When Politics Go Viral
today at 2:17 pm
I have always been a fan of science fiction.
Whether books or movies, I have seen and read more sci-fi than any other genre. Probably by an order of magnitude.
Within the sci-fi realm, there is what’s called “hard sci-fi”.
What that means is that the concepts explored are based on scientific principles, as opposed to unexplained phenomenon, which approaches fantasy. (My next favorite.)
Given what is happening in the world, 3 stories come to mind.
The first is H.G. Wells “War of the Worlds”. For those of you unfamiliar, because you grew up in a cave, it is about Martians (Yes, they thought they could exist, because we saw “canals” on Mars.) attack the earth.
They are in the process of kicking our asses with their energy weapons, when suddenly, their machines go silent and their ships all crash.
It turns out that they became infected by one of Earth’s viruses, which killed them.
Now, H. G. Wells attributed these viruses to God, as a way of keeping us safe.
Because, you know, advanced beings from another planet would be completely unfamiliar with the concept of infectious disease.
Nevertheless, the viruses are the good guys in this story.
The second story is the movie “Independence Day”.
Once again, travelers from outer space (way beyond Mars) are attacking us and once again, kicking our asses.
Until Jeff Goldblum manages to upload a computer virus (See the connection?), which disables their weapons just enough for the world to destroy them.
Because advanced beings from another star system would never have thought to install an anti-virus program.
Again, the virus is our friend.
Finally, we have the really crappy movie “Pandemic”, where a virus that could wipe us all out is inadvertently set free, unless the monkey it originated in is found.
Just before the city is nuked to prevent the spread of the disease (Please do not show this movie to Trump.) they find the monkey, and in typical Hollywood style, a cure is produced within a few hours.
This is not hard science fiction, it’s not even bad science fiction, it’s just bullshit.
One theme out many of these disaster type stories though, is how all the people of earth try to pull together to beat their common enemy.
And, it appears that that, too, is complete bullshit.
I have found it bizarre that while we all face this virus, we have decided to break into different camps.
Some are in their bomb shelters worried that this is the “Andromeda Strain” (Bad virus from outer space.), others that this is merely a hoax being used for population control.
Instead of the world scientists pooling their knowledge to try to solve the mystery surrounding this virus more quickly, we hear of Russian hackers trying to steal pharmaceutical secrets.
We call each other names, if you do or don’t wear a mask, if you do or don’t social distance, if you do or don’t go out to eat, or school or shopping.
We have found opportunities to attack each other in ways the virus could never have.
And why? What is the point we are trying to make?
I have no clue, but here is the point I want to make.
There is still much we do not know about this virus. We are still accumulating data, much of it rife with errors due to the fact that it was not gathered in a consistent fashion.
No one, I repeat, NO ONE knows what the right answers are.
The best hope we have is that a vaccine that works is created, so that we can try to prevent people from getting sick. (Yes, I am fully aware that sentence will cause some members of our society to froth at the mouth. That is simply because they are insane lunatics.)
Without a vaccine, this will make its way through society until we develop a herd immunity. Hopefully, the process can be slow enough that it does not overwhelm our healthcare system, but it will progress.
We need to stop playing “Gotcha” with each other.
We are all in this together, like it or not. Rather than jumping down each other’s throat over every little news story, and trying to turn this into a political referendum (which it is not), we should really be working together to figure out how best to get through this.
It is possible it is far too late for this to happen. The vitriol that is being spewed is so great that we may never be able to work together again.
And that is not good.
We will inevitably face other, and potentially greater global crises, and if we can’t keep our shit together, we will all suffer.
I do find it ironic that the comet Neowise has opted to make its appearance at this time.
Throughout history, comets were always considered to be bad omens.
I’m hoping that Neowise was just a few months off from predicting the horrible situation we are in, versus portending something worse. I mean, a few months out of 6,800 years is pretty damn good.
But, at this point, I’m tempted to root for space aliens to come and take us over and make us cut this crap.
Finally, if anyone tries to tell you they REALLY know what the story is with this virus- STAY SKEPTICAL!
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