THE KING AND THE ISLAND
“You say the existence of the virus is unproven. If it isn’t the virus, why are people getting sick and dying?”
I answered that question months ago in a number of articles. Here is a different version of the answer.
There was a small country dominated by a king. He was crafty but not very bright. His aim was pure control. How to maintain it was his ongoing dilemma.
Fortunately for him, he had, at his side, an intelligent high priest.
During a period of unrest, when groups were chafing under the king’s domination, the priest appeared with a plan.
He said to his king, “We need an enemy. I’ve chosen one. I call him Vir.”
“Who is he?” the king asked.
“No one,” the priest said. “He doesn’t exist. But we’ll sell a story about him. We’ll say he’s a tiny demon who is invisible. He has the ability to travel from person to person, causing illness and death.”
“But if he doesn’t exist,” the king said, “how can we prove he’s harmful? No one will fall ill or die.”
The priest explained: “There are several ways. First of all, our people do experience, in the course of living, illness. And obviously they do die. So we’ll now say many of those illnesses and deaths are actually caused by the demon.”
“I like it so far,” the king said.
The priest went on. “Then there is this. Who are the most vulnerable of our subjects? The elderly. They’re already suffering from diseases, and my subordinate priests treat them with remedies which are, frankly, toxic. We just need to give the elderly an extra push to send them over the edge. When they fall, we’ll say the demon Vir did it.”
“What kind of push?” the king said.
“We terrify the elderly with diagnosis. We tell them the demon is attacking them. Then we isolate them from family. We cut them off from human contact. Our reason? Once attacked by Vir, once infected, they could transmit a Vir-like impulse to others, which would be exceedingly harmful—so they must be isolated. Do you see? We force the premature deaths of the elderly with these measures and techniques of terror. And then we count their deaths and broadcast the numbers and call them Vir numbers.”
“It makes sense,” the king said.
“There is more,” the priest said. “There must be a certain small number of unexplainable deaths, where supposedly healthy people suddenly fall ill and perish. This will stir general fear in the population. We can achieve this through seeding a few areas here and there with toxins. For instance, I have one called a vaccine.”
“This is making more sense,” the king said. “I’m beginning to see the picture.”
“There must be a test,” the priest said. “A way of showing that many, many people have been touched by the demon Vir. These people won’t die. Most of them will never become ill. But we will count them as ‘cases.’ The test will claim thousands of our people are ‘touched by Vir.’ My priests will administer this test broadly. It will consist of shaking liquid in a jar next to the person. If the liquid turns cloudy, it means the person has been ‘touched.’ We will use two different kinds of liquid. One stays clear after shaking, which means ‘untouched,’ and other automatically turns cloudy…”
“And then what?” the king said.
“Then,” the priest said, “You will declare a state of emergency. You’ll say the only way to contain Vir is by isolating the population. People must stay indoors. Most shops and businesses will close. This will increase your control. The lockdowns will last, on and off, for a long time…”
“Yes,” the king said.
“One other thing,” the priest said. “When people fall ill, we will take some of them to emergency centers and treat them with various methods. A few of those methods will be harmful. I have designed a breathing apparatus that damages the lungs. That’s just one example. We will say the effects of the harmful treatments are Vir.”
“That gives me an idea,” the king said. “Masks. We’ll order all citizens to wear masks. To hide their faces. We’ll say this is to stop them from breathing Vir-like impulses upon others. The mask will become a symbol of submission.”
“Very good,” the high priest said. “It shall be done. We will promise a new treatment for the population. An anti-Vir vaccine. We will say it is a miracle devised by you. It will prevent future visitations of the demon. Some versions of this treatment will be toxic. When these versions cause harm, we’ll say it was the doing of Vir.”
“One question,” the king said. “Are you sure Vir doesn’t exist?”
The priest was about to answer, but he stopped himself. He realized his king, who wasn’t very bright, might actually come to believe in Vir. This would not be a bad thing. The king would be better equipped to sell the story. The king would also be easier to control. Yes.
The high priest smiled. “Well, we are never sure, sire,” he said. “Perhaps Vir is real. Perhaps I wasn’t just making him up. Instead, I actually perceived him without knowing it.”
The king nodded solemnly. “That was my thought, too. We must be on our guard. I take my oath to protect the people very seriously.”
“You certainly do,” the priest said.
And that was how a story about a demon became a useful story.