3W: The Final Countdown #WuFlu #CoronaVirus

These guys again.

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarne
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My big question right now is how much time do we have before there are reports of the first “warmzones” and, God forbid, “hotzones” in the United States from WuFlu. It could be hours, days, or weeks. But it’s coming. It’s definitely coming. It may already be here and for various dumb reasons, we just don’t know it. The United States has some major flaws that a major pandemic would exploit and spread to such an extent as to bring the nation to its knees within, say, two weeks.

Trump is a deranged lunatic
It would be bad enough if we had an actual president. But that the president is nothing more than a deranged version of Being There’s Chauncey Gardner definitely adds insult to injury. Trump will probably spend all day tweeting in a deranged, passive aggressive fashion while Rome — or D.C. — burns instead of giving us any leadership.

We live in a free society
People at first won’t be willing to do what we have to do to save lives. There will be a lot finger pointing as Rome burns. It may take months for all of us to get on the same page and by that point a shit ton of Americans will have either died from WuFlu or various cascading side effects. The only reason why the Soviets saved Europe during the Chernobyl event was they could knock heads as need be.

We have a free press
I love the press, but it’s going to take a while for them to stop thinking about Campaign 2020 and to realize this shit is serious. There’s simply no institutional memory of WW2 and how the press handled that event.

Everyone has a gun
While I have my doubts about some of the gunnuts out there, there will likely be times when there’s significant violence in the States should a historic pandemic occur here in the near term. GunNuts will finally have their opportunity murder people in cold blood like they seem so eager to do. I fucking hate guns.

Everyone is sue-happy
People are so quick to sue when confronted with something they don’t like, that, well, if Wuhan’s present is our future, then, people suing because they can’t leave their house for the good of the community might be something of a complication.

Everyone feels entitled
This is something I think will cause the biggest problem in the first few days of any first wave of a pandemic in the States. People think they’re entitled and won’t work for the common good. This wills suck for everyone. But that SHOULD wear off after about three months of suffering. I hope.

White Privilege / Systemic Racism
Flint still doesn’t have water. But Goop can sell you shit that smells like Gwyneth Paltrow’s WhoHoo for $5,000. In other words, not until actual white people start to drop from WuFlu will the average American give a shit. And if you throw class differences into all of this, well, it’s going to be a mess that slows everything down far longer than you might think. It could be six months in before we start to see each other as patriots, citizens and humans and not our individually little identity politics island.

Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe everything will work out immediately. I have my doubts, however.

‘3W:’ The Personal History

We got this.
Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner


First, generally, no one listens to me. They see me as a kook and a crank, which, to some extent, I guess I am. And, yet, I do have some value. I am very good at strategic thinking. I learned I had this gift while I was the publisher of ROKon Magazine in Seoul, South Korea. The magazine was a complete disaster — it’s problems and failures were all my own — but the fact that we lasted the few months we did was pretty much because for once in my life I was “cool” and people listened to me. That only happened because of the late, great Annie Shapiro, but that’s a story for a different day.

I often say if the end of the world came, say, a pandemic, I would either be murdered in cold blood the first day by someone who hated me or I would bring figure out a way to bring back civilization. I really believe that. Living in South Korea as an expat for five years really gave me some sense of how to survive when it seems you’re about to die. Everyday as an expat in an adventure and, in a sense, a crisis to be solved.

Anyway, all I know is if the worst happens in the States I really do think I’ll either be dead within the first few days or somehow manage to make life better for my fellow man. I really would rather not have that particular opportunity — I do have a novel to develop after all — but I think simply admitting to myself what may be about to happen is a way of taking the threat to the world, the United States, the people I love and care about –and myself, seriously.

Godspeed, gentle reader. We’re all going to need all the luck we can get in the coming days if the datapoints that are flashing red all over the world are pointing in the direction I believe they may be.

Shelt Garner may be reached at migukin (at) gmail (dot) com. Please don’t be crazy.

‘3W:’ Trump Heads To India & Wondering Who 3W’s ‘Rudy’ Will Be

Great risk brings great opportunity.
Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner


When I heard Trump was going to fucking India today, I thought it was some sort of joke. You could not write a worst scenario — the president not only leaves the country just as a cases of a pandemic may be about to strike the country in a big way, he goes to a nation that may get one very soon itself.

