COVID, Critical Thinking, and Whose Side is the Virus On Anyway?

What does COVID-19 have to do with the meaning of life? Have we lost critical thinking? And do viruses have a purpose? But first — a rant!

One of the more interesting observations I’ve made regarding the pandemic is that the world is now capable as acting as one entity with a singular narrative held by all groups. Never before have I seen or heard of an event in which essentially all authorities across the world, including those typically at odds with one another, together drew the same conclusions and enforced almost identical countermeasures within a short space of time. I’m referring here to the lockdowns in initial response to the COVID threat. It’s worth remembering that in March 2020 there wasn’t any particular consensus on how COVID was spreading or what was the best thing to do about it. Experts were divided. In retrospect, and due to the over-discussion since then, it might seem obvious to avoid social contact, limit travel, and wear masks, but at the time it was unclear how it was spreading and the response was so much more extreme than anything before experienced in the entire history of mankind. Never before has a lockdown been enforced on the entire world population at the same time, nor was it possible to do so. Whether you think it suspicious or not, it is certainly notable and I am surprised that that many people could all act as one. If the world can act as one, it means, by definition, we have reached One World Order (that being what ‘One World Order’ means.)

Secondly, it’s highlighted an aspect of this post-truth age, something reminiscent of Orwellian doublethink, which is that there is singular narrative that everyone is supposed to subscribe to, enforced by the media and with peer-pressure, and alternative views are actively censored (notably by Facebook and Twitter) regardless of the credentials of the speaker. We are all supposed to believe that the lockdowns are essential, masks stop the virus, etc. Maybe it’s true, maybe it’s not, but my point is that we are supposed to believe it and not supposed to ask questions. This is particularly Orwellian because the singular narrative has changed several times. For example, in the beginning the public was sold the lockdowns on the reasoning that everyone will get the virus but we need to slow down the spread so that hospitals don’t become overwhelmed… and then some time later the narrative morphed into no one should get COVID and everyone must get vaccinated. The change in narrative wasn’t addressed, we just woke up one day and the story was a different story, as if modified by the Ministry of Truth (this is a reference to Orwell’s book ‘1984’, well worth a read.)

The mask situation stands out as a particular example of the power of the narrative as here you can witness different authorities giving completely different truths. In some countries you don’t need to wear masks outside, in some you must or face harsh consequences, either socially or legally. In both cases everyone acts as if this is the truth, despite these truths being different. Some experts have said masks are useful and some that they’re useless (and some have said both at different times.) To be honest I was surprised at the mask idea from the beginning because it’s blatantly obvious that surgical masks are designed to stop particles and the only reason they have any affect against viruses at all is because viruses are often concentrated in mucus, which the masks stop. The very idea that a virus could be stopped in practice by wearing a mask made of fabric unsealed from the face is just so disconnected from reality and logic that I consider it proof that this era is not just post-truth but post-thinking.

Then you have the actual danger of COVID-19. A quick Google search informed me that the fatality rate is 1 in 150. It’s not odds I would play for sure. If there were a 1 in 150 chance of dying from eating ice cream I’d never eat ice cream again. But this is the thing: it’s not chance. The 1 in 150 person is not unlucky. If you take 150 people and select the most unhealthy, remembering that even healthy people don’t live 150 years, the 150th person is only weeks away from death even statistically just for being the oldest in the group. 1 in 150 people are about to die at any moment and anything would push them over the edge. Sure, the media likes to point at seemingly healthy people who die of COVID, but there aren’t that many of them and there are 7 billion people in the world, so I find it unconvincing.

Then there is the scarily obvious fact that more pain and suffering, abuse, suicide, etc. etc. is being experienced because of the anti-COVID measures than would have been caused had we not attempted to stop (or slow down) the virus in the first place. That argument has been stated many times on many channels by many people, but I’ve yet to see anyone give a satisfactory answer. Rather, every time I’ve heard it the counterargument has always been that it has already been addressed therefore does not need to be addressed again, whilst actually never having been addressed at all (more Orwellian doublethink.)

But the REAL question, the one I’ve not seen anyone address, is this:

“What are we living for?”

I’m not being nihilistic here, quite the opposite. The question is not rhetorical. The question can be rephrased as “Why are we trying to stop people from dying?” See, I think that this question, or indeed the ignorance of not seeing this question, is at the center of what is happening. 100 years ago this would not have happened, and the reason why it would not have happened is because 100 years ago when people died they went to heaven, or they were reincarnated, or they got their own planet, or whatever. But today, most people are atheist, and even those that aren’t act as if they are. Before people knew why they were living, and therefore they could make rational decisions about death.

