Gestalt#40 – SARS-2 Pandemic

The Grid

The recent near-failure of the grid in Texas should remind us how fragile is our lifeline to warmth, water and food. Despite numerous warnings over the years, the most critical piece of our infrastructure has been allowed to deteriorate. This is not just a Texas issue. Had ERCOT failed, as it almost did, there would have been national consequences. 29 million Texans could not survive without electricity for months. They would have had to evacuate. But to where? What is the federal government plan for dealing with this eventuality? I don’t think there is one. Either the federal government has to take a firm hand in strengthening the grid, or it has to prepare to care for tens of millions of cold, dehydrated and hungry Americans. Why is no politician talking about this?

The Evil Mosaic

How to understand Xi Jinping’s China? There are three influences: 1. Ancient China. One ruthless Emperor must hold together disparate provinces with his iron will. Xi Jinping thinks he is that Emperor. 2. Nazi Germany. Xin Jinping and his fellow Han supremacists have consciously modeled their concentration camps on Nazi death camps. They want to enslave and exterminate all non-Han people. They have started with the Uighurs, a Turkic people. Xi Jinping won’t stop with them. 3. The modern Russian Empire (the Soviet Union). After WWII, Americans wanted their soldiers home. Stalin did not give his Red Army that option. As a result, he took half of Europe and would have taken the other half if the United States had not had nuclear weapons. Once the Russians reached rough nuclear parity, only brinkmanship on the part of the US, the signaled willingness to use nuclear weapons in a European war, which would put American cities at risk, saved the world from absorption into the Russian Empire. The Chinese Empire is rapidly building up its nuclear forces so that Xi Jinping can threaten American cities if we try to stop his conquests in Asia, the Pacific and Europe. Nepal, Bhutan, Laos and Cambodia are already in the process of absorption. Burma (Myanmar) is now in play. There are 2,035,000 active duty personnel in the PLA. There are 1,300,000 active duty personnel in the US military. China has a much larger population it can draw from and Xi Jinping has no concerns about how the Chinese would respond to a draft. The technological superiority of the US is the world’s only protection against a growing Chinese Empire ruled by a man determined to conquer the world and exterminate all non-Han. And that technological supremacy is at risk as a result of theft, treason and the weakening of American intellectual standards.

Hard Work or Degeneracy?

KimT commented on Gestalt#39 that growing your own food is hard work. That’s true. Farming has always been hard work. It’s been made easier by new technology, but I suspect it will always require substantial physical and mental effort for people to grow their own food. And that is a good thing, in my opinion. Humans must either do hard work or they will degenerate. If you don’t use your muscles, they will atrophy. You will become physically weak. If you don’t use your brain, it will atrophy. You will become mentally weak. Binge-watching stupid shows on Netflix is bad for you. It will make you physically and mentally weak. Planning and tending a garden is good for your body and your mind. There has never been a better time to improve our minds with free and easy to access education. Yet, many Americans waste their precious time and damage their brains by watching endless hours of Hollywood/mass media trash. We tell girls and young women that they should enter STEM fields. But who is presented to them by Hollywood and mass media as role models? Women who dress in meat and take pictures of their butts (Lady Gaga and Kim Kardashian). After Sputnik, politicians and military leaders in the US realized that our educational system was poor and that American kids were behind in Math and Science. As a result, the National Defense Education Act was passed. For a brief time, standards in US schools were raised. Intellectual achievement was rewarded. Many Americans became engineers and scientists. We were able to keep ahead of the Russians in technology, which ultimately saved the world. I don’t know that the US federal government or States or local school boards are willing to stiffen their curricula and require hard work in schools. They are fighting Hollywood and mass media. Right now, Hollywood and mass media is winning. Parents may have to educate their own children. The mind of a child is the most important, and difficult, garden to tend. Math is hard. And that is a good thing.

Gestalt#39 – SARS-2 Pandemic

As Expected

It’s been about a year since the pandemic became apparent to most people. So, maybe it’s time to take stock. Many things that Preppers, especially those who participated at PFI_Forum, expected to happen, did happen. There were runs on essential goods: toilet paper, food, PPE, etc. Public health authorities tried to soothe the masses with half-truths and out right lies that put the public in danger. The government response to the pandemic was a mess. On the plus side, the strong claims made on behalf of mRNA vaccines turned out to be justified. Overall, Preppers are not sorry they prepped. Our ranks have almost certainly grown.

