Negotiating With a Shark

This article will have only one topic. No longer will I attempt to discuss both puzzle assembly and puzzling human behavior in the same article. This one’s about puzzling human behavior using non-human behavior as a model.

Let’s examine America’s response to the current pandemic. I say “current” purposefully. This is not the first worldwide pandemic. We have sufficient documentation that past pandemics have not gone well for humanity. So, for now, let’s focus on the only pandemic in town, Covid-19.

Let’s also focus on America’s over-all response; not China’s, Iceland’s, New Zealand’s, or any other country about which, on average, we know very little.

I wish I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard the comment “what will the virus do?”, or the virus “will do this, or that”. The virus has no will. The virus exists. That’s it. It only exists. It’s a thing.

Please, everyone, stop the personification of the virus.

Maybe this will help!

Instead of living in fear for your life from a deadly virus as we all are right now, imagine you are paddle boarding out on the ocean. Let’s say waaaaay(!) out on the ocean! About 50 yards away to your left you spot the unmistakable, and huge, fin of a shark.

This happens to be a talking shark. This article’s title doesn’t work unless the shark can talk. Or, maybe you can read the shark’s mind with his thoughts appearing in a cartoon bubble over his head. But, let’s not get all hung up here about how you are communicating with the shark.

Moving on ……………………………..!

Human, “Hey shark, what’s goin’ on?

At this point, the shark glides slowly toward the paddle board and rolls over floating belly up. Otherwise, the Human would not be able to hear him.

Shark, “Hi. Just cruising. I’m hungry —- looking for lunch!”

Human, “What’s your favorite food?”

Shark? “What does “favorite” mean?”

Human, “If you had 20 nutritious foods in front of you, which one would you eat first”?

Shark, “I always devour the largest most accessible living thing. Think “fresh meat” said the shark with a large, menacing grin. “By the way, what does“nutritious” mean?”

Human, “By comparison, human flesh is a relatively poor food choice. I’m 60% water.”

Shark, “I’m a “half full” kind of creature. 40% meat sounds pretty good.”

Human, “I’m just saying that there are better choices out there for you.”

Shark, “I’m not even going to ask what the hell “better” might mean. I need a lot more protein today than you provide so I need to get on with this. Would you mind sliding off of that big flat non-organic thing.?” 

Human, “But wait —————–“.


That Grizzly Bear in Revenant behaved just like a wild animal. Never warned Leonardo. Never gave him a chance to aim his musket or grab his knife.


Protesting, ignoring, and complaining about restrictions/precautions intended to reduce illness and death from an unstoppable microscopic organism is akin to negotiating with a stone-cold killer. This virus has no fin protruding above the surface of our lives. We can’t see it coming.

Until there’s a vaccine, do everything you can to protect yourself, which, by the way, is the same thing as protecting others. 

And, please, if you’re not a trained medical professional, stop trying to sound like you are.  

If you are fortunate enough to be healthy and have your loved ones with you, cherish both.

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