Quarantine: Day 40

It’s been almost six weeks now. I haven’t seen the sunlight in over a month. Does the sun still exist? Can the sun catch corona virus? I hope the sun is alright.

My muscles are starting to atrophy and I can no longer lift anything heavier than 10 pounds. I’ve been subsisting off a diet of nothing but tap water and chicken flavored ramen. My data usage this month was 85 terabytes.

There’s now speculation that the virus may have had something to do with the infectious diseases laboratory that is about 9 miles away from the wet market it was originally reported that covid19 originated from.

There are hundreds of wet markets all over China, but only 2 biosafety level 4 (BSL-4) labs there. A BSL-4 laboratory is where aerosol-transmitted agents and diseases with no current vaccines are studied. The Wuhan lab had even been isolating bat coronavirus sequences since 2005. Yet the narrative persisted until now that a random bat being eaten by a random person in a random market right down the road from a coronavirus lab was ground zero for this pandemic. This could just be a coincidence, but it’s a phenomenal coincidence if it’s in fact a coincidence.

Of course, any mention of this laboratory is being brushed off as a “conspiracy theory” by the USA=bad types, like this unhinged weirdo:

It’s also just a theory that the virus came from someone eating a bat. There is another theory that the virus came to China from the US, via soldiers participating in the 2019 Military World Games, which were held in: *drum roll, please* Wuhan! They’re all currently just theories because nobody is 100% certain where the origin was.

Ironically, Ben’s entire post is a conspiracy theory. Ben here thinks that anyone being critical or accusatory of China’s government is merely a bad actor, attempting to bolster an inevitable upcoming war against said country. His twitter feed is full of this conspiratorial nonsense.

Ben is one of those kids who read the Communist Manifesto when he was 15, and now just resorts to calling everyone he disagrees with a “neoliberal” or “imperialist”. If you do a search for these buzzwords or variants on his account, half his post history shows up. It would be funny if it wasn’t so sad. He can’t comprehend that you can be critical of China, while also being critical of the US. His entire world view is dictated by the US always needing to be the worst by any given metric.

People like this have their reasoning so clouded by this creepy indoctrination that they miss crucial details. Details such as Trump having dozens of tweets like this on his twitter account:

It doesn’t seem like Trump is in a hurry to go to war with China any time soon. The guy practically has a closer relationship to Xi than he does with his own wife. It’s actually a little creepy.

There are also a lot of people attempting to shoot down the Wuhan Institute of Virology centered theory by pointing to this information:

This information merely verifies that the fringe who are pushing the theory about this being a biological weapon are wrong. The virus was not engineered, but is naturally occurring. Naturally occurring coronaviruses are held in that laboratory, and are capable of jumping from animal to human in such an environment as well.

This theory doesn’t need to be predicated on malicious intent. Someone at the lab could have simply messed up in some manner. Mishaps at laboratories happen with surprising regularity. The U.S has had a few incidents involving the mishandling of Anthrax at various labs over the last decade. The Wuhan lab in question also has a bit of a reputation:

To recap so far, there’s a biosafety lab in Wuhan that contained coronaviruses. It had a history of safety and containment issues. The Chinese government declared very early on, seemingly without proof that the virus came from a market 9 miles down the road. A large swath of US media has continued to regurgitate that narrative as fact, even though it too is still a theory.

In a bit of positive news, China looks to have temporarily put a halt on most of its wildlife markets. According to CNN: “Since the virus hit in December,almost 20,000 wildlife farms across seven Chinese provinces have been shut down or put under quarantine…”. However, wet markets were apparently banned in 2003 after the SARS outbreak, and poultry was banned from wet markets after the bird flu. These bans seem to have only lasted a short while after these outbreaks though. We’ll have to wait and see if the current bans actually come with any permanent change or not.

In related news, Trump seems to be hellbent on defunding the World Health Organization:

This is probably a dumb idea. We’re currently still in the middle of a pandemic and the WHO serves some sort of function, even though I’m not exactly sure what that function is. This is evidently a common sentiment, as there are 83 articles titled “What Does The WHO Do” on the internet. Having read a few, I’m still not entirely sure what exactly the WHO does.

Regardless, they do something, and perhaps it’s best to let them do whatever it is that they do until the pandemic passes. Then we can delve into issues of funding and accountability. If the WHO is guilty of some fault, we can probably worry about that down the line.

Evidently the issue here is that the WHO was selectively disregarding information about the virus, based on where it was coming from:

They then proceeded to release inaccurate data coming from potentially dubious sources:

It’s also important to keep in mind that this was the official consensus as of March 3rd, when the following was posted on the WHO’s website:

Covid-19 is both more contagious than the seasonal flu, and is absolutely driven by people who show no symptoms. Eight days after this post, on March 11th, the WHO declared covid-19 a pandemic. Given that the above paragraph was the official data as of 6 weeks ago, it makes sense that perhaps this thing wasn’t taken as seriously as it should have been by governors, journalists, and even Captain Trump.

March 11th is when the pandemic became official via the WHO. It was around this time that the shift from “it’s just the flu” to “this is serious” started to take hold in the media and in governments.

