in the great Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918-19. And let’s not forget tuberculosis, which is resurgent and increasingly difficult to treat, malaria, ditto, and so on and so forth. But those aren’t “sexy” (as we used to say when I was back in dental college) illnesses; there’s little to no profit to be squeezed out of them and so nobody even mentions them anymore.

So, yes, COVID-19 is a dangerous disease, but its lethality has been overstated. Yes, said overstatement is a deliberate and cynical ploy. Never let a good crisis go to waste.

2. A Weapon Of Convenience? COVID-19 as a biological bullet to the brain.

Now, I admit I’m not a microbiologist. I am not a weapons designer. And while I am certain that micro-organisms have been and are being actively researched for use as biological weapons, I have no direct or indirect knowledge about them. Therefore the following statements will be a mixture of speculation mixed with common sense.

I’ll say this first and get it over with: if used on anything but a small scale, biological weapons are stupid.  Let’s say you want to annihilate a small country, for instance something about the size of Rwanda. Then you might be able to use something relatively quick acting and very lethal, something of the order of Ebola, and you might be able to temporarily cause some devastation. Not total annihilation because the infected people will soon die before they can spread around the infection too far. But you could kill some tens of thousands, maybe. You couldn’t do much more.

Now in a small country (like Rwanda again) this may represent a relatively big blow. But try it in a country the size of China? That’s a drop in the ocean. The outbreak will be swiftly sealed off and controlled. It won’t even be a stumbling block. In other words, it’s pointless.

Or you could create a disease with a long incubation period, which would spread far and wide before it manifested itself. But by the same standards it would spread far and wide. With the massive amount of international travel these days it would not, could not, stay confined to your target country. It would, sooner rather than later – if you’ve got the facilities for biological weapons research, you’re a relatively rich and powerful country with a lot of international traffic – come back to hit you.

Perhaps you could – I don’t know if it’s even possible – tailor your biological weapon to attack a particular racial group, by matching it to some characteristic in the target group’s genome. Now that itself creates more problems for you.

First: Almost no racial group is confined to one single country, and those that are, are typically minorities even within that country. For instance, you are, let’s say, an enemy of the People’s Republic of China. You therefore create a virus to attack Chinese. But Chinese are East Asians who share their genes with other East Asian nations, some of which – South Korea, Japan, and the so-called nation of “Taiwan” – are your “allies” (to be more accurate, vassals), and also, having considerable trade relations with China, will get infected almost immediately. Then there are substantial numbers of ethnic Chinese living in other vassal nations, like Singapore, and in your own country, not to speak of Quisling-infested Hong Kong, which your own colonial possession Britain is desperate to recolonise. Those Quislings, being ethnic Chinese, would be eradicated by your germs, and that would be slightly awkward for you.

Or you could create germs to eliminate, say, the Derung ethnic group in China. Which would lead you to eliminate....the 7000 Derung in the People’s Republic of China.

Second: as I said above, viruses have an extraordinarily high mutation rate. Basically, if a gene in the virus can change, at some point it will do so. The genes you’ve lovingly fitted to receptors in East Asian lungs will – before you can say biogenocide – turn right round and mutate into forms that hunger to attach to receptors in your own, non-Chinese lungs, and then where are you?

Where Amerikastan and its EUvassals are headed for, I suspect.

There is only one way even a limited biological weapon makes some kind of sense. That’s if you target the weapon, not at people, but at something of enormous economic value to said people. For instance suppose you have a nation whose economy is dependent on, oh, sugar, or bananas (a literal banana republic). You create a disease that will attack only sugarcane or bananas, and you can probably do massive damage to their economy. If it’s a food staple like yams, you may even be able to create a food shortage or famine. But you can’t do it if you attack the people directly. And if your target is a very large and diverse country, you can’t do it at all.

3. Go Corona Corona Go: Modistan and the Very Bad, No Good, Absolutely Terrible Virus:

One of the many videos going around Indian Whatsapp depicts Modi regime minister Ramdas Athawale chanting “Corona Go Go Corona” in an alleged attempt to compel the virus, it seems, to pack up its bags and return to wherever it came from (or perhaps go to Pakistan, I don’t know, who can tell with these people). While this was remarkably stupid, there is a lot that’s pretty interesting in the phases of India’s response to COVID-19.