Lessons Learned

Our biggest failure in Flublogia was to underestimate the economic challenges inherent in a pandemic. CanadaSue had written a pandemic scenario that was in many respects on target. However, one of her action plans was to run up her credit card with last minute purchases with the expectation that the government wouldn’t allow anyone to be evicted from their apartments. I don’t think that would have turned out to be a good strategy in the current pandemic. The assumption that either we have no pandemic or we have an apocalyptic pandemic has turned out to be false. We did not do a good enough job at preparing for a dangerous pandemic but one in which most people would be expected to continue to pay their bills. This has led to a two-tier society, those who can work from home and those who must risk exposure to the virus to pay their bills. We should have not missed this. When past plagues have afflicted societies, the rich left the cities to go to their country homes to live in comfort while everyone else stayed in the cities. Some educated middle-class people saved their lives by avoiding contact with others as much as possible while still living in cities. The poor and uneducated simply died. In the year 2020, nothing changed.

The New World

Predicting the future is a fool’s game. I don’t know whether our current vaccines will work against the new strains. I don’t know whether there will be a new virus even worse than SARS-2. But as a Prepper, I want to be be prepared for these possibilities (and all other catastrophic events: Nuclear War; Grid Failure; Civil Unrest, etc.). So, how can we apply what we have learned to future plans?

  1. Stockpiling essential goods should continue, as possible.
  2. Look for a stable source of income not dependent on the service economy. Computer programming is one example.
  3. Live on a Hopestead. I’m giving an optimistic name to an old name on PFI_Forum – the Doomstead which itself was a play on Farmstead. Small farmers with big kitchen gardens always have an advantage during a crisis. They will, at the least, have good food to eat. That is no small thing. However, when I use the term “Hopestead”, I mean more than a farm. I also mean a sanctuary where people can create a small world of normalcy and perhaps not just survive, but move our civilization forward. I will write more about this in the future.
  4. Have more children. This may sound like a strange prescription in the current year. Pretty much everything in the mass media is against having any children at all. Having a large family in the 21st century sounds almost pathological. However, I maintain that anti-child propaganda is what is pathological, not large families. Communities, like the Amish, which have large families are doing fine in the pandemic. Their elderly don’t have to worry about where they are going to go to ride out the pandemic. Their children don’t have to worry about how they are going to take care of their parents. At the end of the day, your boss and, as we have seen, your government, isn’t going to take care of you when you are old or sick. The best protection against a crisis is a large family who are rooted to land that they control. I realize that most of my readers are older. But perhaps they can think about this and consider what message their children and grandchildren are receiving about child-bearing from mass media.

Gestalt#38 – SARS-2 Pandemic

Put It All On Red

Vaccines are wonderful things. We are very fortunate to have at least two vaccines that are highly effective in preventing serious illness as a result of SARS-2 infection. But they are not perfect. Even mRNA vaccines take time to manufacture and distribute. And once they are distributed, existing strains of SARS-2 will be under intense selection to escape the immune response generated by vaccines. Yet, at the current time, the policy of the United States seems to be depend almost entirely on vaccines as our defense against SARS-2. This is the equivalent to betting your entire life savings on red in roulette. You have a significant chance of winning, but an equal chance of losing everything. We should continue to vigorously produce and distribute vaccines against SARS-2. But it is imprudent to rely entirely rely on this tactic. Long term border closures and short term internal movement restrictions are also necessary. So is widespread access to high quality PPE like N95s and PAPR.

Managed to Death

Remote working has worked amazingly well for most employees and their companies. Contrary to expectations, this practice has saved companies money rather costing them. And this was with no warning and mad scrambles to shift to online procedures. With time and intelligent adoption of new technologies, remote working could be expected to boost corporate profits even more. Yet, some companies are insisting that employees return to their cubicles where they risk infection and death. Why? One fact that has become clear, to those who are paying attention, is that many middle managers are not needed. Indeed, there are many cases where they demotivate workers and decrease corporate profits. Many middle managers have realized this even if CEOs have not. So, they need to get workers back under their control before upper management figures this out. Some CEOs have also spent big on monumental corporate headquarters (Tim Cook). They would look foolish if these were left empty. So, back to the workplace and/or deathplace for the workers. Hope shareholders pay attention and insist on maximum corporate profits – which means maximum remote working.

