Lessons from an unfinished pandemic

01.12.2021

One day a viral pandemic spread throughout the world, something unpredictable that escaped the myopic vision that only the eyes could sketch before events that were outside the known parameters and inevitably, society resorted to the "butterfly effect" to try to explain the dizzying conjunction of centripetal and centrifugal forces that were configuring the disjointed puzzle of orderly chaos that was brewing. The so-called "butterfly effect" was outlined by the American meteorologist Edward Lorenz in 1972 and states that "the endless sequence of events, apparently triggered by each other, end up having completely unpredictable consequences."

This butterfly effect transferred to complex systems such as the Detection and Prevention of Epidemics would have as a collateral effect the impossibility of detecting a mediate future in advance, since the quantum models they use would only be simulations based on previous models. Thus, the inclusion of only one incorrect variable or the sudden appearance of an unforeseen variable causes the margin of error of these models to be amplified in each simulated time unit, even exceeding the stratospheric limit of one hundred percent and generating a black swan.

The Black Swan theory was developed by Nicholas Taleb in his book “The Black Swan (2010) in which he attempts to explain“ the psychological biases that make people individually and collectively blind to uncertainty and unaware of the massive role of the strange event in historical matters ”. Thus, the irruption on the world stage of a new viral pandemic was not perceived in advance because our mind is capable of sequencing only fragments in the face of events that escape the known parameters. Likewise, we were unable to recognize our ignorance, since the difference between a wise man and an ignorant is that the former is capable of recognizing that wisdom comes from the recognition of ignorance, embodied in the iconic phrase attributed to Socrates (“I only know that no I know nothing ”).

The recommendations of the health authorities were based on the scientific method of "trial and error" and supported their foundations in the hope of the vaccine as a lifeline for Humanity, but the successive waves of contagion would have evidenced the limitations of non-sterilizing vaccines that do not prevent contagion. Consequently, citizens will be immersed in lifelong vaccination due to the irruption of new variants of the virus while being controlled by the COVID passport, leaving sectors refractory to health dictates marginalized from the usual circuits of work, culture and leisure.

In the end, the health pandemic and the looming economic recession will force society to carry out a deep catharsis and metanoia that will make it revise the fundamentals that supported it until now. Thus, the collective imagination must adopt a new way of thinking and a proactive attitude in the face of the new post-pandemic scenario that will provoke the search for a new utopia after the collapse of the tower of universal globalization and the birth of a new individual reaffirmed in a solid critical awareness and supported by values such as solidarity, sustainable development and respect for the environment.