“No doc we ain’t got no COVID. Stop trying to squeeze water out of a stone. The models aren’t wrong, you are wrong. The clinical and epidemiological evidence isn’t there!” (Martyn Namorong replies to a newspaper article by asserting there’s no Covid-19 in Papua New Guinea)
ADELAIDE - I struggle to understand why Martyn Namorong, who seems a pretty smart guy, would be saying that Covid-19 is a hoax. I'll do him the courtesy of assuming he was being ironic.
The notion that Covid-19 is a hoax appears to originate, as do so many truly batshit crazy ideas, in the fermentation tank of genius and idiocy that is the United States.
The history of the USA is full of examples of truly mad ideas that somehow gain currency despite all evidence to the contrary.
Most of the world's modern Christian cults like Scientology, Mormonism, Branch Davidian and many other lesser known sects were spawned in the USA.
The USA has always been a hotbed of radicalism in religion and other areas so I guess it is no surprise that this is the case.
Of late, the anti-vaccination movement has gained a following in the USA and elsewhere and so the idea that Covid-19 is a hoax is no great leap for those who harbour anti-scientific and anti-intellectual sentiments.
It seems strange to me that, even though it is science and technology that has created the modern world, there remain billions of humans utterly convinced of the existence and power of supernatural beings, the Christian god being merely one of them.
There is not a shred of credible evidence that there is a supernatural world unless you count the truly bizarre world of quantum physics, the principles of which have allowed us to create the non-corporeal cyber world in which far too many of us spend far too much time these days.
The cyber world has enabled the rapid promulgation of truly stupid ideas, the notion that Covid-19 is a hoax being one of them.
Tell that to the families and friends of those who have died or the doctors and nurses in New York or Houston or London or Paris who have watched these people die rather horribly in their Intensive Care Units.
The self-deluding credulity of human beings is apparently limitless, which is both sad and alarming.
We will cling onto ideas that have no basis in fact for a host of reasons, the most significant of which is apparently the need to protect ourselves from aspects of reality that we find hard or impossible to accept.
Thus fear of death leads us to cling to the idea that we will be resurrected or reincarnated or otherwise go on living in some way.
The objective truth is that when we die we simply cease to be. Only the several quintillion atoms of which we are made are truly immortal.
In a somewhat similar way, it seems that some people deal with a deep seated existential fear of something like Covid-19 by deciding to believe that it does not exist at all.
Such magical thinking is a hallmark of our species and was certainly predominant in traditional societies across the world until comparatively recent times.
I guess that it is not too surprising that the ill-informed and fearful amongst us still cling to such beliefs, notwithstanding that they have no basis in scientific fact or even our lived experience.
My personal conclusion about this is that only a small percentage of humans have the necessary intellect, imagination and courage to live entirely in the real world, unhindered by belief systems designed to make them surrender themselves to unknown and unknowable supernatural forces whose self-appointed earthly representatives will invariably tell them how to live their lives so as to secure some phantasmagorical post-mortem reward.
I prefer to take the sometimes lonely journey to inevitable oblivion while entirely self-directed, free of the cant, hypocrisy and sheer bullshit that is a logical outgrowth of supernatural beliefs of any form.
I cannot honestly say that this is always fun, but at least my self-respect remains intact along the way.