3/2/20: BETWEEN PANIC AND PRUDENCE – TAKING A NUMBER IN DARWIN’S WAITING ROOM

MONOLOGUE WRITTEN BY CLYDE LEWIS

Those who listen to Ground Zero are hopefully in agreement that the world that is understood by most is created by what is called the mainstream narrative.

Most of the time what is reported is erroneous and what is not reported is fodder for conspiracy theorists. There are many anomalies that we see pervading our lives and we wonder why most of them are ignored by the corporate media.

We also at times try to select messengers who try to report these anomalies and we trust that their information is just as sound or better than what the mainstream narrative can conjure from intelligence operatives that give information directly from the Pentagon.

It is a fact that when uncomfortable facts are delivered by a messenger there sometimes is an air of disdain and disbelief.

We must understand that most of what we perceive to be truth is now a casualty and that much of what we know should allowed to change and bend with the times. Adapting to new information and uncomfortable anomalies that show up from time to time is an imperative for today’s troubled and outrageous times.

I know that many of us stick with our political views because we want to believe that those who are in charge have our best interests at heart. I know that many of us invest in those that reflect our political views and we tend to listen and defend whatever they say, even if it is misguided or wrong.

The question now is who holds all the cards when it comes to the truth?

It is hard to say in a world where those who claim to be our leaders have agendas and political quotas to fulfill. It is easy to see why so many people are becoming cynical of pandemics and warnings every two years because we have seen how the latest flu, or virus becomes weaponized by political opportunists.

For example, in April of 2005, then Senator Barack Obama introduced the first comprehensive bill to deal with newly arising contagion threats.

This was known as The Avian Act.

According to reports, Obama made significant investments in biotech companies involved in the development of flu vaccines.

One of the companies AVI Bio-Pharma was a biotech concern that was starting to develop a drug to treat avian flu. In March 2005, two weeks after buying about $5,000 of its shares, Mr. Obama took the lead in a legislative push for more federal spending to battle the disease.

His first step came on March 4, 2005, when the Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved his request for $25 million to help contain the disease in Asia; the full Senate later approved that measure. And in April 2005, he introduced a bill calling for more research on avian flu drugs and urging the government to increase its stockpiles of antiviral medicines.

Obama repeated this call in a letter to Michael Levitt, the health and human services secretary. And in September 2005, Obama and Senator Tom Harkin, Democrat of Iowa, succeeded in amending another bill to provide $3.8 billion for battling the flu and other contagious diseases.

In a 2005, a New York Times article called “Grounding a Pandemic” Barack Obama and Richard Lugar were already pitching Pandemic as a threat for national security.

In the column, Barack Obama had already pitched the idea of a medical surveillance program that would monitor and electronically file any and all medical records that indicate flu or any other contagion.

Barack Obama invested in Illinois based Baxter International another pharmaceutical company that made flu vaccines. Baxter International also was a major contributor to his presidential campaign.

Baxter International was presented the swine flu virus in June, 2009 by the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta. They also announced they would be ready to ship an antidote within three months of receiving the virus.

It was as if this was planned years ago. What also was not known or reported in the mainstream news is that Baxter contaminated 72 kilos of seasonal flu in its bio-security level 3 lab and sending it to four countries in 2009.

There was a glut in bad flu vaccines and soon the call went out encouraging everyone to get a vaccine – something they don’t need and yet due to political expediency the fear propaganda was being used to motivate people to get inoculated.

Since that time there has been a push to get flu shots with every new and emerging virus that plagues the populace.

In fact there are so-called “experts” out there that are encouraging flu vaccines in subtext when they speak of COVID-19 knowing full well that they will have no effect on the virus.

This indeed raises a swelling of cynicism in the public that COVID-19 is just one more excuse to peddle the latest vaccine.

This is understandable but it may not be prudent to be so cynical that you will not be affected by the outbreak.

The truth is you will be affected no matter what you think the “real story” is. The truth is that pretending to be all wise about this virus when it is obvious that even governments don’t know how to handle it is just plain ignorant.

There’s already more than enough statistical evidence for American citizens to demand that scientists come clean with just how dangerous these flew outbreaks are.

The encouragement to get a flu vaccine has become a zealous undertaking since 2005 and we know that there are many Americans who question the safety of being over- inoculated.

Again, this is understandable but this pharmaceutical cry wolf ploy has now rendered the people vulnerable to others that claim to be experts on the matter when in reality they aren’t.

COVID-19 at the moment seems to be popping up in various places in the United States now.  It was especially disconcerting when the first stateside infection happened in Washington State about 190 miles away from me.

Now that it has happened 5 miles away from where I live triggered a bit of frenzy over the weekend. 

I was with a fiend on Saturday when we drove by a case lot supermarket called Winco. There were police at each entrance and we were wondering if the place had been robbed. However, that changed when we noticed that the parking lot was packed and there were long lines of people standing outside the door.

It turned out to be a run on food and home accessories. People were panic buying and the scene was chaotic as it is on Black Friday.

