Reply To: Corona virus: Government takes the St Augustine approach.


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SA
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There are known knowns, known unknowns and unknown unknowns.

These were the sage words of an otherwise discredited mass murderer during the reign of the Bush regime.
The current problem alerts us to things which we must keep in mind when dealing with the Covid-19 crisis.

We know that the Covid-19 crisis is real, we know now quite a lot about the virus and the way it behaves and we now have examples of how to, at least partially, effectively deal with it with the examples of China and South Korea and others.
We know that we do not know everything about the virus, importantly we do not know how many people are mildly infected and do not exhibit any symptoms when exposed to the virus. There are also many other details such as how infections are transmitted, although we have good ideas of some of the mechanisms. We also do not know why some people die and others get such mild diseases, although a lot of this seems to be age and co-morbidity related. We also do not know how to treat this or even whether supportive treatment with ventilators is of much use, as there is such a high mortality amongst those requiring ventilation. At this point we should therefore focus very much at preventing people to get to this stage rather than to advocate a kneejerk response of high cost sourcing more ventilators which may be of dubious efficiency. We also do not know whether immunity to this virus is long lasting, and we do not know whether there will be a successful vaccine yet.
The unknown unknowns: and here we move onto a new territory much advocated by some who like to find an underlying motive behind any disasters. Of course, there is such a thing as a deep state, and of course the deep state operates to exploit disasters for their purposes as shown by Naomi Klein’s famous book. For anyone in doubt, the crash of 2007 and the way it was handled, is ample proof of how the deep state reacted by rewarding the perpetrators of the crash, instead of reigning them in. They nationalised the liabilities but privatised the profits without conditions. This bit of knowledge is fraught with difficulties because not only are some of these unknown unknowns, but they are also unknowable unknowns. Theories that the virus was released by either the US or China are under this category, and theories that capitalists have crashed their own system to change the world belong to this category.