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SARS-CoV-2 — the scene and the unscene.

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At Christmas, as many of us gathered with friends and family, the discovery of a new strain of a disease was not the focus of attention for most of the world.

The new year transpired with many resolutions and much well wishing, the virus, only to be observed using specialized equipment, was beginning to spread as concerns over it were being downplayed.

Groundhog's day came and went. Depending on the geographical location, the knowing shadow revealed itself or not. Concerns of the spread of the disease was pitting the term of epidemic against being downplayed as being overly concerned about the seasonal flu.

St. Pat must have turned green with envy as a new rival for the focus of attention was firmly seated on the throne and 'coronated'. Newspapers, radio, television, internet, wrested the attention of the politicians who in turn felt compelled to pay homage to this, except for the 250-thousand times scale, unseen crown bearer.

Websites cropped up that indicated where in the world this otherwise would be almost invisible, except for the effects that it brought about in those who could not succumb to it. Hospitals, where patient confidentiality has been increasingly politicized over the years, fed the numbers back into the interconnected system that these new form of websites tapped into. Newspapers, radio, television, social media all riveted their attention on the incoming data.

Maybe the politicians felt they were losing their limelight and reacted to regain it. I don't think it's that simple.

In the wake of all this, another undercurrent went relatively undetected; the ability to sway the worlds attention to an otherwise relatively unobservable entity. Something that could not be seen by unaided senses, yet it overwhelmed the machinery built over the years which runs seamlessly unobserved in the background of a world otherwise taken for granted by most. To borrow an inquiry from Dr. Corvini, is this a feature or a bug?

"The interlocker has never failed[.*] It is not supposed to fail."
* Period missing from The Objectivism Research CD-ROM.

"The machine, the frozen form of a living intelligence, is the power that expands the potential of your life by raising the productivity of your time."

The interlocker scene connected to the speech scene. The interlocker as a philosophic analogy, doesn't fail. It is described as the power that guides and  shapes the man-made events around us. The entity that is the virus is metaphysical. The ability to isolate and identify that entity is a capability of man. Where is the acknowledgement and consideration of all the discoveries and identifications that made this particular discovery possible? It is a rabbit hole that will only get a hat tip here. More essential would be the parallels between the interlocker scene out of Atlas Shrugged, and the underground river with interlocking tributaries it matured from Peter Keating's battle against the machinery in his world. The machinery is a 'juggernaut'. It either upholds individual rights by crushing that which destroys or threatens to destroy them, or if allowed to deteriorate, becomes the 'monster' Steve Mallory couldn't define in the parallel reference here of The Fountainhead.


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From The Metaphysical Versus the Man-Made

Any natural phenomenon, i.e., any event which occurs without human participation, is the metaphysically given, and could not have occurred differently or failed to occur; any phenomenon involving human action is the man-made, and could have been different. For example, a flood occurring in an uninhabited land, is the metaphysically given; a dam built to contain the flood water, is the man-made; if the builders miscalculate and the dam breaks, the disaster is metaphysical in its origin, but intensified by man in its consequences. To correct the situation, men must obey nature by studying the causes and potentialities of the flood, then command nature by building better flood controls.

SARS-CoV-2 is a natural phenomenon. The man-made ability to travel the globe has perhaps intensified the consequences, but the fact that planes can crash don't warrant ceasing to use them for travel. Instead, identifying ways to increase the safety of their use is the rational approach.

The ongoing actions to reduce the rate of spread of the disease and manage the blow-back brings to mind an image of plugging a hole in the dyke with a finger only to have other leaks appear.

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