Trump pulled this about face in a mere 9 days:

To be fair, practically everybody pulled this about face around the same time. All the New York politicians from my previous post didn’t take the virus seriously until some time on or after March 11th. The mayor of London didn’t take it seriously until then. Vox, The Washington Post, and The New York Times didn’t take it seriously until then. At that point, the consensus was to start taking it seriously and start pointing fingers of blame. That blame more than likely lies with either the CCP or the WHO. Maybe we’ll find out in the next chapter.

Quarantine: Day 32

It’s day 32 of the Covid-19 social distancing extravaganza. I’m spending way too much time on the internet and potentially developing vitamin-D deficiency. I could just go outside I guess, but that would require leaving my room, so I’ll just deal with the loss of bone density and headaches for now.

Word on the street is the quarantine could end up lasting through the end of April, though I’m already hearing whispers of an extension through May. The first week or two were alright. It felt like being in school again, and having a long break because of a bad snow storm. Now it’s just starting to feel like being on house arrest, but without the ankle monitor and cool story to tell all my friends.

Amazon’s infrastructure obviously wasn’t designed to handle this many people stuck at home, ordering crap online. It used to take about two days to get a delivery in my area, and now it’s taking a week to 10 days on average to get my orders. I don’t think I can go on waiting 10 days every time I want to eat a box of Cookie Crisp™ cereal. This is truly a dystopian nightmare. It’s like I’m living in one of those Blade Runner movies or something.

The virus allegedly originated from someone eating a bat from an animal market in Wuhan. This is like the 19th pandemic that has originated from a bat and/or rat being eaten, so maybe those animals should be crossed off the “Animals to Eat” list for the sake of humanity. Or perhaps some kind of meal preparation regulation should be put in place to prevent pandemics from springing up every 5-10 years without fail. China is the world’s second largest economy. Surely they could form some equivalent of the FDA and institute a standard or two.

Trump initially downplayed the severity of the virus stating that he had things under control:

Currently, the Orange Man Bad brigade are using these tweets to dunk on Trumpy, but they’re somewhat predictably ignoring the fact that these sentiments were quite common among major media outlets and other government officials at the time as well:

Here’s Vox initially downplaying the severity of the virus, before doing damage control and deleting all the offending tweets as Vox often does:

Next up is the Washington Post. Here they are, first downplaying the virus, then pivoting to calling people who downplay the virus “hoaxers”. The journalistic integrity is astounding. *chef’s kiss hand motion*

Here’s the New York Times employing the “it’s racist to enact a travel ban from a Country with a deadly pandemic” approach. Brilliant.

Plenty of credible sources were saying it wasn’t safe to have open travel with China at the time, the CDC and State Department included. This didn’t stop members of our esteemed journalist community from continuously denying this fact. In hindsight, they were more than likely just parroting the World Health Organization’s completely incorrect appraisal.

Here they are early on, spreading false information because they somehow didn’t get the memo that China’s government is corrupt and generally shouldn’t be trusted:

It seems like only a few months ago that China came under fire for both their human rights violations against citizens of Hong Kong, and for that whole rounding up Uyghurs and throwing them in concentration camps thing. But yes, let’s take their government’s word without question.

As of this writing, New York is closing in on almost 200k confirmed Covid19 cases and 9000 deaths. Let’s have a look as to why that might be the case:

Oh, wow. That’s NYC’s health commissioner and the chair of the health committee brazenly suggesting that people mingle about in large crowds during a pandemic. That doesn’t seem very responsible. It was still early February however, so it’s not nearly as bad as these two:

Wait a minute. That’s New York’s gosh darn mayor and his habitually problematic school chancellor. Both of these goofballs were putting people in harm’s way a month ago. New York really needs to do a better job of who it’s electing into office.

It wasn’t only US elected officials who failed their constituents. Here’s London’s mayor pulling a whoopsie:

Whoopsie! And here we have the mayor of Florence attempting to tackle a dangerous statistical reality with hopes, dreams and unicorn farts:

As of this writing, Italy has over 15,000 confirmed deaths. Bravissimo! Maybe next time don’t advocated for hugging strangers during a pandemic there, Mayor meatballs.

Perhaps the greatest irony here, is that while all these officials were seemingly outright denying the reality of China being ground zero in this pandemic, China was a mere month away from doing this:

China’s government has done nothing but lie and divert responsibility over the last 3 months. Now they’re pushing the narrative that the virus came from outside of China, and blaming foreigners. Meanwhile, the U.S. media can’t seem to bootlick enough, even going so far as to write screeds chastizing people calling Covid19 the “Wuhan Virus”. That’s literally where it originated. You’re doing P.R. for China’s corrupt government, and helping them divert responsibility. Congrats on being mediocre.

We’re still lacking in masks and medical equipment, but hey, maybe we should continue to rely on China for quality goods:

Who could have seen that coming? Apparently, while China was lying about the severity of the virus and the numbers affected, they were also busy buying up supplies from other countries. Now those countries desperately need supplies and China is showing that it only looks out for number one.

Who knows how many countries this was taking place in, or just how many plane-fulls of supplies were shipped into China. I’m sure we’ll find out in the coming weeks. Keep in mind, China is still only claiming 3000 deaths from this virus. I’m sure we’ll find out how many zeroes they omitted from that number in the coming weeks as well.

Before I head out, here’s Trump seemingly celebrating the fact that we’re making history with how bad this pandemic is, but still winning, whatever that entails. So uh… sleep tight I guess?