As the birdemic grows "ever more serious," with a "record number" (uh, 29) of new local "cases" (positive PCR "tests") in one day, the government of Taiwan is threatening to implement lockdowns, which it never did all through 2020. Every conversation I have with, like, everybody here revolves around how the situation is getting "more and more serious." A few students are taking a day off today because their parents are afraid, and one parent has asked me if we're planning to switch to online "classes."
(In other news, the government is warning that overuse is causing severe scare-quote depletion and that rationing may become necessary.)
To help people visualize just how grave the situation has become, I put together this pie chart based on the numbers being reported in the press.
(No, I didn't just make an all-blue circle by hand and label it as a joke. This is what Google Sheets produces if you feed it the numbers and tell it to make a pie chart.)
No matter how many people I point this out to, no one will even come close to admitting that this is not an emergency and that the government may be overreacting just a tad. Not one single person. The responses I get are about at the level of, "But, but . . . Brawndo's got what plants crave!" And this is in one of the best-educated, most-numerate, highest-IQ countries in the entire world.
"Not even trying" is a phrase Bruce Charlton likes to use with reference to modern science's non-pursuit of the truth. Well, here we have a case of not even lying. The Taiwan government doesn't even bother to cook the numbers. They report the real situation, tell people to panic anyway, and can be sure they will do so -- because the human race is apparently vastly, vastly stupider than even the boldest misanthrope of centuries past had ever dared to imagine.