in the time of a pandemic
Tell me about it! I’m sick of this ongoing mudslinging on mass media. What’s wrong with these countries and their leaders?
Well, if you are a student of history, you may not be very surprised at the behaviour of political leaders such as Donald Trump or some of his counterparts in a few other countries, during Covid-19. At the drop of a hat, they rush to pass the buck and start blaming each other for triggering a global health crisis.
Trump, the most vocal of them all, has squarely blamed China, and if media reports from the US can be believed, is trying to gain political capital out of it by creating a sense of paranoia towards China and Chinese products and services.
In the meanwhile, we are already for 11 months in this pandemic and it all started in China, which does not say that we could blame Chine for this, it just was revealed in this country. Almost every country on the globe is in lockdown and people are very restricted in their normal way of living.
Millions of people are laid off by companies because they could no longer continue under this crisis payload. Then off course there are the people who send home with unpaid leave till further notice.
Yes, China-phobia seems to be gaining popularity now in the US, as Chinese products used to be in the recent past.
You said it! In fact, most pandemics in the history of humanity were battlegrounds of propaganda during which countries, companies, political leaders and parties, religious institutions and similar agencies merrily engaged in intense efforts to push their vested interests and gained (or lost) goodwill, commercial benefits, political mileage and social capital.
Even after realizing this, governments all over the globe used this for their own propaganda and restricted all inhabitants of the country. I was listening to the President of Russia, Mr. Putin and he is/was the only one who made sense to me, he told world leaders to combine forces against this pandemic but instead of doing this every country had to fail and once again creatin yet another wave of the Corona virus! Now you wonder how, well simple, if you put a lockdown on a country and keep all people inside off course one of them would infect another one and this is how it all escalated with the result of today that the EU is on lockdown, Asia and US and for what reason, three things popup now, revenue, stupidity and not following the advice of the so cold experts on this area.
One of the most striking examples is of the Catholic church during the bubonic plague (Black Death) of 1346–1353. The Church was the most important social and political organisation of the period, influencing every walk of people’s lives, especially in Europe, where the pandemic wiped out nearly a third of the population. The health scare drew people out of religious gatherings and the Church faced a crisis of confidence which most of its opponents, including the rationalists, scientists and philosophers, used as an opportunity to spread their ideas and build a society where religion plays a lesser role than before. Some historians believe that the European Enlightenment (also called the Age of Reason, which was a wave of intellectual and philosophical movements in Europe during the 17th-19th centuries) would not have become so powerful had the Church not been decimated during the Black Death.
But during Covid-19, all we see now are war cries and legal wrangles. China, where it all began in November, is blamed by countries for having been lethargic in its initial responses to the crisis. The authorities in Wuhan allegedly responded to the first bout of coronavirus cases without much alacrity and countries such as the US, the UK and Australia blame China for causing the pandemic spread across the globe. The Republican Party in the US feels that China must compensate for the losses.
A few countries are also sounding similar demands now. And propaganda machines are working non-stop to make such demands seem normal and legit, which, they are not.
Yes, the media is full of it.
But that’s nothing new. Much like a section of social media tends to believe that the coronavirus is part of a conspiracy, akin to the ‘Wuhan-400’ virus found in The Eyes of Darkness, a thriller novel written by Dean Koontz in 1981, a decent chunk of the global population in the 1980s believed that HIV/AIDS was a product of bio-weaponry research by the US military. Conspiracy theorists were very specific then. They said an experiment at Fort Detrick, Maryland (an Army medical installation some 46 miles north-west of Washington, DC) had caused all the crisis. Remember, this was the peak of the Cold War and the geopolitical gains out of this looked very charming then.
That’s so funny!
Like most of the political rabble-rousing and propaganda today over the origin, spread and impact of the coronavirus.
Clearly, at a time when China is ruling the world (a phrase popularized by Martin Jacques in When China Rules the World, which came out in 2009 when the world was licking the wounds of the 2008 US-sponsored financial contagion) in terms of trade, intellectual property and development of futuristic technologies such as artificial intelligence (China holds the largest number of AI patents in the world today), it is obvious that its rivals will use the pandemic to pedal their agenda.
Can’t agree more.
But China is also trying its best to use the crisis to portray itself as a benign force by organizing grand photo-ops each time it sends aid to countries such as Italy, the US, Spain and so on, while doing brisk business in the name of the pandemic as well.
Between March 1 and April 4, China sold $1.45 billion of medical supplies globally; an Economist report says most of the sales to the rich world have been at market prices.
From Jack Ma (who sent aid to 54 African countries) to the US-hated Huawei, which is sending 5,00,000 masks and goggles, 30,000 gowns and 120,000 gloves to New York hospitals, China is evidently making Covid-19 one of the most interesting propaganda exercises we’ve ever seen, especially thanks to social media.
As they say, watch this space as you stay at home safely.
- In the meanwhile, we are now 12 months in this pandemic with the following result and outcome for 2021. The coronavirus pandemic, which was first detected in China, has infected people in 188 countries.
- Un-employment raised with 68% world wide
- Economical & Financial impact for 2021
- Risk of recession 2021
- IMF says that the global economy will shrink by 3% this year. It described the decline as the worst since the Great Depression of the 1930s
- Travel among hardest hit
- Vaccine hopes
- Governments around the world have pledged billions of dollars for a Covid-19 vaccine and treatment options.
- Household Impact of COVID-19
- Event Cancellations and COVID-19
- School Closures and COVID-19
- Travel Bans and COVID-19
- Quarantines and COVID-19
- COVID-19 and Debt
- Do not discount the continued importance of paying down your debt balances consistently and paying them on time every month. COVID-19 will not end society as we know it (though it will change), but if you stop making payments to your creditors, you could put yourself into a financial hole that will take years or even decades to dig out of. And be aware a lot of countries are not going to give you a loan or reaching out a helping hand to survive this pandemic, certainly in the UAE!
- Coronavirus variant active in Europe and spreading over Africa
COVID-19 and Scams
Inevitably, natural disasters and national crises spawn waves of scams and fraudulent services. It does not take much imagination to see such activities surfacing such as the following:
Beware of snake oil salesmen peddling “secret” cures and vaccinations to anyone desperate enough to pay for them. Such remedies may come in the form of pills, herbal formulae, and non-traditional “natural” treatments. Although you might want to justify spending money on outlandish claims in the “hopes” of it helping, remember that hope and fear are actually polar opposites. Hope leads to positive actions and positive changes while fear leads to negative choices and damaging consequences. Pay attention to the irrational claims you hear or read as well as to your gut instincts.
Avoid becoming the victim of unethical activities that pray on your fears and the collective panic. You have seen this in play in the rush to clear shelves of toilet paper, but if you find an “opportunity” to buy such supplies online at exorbitant prices, do yourself and your bank account a favor and steel yourself against overreacting.
Worse yet are the outright fraudsters who will offer to sell “emergency equipment” and supplies for some supposed doomsday scenario, peddling generators, hazardous materials suits, filtered facemasks, goggles and surgical gloves, and coronavirus first aid kits. Many of these items will never be required or used. As for goggles, gloves, and first aid kits, they will likely not differ in a “Coronavirus Kit” from what you would find in the first aid kit you may already have in your bathroom, with the exception of the ridiculous price. Such excessive pricing can be termed racketeering, and you do not want to fall victim to it just because of fear and panic.