World War III

It’s 2020. The world is embroiled in a war of epic proportions. This is a true story.

Okay, I hear you: “Say what?” We will get back to that in a few minutes. But first, let’s spend a moment with history.

A History Lesson

During many past wars and conflicts down through history, the phrase “You’re either with us, or you’re against us” was often used to persuade disinterested people to choose sides. The presumption is that there is no neutral position. You’re either fighting alongside us, or you’re a threat to our survival. If you’re a threat to our survival, then you’re the enemy, or you’re aiding the enemy and will be dealt with accordingly.

The act of aiding the enemy is called treason and is perpetrated by traitors. Throughout history, the punishment for traitors was generally severe and often carried a death sentence.

Treason, by the Law

Today, the United States Federal law regarding Treason states the following.

Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason and shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined under this title but not less than $10,000; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.

United States Code, Title 18, Part I, Chapter 115, Section 2381: Treason

Introducing the 3rd World War

Today, World War III is being fought all over the world, in every country, on nearly every continent. On the one side is the coronavirus. On the other side is humanity. Humanity is overwhelmed and vastly outnumbered. The virus is winning. With the recent confirmation that people can become infected, recover, and then become infected again, the virus has clearly demonstrated the ability to reduce the world population by double-digit percentages.

The coronavirus is strong. Its primary weapons are its ability to spread before humans even know that they’ve been infected, its ability to utilize existing, or awaken dormant or unknown comorbidities in its victims, and its ability to kill.

There are humans fighting ferociously on the front lines. They are working feverishly to prevent humans from dying. They are trying to understand this enemy and find its weaknesses. Some humans are working to develop a vaccine, which cannot come soon enough. Other humans are standing by, attempting to go about their daily routines, waiting, watching, hoping, praying for a swift end to the war. They do whatever they can do to aid humanity in the fight against the coronavirus.

We have proven strategies for fighting this virus. Keep at least 6 feet away from people that you do not live with. Wear a mask to help prevent the spread of the virus. Wash your hands. Use hand sanitizer when you cannot wash. Clean the surfaces in your home and place of employment with disinfectants that can destroy the virus. Self-quarantine, if you’re sick.

You’re either with us, or you’re against us.

In any conflict, there are those individuals who choose to do nothing, or who choose to aid the enemy. In this 3rd World War, you can either choose to help stop the virus from spreading, from infecting, from killing, or the coronavirus will let you help it spread, infect, and kill. There is no neutral ground. If you’re not wearing a mask; if you’re not self-quarantining when you’re sick; if you’re not keeping minimum social distance; if you’re not washing your hands, cleaning your surfaces, protecting your fellow humans, then you’re aiding the enemy. You are a traitor. You are committing treason in this war.

By the Numbers

As of this writing, September 14, 2020, there have been 28,918,900 confirmed infections worldwide. 922,252 people have died. That’s 3.19% dead. There is evidence that, given enough time, every single person in the world could become infected.

Testing for exposure to the virus has been limited. Many people presume that there are millions of people who have been infected, never show symptoms, and recover. But there is no proof of that — because nobody has the resources to test thoroughly enough to make that determination.

What if those presumptuous people are wrong? What if every infected person gets sick eventually? What if every human on earth eventually becomes infected? That’s 7.8 billion people. If 3.19% of them die, that is 250 million deaths — that is 1000 times more than the number of deaths from the Indian Ocean Tsunami in 2004 that horrified the world. What if each time people get sick, another 3.19% die? After this virus has gone around the world 4 times, there could be 1 billion, or more, dead. That would be 12.5% dead.

Nobody knows enough about the coronavirus at this writing to say, definitively that these numbers are wrong. There is a lot of speculation suggesting that the numbers might be wrong. There are a lot of people guessing that the number of deaths per-capita might be too high. But nobody on this planet knows for sure.

Shouldn’t we hope for the best, but prepare for the worst?

Right now, it’s all just wishful thinking. In the 1340’s, the Black Death pandemic, thought to be an Ebola-like virus, killed 75% of the world’s population, reducing it from 450 million people to about 100 million people over the course of nearly a decade.

The SARS epidemic in China (2002 to 2004) was caused by a coronavirus. With joint efforts by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in the United States, the SARS epidemic was stopped before it could become a pandemic. 8,098 people were infected from 29 countries and 774 people died. That’s 9.5% dead.

MERS, another coronavirus epidemic, occurred on the Saudi Arabian peninsula, from 2012 to 2013. 35% of those infected died. Larger MERS outbreaks, with similar death rates, happened in South Korea in 2015, and Saudi Arabia in 2018. This coronavirus strain cannot directly infect humans. It is thought that it originates in bats, and is then transmitted to camels, which can infect humans.

The 2020 Covid19 pandemic, still another coronavirus, is just a few months into a typical 2 to 5 year run for a pandemic. Our best hope for an quick end, to the Covid19 pandemic, is a vaccine. But to date, no coronavirus vaccine exists. Scientists have been working to find a vaccine for the coronavirus for more than 10 years. MERS and SARS were controlled by stopping the spread of the virus — something that the world’s population seems unwilling to do in 2020.

What Can We Be Definitive About?

  • As of this writing, September 14, 2020, there have been 28,918,900 confirmed infections worldwide.
  • 922,252 people have died.
  • Many more have died of comorbidities initiated by the virus.
  • Those that are sick enough to require ventilation, and recover, may experience long term chronic health issues for the remainder of their lives. Patients have had heart attacks, strokes, blood clots, and other calamities strike while they were on a ventilator.
  • Those that have been infected and recover, can be infected again. There are confirmed cases of this.
  • Those that have been infected and recover may have a weakened immune system and be more prone to a repeat infection. They may have new pre-existing conditions.
  • With a weakened immune system, and new comorbidities, a greater number of people may die.
  • If an individual can contract the infection twice, then three times, four times, and fifteen times is possible, given enough time.
  • The popular phrase ‘herd immunity’ is only possible with infections that occur only once in anyone. In other words, if you can catch it again and again, then herd immunity doesn’t work.
  • If you are hospitalized, your family cannot accompany you, or visit you. If you die, you will be alone. If you infect your spouse, or your children, and they require hospitalization, they will be alone. If they die, they will die alone.
  • The coronavirus, if left unchecked, and left to spread as it wants, could reduce the world population by half in a few years.


If you cannot be bothered to join the offensive, working to defeat the virus, then you are aiding the virus in its spread; you are helping it to kill and maim other humans; you are a traitor to humanity. I imagine that there are many people, like yourselves, among the dead in every past epidemic and pandemic. I wonder what their advice to you would be.

We are at war. It is a world war. We are fighting against a microscopic enemy. We are fighting for our right to live. It has reached nearly every country of in the world. It is spreading fast. It is mutating. It is regrouping and renewing its onslaught in places that had successfully pushed it back and stopped its spread. Every day brings a quarter of a million new confirmed cases, and 5000 new deaths.

This is World War III. Who are you in this war on humanity?

Are you a defender of humanity?

Or are you a traitor?

© 2020, PaulSwarthout. All rights reserved.