It’s the setup for a nightmare scenario whereby POTUS is out of the country when the pandemic strikes with 9/11 level force and that’s just the beginning of the process of pandemic. Imagine if 9/11 happened while Bush had been in India. And what if Bush was on the edge of losing his mind, anyway? How would that have worked out? It makes you wonder who our “Rudy” will be? I think it depends a lot on where the first hot and warm zones are. It could be NYC Mayor De Blasio if things work out. But one thing is for sure, 9/11 proved that the need for leadership is almost it’s own force — it will find someone, somewhere to pick up the slack when it’s not there at the top.

I’m reminded of a number of pop culture scenes of sudden mass chaos. The War of The Worlds and Cell both have scenes in them that give us some sense of how fragile and thin our grasp on civilization is. And, really, that’s what the first “phase” of the process of 3W (World War WuFlu) would be like. That would be when, because, well, Trump is a deranged moron and Twitter liberals have been willfully oblivious about what’s going on outside of the States right now, we all get on the same page as to the crisis the nation now faces.

One thing that bothers me is how people are engaging in fear porn on Twitter without at least trying to articulate what their fears are. It’s not going to be a movie. It’s real life. So, even if the absolute worst happens — and it may — life will keep going. Life will find a way. Those with hope, tenacity and vision wills survive and prosper if fate shines its eyes on them. People who panic and run around like a chicken with their heads cut off, not so much.

So don’t panic. Believe. Keep the faith. Fight the good fight.

Let’s rock.

‘Heroes Will Be Made. Cowards Will Be Shamed. All Will Be Remembered’ #WuFlu #Pandemic

My level of expertise about pandemic.
Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

All the datapoints point to a World War 2-level event careening towards the United States at an alarming rate. Now, let me state for the record that when it comes to virology I’m nothing more than Brian Fellows. But I do have a background in journalism and I at least TRY to be factual and encourage people not to wallow in fear porn.

I struggle to think back to what happened with WW2 and how you might apply it to the modern world. WW2, just as whatever the fuck you want to call the thing about to happen to the United States, was a process. It had phases. It had ups and downs. Heroes were made. Cowards were shamed. It changed everything. Overnight the children of the Lost Generation became the Greatest Generation.

A few things are likely to happen. First, when Twitter liberals realize that the 2020 campaign is likely to be canceled due to basic safety issues, then their minds are going to go Galactic Mind on us pretty fucking quick. You could get paranoid and say they KNOW what MAY happened and they just don’t want to scare people until, well, they’re not scaring people they’re just observing what’s going on around us. If this is true, I feel this is a disservice to their duty as public intellectuals. It makes the lot of them look callow and complicit in not warning people of the potential dangers ahead.

My current belief is the entire thing we’re about to face is going to be about 12 months. So, in about a year, things will slowly get back to “normal.”But, really, they won’t go back to normal. We’re going to be in a new era that will at least have a growing stability to it, whatever it is, whatever it’s called. But I don’t think the United States is going to make it. We’re just too divided. Or, put another away, there are three possblities ahead of the States.

  1. Division
    The United States in one year will well on its way to snapping into two countries — one Center Right, one Center Left.
  2. Dystopia
    MAGA will freak out and start murdering everyone they disagree with — like me!
  3. Defiance
    The United States survives and we “renew our vows” as a nation if you will, and finally remember that we’re all citizens, not Blue or Red.

Which one do I think will happen? I dunno. My mind tells me 1 or 2, my heart tells me 3. So, I guess anything can happen.

I do wonder, however, how pop culture will respond. Remember, we don’t have any leadership, so while things are going to go really fast compared to World War 2, the first “phase” of whatever happens with the pandemic in the States is going to be pretty much mass confusion and finger pointing. Only once we realize this is not an event, but a process will heroes arise. But I will note that by 1943, even Hollywood was active in the war effort. So, maybe by, say, August?, even Hollywood stars will be thrown into the anti-pandemic effort. The whole thing is going to suck, though, guys. Really, really suck.

