As the dust starts to clear, the panicking slows down and the nation settles into a life of social distancing and quarantine, we are able to see the truth start to emerge, if we truly seek it, but not before some drown in the plethora of conspiracy theories.
As creatures we adapt very fast, or is it a simple case of apathy. Just before Christmas 2019 the Tories were voted into government and all around people were outraged. This may simply be because I was within my own filter bubble. Maybe? But quickly within a few days the voracity of the Facebook timeline calmed down and we were back to selfies, pictures of cats and posts bursting with insecurity.
And just as people were settling into another 5 years of Tories with the odd gripe, Coronavirus enters the theatre and takes centre stage. We watch, we wait, some panic. We think this will never happen to us. We attempt to combat it with ‘Britishness’ and quickly it kills. Our government reacts slowly and now we live a new kind of life. We adapt to it very quickly. And with the fear, some now look to the government they once deplored and seek to be safe. The government that systematically over 10 years administered cuts to the NHS and privatised it, but if they keep repeating the mantra ‘Protect the NHS and save lives’, perhaps they will forget and buy into their hollow words… again. An insult to all the those working in the NHS.
It reminds me of when the UK goes to war against an ‘enemy’. Take your pick: Saddam, Gaddafi, Bin Laden the list goes on. The media pumps out propaganda creating a picture minus any contesting information so as to manufacture your consent, to scare you into submission, to give acquiescence to something deep down you wouldn’t believe in and know is wrong. But after the country is destroyed, after the economy is wrecked, after the displacement of the indigenous population, after the country has been carved up by corporations, semblances of truth start to surface and quickly you realise once again you have been hoodwinked, tricked and deceived. It has appealed to your emotions, not your intelligence.
Yes the coronavirus is real, but we now know it could have been prevented. According to Noam Chomsky, the information was there to prevent it. In October 2019 a large-scale simulation took place in the USA titled Event 201 by the John Hopkins Centre for Health Security in partnership with the World Economic Forum and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. But nothing was done, in fact the crisis was made worse with the political systems not paying attention to the information they were made aware of.
“On December 31, China informed the World Health Organization (WHO) of pneumonia-like symptoms with unknown origins. A week later, some Chinese scientists identified a coronavirus. Furthermore, they sequenced it and provided information to the world. By then, virologists and others who were bothering to read WHO reports knew that there was a coronavirus and knew that had to deal with it.”
“We should think about the emergence of this crisis, why is there a coronavirus crisis? It’s a colossal market failure. It goes right back to the essence of markets exacerbated by the savage neoliberal intensification of deep social-economic problems.”
“It was known for a long time that pandemics are very likely and it was underestimated. It was very well understood there were likely to be coronavirus pandemics, modifications of the SARS epidemic 15 years ago.”
“Labs around the world could be working right then on developing protection for potential coronavirus pandemics. Why didn’t they do it? The market signals were wrong. The drug companies. We have handed over our fate to private tyrannies called corporations, which are unaccountable to the public, in this case, Big Pharma. And for them, making new body creams is more profitable than finding a vaccine that will protect people from total destruction.” Noam Chomsky
What this clearly shows is that the population who vote in the government to take care of their needs, their health, their education, their lives, are clearly there to serve powerful elite interests and not the population. In this post truth era where emotion rules over intelligence it is now very easy to keep the public in their place, domesticated and controlled. The collective ‘We’ seems to have lost the ability to think and are overruled by emotion. That is not to say that the coronavirus isn’t scary, that being in lockdown doesn’t make one anxious, but it also doesn’t mean one should capitulate, surrender intelligent thought, reasoning and let those in power carry on with business as usual.
We can keep repeating the mantra ‘Protect the NHS and save lives’, and sit in front of Netflix daily and show how quickly, how ‘British’ we are to adapt, which is really just basic apathy. Or we can use this time to truly understand how the world works and how it affects all of us. And once understood, if we want it to see change, we have to be that change.
Full Noam Chomsky article here: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/04/noam-chomsky-coronavirus-pandemic-prevented-200403113823259.html