She Got Something To Say: An Opinion Piece.

Why We’d Like to Think Bill Gates Caused the COVID-19 Pandemic.

There is a popular theory making its way around social media these days that somehow Bill Gates is responsible for the worldwide outbreak of the coronavirus. As far-fetched as that sounds on the surface, it is certainly understandable that this idea is catching on and spreading almost as fast as the virus itself.

You see, human beings relish the blame game. No matter what happens, our first thought tends to be, ‘Who did this?’, followed closely by ‘Who’s going to pay for this?’ We don’t feel comfortable with the thought that bad things just happen.

The old saying was that bad things happen to good people. The truth is that bad things happen. Period. To good people and to bad people. They just do.

But knowing that something is out of our control is unacceptable. Humans in their hubris wish to believe they can control everything, that nothing is beyond our capacity if we try hard enough. Research can be funded if we could only get enough money. A cure could be developed if only we could have people spend enough time (and money) on it.

And therein lies the clue as to why Bill Gates is the focus. He makes a likely target: he isn’t shy about expressing his opinions, and he has more money than most of us could even dream of ever having. That money gets regularly distributed to a wide variety of charitable causes – mostly on a global basis. His foundation and various philanthropic entities are now engaged in pursuits connected to developing tests, treatments, and vaccinations for the COVID-19 virus.

…And because money talks, the media has been all too happy to let Bill (and by association, his wife, Melinda) have his say. The college dropout with no medical training has become a worldwide expert on health care, at least for this particular pandemic.

Bill Gates has known what is best for us in the world of computer software and digital technology, and now apparently based on that reputation he knows what is best for us in terms of health care. But this is where the red flags flap into view for those who are seeking someone to blame. The lack of any kind of medical background for one who now speaks with so much authority does raise a little suspicion, doesn’t it? Ah, another piece falls into place in the blame game.

And so, the bits and pieces of seemingly unassociated events over several years are now woven into the narrative that puts Bill at the center of responsibility for this worldwide viral outbreak. We MUST hold Bill responsible, because who else is there? The Pope would like us to blame climate change, for which we as an entire race are responsible. Animal rights activists would have us blame the animals themselves, claiming that the mutation of the virus from an animal disease to human was a deliberate action on the part of the bats (or whatever else is the species of choice for the moment) who passed it on to unsuspecting humans in retaliation for taking over their territory.

Either of those theories is just a little too implausible for most to accept, so we are left with the most likely culprit: Bill Gates, the envy of the low-income masses. We would rather lay the responsibility at the feet of the richest man most of us could name than to admit that the entire situation was a random event, something no one could have foreseen or prepared for. However wild and outlandish a theory assigning blame is, it is preferable to admitting that there is no one to blame.

I, however, chose to believe that this virus is NOT due to the actions of anyone individual or even a group of them. Because the idea that a human being could intentionally – or even unintentionally – inflict global suffering and death on fellow humans is even harder to comprehend. No, I don’t blame Bill Gates for the coronavirus; I don’t blame anyone.

Bad things just happen. Unfortunately, this one is really bad.

The author is a long-time on-again-off-again writer, having been distracted from her passion over the years by unplanned-for life events. But she is no stranger to the blame game, having been raised with four siblings who made convenient targets. While she earned a BA in journalism in her early years, being a graduate of the school of life has provided her with abundant inspiration for her literary pursuits.