The world is burning and the United States remains on Lulz mode. My concern is it won’t event be America that first has an existential crisis from COVID19 in the near term — it’ll be somewhere like Iceland. It could be any number of places connected to American culture because of tourism, but Iceland seems like the sweetspot for a major outbreak for a number of reasons.
Let me note at this point, that I’m nothing more than Brian Fellows when it comes to all of this and you’re free — in fact encouraged — to ignore anything I have to say with extreme prejudice. But the point is: if Iceland (or somewhere similar to it in, say, the Caribbean like Puerto Rico ) is in the crosshairs of a potential significant outbreak of COVID19 for no other reason than many, many people from mainland USA come through it on a daily basis. It seems like Iceland would be in the crosshairs because of all the oblivious — and infected — Americans that would stay there fora few days then leave. The natives who work in the hotel and restaurant industry would be repeatedly infected and when they all collectively got sick from this exposure, it’s likely to be rather dramatic.
And, yet, maybe I’m reading too much into things. Maybe this is all going to fizzle out and I can go back to working on my novel. That’s what I hope will happened. I really don’t want to have to fight for survival instead of developing a novel. The entire global order is on the cusp of collapsing and that would suck. It would not fun. It would not be exciting. It would suck.
There’s way too much fear porn on Twitter right now. But one thing that isI do know — all the data points are pointing towards a major outbreak in a place very connected to the United States. I think there’s a good chance a shadow pandemic is happening in the States and it would be somewhere like Iceland that felt the brunt of that shadow pandemic if I’m right.
So, let’s pace this out. If the reason the States hasn’t had any noticeable uptick in WuFlu cases is they’re not getting picked up because of a combination of societal and general government screw up, how would we know that Corona Virus was actually here?
Well, what’s so chilling about the conditions of that scenario is how bad things would have to get before we realized what was going on. A few things would likely tip us off.
One, popular vacation spots for Americans in the general North America area would faceplant one by one.
Two, notable elderly people would begin to die an alarming rate, which would make news.
Three, people whose job it was to be somewhere — say, TV anchors — wouldn’t show up to work
Lastly, so many people would be really, really sick that it would be difficult for us not to notice that something was up. The frightening thing about this it would make us realize that our entire medical infrastructure had failed us on a massive scale. By the time we realized what was going on, a huge, deep swath of the population would have been infected multiple times by multiple people.
It would be the biggest crisis in American history that history would mention in the same breath with the Civil War and World War II. I only suggest this is even possible because WuFlu is whipping around the globe at an alarming rate and, yet, to date, there have not been any major flair ups in the States.
I’m simply struggling to understand what’s going on. What I layout out above is one of several possible options. It’s the absolute worst case scenario, which is my thing.
After was all said and done, of course, then we’d struggle to figure out how it happened. Maybe the person who should be blamed — Donald J. Trump — would be blamed. Maybe he wouldn’t. Maybe I’ll be in an ICE Camp re-education camp after the pandemic, maybe I won’t.
If Trumplandia had a motto, it would be, “Cruelty is the point.” I have come to believe that the Religious Right supports Trump not because they think he’s Jesus Christ, but because they think he’s the anti-Christ and, as such, will bring back Jesus. That particular theory may be put to the test if we pretty much have the end of the world and….Jesus STILL DOESN’T COME BACK.
But the issue is — how bad, really, would a pandemic have to get before Sean Hannity would crawl out of Trump’s butt? Far worse than you could possibly imagine. I figure at least 10 million people would have to die before Fox News might re-think its support for the Dear Leader. Or, put another away, America could be brought to its knees economically directly because of Trump’s dumb policy decisions regarding pandemic and it would be a lulz by Fox News. In a sense, America’s political system is now run by a death cult.
