I am sick and tired of being told about this virus

I remember before Jonas Salk's polio vaccine — folks were worried, but they had other things to care about as well.  Two rocks off the coast of Taiwan, Quemoy and Matsu, grabbed a lot of headlines.  The St. Louis Browns morphed into the Baltimore Orioles.  People are always getting sick...oftentimes by catching something that's (oh! dear!) contagious.  So what?

What's truly remarkable is the advancement of biochemical technology that has allowed multiple, effective vaccines to hit the street so quickly.  The messenger RNA concept was ready and waiting for a reason to be further developed.  Out-of-the-closet Libertarians such as myself are bristling with contempt — contempt for third-rate tyrants and their lemming-like followers.  And yet the screws are being tightened still further.

Has there ever been a comparable circumstance?  Obviously, the Plague Years starting in the mid-fourteenth century turned the world upside-down.  More recently, near the end of the First World War, the "Spanish" influenza killed more folks than the war itself.  Unlike our current virus, the young then were more likely to become fatalities.  There are two theories as to this result.  The first is that there may have been a similar pandemic around the 1890s, the survivors of which had significant immunity thirty or so years later.  The other theory concerns the "cytokine storm" that can happen when the immune system overreacts to an infection.  Young people have more vigorous immune systems and are thus more prone to the cytokine storm, and can literally drown in their own phlegm.

A further note on the black plague: Since medical knowledge was, at best, primitive during the Middle Ages, what ended the plague?  After all, it did end.  A prevalent theory relies mostly on rat ecology.  There are two kinds of city rat, the first being the common rat, Rattus rattus.  The other is the Norwegian rat, Rattus norvegicus.  R. rattus was the prevalent rat at the onset of the plague.  These lived in close proximity to people — under beds, etc.  Humans were easily exposed to their plague-carrying fleas.  Then, it so happened, the Norwegian rats moved down from the North.  Also, Norwegian rats are bigger and meaner than Rattus rattus, but they don't like living all that close to people.  They prefer sewers.  Thus, the carriers of the plague-carrying fleas were moved farther away from humans, and the pandemic subsided.

Not to say that serious mistakes weren't made.  Because of their attention to hygienic practices including ritualistic cleansing, which kept their infection rate lower, and their being different from the rest of the European population, Jews were blamed for the plague when convenient.

We may well be witnessing a similar flaw in human nature, mostly among corrupt and incompetent politicians.  Previously we kind of, sort of tolerated such malfeasance — we had other issues to which to devote our attention.  Now, with the constant drumbeat of viral fear-mongering, we are really burning out.  There is more than just scuttlebutt percolating about next year's election.  A year is an eternity in politics.  But the tyrannical compulsion among the fear-mongers may well continue to make things worse...for them.

It's still very disquieting to see our institutions flail about while doing enormous economic damage.  The rise of the modern standard of living is nothing more than the result of accumulated success in managing the world around us.  Now we are witnessing the opposite.  Boobs such as Andrew Cuomo and Gretchen Whitmer are murdering our world.  We all know it...but...they're still doing it.

Image: qimono via Pixabay, Pixabay License.

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