See, there are 2 main ways you can view your existence. These are essentially religious. They are how you see yourself in relation to the world, and thereby how you see the value of your own life and from that the importance of your death, and they also manifest as political views. We all fall into one of these camps to a greater or lesser degree, and every religion, political party and culture comes from one of these two fundamental viewpoints. They are:

(1) Individual Sovereignty. Your life is your own and you choose your own path.
(2) Collectivism. You are part of a larger entity of which you are a member and serve for the good of all people in that group.

The weird thing is that in Individual Sovereignty every life is sacred, but you have a right to live your life however you choose. Whereas in Collectivism, your life is not that important, rather the success of the group is important. Why is this relevant? It’s relevant because the COVID situation is at least superficially claiming that it is trying to save all lives as if every life is sacred (individual sovereignty) and at the same time enforcing this on everyone for the good of the group (collectivism). Clearly this is a contradiction. If it were the group that mattered, it would be better just to keep on going and let people die. Yet if it were the individual that mattered, why are individuals not allowed the freedom to choose their own path?

I can see that some people might argue that the infringement on personal freedom of sovereign individuals is necessary to stop the actions of those people damaging the lives of other sovereign individuals, but this would be a straw man. Somehow it got lost in all the rantings and ravings that it doesn’t require a compulsory lockdown to stop an individual from coming into contact with other people. You can, at any point, choose to stay at home and not answer the door, and you always have been able to do so. No high-risk person ever required other people to be locked-down for their own isolation; for their own isolation they only ever needed to isolate themselves. Indeed they may have needed help getting groceries, but that’s a whole different conversation.

And so at the bottom of this mess appears to be some kind of existential angst or failure of faith. All of the discussion fails to address the real questions: What is important? What’s the priority here? Are we cogs in a machine and the important thing is the machine? Or are we sacred souls who choose our own destiny and the important thing is our own lives? It doesn’t really matter which one, because the course of action would be almost the same! Neither would have enforced lockdowns. The only way we got into the mess we’re in now is by holding some doublethink in which we are sacred souls who must not die and also our individual desires are simultaneously worthless and we should do what we’re told.

Now I’m going to put a spin on this whole thing and say… do you know what a virus even is? Research says that 8% of your genes come directly from viruses and half of all your genes indirectly from viruses [source]. Say what!?

You heard me. It’s a thing. Viruses change our DNA and are partners in our evolution. Half of our genome is directly or indirectly due to some viruses infecting us and changing our DNA. Check the source link, it’s legit. Sure we’re taught in school that viruses are bad and that’s that… but when was anything that black and white? Now thinking about it the idea that viruses are just bad seems childish to me, seeing as everything else in the world appears to be in shades of grey (except for the book '50 Shades of Grey' which is just bad.)

Specifically viruses function and look exactly like Arc capsoids [source], which are one of the mechanisms your brain uses to communicate between different parts of itself, and are essential for memory. The obvious implication here, which is strongly hinted at but no researcher has dared to state it outright, is that viruses are a means of communicating genetic information and memory between animals.

To bullet point that:

  1. Half of your genes come from viruses infecting you.
  2. This proves that viruses are somehow important in our evolution.
  3. There is a communication mechanism in your brain that acts like a virus and looks a virus, and is essential to how you make memories.
  4. This implies that viruses might be meant to distribute genetic and/or other information between brains.

But viruses make you sick right? Not necessarily. The symptoms of having a virus are your body’s immune response fighting the virus, not really the virus itself in most cases. If your body didn’t fight the virus, then it would make sense that the virus would do whatever it came to do, which in some cases is to change your genetic information since we know they do that. If you think about it, if your body accepted a virus you would have no immune response, hence no symptoms, and also tests would come up negative since the tests look for antibodies.

If viruses were actually methods of communication, it would make sense that there were both good and bad viruses, just as there is true and false information. However, it’s not clear that your body would necessarily know the difference between good and bad viruses, just as you don’t necessarily know the difference between good and bad advice.

And this leads me back to my previous point on the pandemic being a pandemic of faith and post-thinking, because you see… viruses appear to spread information. Which leads me to ask:

Are viral beliefs and ideas literally viruses?

And if so…

Whose side is the virus on anyway?

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