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.

The Gray Plague: What The Fuck Is Going On In #Qom? #CoronaVirus #WuFlu

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner


I had something of a scare a moment ago. I heard a report that we had a total of seven WuFlu cases in Qom, Iran. But it seems like it’s only 2 deaths and 5 cases, which is a different issue altogether.

So, I think if it’s just 2 dead in Qom, it’s not the super-scary thing I thought it was: a new hotzone outside of Wuhan. But here’s a video I did before I knew this new information. I may add a follow up soon, as well. Just remember that this is a slow-moving (in the age of Twitter) process, not event.

This one is better, but also crazier because I run a rather hysterical scenario about what’s going on. That part of it is meant for “entertainment purposes only.”

Here’s some crazy ranting I am doing for a different post. I just love scenarios, and this one would be the “12 Monkeys” Scenario.

Qom
This is an odd one. The city is apparently featured in some sort of apocalyptic Muslim text. That the two people who died have no direct connection to Wuhan at all is…unsettling. Only because no one is reading this blog do I wince and say, “What if this a 12 Monkeys type situation? How would we know?” I think the answer would be if another “random” but strategic place suddenly became a hotzone. We already have China, and maybe a strategic religious and oil site with two fatalities. If I was an evil genius, I would strike another pressure point in the middle of nowhere — maybe a mining town somewhere in Indonesia? Something to get the point across?

Will 2020 Be Another 1917? #WuFlu #CoronaVirus

Now What?

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner


I love me some Koreans and I’m growing very concerned that South Korea, the place I called home for a total of five years, is going to implode because of WuFlu. I thought it might be Japan that we were going to have to worry about, but it makes a lot more sense that it would be the ROK.

Korean culture, even more so than Japanese culture, is communal, which, is of course, how WuFlu is spread (being near someone.) Add to this that South Korea is a small, developed nation that’s not only “free” but has an excellent transportation system and well, the CONDITIONS are there for us to be fucked, fucked, fucked on a global scale. In other words, South Korea is not only a big enough economy that if it went the way of Wuhan that the entire global economy would lock up, but given its “complicated” relationship to its brothers in the north, well, look out.

The conditions could be there for not only a significant knee capping of the global economy if the ROK implodes, but also a major regional war in Northeast Asia. It would all happen very, very fast, too. The entire nation of South Korea couldn’t faceplant for too long without Little Rocket Man — who might be facing a similar situation — weighing the change in conditions and going for broke.

Or not. Who knows. North Korea is a blackbox, so anything could happen.

But the key thing is, the conditions are there for 2020 to be the most historic year since the fall of the Russian Empire. The years 1917-1923 were astonishing in their significance and things grow even more concerning when you look at this:

1815-1914
1914-2020

We’re overdue for history to wake up, play in traffic then go back to sleep for 100 years.

Japan & My Personal #WuFlu #Pandemic Metrics

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner


A good chance exists that WuFlu is going to be seen as something of a dud by verified Twitter liberals. A million Chinese people could get sick or die and Vox would somehow poo-poo the concern of people like me in 2020 over WuFlu by pointing out no one cared during the Great Leap Forward or Cultural Revolution, either.

But how should we common folk look at what’s going on? What should people without a blue check on their Twitter account measure things? I have three metric that I use to get a sense of things.

Perception
Response
Fatalities

Let’s look at Japan and how it’s our firebreak going forward.

I feel it is now beyond our control to prevent a pandemic. Either it’s going to happen or it’s not. The main question is, of course, what about Wuhan makes it so special that that’s where the vast majorities deaths have occurred? Was the Wuhan outbreak an “event” and what’s going on around the world simply a side effect of that event, or, what? I’m not one to ascribe to conspiracy theories, but I do think a tipping point has come whereby we need to start asking that question — the fate of humanity may rest on it.

But back to Japan.

Japan is important because it’s a Western-style liberal democracy that couldn’t go China’s End Times route when it comes to WuFlu without us at least knowing why. And, Japan has a lot — a lot — of old people. Wuflu has a pretty brutal fatality rate for the elderly, enough that I say it has the potential to be The Gray Plague.

Not good.

So, if, for some reason, whatever is happening in Wuhan began to happen in Japan, we would at least know why. We would at least have some sense of what is really going on. The reason why that is so important is either Wuhan is a unique outbreak and is completely separate from what is going on around it, or it’s present is our future. That’s rather chilling because, well, I find it unlikely you could lock people in their homes like the CCP is doing in Wuhan in, say, Alabama, without some pretty serious consequences. And if they started doing that in Japan, then their social contract is strong enough that they would be screaming at the top of their lungs to explain why they felt forced to do it. It wouldn’t be some sort of surreal, mysterious over-reaction like it is in Wuhan.

Let’s look at Japan using my metrics.

Perception
Right now, our perception is the Japanese have everything under control. While, yes, their numbers are growing concerning, to the outside world it’s still a lulz. Vox is still more concerned about telling writers like me to NEVER “fridge” a female character for ANY REASON.

