‘Cast Away’ — #WuFlu Worst Case Scenario Survival Speculation

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner

First, don’t panic. I’m well known for being a daydreaming crank. As such, the following should be taken as entertainment. But let’s take an honest look at what might happen if The Worst Happened with WuFlu at some point in late January into early February. I am reminded of this scene in the movie Cast Away:

We are not prepared for the type of historic clusterfuck WuFlu might be. I say this because of what we know to be true in China right now. The fucking thing has a 10-12 day incubation and you can have no symptoms and be contagious. So, that’s nearly a fortnight of millions of people being able to go all over the world, exposing people and not knowing it.

Now, remember, I can’t predict the future. All I have is datapoints and no context. So this could all fizzle out and I can go back to developing my novel in peace. But suppose my worst fears happen and at some point, say around Jan. 31st, three things happen in quick success — maybe even within hours of each other: Brexit, we find out about a significance impeachment vote in the Senate….and there’s a significant flair up WuFlu cases in the West. I don’t think any of us are prepare for the reaction would be if one of the 80 year old Senators simply keeled over in the middle of the Senate with WuFlu.

That’s unlikely to happen, to say the least. But a lot of different things are happening at the same time, as if history is on the cusp of abrupt lurch forward into a new era in a rather dramatic fashion. If over the course of, say, a week, WuFlu is sufficiently potent that it begins to influence the impeachment trial AND Brexit, well, holy shit.

And, let me note, that the issue is perception. It doesn’t really matter how many people actually keel over in the States, it’s how many do it in a rather conspicuous fashion. But one thing I am mulling is continuation of government. The nightmare scenario is a lot of very important members of the Federal government abruptly become conspicuously incapacitated. But that’s really the absolute worst case scenario.

The point is, again, that I can’t predict the future. But just like when the airplane crashed in Cast Away, little decisions we make now may have some pretty big consequences for years to come.

V-Log: Observations About Writing Strong, Believable Female Characters In Fiction

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelt Garner

What I believe.

Current WuFlu Datapoints & Questions #WuFlu #Wuhan #Corona

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelt Garner

I suggest you read the book World War Z if you want some sense of what’s going on right now with the WuFlu. The novel is almost non-fiction at this point. But here are some interesting datapoints to mull.

Wuflu is less symptomatic than SARS
You can have it and not know it. You have two weeks to wander around the world, infecting 14+ other people and not know it.

China is freaking out
Growing number of cities in China are in total lockdown. What do they know that we don’t?

Datapoint trend is ominous.
I’ve looked at a chart comparing the growth of SARS and WuFlu cases and relative to that we should see a significant spike in cases very, very soon.

The dog that hasn’t barked, yet
It would not take many (white) people dying in major cities in the US for the Superbowl to be canceled rather abruptly. (Systemic racism is such in the US that it has to be white people.) That would set up a cascading set of events that might leave the whole world in a panic.

Trump is a bad leader
POTUS is likely to lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie about the situation for as long as possible then freak out and maybe lose his mind. When the only redeeming feature of his administration is its incompetence, that doesn’t exactly give one a lot of hope.

WuFlu may have a 15% mortality rate
That there have been so few deaths relative to the number of cases is unsettling. If it has an estimated mortality rate of as high as 15%, then what happens when we go from 1,000s of cases in China to 100,000s of cases worldwide?

V-Log: #WuFlu & The Birth Of The Fourth Reich

The End

When Do We Worry? #WuFlu #Wuhan

Now What.

by Shelt Garner

Remember, 1 million Chinese people could die in the next few weeks and it would still not be enough to cancel the Superbowl. But one white person keels over on 5th Ave and suddenly that happens. (Systemic racism is a hell of a drug.)

I don’t expect WuFlu to be a problem. I see it as simply another Ebola. If it’s used for political ends it will be more a reflection of the polarization of American political life than anything else. But let’s imagine the worst happened and suddenly a dozen (white) people dropped in the middle of the street in various major cities across the United States.

If that happened anytime soon, they might cancel the Superbowl and Republicans would use it as an excuse to “vindicate” Trump even sooner than they might otherwise. Or, the WuFlu might be the first be crisis the Fourth Reich faced after its birth.

Some things to take into consideration — apparently WuFlu is a lot like smallpox in that there’s about two weeks between when you get it and when you start to feel ill enough that you might go to the doctor. That’s a lot of international travel you might undertake. Also, on a macro historical scale, commerce and pestilence are very much intertwined. The Black Death only happened because of the potency of the Silk Road that only existed because of the stability that the Mongol Empire provided. That also works in reverse, commerce could very well come to a halt on a macro scale if WuFlu shuts down all forms of international transportation — the moment that breaks down, the lives of every day people will begin to be affected in some pretty big ways.

Also, it might be only one (white) person dropping in NYC to cause a panic that would only make matters worse. People would stop going to work. People wouldn’t send their kids to school. States, then cities, then towns might self-quarantine in an effort to save themselves. When the lights go out on a massive scale, then you don’t have access to the Internet or other forms of mass media.

A lot of smaller nations — DPRK and Iran — would likely use a significant pandemic as an excuse to achieve otherwise unobtainable geopolitical goals. China might strike Taiwan as well.

I don’t expect any of that to happen. I really don’t.

The Day Before: The Banal Apocalypse #Wuhan #WuFlu #LevParnas #TakeHerOut #WritingLife

Shelton Bumgarner

The above is pretty interesting. I talk about a number of things, specifically how much life would suck after the end of the world.