There won’t be any narrative at the time. Historians will GIVE it a narrative in hindsight (2020 hindsight). But when it happens, it’s going to be scary as fuck, especially if Little Rock Man lobs a few H-bombs in the US’ direction. The very real possibility that the two Koreas will finally go End Game on us should give everyone pause for thought. But HOPEFULLY that won’t happen. But if South Korea implodes and its military readiness suffers significantly, it’s almost inevitable.

But, again, I’M BRIAN FELLOWS! I have no idea what I’m talking about, ignore me. Keep the faith.

Feb. 22 Threat Assessment: Code Word ‘1941’ #WuFlu #CoronaVirus

Get ready.
Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner


The disconnect between “world Twitter” and “American Twitter” has grown so huge, so surreal as to be rather existential. It’s almost as if Twitter was around in 1939-1941 and people like me realize — the Japanese are about to strike the States at any moment. It definitely feels like we’re in the twilight period before something historic and unprecedented happens. But let’s go through what’s going on with WuFlu right now.

America
Truth be told, they should have canceled the Nevada Caucus. All those people in the same room is less than optimal given that a yet-to-be-declared pandemic is whipping around the globe at an alarming rate. That we haven’t had it pop up in a big way in the States probably says more about poor cooperation between State and Federal authorities — and only four states have testing abilities — than it does about the number of cases actually taking place in the country. I keep expecting 40 elderly celebrities to drop dead within a 48 hour period from WuFlu and that hasn’t happened yet. So, maybe I was wrong about that metric. But I do think it’s possible that things are going to get way, way worse than they have to because of a bungled response on the part of our doofus president’s administration. If there was a “Flughazi” scandal, it would be huge and likely maybe — maybe — be the thing that brought down House Trump….but even then, it wouldn’t be until the middle of Trump’s second term. Trump’s not going anywhere for any reason. Even if there was a Second Great Depression. He’ll bribe Electors if he has to.

But there’s a huge wildcard, the thing that could change everything about campaign 2020 — what if they have to cancel the campaign because, well, we turn into fucking Wuhan on a national scale? Or if — God forbid — we have a massive “die off” off the old coots who run the country? I’m not a praying person, but I don’t wish anyone physical harm simply because I disagree with their politics. I would much rather just figure out how to survive the Fourth Reich than go through a pandemic. And there are no assurances that the “good guys” will win — see also, A Handmaid’s Tale.

South Korea, Iran, Italy
What’s going on in these three countries is an example of how Americans lulz anything that doesn’t involve, well, their country. Three major regional powers are being consumed by WuFlu and fucking Twitter Liberals are still obsessed with the 2020 Campaign. This is really, really fucking weird. But whenever the history of this moment is written — if we get the chance to write it — this will likely be seen as, say, November 1941. World War WuFlu is on its way — and maybe even The Gray Plague — and Twitter Liberals are completely indifferent. It’s shocking. Both South Korea and Iran have geopolitical issues that complicate their national faceplanting. South Korea, specifically being written off could cause not just sharp, if brief economic nose dive, it could also cause a major regional war that will suuuuuuuck.

9 Months That Shook The World
I believe we may have a sequel to 9 Days That Shook The World if the absolute worst happens with WuFlu. I just doubt the governments of China, Russia or the States will survive as they currently exist. I love America with all my heart, but what Trump has started, WuFlu may finish. The country may collapse in reform into two different countries — or MAGA will go full Nazi and use ICE camps to have killing American Killing Fields. You pick your poison on that one. The Russians are ripe for another revolution (probably in association with Putin using the confusion of a pandemic to start a general war against Ukraine). And things can only get so bad in China before, well, it just implodes. This is probably the most speculative of this post, but at least the conditions are there for what I suggest to have happen, happen.

Burn, Hollywood, Burn
I still think it may be a year of people not going to the movies that will lead to “immersive media” rising from the ashes like mammals after the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs. The entire infotainment industrial complex is going to get nuked if the worst happens. Talk about creative destruction! I really hope this doesn’t happen, but it’s at least possible.

Will ‘FLUGHAZI’ Be The End Of Trumplandia? — Wargaming A #DiseaseX #Pandemic #WuFlu #CoronaVirus

Don’t panic!