Right at the start of the epidemic in China, Indian media responded with actual elation. China, apparently, would collapse economically and its status as the manufacturing capital of the world would come to a screeching halt; it would be, who else, India which would immediately take over. How this feat was to be managed was of course not mentioned. In any case at that very time the Modi regime was faced with massive protests, including in Delhi – which culminated in an anti Muslim pogrom (another Modi trademark) when Trump came visiting in February. Therefore the tame Modi media was busy with praising Trump and condemning the protestors, and had little time to talk of COVID-19.

Then, apparently overnight, a simultaneous panic offensive began. All of a sudden the Modi media could talk of nothing except COVID-19. Grovellingly servile rags like Outlook (once an independent voice) and India Today (ditto) even set up special Coronavirus sections on their websites that soon crept over the rest of the stories. They even swamped the crash of one of India’s biggest private banks, Yes Bank, due to systematic fraud by the promoters. They submerged the continuing implosion of the economy under Modi’s ministrations. That Modi openly and shamelessly set out to purchase the government of the state of Madhya Pradesh, the election to which his party lost two years ago, by triggering the defection of a dynastic politician was less mentioned than Coronavirus.

I do not think that this is merely coincidental.

Even the phone services weren’t spared. Call anyone now and you immediately hear a recording of somebody coughing. Then there’s a long lecture, in English, of what you should do to avoid infection (apparently don’t touch anyone, don’t interact with anyone) and then, only then, will the phone ring on the other end. Assuming you haven’t hung up in disgust by that time, naturally.

Masks and hand sanitisers began to cost like gold. Modi shut down the borders while the servile media breathlessly spoke of how Indians had “escaped from Wuhan”. That the COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan has been brought under control merely made this more comical. Even more ridiculously, as of this writing, there have been 108 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in India and two confirmed deaths. That’s what, a death rate of 1.85%, not including one idiot who imagined he had COVID-19 and immediately killed himself.

Of course this is not going to stay like that, and everyone knows it. COVID-19 has an incubation period of about two weeks, which means that these 108 were infected two weeks ago. By the time they’ve begun displaying symptoms they have already been shedding viruses for many days. Many other people will already have been infected, and they will already, even as I write this, be infecting others. Ergo, there will be a quite predictable and massive explosion in the numbers of infected by the end of this month. And then the panic will really begin.

One of the hugest problems with India is something that not one – not a single one – of the COVID-19-obsessed media I’ve seen has talked about. It’s this: all this obsession is all about the exposure of the upper and Great Indian Muddle Class to the virus. The poor – invisible at the best of times – are not talked about at all. It’s these same poor and working class people who couldn’t even begin to afford the hand sanitisers and face masks which will putatively save us all from COVID-19, while making their suppliers quite coincidentally richer. Also these poor people can’t afford to fall sick. Suppose one of them does fall ill. He goes to a hospital, and is “screened” for COVID-19, and is put in quarantine for fourteen days. So is his entire family. Well, then, where does he find money to eat? Will his employer, assuming he has one, keep his job open? (The answer is, ha, you wish.) If he’s in a small town or village, it will get much worse than that. Superstitious mobs are more likely than not to descend on his house and burn it down, and drive away or even lynch him and his family members before they can “spread the disease”. And he knows all this. The very panic the Modi regime is fostering actually makes it much less likely that he will go for treatment at all.

So what does he do? Simply out of self preservation, if he falls ill, he and his family conceal it. Whatever the illness is, they carry on as usual. Maybe it’s something else, and he recovers. Maybe it’s COVID-19, and he may or may not recover. But whether he does or not, he is not going to go to hospital if he can avoid it, and all the while he will be shedding viruses which – with the abysmal hygiene standards of the average Indian slum – will be liberally shared around.

Right at the start of the epidemic, I had made a prediction: the Chinese would successfully contain it and it would burn out. But if it ever got established in India, then it would be here to stay.

We are, it appears, rolling out the welcome mat.

Now, how long before we come to this?