Some Lessons From Covid-19

There is a lot of noise these days about how the Covid-19 virus came to be. There is the natural variant idea. The virus began among bats and ended up becoming transmittable to humans via a wet market in Wuhan. There is the more likely version that says it leaked from the Wuhan Virology Institute 400 meters from that wet-market. The most sinister is it was purposely released.

There is a paper describing the natural and accidental release modalities. It raises concerns and helps explain some of the drama we are seeing. For me, it started with a Tucker Carlson piece. The first 18 minutes or so of this video.

I don’t think you should take TV opinion as gospel, so I dug up the paper he referred to in the video. It is here. Origins of Covid-19. The paper has references to several other papers and on balance seems to be well thought out. Not my field though, so check for yourself.

With any event involving this level of tragedy there is plenty of blame to be allocated. While a little satisfying, blame accomplishes little, unless there is a lesson or question capable of carrying forward to new circumstances. There are several here:

  1. What’s the goal of gain of function? Maybe a universal vaccine.
  2. What’s the right approach to gain of function? I don’t know but I suspect it is necessary to better understand viruses. It isn’t child’s play though, and precautions are required. Well beyond those in the Wuhan Institute. Level – 2 according to the paper. About what you find in a dentist’s office.
  3. What are the potential problems aside from escape of the altered virus? Maybe prions or viroids.
  4. Who should be responsible for signing off on the projects? Politicians don’t seem to be well enough trained to have a place. Bureaucracies might have the ability, but their mindset is bureaucratic. Gain of function is their everyday business plan. Approving a variation of that idea would be too easy.
  5. When do you stop? Who gets to make that call?
  6. Is do nothing an option?
  7. Is it competitive. Are their strategic military things to learn and we must stay at the forefront?

Tough call, but tough calls don’t get easier by paying them no attention.

All tough calls begin with humility. We don’t know much about the current problem and even less about others that are possible. It is not the time for the experts to preen on TV, nor for politicians to try to make power gains, nor for the people to leave it to others.

It’s a good time to begin the debate. People are paying attention.

Does anyone want to bet such an honest debate and cost-benefit analysis will happen? Be serious.


I help people have more income and larger, more liquid estates.

Call in Canada 705-927-4770, or email don@moneyfyi.com 

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