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This updated article corrects the writer's misunderstanding
of the death rates in Worldometers.info. Sorry for the mistake.

The virus from Thanos

By Elson T. Elizaga, March 3, 2020. Published in Mindanao Gold Star Daily on February 24, 2020.

Dust particles, photo by Camilo Jimenez

After reading endless reports about the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID19), I am now convinced that death happens, that the best to time to get married is when we are still young, and that the virus carries a message about the salvation of humanity.

Consider: The COVID19 kills people who are sick or old, or both. The Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) said several days ago: "We know that most of those who have died had underlying health conditions such as hypertension, diabetes or cardiovascular disease that weakened their immune systems."

Ok, we got this similar message during the Severe Accurate Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak. But what is the present situation? What are the top diseases that make one vulnerable to the COVID19? Worldometers.info has this data for confirmed cases on February 29, 2020: cardiovascular disease, 13.2 percent; diabetes, 9.2 percent; hypertension, 8.4 percent; chronic respiratory disease, 8.0 percent; cancer, 7.6 percent.

This means patients with cardiovascular disease have 13.2 percent probability of dying if they are infected with COVID19. Those without ailments prior to COVID19 contamination are likely to survive. Check Worldometers.info for updates.

The risk of dying also increases with age, although an 83-year-old woman has recovered; perhaps she leads a healthy lifestyle. Nine-year-old children and younger survive, possibly because "children have healthier lungs because they have not had as much exposure to cigarette smoke and air pollution." As of March 4, 2020, however, experts are still puzzled, according to a report by NBC News.

Are these facts unusual? Only the part about the children because they can die from dengue virus infection. But we know that the sick and the old are always closer to death even without the help of a pangolin. We are showered by microbes and pollutants since birth, and the relatively fit always flourish. When a lion approaches a herd of Thomson gazelles, the strongest will jump repeatedly to inform the predator that he can get away. So, the lion will select the young, the injured, and the old.

City dwellers like us have not escaped from the ancient forest. We might have shielded ourselves from the large predators. We build walls to separate ourselves from other humans, but we are unable to lock ourselves from the constantly evolving microbes, some of which reside in our guts in aid of digestion, others delivered to our doorstep by bats.

The world counts the dead in China every day, and many are terrified, but death happens every day. Page 10 of the World Mortality 2017 Data Booklet published by the United Nations states that 56.567 million people died in 2015 – a daily average of 155,224.

And the leading causes of death are the usual: cardiovascular, cancer, and respiratory diseases.

So, nothing is new. The virus is simply behaving like other organisms. It is just searching for food. Like Homo sapiens, they also want to go R&R in Tahiti, Bali, and Boracay. Sometimes they behave like bad tourists, causing damage. Death is certainly distracting for people with lots of backlogs. But those in mortal pain who want quick relief will get relief. And those who beg for mercy will be released.

THE STATE OF THE PLANET. Bloomberg reports that the virus has cut China's carbon emission by 100 million metric tons, which is good news. If the reduction continues, if other countries especially the US will reduce its pollution, climate change might change.

Meanwhile, Arirang News reported on February 16 that several Chinese scientists suspect the COVID19 comes from the Wuhan Center for Disease Control (WCDC), a laboratory only 280 meters away from the wet market.

I doubt it. But I have faith in the teaching that the virus is a message from Thanos. The message contained in its DNA is "Reduce. Reuse. Recycle." Astrophysicists just could not read the warning. Not all aliens use radio waves to communicate. Some send us viruses to keep in touch. Greta Thunberg is an extra-terrestrial. Look at her eyes. She is from Titan. Her message is if we do not keep out of mischief, Thanos will melt the Siberian permafrost, releasing ancient microbes unknown to science and the Book of Revelation. Trust me, I know. My kids and I have been watching Men in Black, Star Trek and The Avengers even before the outbreak. End


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