Lots of disease in the news recently, and it highlights how people should factor disease into their catastrophe planning, perhaps even more than economic or civil collapse. Have enough food, medicine, and other supplies to bed down for four to six months or so, as well as protective and sanitizing gear, should you need to go out.
Of course historically, disease is a major K-stimulus. (There is even a germ theory of politics which asserts that conservatism is an adaptation to disease specifically, instead of an adaptation to the harsh realities of all kinds that emerge in shortage, including disease).
I suspect a pandemic will produce a K-shift on this go around even before an economic/civil collapse, whether Ebola makes the jump to pandemic here or it ends up being something else, and it will happen in the next decade. The four horsemen do tend to travel together, and when they arrive, a K-psychology is all that will remain after they leave.
But why would disease tend to accompany the K-shift, such as the plague arriving after the Medieval Warming Period ended? People tend to view disease as a static entity, but that is not the case. Diseases are dynamic, changing, adaptable entities – they tend to adapt to the host they infect, as they advance through the population. There is a reason pandemics will accompany resource limitations, and begin to emerge as resource availability begins to diminish. If resources are free, then the host population will tend to be strong and resistant, and diseases which enter the population will not get far, nor will they have much opportunity to adapt before they flame out. As a result, their adaptation will be limited, as will their effects, so long as everyone has plenty of good, nutritious rations to keep their immune systems strong.
As resources grow scarce however, those at the bottom of the economic ladder will find malnutrition set in, and this will diminish resistance significantly. (It would not surprise me if there was also an epigenetic component to this, throttling immunity during resource excess to limit undue autoimmune damage, and creating a coincidental immune-compromised-refractory-period at the beginning of a resource shortage, before amping up immunity to compensate for the immuno-compromising effects of malnutrition in subsequent generations.)
Regardless of the mechanism, as resources begin to grow short, a population will grow immuno-compromised, and disease will travel farther into the population for longer, infect more people, run a little longer in each person, and acquire much more opportunity to adapt. As the disease moves, only the fastest, most effective mutations, most capable of bypassing immune defenses and spreading easily, are selected for with each transmission. Eventually, given much more opportunity to adapt to the human host in the weakened malnourished population, that more-adapted pathogen will have the muscle to move in on more nourished and robust populations, and then you have real trouble.
In addition, resource limitation can force populations to enter niches they have little experience in, and which as a result, contain pathogens to which they are immunologically naive. In the case of Ebola, you will have Africans eating more bushmeat of questionable quality. Once the economic collapse happens for real, and all aid to Africa ends, that effect will increase dramatically, and I would expect lots of unusual diseases to begin to emerge in earnest, and tear through the malnourished populations there. If you’re well fed, you walk right by that dead and rotted bat cadaver. But if you’re hungry enough that you will die if you don’t eat, you stop, pick it up, and dig right in. On a Continental scale, especially in a place like Africa, nothing good will come of that. Add in globalism, quick air travel, and a plethora of malnourished humans all over the globe, and it is a recipe for disaster on a scale we can only imagine.
Another effect of the switch from r to K is geographical translocation. r’s will instinctually want to move to areas with freer resource availability, and this will further stir the pot. Already we see the spread of Enterovirus D68 throughout areas where floods of illegal children have been sent by the Obama administration. You can imagine what will happen when resources really crash, new pathogens arise, and suddenly there is a flood of third-world immigrants fleeing starvation in their home countries.
Of course, if a real pandemic hits on top of all of this, it will either initially crush the US healthcare system outright, or it will not. If it should not, then everyone elsewhere in the world who is infected, will begin a mad dash to get to the US to avail themselves of our free, top-quality healthcare. That will only make things worse.
The effects of this on political ideology can not be imagined now. If people begin to lose children, parents, siblings, friends, and loved ones because out-of-control liberals stupidly welcomed foreigners into this country, in complete and willful ignorance of reality, (and castigated anyone who objected to that with cries of racism), I would expect a sizable portion of the population will want blood. They will become imbued with a very deep amygdala pathway, associating liberals with rage, hatred, and vengeance, which once in place, will only be strengthened by each subsequent similar stimulation by liberal stupidity.
The liberal position will not be helped by the fact that should such a pandemic arise, it will savage the most poor, the most densely populated, those with little disgust and/or aberrant or promiscuous sexual tastes, and the least reality-aware. Liberals are not designed to flourish under any conditions but free resource availability, and no danger or exposure to reality. Limit resources or add some dangerous reality, and they will begin to drop like flies.
That homosexual guy who goes to the bathouse daily for group sex with people he doesn’t know, loves the densely populated city, and refuses to let the pandemic drive him to “irrational fear,” will be the first to drop, and any first-degree contact of his will likely not last long either. The coming pandemic will savage liberalism in a very material sense – have no doubt. Whatever liberals manage to survive will be a much reviled minority, and I would not be surprised to see the remaining majority, livid over the avoidable deaths of loved ones, decide to treat them with a harshness we currently can only imagine as a relic of a barbaric past. One thing about death, familiarity breeds comfort with it.
Today the amygdala strain of violence is greater than enduring the (at present) negligible damage to survivability that liberals are inflicting through their stupidity. Let resources snap, and the damage liberals do grow to include the deaths of loved ones, to maximize the amygdala strain of allowing liberals to remain, and let death become so ever present that the idea of violence becomes much less novel and straining, and it is only common logic where that will lead. Once violence is a relative amygdala relief rather than a relative strain, people will clamor to it just as strongly as they avoid it now. Once those first few violent outbursts remove all vestige of strain and actually condition the individual to feel relief, things will get very wild. These are the emotional currents which drive the type of history that until now, we could only vaguely picture as we read about it. I suspect it is coming in a way we cannot imagine, in large part because of how far our massive debt spending has swung the pendulum to r.
If conservatives are wise, they will begin now to attach to liberalism a sense that it is bringing disaster upon us through its stupid refusal to face reality, while acknowledging that we are not seeing consequences now, but asserting that we will one day. Explain the threat liberal policy poses to us, our loved ones, and our nation. If that neural connection can be made now in the brains of Americans before the storm hits, then when disaster comes, the populace will be primed to blame liberalism, drive it from power, and begin the process of effectively confronting reality through supporting conservatism. Only that will save lives in a crisis.
The bottom line is, God wants a certain model of human on this planet. He wants humans who recognize and adapt to reality, no matter how painful it is to do so. Liberals are just not designed to survive the unpleasant realities which are coming. How ironic they will bring that reality on themselves, through their own stupidity.