It has been a while since I last commented on the panademic but it now seems time to update observations.
While there is still a big question mark over the discrepancy and divergence between cases and deaths, which is still left to be explained, there are now signs that the number of deaths arising every day is beginning to increase. Not yet in line with the still rampaging case load but who knows what the future trajectory of coronavirus associated deaths might be.
Currently we are seeing an average 5,000 deaths per day. A figure not seen during the past two months but still not close to the almost 7,000 peak daily occurrences of three months ago. Meanwhile the daily caseload continues to spiral upwards and now sits at more than 220,000 new cases registered each day.
Will we see the death rate climb once again to much higher levels? The constantly increasing case load says it should, and we ought to expect that it might. Are we now in a second wave? Well, if we are, then the first wave was nothing more than a ripple. I don’t plan to speculate further on those things. Time will tell. Even though it may not be the whole story.
Is this a tragedy? It is for those involved and personally touched by it. It may also be that for those of us who are somewhat philosophical about the inevitability of death but don’t have a particular interest in the early unnatural curtailment of our own lives. But these figures of 5,000 deaths per day, or even a return to 7,000 or more, are mere peanuts in the overall scheme of things. We humans together add more than a net 220,000 to our totals each and every day that passes, and we have done that (that same average number) for at least the past three decades, and only marginally less than that for most of the past century. So, to put it in a proper perspective, COVID-19 deaths are barely going to be noticed or cause any fluctuation in the growth of the problem that our unchecked growth in numbers will very soon pose for all of us.
Until we can view these abnormal situations – pandemics, wildfires, wars, economic depressions (coming soon), starvation (also coming soon), and all the other possibilities for setbacks to our ‘normal’ lives, not as tragedies, misfortunes, or the fault of anyone else, but as what must be expected in a world that refuses to be tamed and for which we increasingly have not the resources to even attempt to tame it, we can not expect to be able to see any of the ‘normal’ life that we (or some of us) may once have enjoyed so recklessly, ever again.
There are forces in motion now, right now, that are far bigger than our combined will, guile, or ongoing technical capability can ever hope to deter or turn around to operate in a more beneficial or less destructive way. We must come to terms with that, turn our own lives around, and hope that some of us make it through to a new dawn. There can be no other plan. And even if there were, we couldn’t organise ourselves to execute it. We have already become an entity, an organism, that is too big for any form of self-organisation. Not though, too big for self-destruction.