When “the end” comes (at least in the short term) they are likely to make good on all those threats against people like me. Trump will go completely fucking insane, do everything he was planning on doing in his second term, only counted in days instead of months and years. I guess what I’m saying is — the bad guys are a lot more organized than the good guys going into what may be a short-term armageddon. By the time the ship of state is righted, Trump will be even more powerful than he was before. I just don’t see Democrats having the wherewithal to impeach Trump AGAIN over his criminal mishandling of a pandemic. Prove me wrong, Speaker Pelosi.
But you have to admit, it would be ironic if someone so loved by the Religious Right was ultimately brought down by an “act of God.” One could make the case that Trump maybe wasn’t QUITE as loved by the big guy upstairs as MAGA would have us believe. And, remember, it would be difficult to impeach-and-convict Trump for negligence in the middle of a pandemic. He would otherwise be removed through the 25th Amendment, but lulz. Any Congressional trial of Trump over a massive pandemic screw up would be happen long after the event itself was over –say 2022-2023. Trump would be even more powerful and the massive clusterfuck he was directly responsible for would have faded, the economy would have bounced back and Mt. Rushmore would have a new face on it.
In fact, I would say you really would have to have a “Gray Plague” for MAGA to lose its potency. If 10-20 elderly people died then that’s a few less angry white men who will march to the polls no matter what for Trump. I generally believe we’re more likely to go dystopia or division than any type of renewal. This is an example of how the narrative of history isn’t written until after the fact — by the winners.
No one listens to me. No one cares. But I can’t help myself. I need to at least put down my own thoughts about WuFlu before I go back to working on my novel. So, here goes.
America We have three major regional powers — South Korea, Iran and Italy slowly and collectively faceplanting. And, yet, fucking Fortress America is being “protected” by the magical mystery Big Dick Energy of our Doofus Dear Leader — or whatever dumb theory the Christian Right has come up with when they’re not drinking fucking bleach. The American Twitter intelligentsia, which SHOULD be using their collective voices to educate the population about WuFlu is too busy stroking their taints about their Campaign 2020 hot takes to worry themselves with that.
And then, Trump’s leave the country for a major meet-and-greet with the leader of India. This has got to be the stupidest idea of Trump’s presidency and he’s had a lot of them. For POTUS to be on the other side of the world just as a pandemic may be about to strike the country is…less than optimal. There’s a greater-than-zero chance that we could wake up to the horror of multiple warm and hot zones across the United States and…lulz…POTUS is struggling with having to eat vegetables and making crass jokes about Indian food across from the leader of a billion people.
Then you have to think about what would happen if the entire air system shut down in a frantic spasm as global leaders tried to shut down what was already here: a pandemic. It would be like 9/11, only last for days, weeks and months and be all over the world. It would be 3W – World War WuFlu. How would POTUS be able to lead if he wasn’t even physically in the country? Who would lead the country? Pence? What if — God forbid — the opening of 3W was not only a wave of hot and warm zones across the nation, but six or seven major elderly political figures croaking in quick succession? THEN what are we going to do? I don’t know. I just know the first few hours and days of a 3W would be unlike anything we’ve seen since the Civil War. It would be worst than WW2 because it would be domestic, as well. It would be mass chaos all over the globe until we started to get our wits about us.
Throw in the possibility of THREE major regional wars going nuclear, and lulz, things get even weirder. I mean, if the entire global system goes belly up while Trump is in India and there’s a war between India and Pakistan….yikes! We’d need Snake Plissken to fix that particular problem. But that really is the absolute worst case scenario. Trump could never get trapped in India during a nuclear war with Pakistan caused by WuFlu. Right? That could never happen.
I still think there’s a TMZ Ticking Bomb — if there was a massive outbreak of WuFlu in the States, the first thing that would happen would be a lot of elderly celebrities would die in quick succession. That and maybe South Florida’s death rate would abruptly sky rocket.