I asked my friend if he would do me a favor and head up to the Safeway grocery store 2 miles up the road.  He asked why and I said I think I am going to do some shopping.  He agreed, so I went into the store and walked down every isle filling my cart with simple nonperishable items and canned goods.

We seldom keep a lot of food in our house and when we do it is for Liam. Most foods are frozen and so I wanted to make sure that we had other things to like eggs, butter and milk.  I also bought toilet paper and paper towels just in case they decided to shut down everything. Between the food we had through my patriot supply and other items from the store – I believe we were pretty well stocked.

I did it not because I was scared, I did it because I wanted to make sure that if every store was to be raided, I would have a few products in the house that we could eat if we really had to.

It wasn’t about panic it was about prudence. It was about common sense – if the public was going to raid the huge supermarket, I would go to a smaller one and just get a few things in the house so it wouldn’t be totally empty.

I was already prepared for my family but I wanted to make double sure that they wouldn’t have to go without if they got sick or if they were told that they could not leave the house.

But of course, if you read social media lately there are now so many self-appointed experts that are now making fun of those who are prepared and are saying that this is much ado about nothing.

The sad part is that while there may be some unnecessary panic right now – there is also some unnecessary uninformed opinions that are counterintuitive.

You may think that the panic is unnecessary but thinking that is not going to stop it from happening, nor is it going to stop quarantines, shut downs and disruptions in your life due to zealous overreach and protection of property and businesses.

No one is saying that it is the end of the world but there are a lot of hard headed imbeciles that think that people are saying it and there are a lot of the uninformed that believe that this is the end and with both speaking for everyone no one is going to be safe.

I am always equally cautious of those that think they are helping when they say things like “This is just the flu” or “This is a hoax” or “This is all fake news to destroy the president.”

It may just be all three and there may be some truth to each argument but the bottom line is no one wants to be sick and worse no one wants to be forced to stay in their homes when they are forced to.

There are people that are panicking and there are people preparing but there is a fine line between panic and prudence.

I need to stress again that mother nature does not bend to good intentions, nor does she suffer the ignorant and the ill prepared.

There is no such thing as fool proof.

We are being told that many people are going to be infected by COVID-19, however, we have not been told that there are people that have already been infected with naïve realism.

What I mean by that is that even though your belief about the way the world is just seems so compelling or so self-evident, it doesn’t mean that it is true.

In other words, there are people that say that they speak “their truth” and we tolerate that axiom only to be polite – but their truth does not mean it is the truth.  It is simply their version of the truth that they are passionate about –and in some cases they pack enough emotion behind it that misleads them into thinking it is fact.

Whenever we reach a conclusion, it just seems like it’s the right one. In fact, a lot of what we see and conclude about the world is authored by our brains. Once you keep that in mind, hopefully, it does give you pause, to think about how you might be wrong, or to think about how another person might have a case. And you might want to hear them out.

The danger is in not knowing the scope of your own ignorance.

This is part of the human condition. The problem with it is we see it in other people, and we don’t see it in ourselves.

The other danger is when we come to know something and are faced with applying it –we somehow feel we are not qualified to do so.

This is why people often fail tests, even after they have studied and have recall.

It is a Catch 22 – over confidence in something you know nothing about is foolish and under confidence in something you do know about is a human failing and both are not productive in situations like we are in now with COVID-19.

Many people have probably not heard of something called the Dunning-Kruger Effect.

The Dunning-Kruger Effect is a type of cognitive bias in which people believe that they are smarter and more capable than they really are. Essentially, low ability people do not possess the skills needed to recognize their own incompetence. The combination of poor self-awareness and low cognitive ability leads them to overestimate their own capabilities.

The term lends a scientific name and explanation to a problem that many people immediately recognize—that fools are blind to their own foolishness. As Charles Darwin wrote in his book The Descent of Man, “Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”

We often refer to people who are like this as those who are waiting in Darwin’s waiting room or those who’s last words are “Hold my beer, watch this.”

Many times we see criminals who are door nail dumb getting caught because they do some stupid move to expose themselves.

Of the latest examples of this is when Mad” Mike Hughes strapped himself into a rocket and fantasized about the moment when he would fly up into the sky and prove to everyone the world we live on was flat.

The rocket fired up into the sky but the parachute came off and the rocket plunged to the earth killing Hughes, he was 64.

I am sure he spoke his truth –and I am sure many people believed him –and of course he died doing what he believed in – but for what exactly.

The steam rocket he was in probably was capable of going 350 miles per hour which would not be at all enough to propel yourself high enough to see the curvature of the earth.

Many of us have had the experience of dealing with someone usually a relative at a holiday dinner table where throughout the course of the meal, a member of your extended family begins spouting off on a topic at length, boldly proclaiming that he is correct and that everyone else’s opinion is stupid, uninformed, and just plain wrong. It may be plainly evident to everyone in the room that this person has no idea what he is talking about, yet he prattles on, blithely oblivious to his own ignorance.

