It’s not often people associate BBQs with carbon monoxide and stupidity. It’s not often we see the words responsible, sensible or precautions all used in the same sentence. Not until we, humanity, were hit by a pandemic so devastating it has changed our lives.
I mention BBQs, stupidity, and carbon monoxide in the same sentence because it happens to so many people in the summer. They plan a BBQ, it rains, so they decide to do the BBQ indoors. The result can at least be a smoky room and at worst, death from carbon monoxide poisoning. It equates to a fundamental principle of human intelligence… we are all susceptible to injury or death through our own stupidity. But it’s when that trait of human stupidity leads to death and injury to others that we should all sit down and consider our actions, very, very carefully. People are not necessarily stupid, just thoughtless, or even uncaring, with no regard for their fellow human beings.
In our current situation, we should take a little time to understand what happened the last time we faced annihilation from our own ignorance. And I don’t use the word annihilation lightly. Viruses mutate rapidly, and if the Covid-19 virus mutates and goes airborne… well, let’s all say our bye-byes now while we have the chance.
In the last pandemic, the so-called Spanish Flu outbreak in 1918-1920, millions of people died. It’s estimated up to fifty million died, which is more than people killed during World War One in 1914-1918. It was so virulent and killed so quickly you could be exposed to the virus in the morning and be dead the same afternoon. It was called the Blue Death for a reason. You drowned in your own body fluid, your lungs filled with fluid created by the virus and you couldn’t breathe. The result was death, but a death so awful it’s hard to contemplate. The people, the authorities all knew there was something going on, but didn’t have the wherewithal to do anything to combat the virus. Face masks were all some people had, many had nothing. Despite the fact there was no air travel for holidays in those days, the virus spread quickly, and millions died. There wasn’t time for anyone to deny what was happening, you either survived or you died.
It was estimated the global population was 1.6 billion in 1920, today, in 2021, it’s close to 8 billion. By the time I have finished writing this piece for my blog, at least one hundred people in the USA alone will be dead from a Covid-19 virus infection.
It’s not too hard to realise that the current pandemic, despite the fact there are at least three vaccines capable of limiting infections, is going to kill a lot more people before, or even if, it is vanquished. Because all it takes is a new variant that the current vaccines do not work against and we all must start again.
To some, it’s a surprise that one of the major killers currently is stupidity and ignorance. Yes, dear reader, there are people out there who have no idea that their actions may one day kill somebody.
There are fanatics who decry and refute the pandemic and there are those who simply don’t think about what their actions may cause. I used a cash machine yesterday to get some cash out. I got out of my car, wearing my mask. Put my PIN in the machine pulled the cash out, retrieved my card, got back in the car, pulled my mask down and rubbed my nose because it was itching. If you have no idea what this little story is about then you’re as dumb as I was. Mask on, tap PIN number in machine, mask off, rub nose. The virus enters the body through the nose, mouth, and eyes. Hands touching things like a cash machine’s buttons where the previous user is infected, will mean the virus is on the buttons and will therefore now be on my fingers. It’s a simple as that. The result is I may well be infected. And, being over sixty with diabetes, if I get infected, I can look forward to a long and lingering death.
Stay safe, dear reader, and think about what your actions may cause if you pass the coronavirus on to others, simply because you didn’t think about what you were doing.
Copyright © Tom Kane 2021