These days I am busy (however I found inspiration for a new SF book), so I read only in passing the reactions to my last post. I'll be honest, it's the reaction I expect from those smokers to whom the doctor orders to quit cigarettes, or that of a drug addict whose someone destroys the drug.
There is a signaler, a hormone, which is called adrenaline. When you are afraid, it is generally produced for the purpose of improving the body's performance in the event of a rapid response to a hazard.
The problem is that adrenaline is addictive.
I have already written about the symptoms of adrenaline addiction (ranging from continuous procrastination to paranoia and depression) but it seems that the problem is more serious than expected.
I am not yet commenting on the behavior of the newspapers: they need to sell impressions, so they put on the front page anything that can generate anxiety, fear, fear.
And I'm not commenting on the numbers yet: just mention them. Even if we restrict it to China alone, we still have a number of infections in the thousands, in a population that is counted in billions. We are in the order of one millionth of the population as infected. We are in the order of dozens of deaths, maybe we will get to a hundred. On a population of BILLION.
The other similar alarm SARS, moreover, killed ~ 800 in all: less than the smog, less than those who die in sweatshops of too much work, less than the people killed by that regime for wrong political opinions.
And this happens in a nation that is still in the third world in terms of prophylaxis. Of course, those who go see the clean streets. Aesthetically, everything is fine. But only aesthetically. Then it turns out that they make markets where they sell live wild animals, which are slaughtered on the spot, in the absence of a veterinary authority. Do I have to say more?
Everyone was dazzled to watch the mighty Chinese bricklayers who make a hospital in ten days. To tell the truth, one would need to ask why a hospital did not already exist, given that the whole province ran out of beds in a few days. An area where almost sixty MILLION people live that cannot find 2000 beds in ten days. What is the state of health in that area?
Oh sure. The streets are very clean: repeat three times a day.
And the reality is that China does not have a public health system that you would find "decent" in Italy. Hospitals exist, but they are neither sufficient for the population nor controlled by a capable ministry of health. Proof of this is that for an epidemic that caused 4000 infected and 80/100 deaths (depending on the newspaper) they had to call the army: if they found themselves with a real epidemic, with MILLION infected and hundreds of thousands of deaths, what would they do? If they were dealing with something like the "Spanish" epidemic, what would they do?
This is the point: we are seeing a country that has lied about its degree of development that meets reality. The cases found in Europe were intercepted at the airports and there were no deaths. Why the hell a regime that controls every inch of the country can't do the same, only the CPSU knows. Or, it's time to say it all: let's talk about another third world country with clean streets and you can leave your bicycle on the street and get it . History already heard.
But these are the facts. The numbers.
The numbers of a country that does not have enough hospitals and must build them quickly, the numbers of a country that underestimates the epidemic for political reasons (they had already done so with SARS), but there are no numbers that speak of an epidemic as we Europeans think, mindful of the black plague or Spanish fever. Those were different things.
The truth is, even if it were to kill ten times more people than SARS, that epidemic is barely more risky than a wrong diet, if we calculate the chances that you and I, the reader, have to die.
But now you're starting to feel uncomfortable. Because I'm taking your drugs away. You need adrenaline. You need a daily dose of pessimism, alarmism and catastrophism. You need to think that "the X thing will kill us all." You need to think that a cataclysm is about to happen, that you have to be afraid.
This will force your body into a state of stress. Then your body will produce endorphins. And from these, you will go to adrenaline.
You are addicted. If it bothers you to think that what we know now of this "epidemic" is less risky than exaggerating with pasta and acquiring induced diabetes, then you are addicted.
If you can't help but think of being calm, of being calm, of relaxing and thinking about something else, that the more likely it is that you will run over a car while crossing on the strips, then you are addicted.
You need FEAR. You need to read a daily dose of alarming news. You need catastrophism, pessimism, because this puts you in a stressful situation, and your body produces the DRUG you NEED NOW.
A person appeared in the chat showing me that, hear hear, coronavirus would be said to be much more dangerous than SARS. Damn. Let's just say it's a hundred times more dangerous, in terms of victims. (which to me as a person who grows up quickly slams zero, I care how many people he kills). So we are talking about a few thousand deaths on a GLOBAL scale.
Less risky than a wrong diet.
But the funny thing is that this constant state of stress is more dangerous than the disease itself. The adrenaline, and all the cocktail of endorphins that you are producing in a past life in fear, over time will force the coronaries to an ever increasing contraction effort. Until they catch fire. And one day, as you walk, you will collapse on the ground and die. It happens much more often than you think. Certainly more often than coronavirus.
I want to make you a table.
Now, as you see if you restrict this to Europe, you have much more to fear. On a global scale, coronavirus is negligible if we intend to calculate the risk that you, the reader, will die of this virus.
But you don't want to believe it. I can show you all the evidence and all the numbers I want, but you will still go to newspapers that want you to believe it is important, you will go right there to ask if it is important. And of course the newspapers will sell you the thing as if you need to keep track of the situation. Like?
Going to the home page of the newspaper, and clicking. Better if on some advertisement.
I can't see how we can get out of the paradox of a humanity that WOULD NOT like to live in a better world, simply because it cannot do without the anxiety that the prospect of a worse world instills in them.
Of course, sooner or later you will remain at the window, with your useless mask on your face, watching people who come from Africa, who have seen worse things than your paranoid futility, and you will see them serene and calm. They still have that connection with reality that serves to understand that we are the lucky ones in the world , and an influenza virus that will kill a few thousand seniors in the world is a problem, yes, but it's not worth ruining. existence for this.
And when you see that they are happy and serene while you sail, closed in the house, in your lugubrious paranoia, do you know what you will do?
You will blame them.
Because the first thing that the adrenaline junkie does, to justify his unhappiness, is to accuse every (invented) misfortune of those who, on the other hand, are happy.
All scenes already seen.
You are drugged. Employees. Intoxicated.
Intoxicated by fear.
Life is the thing that happens around you while you read life in the newspapers.
Close that fucking newspaper.