COVID-19: An Alien’s Perspective

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Blurgy slumped into her chair and sighed. She felt herself reaching the limits of what she could endure. Exasperated by another long day of trying to seed life in four dimensional universes, she again contemplated leaving this silly field behind. She was about to turn in for the day and try, probably in vain, to get some sleep, when she glanced over from her perch atop multi-dimensional space to an experiment from the week before. Furrowing her ocular lobes she quickly was overcome with astonishment, this third rock from a modest star in what was really a rather drab solar systems seemed to be emitting faint electromagnetic waves. Blurgy lurched up and swaddled over for a closer look.

She pulled out her terrestrial probe and started examining the read out. Suddenly her eye-ball glowed with delight. A strain of one of the four limbed land dwellers seemed to have developed enough cognitive capacity to start questioning the word they lived in. Had she done it? Had the experiment worked? There were so many variables to consider she didn’t dream to think she had properly, finally, tweaked each one. Ravenously Blurgy scrolled through the data thinking about how proud Frarfy would be that she actually figured out how to follow every step of the protocol.

Then her glowing facade faded and she drooped as she got to the end of the read out. It seemed all was going well, humanity had progressed through many of the natural stages towards ascendant sentience: the development of symbolic and representative language, complex tool making, even digital information encoding. But she must have made a mistake for something went wrong right around their year 2020 AD. Blurgy unpacked the data to take a closer look.

In just a few hundred years they had traversed the entire globe and learned how to survive in almost all of its environments. They had begun to understand a small fraction of the physical properties that defined their world, and had even just set up a global interconnected communication system when all went to hell. This is the translated read out of what Blurgy would write up in her report….

 

“Final month of 2019: Global economy and general well-being at an all-time high when contagion breaks. Local government in second largest economy and most populous organ chooses to suppress information and not act to stop the threat.

First month of 2020: Contagion becomes endemic, sweeping through host organ. Local government rapidly enacts full-fledged anti-viral measures to quell the outbreak. Total spread averted locally but too late to stop pandemic.

Second month of 2020: Despite mounting evidence of oncoming pandemic, organs around the world actively downplay risk. A few are able to accurately recognize the threat and  successfully mobilize to limit damage.

Third month of 2020: Contagion becomes pandemic. The dominant organ continues to downplay risk and enacts ineffective and uncoordinated counter measures.

Fourth month of 2020: Multiple organ failures destabilize global equanimity. Mass panic ensues.  War breaks along multiple fronts.

Fifth month of 2020: Nuclear fallout renders planet inhospitable to life.

Concomitant Causes: Little to no understanding of their own biology and subsequent vulnerability. Reliance on story telling to transmit information, captivating narratives dictate belief. Governed by policies prioritizing perpetual growth in imagined currencies and stocks. Organs driven by irrational actors that in the end were concerned more with who is to blame rather than the problem at hand. The other became the problem.

Probable Etiology: Over-stimulation of reward systems. Too much dopamine in the mixture.”

 

Oh well, Blurgy thought as she submitted the draft, at least it made for an interesting case study. Try try again.

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Author’s note: This is not intended to be a prediction, it is a warning. I see too many people more concerned with who is to blame rather than dealing with the problem. Do not point fingers, especially at times like this. Stay calm and be rational. We will get through this. 

To help keep things in perspective, read this (or watch and listen below)…

 

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