Virus: Ignorance, Selfishness, and Revolt

Ignorance

I guess, most of you now know what a virus is and how it works. If not, watch the video below where what is essential about a virus is explained easily. Viruses have been with us for all our existence, probably they arrive on Earth much early then the human species, much early than life itself. 

In 2019, a new type of virus – novel coronavirus or COVID-19 or SARSCoV2 – you can call it whatever you like. As everything in science, the first approach is thinking using the data of similar virus like the SARS or even Influenza. However, like everything in science, each step is one more to understand and identify the weakness and strength of the virus. Time is a crucial variable when studying a new strain. In the beginning, many believed it was a “flu” nothing to concerned, but soon the gravity of the illness the virus cause became apparent. Covid-19 wasn’t either like SARS or Influenza, the virus had a different code, leading a different behaviour.

In 27th June 2020, a report by Matt Apuzzo, Selam Gebrekidan and David D. Kirkpatrick was on the pages of The New York Times. It was related to how an infectious disease specialist, Dr Rothe, from the Munich University Hospital, observed the possibility the COVID-19 could lead symptomless people to spread the virus. It was a straightforward and scientific observation (you can read it here)  however many relevant health entities and government decide to ignore it. WHO insisted that COVID-19 couldn’t be transmitted by symptomless people and until today says this is rare, even a study in Britain attested that 50% of the transmission comes from symptomless people, number similar found in Spain, Italy and China (the variation is between 20 to 60%).  A political decision was made and together with ego and disputes French churches, Italian soccer stadiums and Austrian ski bars were spreading the virus unnoticed. Took some time to Who and governments understand that symptomless people Can transmit the virus. 

Selfishness

The new battle is happening at this moment, the new ground is about the use of masks. More and more a consensus about the effectiveness for use masks when outside your home is being proved. You don’t need a surgical mask to protect others, you need a mask with some filter (can be made of kitchen paper, tissues or cotton fabric and there are many in the market now). Like all scientific studies, there is not 100% evidence that masks protected from the virus. However, there is a high level of certainty that if everybody uses a mask, keep the social distance (has to be 2 metres) and continue to wash hands (maintain hygiene in high standards) the virus circulation in the population will decrease.

In England, masks have to be used only on public transport, but it not mandatory in public spaces, supermarkets, stores and schools. I was shocked seen people acting as the virus had disappeared like magic and living as usual when I visited the Chiswick House and Gardens today for an hour of exercise outside  – my second since the lockdown – nobody, apart from me, was using a mask. Children liked their hands after touching the fenced around the lake or taking something from the ground. Families doing picnics and sharing with other food, drinks – sometimes using the same paper cup – make me think about how people are selfish. Using a mask is not to protect you but to protect me. 

Are English people so selfish that they can compromise to protect the community? Are they so attached to their individualism that a mask will mean a loss of it? I don’t understand why nobody seems concerned about the future and how the impact of a second wave will make their lives more difficult. The UK, as a country, is near the bottom of the well having losing time, money and lives, and nobody seems able to take responsibility for what is happening.

People went to supermarkets, stores, and touch everything, didn’t use masks, don’t respect the signals on the floor. It was like their Englishness were an armour against the virus. There are proud of “take in the chin” and “showing some guts” to the virus. Someone on Twitter said that people will awaken only when the death knock their door. Is this a wise and caring position?

Revolt

Another point I noticed watching videos, reading news, following trusted people on Twitter, was the invasion on beaches, parks and fairs happening. How 500,000 people can keep social distance when at an overcrowded beach? Why people drink, fight, show an antisocial behaviour in a way never seen before (or not displayed in the English media). 

I saw something similar to my eyes today. As I said, I was visiting Chiswick House and Gardens and was taken by surprise to how much littering I found on the park. Never, since I lived here, I saw that many plastic straws, plastic plates, paper, and other trash disposed of inconsequent in the park ground. It was a group of rioting people had crossed there, leaving their footprints of destruction.

I wondered if, after 10 years of austerity, and now the lousy management the pandemic had in England, is leading the people to revolt. It’s a strange way to show their unhappiness, angriness, fear from the future. They take public spaces and destroy it. Is it a message? Why not direct this unsatisfaction to the real culprit of their unhappiness and difficulties?

A person made a question on Twitter about stupidity. They asked if people are born stupid or the tabloids like The Sun, Daily Mail, The Express made them stupid. I guess it is a combination of DNA and environment. If you grew in a place and your parents, close friends, the family is a right-wing extremist, believing in what media say without criticism or understanding. Probably you will be the same.

That’s the reason people are showing so abnormal and rude behaviour, destroying everything around them in an attempt to show they are powerful, more potent than a virus, more potent than any scientist. English people were drunk in the fiction of indestructible, as they were all children of Zeus and had the power of demigods. 

It a pity that anybody living in the UK will shout about the price being payed for this. For the ignorance, the selfishness and the revolt. Nobody will raise against the destruction of their lives, their country or the future. 

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