Political Science

Science should be apolitical. A real scientist is only concerned with the truth. She doesn’t care what effect a discovery has on politics. Unfortunately, I have observed science becoming increasingly political. And I mean both small p and large P politics. Since science has become increasingly the preserve of big funders such as the federal government and large donors, a relatively small number of people have the ability to decide who does science and who does not. As a result, scientists have to be careful of what they say so that they do not offend important people, like Francis Collins, Director of the NIH, and Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases. Cross either of these two, and a scientist will see their funding evaporate. Hence, don’t expect to hear a broad range of opinions about how to deal with the pandemic from American scientists. You will only hear what these two powerful men want heard. Politics with a big P also influences American science. To keep their jobs, powerful science bureaucrats like Drs. Collins and Fauci will alter their statements or refrain from speaking up. Note, neither was fired by President Trump despite his evident willingness to fire others in his administration. Both are no doubt doing everything they can to ingratiate themselves with the Biden Administration. Do not expect principled opposition to bad policy from these two.

Gestalt#37 – SARS-2 Pandemic

The ANZAS Protocol

Australia and New Zealand have a shared history that goes back centuries. They also share an important current characteristic – they have had very few coronavirus cases and deaths. Australia had a total of 28,811 cases and 909 deaths. New Zealand has had 1,948 cases and 25 deaths. These two countries have lower absolute populations that the US. But even when correcting for this, they have been extraordinarily successful in maintaining normal daily activities while still protecting their people from SARS-2. How were they able to achieve this? In four words: They Closed Their Borders.

From the Health Department of Australia:

Australia’s borders are closed. The only people who can travel to Australia are:

Australian citizens
residents
immediate family members
travellers who have been in New Zealand for the previous 14 days (not including time in managed quarantine).

People arriving in Australia may be quarantined for 14 days and might have to comply with other state and territory travel restrictions.

And from New Zealand:

New Zealand Prime Minister Says Borders Will Remain Closed to Tourists Until Citizens Are Vaccinated

There is no reason why the US cannot have few to no COVID-19 deaths and have relatively normal social and economic activity. All we have to do is close our borders as Australia and New Zealand have done. Could someone ask public health officials and politicians why they are choosing death and economic destruction instead?

Conveyor Belt to Death

Many governors are titrating their movement restrictions and mask rules based on hospital capacity. It is certainly better to not overwhelm hospitals. But even better would be to stop the conveyor belt to death that we are currently operating. You see, if we keep hospitals full to capacity with COVID-19 patients, we are guaranteeing a constant supply of corpses. Although the number of patients who survive hospitalization has improved, 3.7% of patients who are currently hospitalized will die. Most of those who die will be old or poor and sick. These are the same people who require Medicare and Medicaid. One hopes that some politicians aren’t looking at the declining expenses associated with the deaths of Medicare and Medicaid recipients with glee.

Genetic Weapons

From Reuters, January 30, 2021, Kristy Needham

BGI Group, the world’s largest genomics company, has worked with China’s military on research that ranges from mass testing for respiratory pathogens to brain science, a Reuters review of research, patent filings and other documents has found.

[snip]

…top U.S. security officials have warned American labs against using Chinese tests because of concern China was seeking to gather foreign genetic data for its own research

[snip]

The U.S. government has recently been warned by an expert panel that adversary countries and non-state actors might find and target genetic weaknesses in the U.S. population and a competitor such as China could use genetics to augment the strength of its own military personnel.

[snip]

BGI has worked on PLA projects seeking to make members of the ethnic Han Chinese majority less susceptible to altitude sickness, Reuters found, genetic research that would benefit soldiers in some border areas.

I will have more to say about this in future blogs. But here are a couple of take aways. The Chinese government is using a company called BGI (Beijing Genomics Institute) to acquire American genetic data. There are concerns that they will use this information to create biological weapons that will kill most Americans but leave Han Chinese unharmed. The plan would be do to this with viruses. They are also working on mining genomic information to create genetically superior human beings that they will control. Yes, this is possible. Yes, they are doing it. More to come.

Gestalt#36 – SARS-2 Pandemic

Bad Advice, Part II

President Biden has announced a new travel ban to protect us from new strains of SARS-2. Only one problem with this. It’s not a ban. It’s a partial restriction.

President Biden will reimpose a ban on many non-U.S. citizens attempting to enter the country. The move is an attempt to limit the spread of COVID-19 and contain new variants of the disease that have cropped up in several countries around the globe, according to media reports Sunday.

NPR, January 25, 2021

I know of no special immunity to bad strains of SARS-2 for American citizens. This “ban” will be close to worthless. More infectious and more lethal strains of SARS-2 will continue to enter the US with this sort of half-measure. The public health “experts” made exactly the same recommendation to President Trump. How did that work out for him? President Biden retained many of the same people responsible for our disastrous response to SARS-2 in his new administration. Have they learned anything from 2020? I see no evidence of this.

Buckle up.