No Clark, where you ‘think’ you see conspiracy theories! You dismissively talk of the ‘anti-lockdown brigade’ as though they were a homogenous group with a single aim in mind. It is good that you take an interest in science but is it possible that your interest is blinding you to the bigger picture? I would like to take the extremely unorthodox, and probably slightly eccentric, step of telling you a little about myself. I hope you will accept that at least I know more about me than you do, and you would do me an honour if you would take the time to read what I have to say.
I am very definitely one of those you refer to as ‘your fellow humans’, the ones you argue so passionately about saving from a hideous and agonising death from covid-19. I am approaching 70 and have stage 3 breast cancer, with the resultant deterioration in my immune system from both causes. I have no idea how long I have left, a week, a month, a year? I may die from something else altogether. I may have a heart attack, road accident, pneumonia, sepsis, or yes, I may succumb to covid-19. You have rather rudely implied, several times, that my interest in this discussion must be ‘economic’ and that, presumably because I have drawn attention to those trying to argue against, and issue warnings about, the kind of worldwide response to this virus we have seen, my viewpoint is therefore cold hearted and brutal. But you are quite wrong. I do not fear dying from covid-19 any more than I fear dying of any other cause really. But none of the causes are especially inviting and it is just as an unpleasant prospect to me as I’m sure it is to you, just a lot closer in my case if you are much younger. But like everyone else, I must sadly die of something. What scares the pants off me 100 times more though and, when I think of my children and grandchild, actually reduces me to tears, is the impact that living in fear of covid-19 is having on mankind. The very fear that you seem to suffer with and even inflate with statements about huge numbers of people dying hideous deaths.
The loss of rights, hard fought for over hundreds of years by our predecessors. The effect of suppressing the natural gregariousness of young people and trying to enforce the notion that they must kerb their instincts otherwise ‘they will kill granny’. The absolutely inevitable abuse of systems to track people’s lives. The super-charged transference of wealth to the uber-rich. And yes, the economic misery, hardship and suicides suffered by billions around the globe which, unlike covid-19, I am already witnessing first-hand. This is not even to consider the, as yet unasked let alone answered, questions. What effect will seeing all outsiders in face masks, the constant washing of hands, the warnings to keep a distance, have on small children and their future social cohesion? What effects, pathological or otherwise, might occur when the normal circulation of viruses is significantly interrupted over extended periods? What happens when the next new virus emerges? Will we become, as a species, less and less able to combat and overcome things which once we would have battled through, albeit with casualties? Etc etc.
And all this to save me, and my fellow ‘elderlies’ so that we can die of something that isn’t covid-19? No, I don’t want you to do that thank you. I have had 96% of my threescore and ten. I really, really don’t want mankind in general, and my descendants in particular, to bury themselves in this mountain of fear and live, cowering beneath the small number who are obscenely wealthy enough to be unaffected, on my account. The virus may be an unknown, but the effects of living in fear are very well understood indeed.
Dying is part of the package unfortunately, be it tragically young, ridiculously old or anywhere inbetween. Casting absolutely everything to the wind to try and save yourself from it, whatever your age, is a spectacular folly in my opinion. It may be interesting to speculate and debate, but to me it ultimately matters very little which scientist is right or wrong about this or that. What really matters in my view is not what covid-19 may do to us, it’s what we are doing to ourselves.
Now I hope I have demonstrated that I don’t just throw ‘ill-informed rubbish and run away’. I really do have other things that occupy my time usually. I wish you whatever you wish for yourself.