Response
The Japanese seem to be doing a decent job of responding to where things stand with WuFlu in their nation. The few, brief, times I’ve been in Japan, they seemed to be extremly professional and polite in everything they did and so they’re just the type of people you want on your front lines as the fate of Mankind begins to be potentially put at risk.

Fatalities
There are few, if any, fatalities in Japan right now. If a lot of people get sick, but don’t die, then we’re ok. Japan has one of the oldest populations in the world and if they get sick and don’t die, then we, again, will know Wuhan is “special” for some reason and things just aren’t going to get as bad as we may have initially feared.

Something dramatic is going to have to happen for me to get all that worried about WuFlu. There’s a good chance that WuFlu — until a vaccine comes out sometime next year — will be seen in the global consciousness as something like lyme disease — a bad illness, but not the end of the world.

I would definitely keep an eye on Japan, though. We’ll know one way or another soon enough. WuFlu is all over the globe right now, but people just aren’t getting sick that much and even fewer are dying. If that should happen to change sometime soon, that’s a different matter altogether.

Novel Development: If It Makes Me Laugh, I Put It In

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner


Though the novel I’m currently developing is supposed to be dark and serious, when it comes to actually developing it, generally, if something makes me laugh, I throw it into the mix.

And right now, I find the idea of a my female romantic lead being inspired by a specific famous person who is easy to do research on HILARIOUS. It’s just a hoot. And it gets funnier to more research I do because given the conditions of the scenario I have setup on an existential level in the novel, it it actually IS within the realm of the possible that my Hero could snag a woman otherwise so incredibly out of his league.

It’s very, very funny.

I mean, usually, constructing a character is hard work. You have to think up all these things about them to make them seem “real.” But since this character is inspired by a famous person who is quite open with their life, then it’s a lot easier to crib off of what is publicly known. And, as I’ve said before, this character is something of a treat to me for all the other hard work I have ahead of me.

And I like the idea of seeing if I can pull this off. I like the idea of SHOWING how life as an expat in Seoul leads to some surreal personal connections that otherwise would never, ever happen. The whole thing definitely lightens the mood whenever I look into how I can base the character in reality as much as possible and to see if I can make it believable that this otherwise bonkers thing (at least to outsiders) might actually happen.

Anyway. I’m sure I’ll see that person from Washington DC (is the FBI monitoring me?) or that other person from Sweden (ex boyfriend?) or that other person from Great Britain (member of her “team?”) snooping around my website in the paranoid fear that I’m some sort of crazy person when, in fact, I’m just a harmless writer looking for a bit of entertainment for myself.

Ugh. This is why we can’t have nice things.

Idle Rambling About The #Novel I’m #Developing

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner


As of this moment, things are going fairly well with the novel I’m developing. That could change rather abruptly for any number of reasons, but I’m trying to enjoy this moment while it exists.

I have a lot of really interesting characters that I smash up against each other in interesting ways. I’ve made a number of clever editorial decisions if I do say so myself. I’ve created a number of characters who are an amalgam of a number of people I’ve crossed paths with over the years. I’m looking forward to writing the story for no reason than to simply see these characters come alive on the page.

I have one character who is inspired by one specific famous individual and it will be a lot of fun to see how realistic I can make the character in the context of how surreal the situation I’ve come up with would be in real life. But I’d like to think readers will grade me on a curve. That character is something of a treat I’m giving myself for all the hard work I have to go through over the next months.

I hope to start writing the official first draft no later than, say, April. I’m going to try to keep this first draft close to my chest as possible. The second draft I’m going to show to some Beta Readers. That probably will be August 2020 at the earliest before that happens, though.

Wish me luck. This is a really tough job that I love.

‘The Gray Plague:’ The Potential Political Scenario

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

After a few days of personal freak out, I’ve grown rather blase about what’s going on in Asia right now. This happening in large part because, well, while it’s all very tragic, the average American simply doesn’t care and won’t care until it becomes something other than an abstract in our collective clueless national conciousness.

There’s a 14% death rate for WuFlu for people 80 years of age.

And, really, it might stay that way. I have come to stay that 1 million Chinese could die in Wuhan and as long as Vox tell us it’s the *flu* we should really be worried about, then, well, lulz. So, as of right now, we might see a little bit of a slowdown in the global economy because of WuFlu, but not enough to stop the Russians from throwing the 2020 election to Trump AGAIN. Trump’s never leaving office, anyway, unless the doofus Crown Prince Don Jr. is assured as his successor at some point. I still think Trump’s going to demand a Constitutional Convention to “pass a balanced budget amendment” then turn around and pass American Enabling Acts, but that’s just me.

But, for the sake of argument, let’s assume the absolute worst happens and my fears of a “Gray Plague” become a reality. The chief thing we have to understand is how old most of the most powerful people in the United States government are. And, what’s worst, our political system is about as taunt as you can get — if there was a Gray Plague and a lot of old people dropped dead suddenly, if the sequence of events wasn’t right, the Right would start to blow shit up because they would be ABSOLUTELY SURE the Deep State was out to get people on their side.

