If you haven't watched the doco series recently added to Netflix called Pandemic I would highly recommend it. I watched the first few episodes last
night and found it to be extremely relevant to our current situation. Last year I wrote a thread titled
There is no such thing as safe AGI
where I argued that our attempts to create safe
general AI will backfire and how our approach to the problem is more likely to trigger the problem rather than prevent it. Here I want to do a similar
One of the main topics they focus on in Pandemic is how we need a mandatory universal flu vaccine to completely eliminate influenza. However, I put
forward the premise that there is no such thing as a safe universal flu vaccine (UFV for brevity). The primary reason is because when a species is
pushed to the brink of extinction there is a very high chance the remaining population will contain characteristics allowing them to overcome whatever
threatened their existence. As a result they repopulate and the adaptation is spread throughout the new population.
We know this is true because evolution simulations demonstrate it and we've seen it occur countless times in the real world. Viruses and bacteria are
especially good at this due to their sheer numbers. Superbugs can and have been created due to them adapting and gaining resistance to the drugs we
use to treat them. When a virus becomes too deadly the same thing can happen to the host species, they bounce back from the brink of extinction with
an immunity to the virus. We've documented this occurring many times, a well known
is when Australia used the myxoma virus to cull
the rabbit population in 1950.
The rabbit population was decimated in the beginning but the rabbits evolved resistance and their numbers grew again. This is why a UFV could be
dangerous, especially if it's mandatory, there's a high chance of creating a new flu strain immune to any and all vaccines. It's very egocentric and
dangerous for us to believe we can control the course of nature without any side effects. Having at least a fraction of our population unvaccinated
for the flu is probably a good thing because diversity is a strength in terms of immunity and adaptation, it's good to have people with a naturally
strong immune system in our population.
We also need to consider what happens if our species becomes totally dependent on flu vaccinations to the point where our immune systems are unable to
function properly without them. That's not a position I think our species wants to be in, but that's where we'll end up if we force mandatory
vaccinations upon people for illnesses that shouldn't pose a risk to anyone who has a healthy immune system. Yes the flu gives me a runny nose and
sometimes sore throat for a couple of days, but afterwards I have a natural immunity to any similar strain. We shouldn't avoid being sick at any cost
even if it's just a common cold or flu.
Having said that, the phrase "it's just a flu" looks kind of dumb after you watch Pandemic and see what influenza is capable of. Also I'm not saying
vaccines are pointless, they are certainly helpful for people with compromised immune systems and old people, and obviously it's important to
vaccinate kids against truly deadly illnesses. I just think if we take it too far we'll get more problems than we solve. We now know Covid-19 most
likely originated in bats, and another topic they cover in Pandemic is how we're testing animals like ducks and bats because they spread influenza and
They show researchers catching bats and handling them with their bare hands, even opening their mouth with their fingers in order to inspect their
sharp teeth. As I was watching this scene all I could think was how their actions probably pose more risk of a bat-to-human transmission than anything
else humans do. What they did to the ducks annoyed me as well, they shot a net over a group of them in the water then picked them out of the net one
by one, many using their bare hands while not wearing masks. I know they think they're doing good but they seriously need to take more precautions so
it doesn't backfire.
Pandemic makes it clear that new influenza strains can be deadly, that's exactly why I have trouble grasping our fear of Covid-19. After watching
several videos of people who have the virus I cannot help but notice their symptoms seem on par or even less severe than a common flu. Also, barely
any kids seem to be getting it and their symptoms are minimal but the flu kills up to 185 kids each year in the US. Norovirus, a common stomach bug,
kills up to 800 kids each year and there's no vaccine. I understand we need to protect old people because that's who Covid-19 impacts most of all but
does that really require a global quarantine?
My point is, we live with many deadly viruses and you cannot expect young people to fear something which seems fairly tame. The government should ask
older people to isolate but we cannot expect the world to stop functioning every time a new virus pops up. I still maintain the position that Covid-19
is "definitely a conspiracy", and if governments want young people to risk their careers and their future, if they want young people to take the
threat seriously they need to admit Covid-19 leaked from a lab or whatever the truth is. I don't know what the truth is but I don't think we're
edit on 22/3/2020 by ChaoticOrder because: (no reason given)