Wargaming ‘#WuFlu 2020’ #Wuhan #coronovirus

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelt Garner

Here are some observations about what’s going on with the “WuFlu.” As of right now, there’s no reason to panic or worry. As long as the media narrative is people are dying in China, then, well, lulz (at least according to Twitter “thought leaders.”) China is an authoritarian state, so there’s every reason to believe the outbreak could get far, far worst than any of us could possibly imagine but it would be contained.

It’s when people start dropping in the streets of major cities in the West that we lurch towards a pretty dark situation. What’s interesting is a number of things are happening at the same time — Brexit in the UK, impeachment in the US and now Wuhan in China.

I guess my main fear is that the leader of the free world is a deranged tyrannical lunatic.

Apocalypse Now: Brexit, Impeachment, & Wuhan

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelt Garner

A number of things are happening at the same time on a macro historical level at the moment and there’s a least a chance that they will begin to influence each other.

As I understand it, Brexit is going to happen on Jan. 31, one way or another. I haven’t really kept up with how “hard” it’s meant to be, but it’s definitely going to cause some disruption in things in the short term.

We are rushing towards a pretty unsatisfactory conclusion on impeachment, with Trump being acquitted out of hand by the Senate for no other reason than the entire Republican Party is beholden to House Trump and only see democracy as a means to an end.

We haven’t had a pandemic in just under over 100 years. If we had a once-a-century pandemic given modern transportation, there’s a good chance the death toll would be far higher than any of us could possibly imagine.

As of right now, these three things are happening separate of each other. But there’s a least a small chance that will change. There’s a chance that there may come a point in the near future when they begin to at least influence each other in some way.

Say, for instance, that somehow we get a longer impeachment trial, long enough that the economic effects of Brexit begin to influence politics in the United States enough that public opinion begins to shift on Trump. This is probably highly unlikely — Trump’s probably going to be acquitted in a matter of hours, it seems. But if there was a longer trial, then there’s more chance that if the Wuhan virus begins to kill people at pandemic levels in the next few weeks, then all three things would influence each other.

What’s more likely to happen is something like this — there’s a short trial. Trump’s “vindicated.” And then all breaks loose. Then we see the one two punch of Brexit and Wuhan strike. It is the stress of finally having a crisis that is not a self-own that drives Trump completely bonkers. And given that use of the 25th Amendment to remove a president is a dead letter, then we would have a worse-case-scenario on our hands.

Trump complete and total lack of leadership would only make a bad situation far, far worse. In the end, the fate of humanity might be at stake and I honestly don’t have a ready answer as to the outcome.

Know Your Angry White Male Silver Fox MAGA Thought Leader

Shelton Bumgarner

By Shelt Garner
So, there you are, watching TV when you see one of several interchangeable sliver haired middle-aged angry dough boys ranting about how if only we let Trump be Trump then he could fulfill his role as the anti-Christ, Jews would be driven into the sea and the Rapture would occur like the Bible says America would be made great again. Here’s a list of the major actors in the racist, misogynistic, bigoted bullshit bad faith argument bullshit echo sphere that will dominate the lives of millions in the Fourth Reich for years to come. Oddly enough, they all kinda look the same, as if birthed from some sort of dystopian They Live podchamber.

Hugh Hewitt

Hewitt is notable for the lengths he will go to debase himself for Trump in a reasonably cogent fashion. He is the apologist’s apologist when it comes to Trump. It has started to seem as though he’s angling for some sort of apparatchik position in the Fourth Reich. Does he want to be gruppenf├╝hrer of the new Washington Military District of Columbia or something? What is his deal? He is also notable for having sufficient respect among Twitter liberals that he pops up on the Sunday chat shows and the Washington Post babbling in the most obsequious manner possible that if only we’d leave Trump alone, he would, at last, make America great Again.

Dennis Prager

Prager does PragerU, which is a middlebrow bad faith and very formal online conduit of MAGA bullshit that a lot of otherwise reasonable people eat up because it gives them some sort of intellectual framework for being a Good American in the Fourth Reich. He conveys with great gravitas racist, misogynistic, ignorant and historically oblivious bullshit that conflates anything necessary to get your middle-aged mom to think somehow Trump is not so bad after all.

Glenn Beck

Beck is simply fucking insane. After having shown a modicum of principle at the onset of the Fourth Reich, Beck has switched gears and is just another fucking Trump cockholster in an pretty elaborate bullshit echo chamber of bad faith arguments. He’s completely unhinged and sees conspiracies under every rock. In a way, Beck’s change of heart about Trump is all you need to know about modern Trumpian conservatism.

Mark Levin

I don’t know what to tell you about this guy. He’s not as deranged as Beck, but he’s somewhere between Hewitt and Schlapp in intelligence and the ability to make a cogent badfaith argument. He’s very fascist friendly and you start to think he would be cool with American Killing Fields in update New York if Trump suggested it.

Matt Schlapp

Oh, Matt Schlapp. I see him as one of the most dangerous of these pasty white MAGA thought leaders because he’s the smartest and best educated of the bunch. He honestly believes that the racist and misogynistic bullshit he spews isn’t either one of those things. In an earlier time, he’d be the German somewhere in the east of the country who had an “overnight conversion” to Communism at some point in late 1945 when it became apparent the Soviets weren’t going anywhere and he still had mouths to feed.

Newt Gingrich

If the Fourth Reich was a video game, he would be the last guy you had to defeat to win the game. His MAGA rhetoric can’t be beat and he probably is far closer to The Dear Leader in private than any of us could possibly imagine. In fact, you could say that MAGA is nothing more than the deranged ideological child of Pat Buchanan and Newt Gingrich. But Buchanan isn’t a pasty silver-haired dough boy, so he’s not on this list.

’53 Angry Republican Senators’ & The WuTang Virus

Shelton Bumgarner