I guess it really wouldn’t surprise people that the internet is full of those where the Dunning Kruger Effect applies.

Another example is politicians who take to their pulpits and prattle on about things they think they know about.

We have seen this many times from the likes of Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, who was a former waitress and bar tender that seems to be an expert on politics and climate change.

We are also seeing this from our President and Vice President with regard to COVID-19 and since the liberal left wishes to exploit it without having any knowledge of it either, both sides are attacking each other without working together to help other people understand what they have to do to prepare.

But of course, when one side attacks without helping, pretending to know more than the President and his appointed team without giving any constructive advice that helps, it turns into a free for all where no one is trusted and a disease becomes divisive and weaponized politically.

Now it appears that if you give any information about COVID-19 you are a panicking Democrat that is perpetrating fake news.

I have to worry that all of this is setting up a lot of people to take a number in Darwin’s waiting room and what is so sad is we are only as knowledgeable of what we are dealing with provided that those in authority are giving us sound information.

I will say that initially the President did not seem to have a handle on things and when the media attacked him. His response was less than flattering but now things seem to be improving but only by a small percentage.

It is important to point out that in the beginning, the few reports of a newly discovered virus seemed inconsequential and distant. The coronavirus was causing pneumonia in scores of people, but those patients were in a faraway province of China, Hubei, that most outside that nation had never heard of.

It was in China, so the people of the United States thought: Who cares?

When we see tragedy in other countries we tend to Americanize that tragedy and place our focus on the same old tired theories about what is really happening and it is frustrating to come out with something that is even different from what I call the so called independent media that usually mimics who they perceive as in the know when they also carry agendas that always seem to be predictable.

World problems in comparison to America’s problems can’t even muster concern with mainstream America. As long as people stare at the news without being affected they may show signs of empathy but beyond empathy most people couldn’t care less.

Aldous Huxley once said that If the entire nation of China were to disappear from the face of the earth tomorrow, it would mean less to us than if we were to lose the tip of one of our little fingers.

But some do care and since much of what we have we share with China, it becomes imperative that we pay attention.

It is the threat of pain and torture that deep down frightens us.  We can put up a good front for courage.  We can say “better them than us” but the truth is we are them.  They are us.  

At first, the New York Times reported in January that there was no evidence that the new virus is readily spread by humans, which would make it particularly dangerous, and it has not been tied to any deaths.

But soon after, as new information emerged, both those assertions would prove untrue. The virus was contagious among humans and it’s deadly. Next would come image after horrifying image of frantic crowds inside hospitals in the city of Wuhan.

Then, Li Wenliang, the ophthalmologist who was reprimanded by Chinese authorities for trying to alarm others of the rapidly spreading coronavirus, would die of COVID-19. Other citizen journalists reportedly disappeared. Early assumptions that the Chinese government had been acting quickly and transparently to contain the disease – learning lessons from the SARS outbreak were soon thrown into question.

This started the process of fear – fear that we did not know how much of a head start the disease had and whether or not it was immediately fatal – or fatal to only the elderly and the immune deficient.

Many people would say it would be best to air on the side of caution.  Granted many people would get sick – many would recover, but no one wants to take a chance at being the one who gets it and dies.

Even a lot of the experts were vigilant in trying to suppress panic by saying that commonsense would warrant preparedness among people — and vigorous hand washing as are the efforts nationally to contain the disease and pursue possible drug treatments aggressively, especially the trials of already-approved anti-viral drugs. 

But adding to the anxiety of the outbreak, the World Health Organization most recently said the idea the fatality rate is lower than the statistics say is unlikely. Before, many had hoped that the mortality rate would turn out to be lower than 1%. But it appears from data coming out of China that one in five people will develop severe illness, and three in 50 will become critically ill. In Hubei, where the most cases have appeared ostensibly because that area had the longest exposure time – between 2% and 4% died. Even the low end of that mortality rate far surpasses that of the common flu that Americans are used to getting. More disturbing, data from the WHO appears to show even a small number of the mild and moderate cases end in death.

This is why schools are closing, preparations are being made for telecommuting at work and people are buying food in case they are quarantined. It is because we said of China “better them than us” but now the truth is we are them.  They are us.  

Now, as the first death from the coronavirus occurred over the weekend inside the U.S. and patients with no known reason to have been infected are popping up, the government appears to be responding with high urgency, with efforts to allow for widespread testing.

Think of all the time that was wasted in preparing when the Democrats wanted their Impeachment moment, think of all of the time wasted over bickering over whether or not pence or Trump were appointing affective personnel.

All because so-called “experts” namely other politicians and media had to get their digs in and the people are sheepishly taking sides while we neglect to prepare ourselves over something that those with Dunning-Kruger Syndrome wish to downplay.

With total known infections in the U.S. at 85, at least two deaths, and a scramble to contain possible community outbreaks, it appears that political fighting and downplaying is now unleashing some naïve realism where a lot of people may wind up having to take a number in Darwin’s waiting room.

 

 

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