When they eventually drag Twitler kicking and screaming from his bunker and show him the door, US politics will dim in interest and we’ll all be left wondering what we talked about before Trump. Oh that’s right, the virus that’s killing millions of people.
“I’ve heard the narrative that this is a once in 100-year pandemic, a jolt to the system. But that’s just completely wrong. The rate at which these things are occurring is escalating. We will not wait 100 years for the next one. It could be in 10 years. Or next year.” Professor Edward Holmes, virologist at University of Sydney, recently named our Scientist of the Year for being among the first in the world to map the genome of SARS-CoV-2, knows his shit. Our vengeful pursuit of Patient Zero is less important than preventing Patient One Billion, because that’s where the virus is headed.
Like everyone else on the planet, the spread of the virus continues to horrify me. My worst-case scenarios were just the awful imaginings of a feverish mind, lacking the objectivity and steely analytical skills of the CDC, for example. Luckily, nobody listens to me. The CDC on the other hand provide ‘national ensemble forecasts’ to government and industry alike. They are the best in the business. So how are they going?
On 7 November the CDC forecast between 5,500 and 13,400 new deaths by 5 December. Ten days later, 12,069 new deaths in the US. This should be the most frightening thing you read today: the CDC predicted 260,000 to 282,000 dead by 5 December but there’s already 256,105 dead, so what’s the real number? The magnitude of the CDC’s cluelessness suggests more than 300,00 dead by Christmas and maybe 15 million infected.
Even if there is a vaccine just around the corner, it won’t put a dent on CV-19’s infection rate. After the rich white nations rob poor countries of their fair share, we’ll sit in our ivory towers and watch the virus continue to rampage across the planet. I’ll be writing about the COVID-19 virus for years, but hopefully not as long as I wrote about Trump. I’m not religious, but if I were I’d be listening carefully for the clop-clop of a pale rider’s horse coming down my street. Looking at the situation in the US alone, I see an army of 73 million angry losers with a killer virus nipping at their heels and wonder if war, famine and death are far behind.