The Coronavirus pandemic is going to go down the history lane as one of the biggest, a multi-trillion dollar scam, mankind has ever witnessed. Not only this, the pandemic now has opened new ways for research and innovation oriented governments to induce major disruptions and economic recessions as per their will.
SARS-COV-2 the virus responsible for COVID-19 is not the first coronavirus that we are witnessing and is definitely not the last coronavirus that we will be witnessing. Bats, the only mammals that can fly, are said to host many such viruses; to date around 200 different coronaviruses have been detected. How and when some of these viruses spillover to humans is not known. So, when someone says the virus spread because of this or that, he/she is simply spreading fake news. And no one can say it for sure, if the current virus strand SARS-COV-2 was circulating among Humans before Nov-Dec 2019.
Every time a country or an institute succeeds with a research and is able to isolate a new virus, there is a crisis; be it SARS or MERS or any other. There was a similar chaos but on a smaller level, the other motivations for creating a worldwide chaos were missing at the time. These viruses are still out there, and we still don’t have the vaccines for them. But why are we not scared of them the way we are scared of SARS-COV-2? In fact there aren’t vaccines for a lot of viruses that have RNA (ribonucleic acid) as their genetic material. Do we have a vaccine for HIV? No; Maleria? No; SARS/MERS? No; But we are not scared of them today. Why?
We are scared of SARS-COV-2 because we are made to feel that way. Some people, companies, or governments are cleverly inciting this fear to accomplish their individual goals. And modern day money minded and business oriented journalism has made it a cake walk for them.
As per a time magazine study there were 23 times more articles in English-language print news covering the coronavirus outbreak in its first month compared to the same time period for the Ebola epidemic in 2018, I din’t even know there was such an outbreak in 2018, did you? Moreover, a professor at Cardiff University studied the type of information conveyed by 100 most popular newspaper from January 12 to February 13 of this year and found that there were more than nine thousands articles published on this virus out of which over one thousand used words like “fear” or “afraid” or other fear related words. The type of language that has been used would incite fear in anyone who reads it, one example from The Telegraph “Mask-wearing patients fainting in the street. Hundreds of fearful citizens lining cheek by jowl, at risk of infecting each other, in narrow hospital corridors as they wait to be treated by doctors in forbidding white hazmat suits. A fraught medic screaming in anguish.” The Sun’s coronavirus liveblog routinely refers to the virus as a “deadly disease”. SARS is deadly because the media houses say so, and flu is just cold and cough because they don’t say it is killer. What comes in mind when you hear flu? Its seasonal, its nothing to worry about. Right? However the reality is that it is killing in between 250,000 to 650,000 every single year. Compare the deaths yourself. Moreover, I did the comparison in my last blog: The unwarranted fear of Coronavirus!, please have a look, I also mentioned why the mortality rates are misleading. As a matter of fact, some experts (here and here) have also started saying the same thing, however the major, the more popular big media houses are not interested in highlighting their views.
In addition to this, not only by the language they use, they are constantly forcing people to think about coronavirus and death. The news channels are literally keeping a score board on the one of the corners or their screens, that displays a text like “India 150 cases – 3 deaths and World 216k cases and 7k deaths“. Is this some kind of a match (150/3 and 216k/7k) going on? I shouldn’t be saying this but a lot of people die every day because of a lot of other pathogens but when you start counting one by one, every thing looks big.
However, having said that, there is more than just shooting the messenger. Messengers are doing what the masters have asked them to do. Coronavirus pandemic is synonymous with falling economy; Quarantine, Isolation, Lock-Downs, Panic-Fear etc etc are going kill the economy. Right?
Coronavirus pandemic is a cover-up for the flawed fundamentals of the global financial lenders.
Kristalina Georgieva, in her first speech as IMF head in October 2019, just before the oubreak mentioned the rising corporate debts. Companies around world need to repay or refinance as much as $4trillion over next three years. The lenders had cut borrowing costs in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis in order to avert the last recession turning into another great depression. And now, when the central banks have increased the rates, it increased the risk that companies could run into difficulty keeping up with repayments.
