Monday, February 24, 2020

What Would A Virus Optimized For Rapid, Lethal Spread Look Like

The author of this article, Charles Hugh Smith, doesn't use the word "bioweapon" even once, but it takes just about no imagination at all to realize that's exactly what he's describing--a virus engineered for use as a weapon. Call it an argument for "intelligent design," if you wish. I offer this as further evidence that what we're dealing with in Covid 19 is a bioweapon that's escaped into the wild--and nobody really knows what the consequences will be. Which explains the very obvious alarm of governments around the world--they know something that isn't being made public for fear of panic. That's my guess. Excerpt from When Will We Admit Covid-19 Is Unstoppable And Global Depression Is Inevitable?

If we asked a panel of epidemiologists to imagine a virus optimized for rapid spread globally and high lethality, they'd likely include these characteristics:
1. Highly contagious, with an R0 of 3 or higher.
2. A novel virus, so there's no immunity via previous exposure.
3. Those carrying the pathogen can infect others while asymptomatic, i.e. having no symptoms, for a prolonged period of time, i.e. 14 to 24 days.
4. Some carriers never become ill and so they have no idea they are infecting others.
5. The virus is extremely lethal to vulnerable subpopulations but not so lethal to the entire populace that it kills its hosts before they can transmit the virus to others.
6. The virus can be spread by multiple pathways, including aerosols (droplets from sneezing/coughing), brief contact (with hotel desk clerks, taxi drivers, etc.) and contact with surfaces (credit cards, faucets, door handles, etc.). Ideally, the virus remains active on surfaces for prolonged periods, i.e. 7+ days.
7. Those infected who recover may catch the virus again, as acquired immunity is not 100%.
8. As a result of this and other features, it's difficult to manufacture a vaccine that will reliably protect against infection.
9. The tests designed to detect the virus are inherently limited, as the virus may be present in tissue that isn't being swabbed.
10. The symptoms of the illness are essentially identical with less contagious and lethal flu types, so people who catch the virus may not know they have the novel pathogen.
As you probably know by now, these are all characteristics of Covid-19, and this is why it is unstoppable. As we now know, millions of people left Wuhan while the epidemic was raging in January, spreading the virus throughout China and the world via hundreds of airline flights to other nations.
As noted here before--no data doesn't mean no virus. Even in the U.S., facilities do not have test kits, for example: No one in Hawaii has been tested for coronavirus as health officials wait for kits from CDC (2/20/20).
The situation in developing nations is similar: few if any test kits, which are not 100% reliable and so multiple tests may be required, and so there is no means to ascertain who is a carrier. No data doesn't mean no virus.
The author goes on to discuss how economists would design a global economic system "optimized for vulnerability to external shocks." Not surprisingly, after listing 8 factors, he concludes:

These are precisely the characteristics of our precarious global economy, dependent on rising debt, vast speculative bubbles, vulnerable supply chains and marginal consumers and producers.

You may or may not agree with all of it, but it's definitely worth considering.


  1. I just do not buy the bio weapon explanation. Why would any rational entity ever develop such a thing? China's leaders are mostly rational leaders who value survival. Even if you could wipe out your enemy with this weapon, if you managed to do that you would almost be guaranteed to do the same to yourself.

    What I do buy is this virus could be the result of dangerous and ill-advised research into the corona virus, an attempt to understand the disease to provide insights into treating future outbreaks.

    1. "Why would any rational entity ever develop such a thing?"

    2. I'm going to tilt toward Anonymous on this. I realize the US has done CBW research; I followed your link for the update. So, we are supposed to have stopped as per Nixon's order. This doesn't mean we aren't looking into ways of stopping a CBW attack. I hope we are.

      The inherent problem, as Anon & Nixon point out, is that there is no way to protect your own people and military from the effects of the bio-weapon. No matter what happened in this case--accident at lab, smuggled subsequently eaten viral bat--the Chinese certainly weren't prepared for it.

      I sure hope that this is not an actual bio-weapon that leaked out because this could get horrible in a very big way in the next few months.

      So, Mark, I pray you are wrong.

      The most distressing aspect to the situation is the 14 - 24 day incubation period. That is Walking Dead land.

      And no matter what happens, instead of having gigantic end of the world climate change gatherings every year, why not have a global confab on CBW. I don't trust the Chinese (no, I'm not a bigot) & I sure don't trust our own military. The less said about Vlad on this front the better.

    3. And our government would never, like, pull our legs about this?

    4. The assumption that rational decision-making would limit or prevent the development of bioweapons, or the testing of novel viruses, seems nullified by history and man's capacity for both evil and risk taking (deemed after-the-fact as dangerously insane).

      We might study history--I don't see much evidence we learn from history. The arrogance of man to see himself at the pinnacle of knowledge and wisdom is a recurring feature of history. We're not any different.

    5. This is true. In fact, in a previous post I quoted an article from Nature in 2015--five years ago--noting that Chinese researchers were fooling around with coronaviruses to make them more capable of infecting humans. Western virologists expressed concern at the risks involved.

  2. Smith is both sharp and knowledgeable, on many things.
    Another guy worth a look on this virus stuff is Karl Denninger, see

    "You should expect that in your area, you will find out about a local "hotspot" outbreak, late or not at all through official channels. At least two states in the US are already refusing to release data, on pure numbers of who's been tested for the virus and the results. They're claiming HIPPA and state law prohibits said release; this is a flat-out lie, as numerical counts do not implicate privacy in any way, shape or form. Do not expect the "authorities" to contribute *honest* information you can use to make decisions; you must assume they will actively *conceal* information, until they are overcome by events."

  3. And, with the WTO more concerned about "bigotry" than about the virus (see ),
    I now put the upshot odds as follows:

    1/3 chance of a mild recession, at least 1/3 chance of a hyperinflationary depression, and (at most) 1/3 chance of a huge collapse of industrial civilization.
    The latter is that possible, because so much of the leadership classes of the West have become so stunningly degenerate.

  4. We have brought three full generations to adulthood schooled that our ancestors were ignorant and backward, that knowledge is superior to wisdom, when nothing could be further from the truth; and we did it at the behest of "experts" who were in reality just expert grifters and self-promoters.

    So it looks like my grandchildren will relearn some lessons. I can't calculate how many buckets of water my mother drew from the cistern and heated on the stove for us to bath and wash with because that was, practically speaking, the only defense we could afford against illness in general and particularly what were the two scourges of my childhood, measles and polio (the area I was raised in was known as Polio Central for the U.S. at that time). I didn't realize for many years the cost of that backbreaking labor or why mother approached personal hygiene (not germophobia just soap and water clean) as if it were life or death. After traveling some in the world, both in the 3rd world where even the least amenity has a steep cost in direct human labor and the 1st where that cost is masked by the "magic" of instant clean hot water from a tap, I grew a better appreciation of what she was dealing with, the labor and the fear, a reflection of wisdom and love.

    We grow reckless in our hubris.
    Tom S.

    1. Reckless hubris, in so many areas of modern life.

  5. Bye the way I read something, I think in ZeroHedge but not sure, a couple of weeks ago saying that, while China is being cagey about the numbers, it appears that approximately 80% of fatalities are male. If true another very weird aspect of a "natural" virus.
    Tom S.