OK, every self-respecting columnist is writing about that wretched virus, so I suppose I have to. (Actually any self-respecting columnist is probably delusional. but never mind.) Columnists do what they are programmed to do, like bugs.
I think I’m supposed to say that the coronavirus is most perilous, and like the Black Death that is thought to have killed a third of Europe in 1348. Well, if a million people died in the US, it would be less than a third of one percent of the population. If we want to beat the Black Death we had better get cracking. So far we don’t even have a tenth of a million, though we are working on it. So we are at less than a tenth of a third of one percent.
I don’t know. I’m patriotic and all, and like to see America being a light to the world in pauses in bombing it, and setting an example. I don’t have much hope. Unless we start injecting Lysol like the Main Cockatoo says.
We will begin our discussion with a dose of sanity. If we can find any. It’s pretty scarce on the ground in this plague. I imagine dead bodies piled everywhere, whole hecatombs of them. (This column believes in up-town Greek words. It’s a toney column, after all. The trick is to throw them off casually as if you barely noticed. Don’t let the reader suspect that you have spent ten minutes devising a run-up to them so they look natural.)
Anyway, sanity. This miserable virus breeds all manner of conspiracy theories, most of them negligible. The Chloroquine Concealment story may actually persuade people to dose themselves with a drug they don’t understand. We have Pepe Escobar, a columnist appearing in Asia Times among several other places. He asserts that to his certain knowledge the French government is hiding a “cheap, tested” sure-fire cure, chloroquine. Yes, hiding it. The results of a French study, he says, show that chloroquine, a well-known antimalarial drug, is a cure.
So why are the French dying like mayflies in a bug zapper? Because the French government doesn’t want to save its people’s lives. And why this? So that Big Pharma can find a vaccine and get rich.
Saith Pepe, “… major collusion scandal in which the French government is helping Big Pharma to profit from the expansion of Covid-19.”
He is sure of this. And maybe also of poltergeists, though he hasn’t said so.
Chloroquine discovered in 1934, has been extensively used by large numbers of people for long periods. It is in the public domain. If it protects against the virus, Why not just put everybody on it en masse? Problem solved, no masks or ventilators need apply. No?
The tale has all the earmarks of the classic nutball conspiracy theory. It is fundamentally implausible (Macron is letting thousands of the French die and crippling the economy for the benefit of one industry, Big Pharma). It relies on blind sourcing and unsupported assertion. It requires the complicity of tens of thousands in the French medical community, none of whom spills the beans and saves thousands. Since chloroquine’s alleged effectiveness has been published on sites of large circulation, such as the Unz Review and Lew Rockwell, as well as being touted by Trump, it would seem not to be particularly well hidden.
Yet no country has jumped on this simple, cheap means of saving its population. it follows that...all the world’s governments are in on the conspiracy! Yes! The entire governmental earth.plots to make money for Big Pharma. And the media are hiding it, so they must be in on it. All bought off by Big pharma.
Why didn’t I think of that?
What I want to know is where the damned thing came from. On one hand it came from eating bats in Wuhan, for which there is no evidence so we will defend the story furiously. But actually it leaked from a Chinese germ-war lab, except that it was seen in California, like Elvis, before it appeared in China. Except those squinty-eyed rascals let it loose on their own people, because they’ve got so many they don’t mind losing ten or twenty million, hardly notice them, so it would spread to America and destroy the economy. Except, really, the Pentagon sent it to China with an athletic team–I guess it was going to play shortstop or something–to destroy China,
See? We’ve got the origin nailed down.
Now, as I understand it, the Head Witch Doctor in the White House for weeks kept saying, shucks, t’ain’t nothing, why, no worse than a head cold, just think about something else, folks, don’t worry your pretty little heads about a thing. Then it turned out the DOW didn’t have antibodies and dropped like a prom dress, and that was serious, so he went into hyperdrive and started blaming China for not saying anything for weeks, just like he didn’t either.
Here, a parenthesis. (See? More sky-brow Greek words.) Anyway, I’m never sure. Are tweets those email things, and twits the people who send them, or are twits the messages….?
What I can’t get a handle on is who the virus is dispatching to a Better Place. (I’m not religious, but almost any place would be better than New York in summer.) Yes, we hear that being morbidly fat doesn’t help, or having diabetes, or fifth-stage cancer, or being old, or already dead. Actually, we could have guessed as much. But what are the actual numbers? Of a thousand people infected, how many die? Of a thousand symptomatic people, however defined, how many die? What is the breakdown by age for otherwise healthy people? In short, now dangerous is the foul molecule to whom? Why don’t we know?
Easy. Because the US response has been chaotic, incompetent, unprepared, ridiculous, embarrassing, and ineffectual. Nothing that should have been stocked was. Because the First Source of Tweets is more interested in reelection than in the country. Because it turns out that the All-Galactic Omnipower, feared unto the Crab Nebula for is gaudy aircraft carriers and stupid bombers, can’t supply its people with face-masks–you know, little piece of cloth, two strings. Or just one stretchy string.
Actually, I have my own conspiracy theory. The virus was designed in a Jewish biowarfare lab deep under Manhattan to provide clients for the Rosenthal Happy Bye-Bye chain of morgues, and incidentally to supply an organ-harvesting network run by Mossad to do experiments on Palestinian orphans. But Bill and Melinda Gates heard of it and bought it to infect bats. These were sent to China under the influence of a suspended-animation drug invented by the Nazis. (This explains why Hitler has been seen at a donut shop in Buenos Aires.) Bill and Mel knew that the virus would come back to America where the lock-down would let the government impose totalitarianism, destroy our freedoms, and make everybody take vaccines and get chips implanted in their heads.
Ha! Escobar has met his match.
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