What if the coronavirus had spread, but had never been diagnosed or detected? Would life have been any different absent the discovery of what has caused a massive global panic among politicians?
It’s not an unreasonable question. Really, ask yourself what politicians and nail-biting media members would have done 100 years ago if the virus had revealed itself. Since work was a destination for realistically everyone, there’s no way there could have been lockdowns. People would have revolted.
As this column has long stated, the coronavirus is a rich man’s virus. It’s not just that the rich and generally well-to-do had portable jobs that mostly survived the mindless lockdowns, it’s not just that the break from reality we were forced to endure could have only happened in a rich country, it’s also the case that only in a country and world in which the elderly are truly old would the virus have any notable association with death. People live longer today, and they do because major healthcare advances born of wealth creation made living longer possible. We wouldn’t have noticed this virus 100 years ago. We weren’t rich enough.
Considering how connected China was and still is to the rest of the world, logic dictates that the virus was infecting people globally long before politicians panicked. In that case, it’s not surprising that estimates made about the number of infected Americans were always way too low. The virus is said to spread easily, even easier than the flu, and it once again started working its way around the world sometime in 2019.
Notable about its rapid spread is that life went on as it made its way around the world. As the closing months of 2019 make plain, people lived with the virus. What is most lethal to older people isn’t much noticed by those who aren’t old. A rapidly spreading virus was seemingly not much of a factor until politicians needlessly made it one.
Indeed, a virus most lethal to the very old has meek qualities when met by younger people. If they’re infected with it, all-too-many don’t find the symptoms worrisome enough that they actually get tested.