*** The only “opportunistic” virus is a meme not a gene. Viruses gain nothing by killing the organism that produces them (we aren’t just their “host” since all viruses are produced by “host” cells). This “pandemic” however is viral marketing at its most virulent. It isn’t difficult to see who is benefiting.
*** “The Flu” is good common sense branding. It acknowledges that despite the different genetic pathways involved, despite changing conditions every “Flu season”, we are dealing with a common and sensible phenomenon. People die, as they always do of one “cause” or another, but most won’t—most won’t even fall ill unless the conditions are right. The latest rebranding of the flu is what happens in the current scientific culture, where media hype, money and politics “trumps” all common sense.
I don’t question the plethora of viruses in our viral-biome and their potential difference in correlated symptoms. I do question the data and testing. But even if it is true that all the cases being attributed to this virus are actually correlated with a class of proteins we are associating with “corona virus”, the fault in the theory gets us assuming that any difference in medical statistics from the usual flu is due to the difference in viral genetics and not the biological or sociological factors. Even if a virus is confirmed as always present in the deaths and can be proven more “deadly”, I would argue that it is only a symptom and expression of a changing environment, not an opportunistic evolutionary threat.
With some better understanding of biology, I think it is easy to see that the terrain is always the important causal factor and the virus is only what Aristotle called an “efficient cause”, basically a trigger for a process that would have happened anyway even without the specific virus that was there to trigger symptoms. But there is too much financial and political pressure to think this way about disease, despite it being quite obvious and common sense that it’s the terrain, not the microbe or virus that matters. Homeless people and the elderly are always at risk of death, but instead of helping improve the environments that lead to illness and hasten death, we get scared into fake solutions that worsen the very environments that cause illness in the first place, which not only helps confirm their narrative framing, it also opens up new markets and scenarios for exploitation. AIDS in Africa is one of the most heartbreaking examples of this.
*** I don’t mean to single viruses out as being exempt from the normal infectious disease model, but I do think they are very different. I would rather undercut the whole model, whatever the postulated causative agent.
…viruses are particularly fascinating though since I think they play a key role in our evolution.
…putting viruses in a class of exosomes can help us understand how tiny and innocuous they usually are unless replicated by cells. In contrast to a bacteria which replicates on its own and therefore can represent a competing regime, a virus is more closely tied with the functional coherence of the cell and host organism. the mainstream wants to sell the idea that viruses take over the cell, but this obviously doesn’t happen in most circumstances. is it because the immune system destroyed them before they could infect the helpless cell? no. the immune system down regulates viral signals when they are no longer needed in the functional environment. the cell also ignores viral signals when they are not needed.
so why are viruses needed?
they serve many purposes in animals, everything from sulfur transportation when the normal mechanism are not functioning, to a source of genetic diversity to reprogram the genome when there are sections that are causing problems. humans in particular have evolved quickly and have lots of viral dna in our genome. we are one of the few species with leaky guts, which up to a point serves an adaptive function as a way to quickly get new DNA into the blood to supplement our adapting genome.
Even if it was engineered for some reason, even if some group wants to reduce population, we aren’t that easy to kill. Though if we keep increasing the crappy diet, drugs, vaccines, electrical and chemical pollution we are exposed to, maybe we will start dying more than usual. But if that happens, there are plenty of pathogens or viral pathways already inside us that will put us out of our misery. No need for new killer super viruses.
In any case…
After a decade or more of chronic illness, I can’t explain how wonderful it is to have a level of unconditional love and openness in my life that is healing my trauma and the pain that has made this life very difficult. I hope more people are learning that conscious openness to the Divine in everyone is the cure for all trauma and illness, and that this fear and paranoia is precisely what causes suffering.