This COULD BECOME an Extinction Level Event

There are a number of potential extinction level events that scientists worry about. There’s nuclear war, of course, and meteors, climate change…and pandemics.

The Pandemic Extinction Level Event just because a lot more feasible because it could be happening around us as you read these words.

First, the good news. We have no idea how many people have already been exposed to COVID-19, but the number is probably already in the millions. Since we haven’t been testing right along, we have no idea of what the actual infection and fatality rates are from this disease. So, this might be a lot less dangerous than it could be.

(I just saw the mayor of a city in New York that is under lock-down announce that he had just taken his family out to lunch in the middle of the hot zone. This man is a complete and total idiot. I guess he believes the good news.)

Now, here’s the bad news.

While we were worrying about Bernie versus Joltin’ Joel, Medicare for All, the Green New Deal, the climate crisis, equality issues, and all of the other things that have distracted us, the truth has sneaked up on us.

The truth is this: in a world where worldwide electronic communications has completely subverted our ability to separate fact from fiction, truth from lies, we have simply ignored the corollary:

THE WORLDWIDE TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM THAT NOW CONNECTS ANY TWO PLACES ON THE PLANET IN LESS THAN 48 HOURS OF TRAVEL TIME HAS CREATED AN ENVIRONMENT IN WHICH IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO CONTROL PANDEMICS. AN EPIDEMIC ANYWHERE IS A PANDEMIC EVERYWHERE.

This was a totally predictable disaster that we are completely unprepared for.

It occurs to me that people still don’t understand the depth of this crisis. HERE ARE JUST SOME THINGS TO THINK ABOUT:

No city in America has more than a two-week supply of food.

No supermarket in the United States has more than a seven day supply of food on the shelves.

The vast majority of the food in American stores is transported by trucks driven by truckers who are just as susceptible to the virus as anyone else is.

The companies that employ those truckers work on very narrow profit margins. Two weeks, a month, two months out of work, and some of those companies will be bankrupt, gone forever. Their drivers will disperse looking for work elsewhere and, in the meantime, the wholesalers in the supply chain will go out of business, along with the farmers, ranchers, fishermen, and food packaging companies, all because they can’t get their products to market, while people in the cities are starving to death.

The employees in supermarkets and other food distribution outlets have a much higher risk of infection because they come into close contact with customers who may be infected without even knowing it.

Because of this, supermarkets and other food distribution outlets will be major hot spots for the transmission of the virus. Employees will quit rather than expose themselves to the dangers of contagion and the businesses will be forced to shut down.

The employees of those supermarkets come into close contact with the truckers who deliver the merchandise to the stores, increasing their risk of contagion.

And this is just in retail food distribution.

Millions of Americans eat out several times a week but restaurants will also be major hot spots. I personally will not set foot in a restaurant for the foreseeable future. No, take out is no safer than sitting down to a meal because the person who hands you your take out order – or the delivery person who comes to your door – could be infected.

Of course, there are the obvious hot spots:

  • schools
  • movie theaters
  • bars
  • sporting events
  • live theater
  • concerts
  • the 2020 Olympics

But then there are less obvious hot spots:
– hospitals
– clinics
– doctors offices
– dentists
– barbers and hairdressers
– houses of worship
– libraries
– home improvement stores
– and just about every other retail establishment.

The list goes on and on.

The Governor of New York has just banned gatherings of more than 500 people. He must be an idiot.

THERE IS NO ACCEPTABLE GATHERING SIZE.

As soon as you have three or more people in a room, you are at risk. The risk increases geometrically (not arithmetically) every time you double the size of the group.

NOW IT GETS REALLY SERIOUS:

If you work in an office, you are at risk, and so are the people you come home to every evening.

If you work in a factory, you are at risk, and so are the people you come home to every evening.

Donald Trump’s address to the nation last night was a disaster. His press conference today was a national embarrassment. This is the man we have trusted to protect us?

We are on the cusp of a major breakdown in our society. The next two weeks will tell if we are heading in this direction. If I am still alive a month from now, you can make fun of me all you want.

I won’t mind a bit if I am here to hear it….but, since I am in several high risk categories, I tend to doubt it.

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