12.08.20

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The ‘Going Back to Normal’ Mirage

Posted in Finance at 7:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Stay indoors, motherf***er

Summary: This idea that the pandemic is a temporary peril overlooks long-lasting issues, which already became more than visible 12 years ago when financial markets crashed, leaving many unemployed and unable to find alternative employment (many gave up trying), putting aside planetary overstretch by nearly 8,000,000,000 human beings

SOME people want the “old normal” back, whereas many others (perhaps most people) reject it and also deem it unattainable. Many demand a “reset” (economic, political and so on). The position mostly depends on how life was for these people before or during the pandemic (so far). This year was a very good time to be a vaccine profiteer even if there’s no effective vaccine, only experiments of rather massive and unprecedented scales (millions of human subjects). The corporate media rushed to mock Russia’s early (perhaps premature) attempt at vaccination and now acts like a marketing department of several American corporations; and of course they’ll call critics “antivaxxers” (even if rushing or expediting things, replacing 5-15 years with just a few months, makes totally legitimate all sorts of questions and ‘celebrity endorsements’ do more harm than good by reaffirming negative perceptions about the motivations).

“It seems unlikely that we’ll resolve the crisis in a number of years, let alone in a generation or two.”Techrights isn’t a medical site. Unlike a certain “Joseph Mercola” (whom some view as a quack for his views on vaccination and other matters), I won’t be pretending to be a guru in vaccination. My Ph.D. is in Medical Biophysics and that has nothing whatsoever to do with vaccination. My only position on it is that based on vaccination experts, extensive tests and experiments must be conducted for years (not just to study long-term effects) before prescribing or even imposing shots on millions if not billions of people. What’s happening right now isn’t consistent with best practices, to say the least. This subject was brought up yesterday in our IRC channels. We all accept vaccination and happily take many vaccines (measles for instance) because those are well established and have taken many years to mature. Not all vaccinations are equal; it’s a question of 1) how effective is it (caveats for age, race, gender and so on)? 2) are there short- and long-term side effects? There’s also the side issue of, who profits from this and is it ethical to funnel taxpayers’ money into potential placebos (or worse)…

You think I can work from home all year long?My personal view is that the planet is overpopulated (an unpopular view that is nonetheless shared by many people) and we’re approaching full capacity or exceeding capacity, not only in hospitals. Nutritional demands, which are growing, finish off what’s left of wildlife/forests, necessarily shrinking the fauna and flora out there (and industrial farming or animal farming hardly counts for anything). Energy consumption has already fallen: fewer sales, less construction, less air travel and fewer boats in the sea (oil tankers, cruise ships, containers). So in a sense nature is re-balancing itself. We too should accept that and find a new balance. “Sustainability” is a bit of a buzzword (leveraged for marketing purposes, greenwashing type), but there’s still substance to it. Oligarchs do nothing about it except talk about it. They amass whole fleets of private jets, they double or triple in a single generation, and they encourage us to buy (and thus manufacture i.e. extract/mine) lots and lots more stuff.

This planet is not getting any bigger (it cannot), other planets don’t offer the conditions we’ve long evolved for, the quality of the soil (or easy-to-combust energy sources beneath) is deteriorating and ‘Brexit’ was territorialism in action.

There are root causes; COVID-19 isn’t it. The mainstream politicians find it convenient to blame just that.

It seems unlikely that we’ll resolve the crisis in a number of years, let alone in a generation or two. Europe’s second-largest institution, the EPO, shows that even people with very strong education level and professional background (no, not clueless politicians like Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos) have no job security; even salaries and pensions are under attack. There’s no lack of money (a man-made concept anyway) but mis-allocation of resources/power (in the authority sense). Regardless of how power/resources get distributed (money is only a surrogate), there are many people on this planet — several billions in fact — who are already rendered ‘worthless’ (absolutely no decision-making power in their country and zero leverage over international policy) and that number grows over time because of concentration or consolidation of power. It’s not COVID-19 that caused this, but it’s accentuating and accelerating things. It’s a bit of a symptom. The pandemic isn’t just a virus. There are many fitting metaphors that are more than just suitable.

People should quit thinking of “normal” or back to some “normal”; the present is the normal and COVID-19 has been spreading in the planet for over a year now. It’s not going away but peaking. As correctly noted here: “Only if we end the pandemic everywhere can we end the pandemic anywhere. The entire world has the same goal: cases of COVID-19 need to go to zero.”

Promises were big; Lockdowns were shortThat won’t happen any time soon, especially if we cannot find a very effective vaccine and then force everyone to take it. For a decade to come COVID can become the ‘new flu’ — very common, widespread, but vastly more lethal than the ordinary flu… (for which we have vaccines by the way; though we never made the flu extinct, did we?)

Stay safe, travel less, wear a mask outdoors (outside the household) and find ways to adapt to the present because it’s likely the “new normal” for a long time to come (no matter what politicians and oligarchs-funded state media like the BBC promise us).

OK, 'Boris'... Whatever...

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