Covid-19, the Perfect Storm Virus

In a previous article I referred to Covid-19 as the ‘Perfect Storm Virus.’ This was because the progression rate and mortality were not enough to elicit a major concern among the heath authorities of each country, but it was enough for it to kill a lot of people and spread fast around the world before its character was known. It sneaked under the radar and spread before anyone really took notice of it. It was basically a low level of what all the epidemiologists were looking for, but all missed when it happened. Had it been the level of the Delta variant the world may have sat up and took notice, but the original variant that appeared in China was of a lesser form.

The original variant seemed to have a mortality of about 1.5%. Later versions seem to have a level as high as 2%. With the emergence of the Delta variant the rules have changed. Due to possibly up to a 50% extra infectiveness, previous viral loads can appear much quicker and levels to vaccinated people almost as much as unvaccinated ones, so previous herd immunity barriers may not be effective. The plus is that vaccination reduces the risk to a 1/10th for the average person and 1/3rd for the immunocompromised. The risk to the immunocompromised from the vaccines is closer to 1/100th that of the virus. The main facts though seem to be confirming what I thought right at the start, that at some time everybody will now catch Covid-19, so there’s a lot of time to go through.

We now have an air of complacency, and in some cases ‘the problem is over,’ when in fact the overall risk has probably increased greatly.

It’s said that if you put a frog in water and heat it up quickly it will jump out, but if you slowly increase the heat it will boil to death. We are currently in that situation, and we can’t be sure the heat isn’t being turned up.

My main worry; Camouflage.

Coronaviruses are not new, about 15% of common colds are from this source, so that you will probably catch on average the same coronavirus every 7 years with varying results. In the past, unless you were already quite ill you would shrug them off. Mortality from the old set of about 7 was probably less than 0.01%. There is now a new kid on the block, and that kid has the potential between the irritation and mayhem.

To realise the impact coronaviruses have on us; at the bottom end we have minor colds, at the top end we have things like MERS, Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome, but how do you differentiate fast the way things are going before it gets out and spreads around the world? MERS, from the limited number of cases seems to have a mortality level around 35%, or about 20 times that of the original Covid-19 variant, and didn’t really worry about age differences. A lot of the deaths were younger people with no previous or existing condition, but luckily it didn’t transmit onwards very easily. The 1918 flu had a mortality level of around 3% in Europe in comparison. You need to be on the ball and spot illnesses being a lot worse, and deaths happening a lot more to contain it.

Camouflage is an advantage that a really dangerous variant can have. Without good diligence and differentiation, deaths can be put down to misadventure, just bad luck to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, but it could be weeks or months before such a variant is identified and linked to mortality, especially in areas where there is limited or suspicion of testing, regarding it as worthless. So, it has time to spread to every country under the guise of previous variants. It just wouldn’t be taken seriously until its characteristics were finally realised again. But by then it’s out there and spreading freely with possibly half the power of the Black Death. With the modern specialisation, interdependency, interconnectedness, and complexity, it may even be enough to make modern civilisation fall completely to 1800’s level or lower. Imagine no phones, computers, medical care, electricity, gas, equipped armed forces, non-local food, and possibly no police or security. If climate change is not just man-made CO2, then the half of the population left may also face rising seas and temperatures, droughts, floods and following famine and pestilence. Total collapse to pre-dark age levels with nothing working. Except reality TV celebrities and marketing consultants; they have all the basic practical skills to survive in such a new world.

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