Coronavirus. Known unknowns?

The greatest ‘known unknown’ of our times, a question I’ll ask myself at some point each and every day…… don’t we all? 

“When If I catch the corona virus, will I be one of the 97/100 who get better again? Or one of the 3/100 who’ll sadly pass away?………….. I’m not being morbid about it, statistics don’t lie!

“There are known knowns; there are things we know we know.

We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know.

But there are also unknown unknowns; the ones we don’t know, we don’t know.

And if one looks throughout the history of our country and other free countries, it is the latter category that tend to be the difficult ones.”

Donald Rumsfeld (Secretary of Defense) 12/02/2002

I’ll try and keep my narrative as clear and simple as possible, after all I’m a simple guy, and remember this is a themeless Blog.

Ok I’ll be completely honest with you dear readers, rather pretentiously, I had intended to try and draw parallels between Rumsfeld’s famed, no quite brilliant “unknown unknowns” speech, to try and make sense of this COVID-19 chaos? But THAT would be yes pretentious, pseudo intellectual wanky……. in other words I wouldn’t have a clue what I was talking about. All I will add is Rumsfeld’s 2002 speech is considered one of the greatest soundbites ever spoken by a politician, iconic even, never to be bettered for the sheer mental gymnastics required trying to make coherent sense of it! ❤

Perhaps hawkish Rumsfeld isn’t as smart as he thought he was, asked by the reporter at the video’s ending, George Dubya’s policy salesman couldn’t apply any to the original question!

But it’s still brilliant, genius and if the internet is any indication, used to begin many a writer’s thesis whether that be microbiology or the complexities of international warfare. Ahh hold on a second, humanity is at war trying to defeat Covid-19 and turns out, and I’ve done my research here, turns out ‘unknown unknowns’ originates from the 1950s when first used by defense analysts, so who knows? Perhaps at this very moment very intelligent men and women are using it as a tool to defeat corona virus?

Maybe.

Who knows, perhaps I’ve just been trying to find an excuse to share one of my very favourite YouTube videos on my Blog……. you didn’t know this but I’m a bit of a ‘famous speech’ anorak!

Anyways I’ve learnt today that rather than being an off the cuff nonsense soundbite, with George Dubya’s political fixer soon after universally ridiculed and lampooned, people initially thought the statement was pseud’s corner gobbledygook! However the concept of the ‘unknown unknowns’ existed long before Donald Rumsfeld gave it a new audience.

Discussing Politics makes a change from my adoration of the female form, you know my references to wobbly succulent peachy buttocks and dripping wet kitties!

A. Shepherdson 2020

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