Virus: infectious agent that replicates only within the cells of living hosts

Egypt, Libya & the uprising

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Virus: infectious agent that replicates only within the cells of living hosts

I am struck by how fast this situation in the North Africa and the Middle East (Egypt, Libya, etc) has occurred and why. What keeps going thru my mind is how similar it is to a virus – a pandemic. And, of course, the irony is the fact that one of the primary causes of the situation is the Internet, which as we all know, is like a giant Petri dish designed to incubate and nurture viruses – digital viruses.

How long will this upheaval go on? What country is next? How will it be stopped? Where will it end and why – all questions that are important to you, me, and the rest of the world.

The problem is what to do about it. There is no leader. There is no group really that “started” it. There is no specific cause that is driving it other than a general idea about “Democracy”. There is really no organized conspiracy and no conspirators. There was no specific “beginning” and other than the general idea of removing the existing government, there really isn’t a goal or an agenda. There is no traditional set of tangible factors and in their stead, there is only a kind of a mass convulsion – a spontaneous combustion – a seemingly random release of unstoppable energy moving in no specific direction other than any direction where a barrier has been erected or exists.

It reminds me of water. In “normal” times it is benign and can be manipulated (bridges, dams, irrigation systems, dykes, pump stations, mops, dryers, etc) but in abnormal times it is impossible to control or direct (hurricanes, floods, tsunamis, etc).

So, if you agree with the idea that this uprising is similar to a virus-driven pandemic, one is then called to ask, “how do you contain a pandemic” . And the answer, for all intensive purposes, is that you don’t. Not really. You can do a number of small things but nothing that substantially alters the course that has already been set in motion.

You essentially sit on the sidelines and watch it run its course and hope that it doesn’t get you or your loved ones. And that, I think, interestingly enough, is about where I see us standing at the moment – bystanders on the sidelines of a world-wide event that is growing and spreading and which we are relatively powerless to influence.

Sit tight.