Viruses. Tricky little buggers those things. Getting into stuff and causing mischief as they do. Technically they are life forms but even that is doubted by some experts. They have DNA (or RNA) and reproduce but beyond that they have very little to connect them to what is called the Tree of Life. Also they are small – unbelievably tiny.
The poliovirus is, apparently, 30 nanometres in width or ten thousand times smaller than a grain of salt. In comparison bacteria are colossal and have more to recommend them in terms of constituting life. Bacteria can be controlled (or killed in common parlance) by antibiotics and so forth. Not so viruses. The bastards are unbelievably difficult to knock off and, given their penchant for adaptation, can mutate at silly rates meaning that last years ‘rotten cold’ can be this years ‘miserable cold’ and next years ‘mate – you’re going nowhere for two weeks minimum cold’. Possibly one of the nastiest things about viruses is that they cannot exist outside of a host body. Don’t fret – viruses don’t just target one life form such as your human being. They go for any living thing be it an advanced mammal or, indeed, a lowly bacteria. The biggest to the smallest are in their sights. So what, in fact, is the point of a virus?
Ah…now that is the philosophical point to which we are getting. What is the point to any life? We won’t bother to quote “The Selfish Gene” at you but, y’know, that kind of tells us what ball park we are in. Is one life worth more than another? Etc… What is the point of life? Ooooh – hang on a moment. That’s a bit heavy. When we have more time on our hands (and not viruses which, whilst needing the said host bodies, can still live for a period of time on the outside) we will delve into this subject more deeply.
In the meantime the most interesting thing to come out of the Covid-19 thing is that it just shows us how reliant we are on accepted ways of doing stuff. A Chinese factory worker who is self-isolating is incapable of manufacturing a component which is vital to the working of a device which powers the working of some medical equipment which would make the device which enables the gizmo which tests my resilience to a virus which came from the Chinese factory worker.
Possibly we’re all fucked. However, have this tune from one of the best albums ever made by one of the best-forgotten bands. Happily we’ll all be forgotten one day…