Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

Survival of the fittest

Last week, I suddenly wondered if the coronavirus is nature’s way of testing the survival of the fittest, a phrase related to Charles Darwin‘s evolutionary theory. According to Dutch virologist Marion Koopmans, the minimum corona fatality rate is 0.1% while the maximum is 1%. Hence, at least 99% of humankind will survive (my recent blog).

The latest Covid-19 articles focus on the proper working of the human immune system:

– the Conversation: “[] it’s becoming clear that for some of these at-risk groups, it’s the response of their immune system – inflammation – that explains why they get so sick”;

– NYT: “Many Covid-19 patients may be dying from their immune response to the virus, not from the virus itself.”

The NYT remark makes sense as it’s not in the interest of any virus to kill its host. A virus needs a living host in order to multiply itself. This probably explains why recently mutated versions of Covid-19 appear to cause a lower fatality rate (eg, New Scientist, Daily Mail, DW).

Survival of the fittest also relates to economic survival and thus includes companies, countries, organisations and private citizens that may go bankrupt following Covid-19. Independent: “Coronavirus will bankrupt more people than it kills — and that’s the real global emergency”.

Wall Street Journal: “In response to the novel and deadly coronavirus, many governments deployed draconian tactics never used in modern times: severe and broad restrictions on daily activity that helped send the world into its deepest peacetime slump since the Great Depression. Five months later, the evidence suggests lockdowns were an overly blunt and economically costly tool.”

A recent Telegraph article (and my recent blog) contained this very relevant question: “But just how long are governments prepared to suppress their economies?

At some point in time, fear over a ruined economic future should win from fear over infections (ie, an activated immune system!) that hardly translate in fatalities. I’ve no idea how governments will make that U-turn without being massacred in upcoming general elections for ruining people’s futures. I can only imagine that the World Health Organization (WHO) will get the blame.

The Swedish economy might survive as the fittest, along with some other countries with “intelligent lockdowns” (eg, my recent blog). The British economy had a contraction of -20.4% in Q2 of 2020, the “deepest recession of any major economy” (eg, CNN). However, it’s (very) hard separating the impact of corona from Brexit. This serves the British government (eg, Guardianmy blog).

“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.” A quote from a 1963 speech by Leon C. Megginson, “a Louisiana State University business professor”.

Survival of the Fittest (1965) by Herbie Hancock

artist, no lyrics, video, Wiki-1, Wiki-2

Note: all markings (bolditalicunderlining) by LO unless stated otherwise.

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