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

I’m pretty good at strategic thinking. That’s my thing. So, let’s wargame the consequences of a major pandemic in the next, say, 28 days. The first thing we have to understand is such a pandemic would be the biggest historical event not since 9/11, but since August, 1945 — the end of World War II. As such, initially, the entire global order would likely lock up and collapse in the beginning stages of the process for lack of institutional memory as to handle such a situation, if nothing else.

My real concern at the moment is the “beginning” of the pandemic won’t be marked by what’s currently happening in Wuhan, but whenever there are reports of multiple “warm zones” across the United States all at once. Initially, CNN’s gut reaction will be to market it as a 9/11 Redux, when, in fact, it’s more like WWII redux — a world war against WuFlu (WWW) if you will. (You might call it WWX, but, then, people would confuse it with World War 10.)

Once we actually descended into the process of pandemic, the first event would be mass chaos the likes of which we’ve never seen in modern American history. Yes, 9/11 caused a lot of chaos, but that was one fucking day! Imagine two weeks of such chaos as we all figured out the “new normal” of the essentials of life being – for the time being — of dubious supply. Add to this that Trump is nothing more than a deranged version of Being There’s Chauncey Gardner and, well, Flughazi! If the entire country turns its eyes to Trump and he goes full Col. Kurtz on us and just tweets all day in his bunker behind Mt. Rushmore as three regional wars erupt, go nuclear and even involve the US (Hi, Little Rocket Man!) then, well, there might (?) finally be some political consequences for House Trump? Maybe? MAYBE?

The great tragedy of it FLUGHAZI would be that it would be sometime in 2021 or 2022 before we recovered enough to get around to impeaching and convicting Trump for FLUGHAZI and by that point, lulz! I do, however, doubt the United States (or Russia or China) will make it through a serious pandemic. Just like during the 1914-1945 period, empires will rise and fall if history woke up and ran around in traffic for a few months.

Anyway, the point is — you could not write a worst case scenario if we go full pandemic in the next 28 days. Heroes will be made. Cowards will be shamed. We all remember them all. It is at least within the realm of possibility that not only will we lop of the existing old codger power structure of much of the world, but some pretty astonishing historical figures will pop out of nowhere for no other reason than are giving the opportunity to prove their true personal valor (or lack thereof.)

I hope none of that happens, I really do. But there’s at least a chance that 2021 pop songs are going to be pretty serious songs about love and love lost for tragic reasons. Maybe rock will come back. That would be cool. Sigh.

But we’ve still not reached the tipping point. There’s no narrative to any of this. I have no idea what’s going on. I can’t even formulate an educated opinion at this point.

#WuFlu Feb 21 Threat Assessment: America’s Coming Apocalyptic Rock Fight

Do it.
Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

Given what I know right now, it seems as though when the history of the WuFlu pandemic is written — if we’re still around as a nation (or a race) for it to be written — this weekend will be seen as significant because it’s when we reached another tipping point. America is collectively not only oblivious to its impending doom, we don’t even have enough of a collective response in place to know we’re doomed even if we wanted to be pro-active.

Only three States have WuFlu testing kits. So, it’s possible that people are getting sick and dying of WuFlu (or soon will be) and that metric would read a false negative because it wouldn’t register in the medical system. I have seen a study that there’s no discernable uptick in deaths in general in the States, so maybe people are being misguised with “the Flu” but not dying — yet.

But here are some things to keep in mind.

Economic
Hollywood and the newspaper industry are now dead men walking. If no one goes to the movies for six months and all entertainment production halts for the same amount of time, well, lulz? It’s likely that next year — or whenever we reached the post-pandemic era — what used to be the greater Hollywood industry will be nothing more than a barren post-apocalyptic hellscape, with”immersive media” not-so-slowly replacing it. The traditional print newspaper industry will die because no one will leave their home for the same amount of time. I have a hunch drones are going to become ubiquitous far, far sooner than any of us could have ever imagined if there really is a pandemic. It’s also possible that the American — and global — economy could tank in a way even worse than the Great Recession if places like China, South Korea and Japan have to be written off for three to six months. We might have a brief, but extremely deep depression in late 2020, early 2021.

