Is it crazy to think COVID is the Earth’s way of protecting itself from humans?

The nightmare-inducing 2000 sci-fi flop ‘Red Planet,’ starring Val Kilmer and Carrie-Anne Moss, has me thinking of an even wilder doomsday scenario / movie plot. Or is it?

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Val Kilmer and Carrie-Anne Moss in the 2000 sci-fi flop “Red Planet,” which maybe wasn’t so farfetched after all.

Val Kilmer and Carrie-Anne Moss in the 2000 sci-fi flop “Red Planet,” which maybe wasn’t so farfetched after all.

Warner Bros.

What I’m about to write here has no basis in science, none whatsoever, so let’s get that out of the way up front.

It’s just a thought that’s been kicking around in my head for a while now, gradually taking shape as I try to process the latest headlines, and I’d finally like to get it off my chest.

If you’d prefer, just think of it as my concept for one of those bad movies you come across on television late at night when you really ought to go to bed but stay up to watch it anyway because you’re basically weak, and then it gives you nightmares.

I’m thinking of a movie like the 2000 sci-fi flop “Red Planet” about a mission to Mars in 2056 to make the planet ready for human colonization because we’ve pretty much made Earth uninhabitable by then, a notion that increasingly seems prescient.

“Red Planet” starred Val Kilmer, which should have been enough to warn me off right there. But I kept watching until I discovered the real star of the movie: the “nematodes,” portrayed as insect-like creatures that eat everything in sight, including a few of the other astronaut-scientists.

The voracious nematodes might be slackers compared to my own nightmare-inducing concept, which is this:

What if COVID-19 is the Earth’s way of getting rid of humans to protect itself?

Suppose the virus’ variants aren’t progressing to a stage at which humans have built up the famous herd immunity that, along with vaccines, would keep us safe but instead are advancing toward a form of the virus so lethal and contagious that much larger percentages of us would be killed.

That would sure be one way to slow the manmade causes of global warning, wouldn’t it?

The premise is preposterous, of course. And, like I said, there’s no scientific basis for thinking that way.

It’s only a virus, after all. Scientists know a lot about viruses. And they’re learning more all the time.

But, as the past two years have taught us, there’s plenty they don’t know about viruses, too — like how this pandemic will end.

Remember, we’re just spitballing here, working on our elevator pitch for some big movie producer. I’ll remind the producer that nobody can convincingly argue any longer that we humans are not a threat to the planet and to all forms of life that inhabit it.

There seems to be a story every week confirming as much, whether it’s something terrible happening in the Amazon or the Arctic. With each new development, it has becomes more obvious that humanity is not going to take the necessary steps on its own to reverse that process until it’s too late, if it isn’t already.

So why is it so silly to think that the Earth’s defense mechanisms are kicking into gear to eliminate the threat we pose to our fellow creatures?

In place of Earth, feel free to substitute God, Allah, Mother Nature, the Great Spirit, the Force, the Creator, a higher power — however your belief system explains that which we cannot yet explain through science.

I read that passing the peak of the Omicron variant could mean we have reached the beginning of the end of the pandemic. I can only hope that’s true,even if I read the same thing at the peak of the Delta variant.

If true, maybe it won’t be another variant of COVID-19 that gets us.

Maybe it will be a whole new coronavirus instead, one that spreads more quickly and is harder to detect, that takes advantage of our increasingly pigheaded opposition to the public health precautions necessary to protect ourselves and each other from danger.

This isn’t the preaching of some committed environmentalist. I can’t say there’s much I’ve done to reduce my own carbon footprint.

I’m just a guy who is a sucker for apocalypse movies who looks around and sees the script writing itself.

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