Iceland I continue to wonder about Iceland, and other popular tourist destinations around the States. It just seems that Iceland would be the one nation best prepared to realize what was going on as it was happening. Way, way too many Americans visit Iceland in a year for it not to get a gut punch if there was a “shadow” WuFlu pandemic happening here. My fear is that WuFlu is all over the United States right now, but because most people simply don’t go to the doctor because they don’t want to medical bills, that it’s not until the number of REALLY sick people grows so enormous that we notice it. That’s why I think Iceland might give us a heads up — all those slightly sick Americans exposing the natives of Iceland would inevitably bring that lovely nation to its knees whenever the outbreak finally happened there. But I have no idea if I’m anywhere near the truth on that one. I’m Brian Fellows and all that. But I would, if had any power in Iceland — which I don’t — declare a national energy and get EVERYONE IN THE ENTIRE FUCKING COUNTRY tested for WuFlu.
Japan While right now Italy, South Korea and Iran are getting a lot of attention, I think it’s Japan we should keep an eye on. There actual number of cases apparently is growing exponentially and they have about 125 million with a lot of the being old. We’re careening towards a situation where all of Northeast Asia is going to have to be written off economically. If that doesn’t do something to the global economy then maybe we really are living in the Matrix. If Japan is brought to its knees not so much because of deaths but because, well, 60% of the population is too sick to do anything that might cause the Masters of The Universe in NYC to pause for a moment while doing “rails on tails.”
China I have no idea what is going no here. Someone, somewhere, is lying. And President Xi wants everyone to go back to work ASAP to make widgets for the capitalist running dogs in the West. There’s a chance that China is going to implode and take its economy with it. Again, all those “but I’m making money” Trump supporters might say, “Well, I’ve made all the money I’ve going to make NOW you can impeach him successfully.”
Iran Iran is interesting because it has more deaths associated with its outbreak than anywhere else. It has eight deaths to date. That’s a lot, but it’s still not the exponential growth in deaths that maybe we might otherwise fear. I still don’t understand how it’s outbreak fits in what the other ones around the globe. But it didn’t cut off air traffic at the beginning of the Wuhan outbreak, so, I dunno.
Italy This outbreak is the one that hits closest to home (other than South Korea because I lived there for five years). The scenes I see there seem like something I might see in the States in, say, two weeks. Panic buying. People generally freaking out, that kind of thing. It is interesting that, just like as depicted in the book WWZ, different nations react to WuFlu in different ways according to their collective personality.
Anyway. That’s where things stand. The DPRK is acting weird — as usual — but I may devote an entire blog post to that situation.
If you work on the assumption that the United States has a “shadow” pandemic happening right now within its domestic borders, what would be the consequence of that? Well, it seems logical that a lot of people would be sick, but not SO SICK that they went to the doctor for their symptoms because, lulz, Don Jr. needed a tax cut and we can’t have an NHS in the States because “muh wall.”
So, you would have all these overworked — many of them poor — Americans running around infecting each other. The incubation period is long enough that pretty much a huge, wide, deep swath of the American population could have been exposed more than once by more than one person. Remember, South Korea and Italy both have socialized medicine, so people who with “flu-like symptoms” would be a lot more likely to go to the doctor and be tested. Also, only four American states have WuFlu tests AND they have to go to the CDC HQ in Georgia to be examined. (I think that’s right. I’m not 100% sure. If it is — very fucked up system.)
Anyway, the one place where a lot of sick Americans would visit and leave would be tourist destinations nearby. While Mexico and Canada get a lot of visitors from the States, they’re a lot bigger. Poor old Iceland, however, is small and gets high volume traffic from all over the States (and world.) There are a few other places I could imagine might also suffer from a lot of clueless sick Americans. Any number of smaller islands in the Caribbean would likely register WuFlu cases before the dumb, lumbering American system realized that 80% of the population had been exposed.
But, for the sake of argument, let’s look at Iceland. A lot of Americans from all over the country fly in for a few days and leave. It would make sense that the first cases of WuFlu would be picked up at tourist hotspots there. Hotel staff and their families would probably be the first to get really sick. Then next would be the people treating them. So, within a few days the first WuFlu case being picked up by the Icelandic health system, the entire country could faceplant.
