War war war

Pretend, gentle reader, that you are the Batflu. Maybe you don’t want to be, but that doesn’t matter, for we are doing one of those mental exercises. Really, you are the opposing general — “surgeon-general” if you will — and the final intention is to defeat our enemy. But in the course of winning, we must consider things from the enemy’s point-of-view. We try to anticipate what he will be doing, to defeat us.

Now, the virus also has tactics and strategy. He is a bit like a communist invader, in the sense that he does not care about casualties. He is happy to sacrifice all his troops, to swamp just one position; and if he loses them all without taking it, he just moves on to the next one. Viruses do not get sentimental about life and death. And because they can suddenly multiply, exponentially as it were, when the micro-microclimate is favourable, they don’t worry about shortage of troops. Fire ants and termites are also like this, although on a much bigger scale. They are more sophisticated, too, but still they operate on essentially commie principles: by piling on.

Looking back over the æons to around January of this past year, it strikes me that we already knew these things, from many centuries of experience with contagions. We already knew, for instance, that facemasks give little or no protection, and that ordering social distance is mostly a waste of time. (Scared people do it without being told.) Both also do significant collateral damage, entirely to our side. Still, we can understand “fifteen days to flatten the curve,” given fears that the enemy might overwhelm our hospitals in the first wave of his “Pearl Harbour” attack, with all of our defences unready. But it should have been abandoned, after fifteen days.

We already knew that such enemies come in waves; that this type, like any conventional northern-hemisphere flu, lazes through the summer but gets back to disciplined aggression in the fall. We knew all about “herd immunity”; still know all about it, although the information is suppressed. The Batflu seems rather better informed, however. His (rather naïve) attempts to “evolve” in the available time, show he sometimes panics.

But in the Batflu’s view, our defences are inadequate, when not laughable. We can hardly evolve as a species so quickly, whenever switching to defence, although we do have some biochemical tricks up our sleeve. Our immune systems are not the predictable force that most meejah take them for (being, typically, more stupid than a virus), and are constantly adjusting their repelling techniques. Like any defencemen, however, they sometimes blow it.

Yet, there will always be drugs — hydroxychloroquine was just a start — that can be utilized experimentally, to give our immunities the upper hand. Indeed, I suspect a Batflu fifth column, in the form of “progressive” politicians, who immediately went to work sabotaging our most promising defences. They opposed intelligent experiment, with the immense stockpile of drugs we already have. They held out for a vaccine, thinking that would take forever. But now that, against the odds, thanks to crazy pro-active men like Trump, we have a growing selection of vaccine-like remedies, they are determined to sabotage those.

To the Batflu, vaccines might seem a setback, but optimism is not restricted to our side. Until herd immunity is achieved, there will still be a vast selection of targets, and he continues to hunt them down. He doesn’t need passports, as the leftists like to say (they also encourage illegal immigration), and could get around even without cars and aeroplanes, if a little slower on the long-hauls. Verily, should one care to check statistics, they get around quickest in the most locked-down environments, probably along paths created by the lockdowns themselves.

For if I may be forgiven for stereotyping them, that’s what all viruses are like. They are opportunistic, and there are always opportunities. By blocking one, we open another, and the Batflu is indifferent to our choices. He may be diffused into harmlessness in a large rally. He may strike like a cobra in a confined space. But like an uneducated cobra, he may strike and miss.

We’ll get to herd immunity sooner or later, as ever. Dragging it out isn’t very clever.

Truly, there is no way to manage a Batflu, and only our vanity says we’re in control. Try Vitamin D if you are paranoid. It might work and it might not, but won’t hurt you much if it doesn’t. Whereas, facial masks turn half the population into Karens. (Tell me about it!) This causes long-term social effects, including despair and œconomic ruin.

And they spread pimples, too.