On October 10th the press breathlessly reported that “nearly two-thirds of the Navy’s deployable warships have endured COVID-19 outbreaks”.
What was not mentioned was the number of sailors killed by the outbreaks. Though the NAVY report says nothing about mortality, it does say this:
Sailor rates of infection are generally the same as the rates of infection in the local area. … Within the uniformed Navy population, roughly 35 percent of infected sailors exhibit few to no symptoms. This should build confidence in the ship’s ability to fight through outbreaks.
I strongly suspect that practically no one has died yet from coronavirus on a Navy ship. In fact, this sounds exactly like a typical flu season, where the flu quickly spreads among those confined in close quarters, but then peters out shortly thereafter, forgotten.
In other words, COVID-19 in the Navy (as elsewhere) is really nothing more than a variation of the flu, possibly more infectious to all and more harmful to the elderly sick, but harmless to practically everyone else.
The bad part of this is that, rather than let the disease play out quickly so that crews are promptly immune and the epidemic no longer can effect efficiency — as humanity has done for eons — the Navy is panicking like everyone else, instituting strict quarantines on all those infected, plus social distancing and mask rules. All this will do is prolong the agony, and interfere with the Navy’s operation. You can’t run a ship or a submarine realistically if you require everyone to keep six feet distance at all time.
From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.
Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.
The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.
He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.
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