Again, there are a number of other small nations around the States that might face a similar fate. But Iceland probably has the best health system of any of them and would be the quickest to notice what was going on. If Iceland collectively fell to its knees with WuFlu, then we know that the States is in a shit tone of trouble.
Like, oh my God, tell everyone important in your life you love them.
I was born on a momentous day — Feb 26th. It was the day Napoleon escaped from the island of Elba. It was the start of The Hundred Days. It is within reason to believe that in real terms the worst of whatever pandemic strikes the USA will be about three months — a hundred days. Our fate, one way or another will be decided by the end of that period.
Either we finally start killing each other, or we renew our Union’s vows and, much like after the American Civil War, we enter a new era of peace and prosperity. For that to happen, of course, we’d need leadership. And, honestly, there’s only one person I can think of who has the oratory and leadership skills to help us get through what is shaping up to be a huge clusterfuck. Crisis management is about using what you have, not wishing about what you want. The first person who comes to mind when I think of leadership is Greta Thunberg, but she’s Swedish. The second person I think of is Jon Stewart.
He’s not a politician — yet — but he’s who we need right now. He’s funny, articulate and passionate. If we could somehow get him organizing things once we finally strike the pandemic iceberg, then maybe we could turn things around in 100 days and not, like, fucking implode into civil war. Or, put another way, we need some leadership immediately, off the bat the moment there’s panic buying. Passive-agressive tweeting isn’t going to cut it.
We need an actual leader. Someone who has a vision as to how we’re going to stay together as a nation and save as many lives as possible. No one listens to me, so I don’t know what we’re going to do. Besides, I have a novel to develop.
Imagine if instead of Dec. 1941, WW2 had started in, say, February 1940. That’s where we stand with WuFlu. I just don’t see the 2020 campaign lasting past the first big outbreak of WuFlu in the States. Retail politics is, by definition, social and if you aren’t supposed to be in the same room with someone because they might make you sick, well, how the fuck can you campaign?
Only one or two journalists on Twitter are beginning to take WuFlu seriously as a political and national security issue in the States. That may — or may not — change in time for when the Pearl Harbor or 9/11 sized strike by WuFlu happens in the States within the next 28 days. We are so fucked for so many reasons, one of them being that the stewarts of the public interest — public intellectuals on Twitter — are so busy giving us hot takes about Campaign 2020 that they’re totally overlooking the huge iceberg that is headed straight towards us.
We. Are. So Fucked.
I mean, Italy is about to faceplant. South Korea is about to faceplant. And Iran is having a disturbingly high number of deaths. And fucking Japan may implode in stealth mode. Meanwhile Slate and Vox are bitching about Bernie Sanders in his underwear with Soviet apparatchiks 40 years ago. What we need is all the brand name nattering nabobs of negativism on Twitter to tell us not only what WE should do but what THEY are doing on a practical level to save themselves. That would be a way to alert people of how serious what about to happen really is.
A pandemic in the States would be equal to WW2. And Americans are so inward looking that we just don’t care. I got shithead MAGA people sniping at me about Bernie being the presumptive Democratic nominee when we should pause and think about how, in the end, we’re all Americans who bleed the same colored blood.
I don’t know what to tell you. It’s going to be mass chaos whenever the Kraken of pandemic finally arises from the US population. We’re totally unprepared. Totally flatfooted. We have no leadership and whatever leadership we do get will do find will be from the ground up, the “sheep,” if you will. Or, it will come from some unexpected places. I think Jon Stewart would be a great person to be the “Rudy” of our coming pandemic crisis. He has the skill set necessary.
by Shelt Garner @sheltgarner 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.
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.
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.
Division The United States in one year will well on its way to snapping into two countries — one Center Right, one Center Left.
Dystopia MAGA will freak out and start murdering everyone they disagree with — like me!
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.