Chinese company debt in particular has rapidly accelerated, raising alarm bells as the level of corporate borrowing soared to reach $2.8trillion by the end of 2018, up by as much as 395% compared to a decade ago. The Economist Intelligence Unit said there was a “moderate risk” that the US debt burden would turn the next economic downturn into a recession.
Look at the following figures:
A basket of nearly 7,000 stocks including developed, emerging and frontier markets have lost nearly $6 trillion (compare it with the corporate debt) or more than 10% of their value since Monday, according to Refinitiv DataStream. The companies can now easily repay their debts, since the stake holders will either not sell their shares or maybe buy more. These companies lost only the “market valuation” but the investors’ either lost the money or their money is locked for who knows how long. Infact, if you look at the very first entry S&P 500, it had just hit a record high in October. And now, the stock tops the list in correction.
An article published by Forbes in October 2019 “The countries on the Brink of recession in 2020” that is before the coronavirus, the list of countries is quite interesting (this is one of many articles that say these countries were staring at an imminent recession, feel free to google for more articles): Hong Kong, China, Germany, Italy, Iran, the US, the UK; they were going through their own issues be it geo-political crisis or a trade war cum research and innovation race or Brexit or anything else. But they were facing serious issues.
Now look at the following tables:
What a coincidence! the countries that were facing serious issues fall in the top ten in the list of countries hit hard by the pandemic.
It is in great interest of some governments to portray it as “world is going to end unless you isolate yourself” kind of disease. The economic damage this pandemic will cause in future is the price that they are willing to pay to cover up the mess that is already there. According to their narrative, “if the country has less cases, they are not testing enough; or they will be the next hot spot“. One of the reasons why WHO is currently asking the countries to test for COVID-19 more and more, is to get a big number. Out of all, WHO would be the one who knows if the similar kind of extensive testing is done for any other virus, the numbers would be comparable. And it also knows that these kind of coronaviruses transmit in the exact same manner. But they are showing only a part of the picture.
Not surprisingly, the impartial or unbiased WHO exposed itself when it had issues when Donald Trump called it a “Chinese Virus”, however, the same WHO did not see it as racism when the virus was called MERS-COV (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) as the virus first detected in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia or naming a virus as HCOV-NL63 (first identified in Netherlands) or hCoV-HKU1 (first identified in Hong Kong). And of course, the western media’s affection towards Donald Trump needs no introduction.
China started a “Death Race” by putting an entire city in lock-down, if they won’t have done this, it wouldn’t have sought the type of attention the virus received. And now when a chain reaction is triggered, they think they reshape the global order. The other countries following the same suit will falter because they unlike China are democracies. They won’t be able to dictate the situation like Chinese did. Whistle blowers, push back from the residents who lost their livelihood during the lock-down, protest for the people who died not because of coronavirus but because of hunger would not sit quiet in a Democracy.
Identification of a new virus is just an opportunity for course correction. If it was not the virus, it would have been something else.
After a very very long time, Indian government was doing good in terms of fixing the fundamental issues with the country and especially the debt. As per IMF “India’s debt is below the average of advanced economies and below the average of emerging market economies“. But the reforms and changes in the last few years, didn’t come easy, they put a dent in the growth. Now when it looked like things were improving, there is an artificially induced recession. Indian government like many other governments is in between a devil and a deep sea. If it doesn’t follow what others are doing, it will be called irresponsible as soon as one more person tests positive. If does, what others are doing, the economy suffers and the damage would be pinned on the reforms that were done and not the pandemic, thanks to a “wonderful” political culture. By promoting the western narrative, Indian media is actually acting against its own country. They have limited themselves to be mere promoters of the western media. Or even translators – have a look at this Aaj Tak clip and then compare it with this BBC article, except the language everything is the same. They should have at least tried to counter the narrative.
Precautions are necessary, basic hygiene is necessary, correct information is necessary but coming to a standstill, trying to stop everything that moves is unwarranted.
Thanks for reading!
Also read: The unwarranted fear of Coronavirus!