Political
This one is kind of touchy. A whole slew of elderly people are very powerful in the States and the death rate for WuFlu among the elderly is pretty brutal. So, lulz? If you wiped out a big chunk of the American political establishment over the course off amount six months, then, yikes. And if it happened in the right — or wrong — sequence of events, then MAGA would say it was a “deep state conspiracy” and start killing anyone they didn’t like. Like me! Or, put another way, if things get as bad as I fear, there may not been much of a 2020 Campaign for us to fight over. Or the end result could be significantly more surreal than anything we could possibly imagine. There are also no assurances that the “good guys” will “win.” Or, if they do “win” the cost of that victory could be so huge, so tragic, that we aren’t exactly happy it at the price we had to pay to get it.

Media
The issue for me is, if we actually did find ourselves in the grips of a real live pandemic, inditally it would be marketed as something like 9/11 Redux. That is, of course, until is lingered for weeks and months. Then it wouldn’t be “fun” or “exciting” anymore. It would just be a grim state of existence for millions of people. I fear that Trump would suspend the Constitution at some point and simply arrest anyone — like me! — who wouldn’t simply nod and smile at his tyranny.

National Security
If there really is a pandemic, we could see at least three major regional wars occur at the same time. Israel – Iran, DPRK – ROK and India – Pakistan. And it’s at least within the realm of possibility that the DPRK might lob a few H-Bomb tipped ICBMs towards North America which, of course, will greatly increase the number of deaths associated with the the general pandemic event. Also, given how divided the United States is, I don’t really believe we’d make it. I think we’d descend into mass political violence chaos and, if we’re lucky, split into two different nations. One center-Left, one center-Right. If we’re lucky. If we’re not lucky, we get American Killing Fields! Lulz!?

In general, I still can’t make an education opinion as to our fate. Maybe this is going to blow over. Or maybe it won’t. Lulz?

The Gray Plague: ‘We All Bleed The Same Colored Blood’ #WuFlu

Don’t Panic!
Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner


It seems to me that Twitter Liberals are embarrassing themselves right now. WuFlu is whipping around the global at an alarming rate and they’re so obsessed with giving us hottakes on the 2020 Campaign that they’re completely oblivious to what’s going on.

What really bothers me is MAGA seems very excited at the prospect of a pandemic. I don’t know what the hell is going on with them at that level. Anyway, if things get as bad as I fear, we’re going to have to start seeing each other as patriots, citizens and humans, not Blue and Red. If we don’t do that sooner rather than later, well, we’re fucked. A lot of people might do for no reason if we don’t get our act together.

The key thing is, we’re not ready on a number of different levels. And one of those levels is the media. If the States finally got sucked into the pandemic blackhole, then CNN would initially try to market it as a 9/11 type event, when, in fact, it won’t be an event at all, but rather a process. It would be more like a war than a battle, in other words. The American press hasn’t had to cover a war in real terms like the one we might face since WWII and so there’s no institutional memory as to what to do. There’s likely to be something of a learning curve for a lot of people.

But that’s the worst case. I think we’ll be fine. The key issue is, how bad do things have to get for us to stop seeing the process through the prism of surreal partisan politics? Probably far worst than we might realize. I’ve always said the only way we’ll get rid of Trump is something “extra political” and gross mismanagement of a pandemic seems to fit the bill. In other words, if Trump completely loses his mind because of a pandemic then, if we survive as a nation and a species, then, well, maybe four Republican senators might vote for witnesses? Oh, sorry, wrong clusterfuck.

For me, the big issue is this chart.

Yikes!

If we have a “Gray Plague” and 3.6% – 15% of the population over 60 croaks rather abruptly, well, that’s a lot of pretty powerful people who run the world right now. That would be the stuff of some pretty astonishing historical change in a very short amount of time. This weekend is crucial. If things clam down by Sunday, then we can go back to cursing the bred and worrying about the Fourth Reich.

The Gray Plague: #WuFlu #CoronaVirus Threat Assessment For Feb 20, 2020

Maybe, maybe not.
Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner


I continue to believe that the next 48 hours –between now on Thursday evening and, say, until just after the Sunday chat shows are over — will determine a lot about our fate. If we’ve essentially stabilized and nothing troubling happens by that point NYC time, then, well, we can all go back to contemplating life under the Fourth Reich.

