Over the last few days, we’ve seen a lot of interesting things happen around the world. And it got me thinking about a book I read a few years ago, that yesterday, in light of all that’s going on with border closures, transport cancellations, and toilet paper panics, that maybe, just maybe there’s a bit more going on here.

So, as the Word Witch, the one who likes to touch the fire with some conversations, I want to curate one that might even get me into a bit of trouble, but I have so many questions right now. So here goes:

What’s happening in Russia? Are they experiencing lockdowns too? Is Putin being questioned about his hand shaking habits?

What’s the road toll like in Italy this month compared to other years in March? Are house fires, stress related suicides, and heart attacks up or down on the list of why people die? What are food poisoning rates like now that people are not eating out? Is Domestic Violence increased due to radically increased cases of cabin fever too?

How many people around the world have died from influenza in March?

And my most burning question is this: How long does the current challenge of Coronavirus intend to undermine our global economy? What will the results of that be like?

Ok here’s the thing. In Andy Andrew’s book, How to Kill 11 Million People, he makes it clear that for for us (we the people anywhere) to be led up any garden path in any direction, all any government has to do is lie to us. And to rely on the simple fact that most of us don’t think. (It’s truly a brilliant book – only about 20 minutes to read it, and powerful for thinking outside the box you may find yourself in today).

Is there a lot of lying going on right now by governments? Who knows. Maybe, maybe not. And ok, I’m aware that a few people are going to take offense at this line of thought, but bear with me for a minute. I’m going to pose a couple of big WHAT IF questions.

What if: ‘someone’ decided to test our political and media leaders’ ability to direct us into a social experiment about what would happen if a ‘relatively’ benign illness (like the flu but not quite – and mostly of significant risk to elderly and unwell, but not so much to kids and healthy adults) was promoted as a pandemic, quickly, and efficiently, and all the world brought into the story…and as a result of that, the world’s economy caught the equivalent of serious influenza? What might that look like?

What if: we grew so suspicious of the international media, and our politicians we all ran around like headless chickens and actually allowed our humanity to be compromised – because we quickly forgot to be kind to each other, and to ask intelligent questions about what’s behind the directives about lockdowns over a ‘relatively’ benign illness?

What if: this is all a giant test, and the real issue will become apparent after we all get over it in a few months from now. Will history write this off as our final interpretation as this being another Boy Who Cried Wolf story?

Yes, I’ll happily self isolate, and I’m grateful that I already work from home, and don’t have to worry about children going to school, or personal health issues that increase my risk of dying from this virus. And I’m very sorry for the medical professionals and front line staff who are already ‘over this’, and exhausted by the continual updates and demands of this situation.

But I feel outraged by the fact that if this does turn out to be a giant social experiment – more than a genuinely terrifying health threat to more than 5% of the population – that millions of people are going to be stressed beyond imagination, by the lack of work, lack of ability to pay their rent, buy food, or connect through the extreme loneliness of isolation at times when they may most need each other. What risks this poses to mental health issues is potentially staggering, and so far, not being talked about in the media.

I am concerned at the stupidity of people who think that it’s ok to not ask a lot better questions about what else might be going on behind what we’re told by our leaders. And I’m aghast that this type of situation is enough for us to take our eyes off the balls we’re already spinning with regards to climate change, China’s build up in the Pacific, Domestic Violence, and any other things that are no longer even being reported on in the news that we need to also keep abreast of.

I imagine too that if we’re all told we have to be innoculated against this virus as soon as one comes available, that those who decide not to fall into line for that will be locked up. But I also imagine that if this virus looks to pass by in a way that does make our politicians look foolish at all, that justifications and recriminations will dominate our news endlessly, and, that those making money from our global misery will indeed sit back like fat cats and smile, knowing that next time it will be even easier.