Of course, if, say, three major figures on the center-Left dropped, the MAGA fuckheads would gloat, mumble it was all “God’s will” as they worked to squeeze every once of political advantage out of it. If any MAGA person abruptly became president in the middle of a pandemic, they would use the opportunity not to help their fellow man, but burn the nation to the ground and establish a Fourth Reich. The fuckers. But if, say, a center-Left person was put in the same position, a civil war would start immediately because MAGA would assume “muh guns” and kill anyone who was different than what they feel America looks like. I’m not joking, I’m not exaggerating. This would happen.

It makes you wonder how many people would have to die for us to finally look past scoring short term political points to the point that we actually begin to put the needs of the nation first. A million? Five million? 10 Million? 20 Million? How enormous, really, would the human tragedy of the Gray Plague have to be for Sean Hannity to finally shut the fuck up about Hillary Clinton’s email server?

Of real concern is what would happen if the 30 year movement towards a majority-minority America happened not in decades but in months? What if, say, 30-50 million Americans (mostly elderly) died between the first report of a hotzone outside of Wuhan and when the vaccine was widely available? What makes that question difficult to process is it would be more like a war than anything else that we’ve ever experienced as a nation.

If an entire generation of the American political class got wiped out over the course of little under a year, there would be massive implications going forward. Probably what would happen is the country wouldn’t make it. The Second American Civil War that we may face in 20 years, might happen in a matter of months. But, I don’t know. Who knows. Anything could happen.

I can’t predict the future and don’t have reveled truth. Just stay aware of what’s going on.

Gray Plague: Back-Of-The-Envelope Apocalypse Notes #Coronavirus #WuFlu

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

47 million Americans are 65+.

35%-90% death rate for WuFlu once you hit 65 years of age.

If even 2.1% of that 47 million died it would be, at least to Americans, the greatest event since WWII. If 10%-20% of that 47 million died, then, well, that’s a different matter altogether.

There would be no narrative if a pandemic struck. It would be written later by historians. We would have no idea if we were going to make it as species or not.

If things got bad enough, a number of nuclear-tipped regional wars would likely happen in quick succession. Isreal-Iran, DPRK-ROK/USA and India Pakistan could all happen very quickly and right about the same time.

There would be a massive refugee problem, the likes of which we’ve never seen since the end of WWII.

If China imploded as a result of WuFlu, that would fundamentally change the nature of the global economy.

The movie industry probably wouldn’t make it past a pandemic because people wouldn’t want to go to see the movies and AR/VR/MX would replace the entire industry in months, not years or decades.

Russia, China and the US might have revolutions and or civil wars if the death rate was bad enough. If the browning of America happened in three months not three decades because of a pandemic, the same forces that are tearing the country apart politically would simply tear it apart in a much more traditionally violent manner. You might see Blue States align with Canada and Red States try to reform the Confederate States of America.

You could make the argument that as many as 50 million Americans could die if a pandemic struck because of not just the Gray Plague, but any limited nuclear exchanges between the US and the DPRK, food shortages, revolution, civil war and general batshit bonkers behavior on the part of a panicked public.

The issue of continuation of government might be a real problem for a few months as powerful people through the US government got sick and or died. The ability to hold free-and-fair elections — or elections at all — in November might be put into serious doubt. It would be unprecedented.

A real pandemic would suck. We don’t want it. It’s not a movie. It would be real people, real lives and real tears of a grief. It would likely take us decades to come to grips with how many people died.

Let’s hope none of this happens.

All Bow, All Tremble, Before The Possible Might Of ‘The Gray Plague’

Who knows.
Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

Let me make some things clear — first, I doubt we have anything to worry about at this point. We’ve reached the apex of all the issues with WuFlu and as such I can go back to developing my novel now. Also, I really, really, really don’t want the scenario I am about to suggest to happen in any way. But I have a moment of spare time, so here goes.

The key thing is what hasn’t happened yet. There are no new hotzones. There are no deaths in the West from WuFlu. And it definitely seems as though we’ve dodged a bullet on a macro level outside of a slight slowing of the global economy.

I have two metrics to determine if we in the West should begin to worry — the death rate among elderly celebrities and in South Florida. If that began to explode, then something is up. I say that only because the WuFlu death rate among the elderly — from what I can see online, at least — is rather staggering. There are 47 million Americans over the age of 65. If really was a “Gray Plague” they would be the majority of its deaths, hence the name.

Here’s the point where we have some real talk. If the absolute worst happened and over, say, about a year, 50 million Americans — mostly elderly — died from The Gray Plague, what would that mean? Well, first, the United States wouldn’t make it through it. The browning of America, which is on track to wrap up in about 30 years, would happen in less than a year. This would prompt such instability and bent up rage among MAGA that there would probably be massive civil unrest resulting in civil war and the implosion of the country altogether.

What would replace it, I don’t know. It might be something like Canada & a reborn CSA or something. It would not be pretty, whatever it was. But again, that’s rather fantastical at this point. More likely, all the good news we’re hearing from Wuhan is on the up-and-up and we can just move on. I hope I’m right, I really do.