But if my fears are realized, then, well, yikes! So, let’s go through a risk assessment given what is known right this moment.

South Korea
My fears of exponential growth weren’t exactly assuaged just now when I learned there are 45 new cases reported just in the last 24 hours (3 in Seoul.) If that number jumps to 100+ tomorrow, then, well, watch out. AND, remember, there are 500,000 soldiers under arms in South Korea and if you can’t prevent them from getting sick en mass, then we may be looking at a shooting war between the ROK and the DPRK because 1) the DPRK may be imploading, too, 2) a sick army can’t fight effectively 3) the leader of the free world is a deranged, moronic lunatic. I have a theory that a problem in Korea is either solved in a very strange way or via a fistfight and a war caused by a pandemic would check off both those boxes in a macro historical sense.

Qom
Not really getting any sense that this is a new hotzone. Yeah, I’ve heard that as many as 9 people have died there from WuFlu, but that’s it. No sense it’s a hotzone. May be a one-off of some sort.

Wuhan
This seems — at least from the data I’m aware of — to be under control and slowly burning itself out. And, really, there still haven’t been that many deaths outside of Wuhan, so lulz? I guess Vox will tell me so eventually.

Blue Check Liberals
These guys are embarrassing themselves right now on Twitter. They’re so busy preening over their campaign 2020 hot takes that they are missing what could be the biggest new story of the year, if not the decade. They’re really living in a 9/10 mentality when a rolling, months-long 9/11 may be just about to strike in the next few days. But I guess it’s a lulz to them right now because what if it’s just another 1970s swine flu type of situation? They don’t want to look like fools, I guess. And, really, it’s very possible *I* am going to look like a fool getting so animated about all of this when it fizzles out. But I’m used to looking foolish and, generally, no one listens to me anyway. And I have a novel to work on. But we still don’t know yet. We just don’t know what’s going to happen.

Conclusion
This is still a moving target and no sense of what all the disparate datapoints mean. There’s no concrete sense of what we’re seeing. We haven’t reached the “inciting incident” when we’re like, “Yeah, this is a pandemic.” This weekend — the next 48 hours — will give us a real indication one way or another if we’re going to avoid any type of immediate threat.


Life During WARS Time #CoronaVirus #WuFlu

The future?
Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner


First, let me make it clear that I’m not an expert. So, if you use that metric, you should just ignore everything about to say. But, luz! But here you go, anyway.

Should our fears be realized and the worst happens –a pandemic that might one be one day referred to as The Gray Plague — it is not going to be fun. It is also not going to be an event, but rather a process. This means while there might be “battles” now again that would be considered events, in reality, it would be a war-like event that will take place over days, weeks and months until we get a vaccine.

The issue the essentials of life are a social event. So, if the worst happens on a global scale entire industries aren’t going to make it. Hollywood and the newspaper industry will be completely destroyed if no one leaves their house for six months. What’s more things that are seen as “cutting edge” right now, like drone delivery and MX technology, could be pretty much a way of life in a year IF the ABSOLUTE WORST happens.

But, the crux of the issue is life is going to suck for millions if this happens. It will not be fun. It will not be a video game. It will involve fear, death and tragedy on a scale not seen since 1914-1945. Or, if you really wanted to take it to the next level — we’re talking Black Plague – Mongol Invasion bad if the death rate for the elderly of 5%-15% holds up. The Browning of America that would otherwise take decades to occur might happen in months.

I just don’t see the States surviving that, if it happened.

We’d end up with two nations a center-Left United States of Canada and a center-Right Trumplandia. Or something. It would suck. All it would take would be a number of MAGA thought leaders dropping dead in quick succession because of WuFlu and, well, that particular conspiracy writes itself. Or, put another way, you could probably add massive political violence from the Right to the general clusterfuck that multiple hotzones across the States would cause.

It would all happen in a rolling fashion over the course of the months it took to get a vaccine pushed out from the lab. I don’t have much faith that way, way too many people — maybe even me! — may die before it’s over with. And, remember, it could all endup a lot darker than you might ever imagine — The Handmaid’s Tale Scenario, if you will.

Ugh.