COVID-19 – GLOBALLY DEALING WITH THE POLITICS, THE FAKE NEWS AND THE SPINS A BIGGER CHALLENGE THAN THE PANDEMIC SAYS MALAYSIA ASEAN APEC LEAD EXPERT CONSUMERIST PROF DR JACOB GEORGE
I just got off the telephone with a very dear friend in Italy!
This is what he stated!
So good to hear your voice my friend!
The situation here is bizarre.
We are good and safe.
But everything is shut.
It is a surrealistic situation.
Towns turned into ghost towns.
And we are allowed to go out just for the grocery.
I am in isolation for 17 day because they found a colleague positive to corona virus.
She is in hospital now.
She is breathing hardly!’
For those of us who have been on the ground and in contact with the pulse of the pandemic will know that the number of cases of COVID-19 outside China has increased 13-fold, and the number of affected countries has tripled.
But I still maintain I do not trust the Chinese government, their propaganda machinery and statistics!
Irrespective what some extreme right wing race supremacist groups politicize, it is a fact that there are now more than 150,000 cases in 114 countries, and 5000 people have lost their lives.
It does not end there as thousands more who have been detected are fighting for their lives in hospitals, there are those who are not detected or in other groupings as well!
The messages I receive from friends and loved ones in Italy are so hurting and sad!
The fact that friends and colleagues in international relief organizations and in the WHO are saying to me is super simple:
We cannot but must expect that in the coming days and weeks ahead we will see the number of cases, the number of deaths, and the number of affected countries climb even higher.
It is alarm bells everywhere!
As one colleague stated that she is shocked at the alarming levels of the Covid-19 spread and its severity!
She was also flabbergasted at the alarming levels of inaction, incompetence and idiocy of certain stakeholders globally!
Was I surprised that the WHO finally assessed COVID-19 as a pandemic?
From day one of my write-ups on the matter I have been holding the WHO as villains for coming off the blocks late!
As an Attorney of Law, I am aware that the word – Pandemic is not a word to use lightly or carelessly!
I am aware if abused it will cause unreasonable fear, chaos or unjustified acceptance that the fight is over, leading to unnecessary suffering and death.
There must be a balance!
But the facts are distressing that with over 150,000 cases reported globally in 114 countries, more than 90 percent of cases are in just four countries, and two of those – China and the Republic of Korea – have significantly declining epidemics, if the Chinese government are to be believed?
We are told that over 81 countries have not reported any cases, and 57 countries have reported 10 cases or less.
Where does that put us on a scale of one to ten?
It is time to work as a team – globally with countries involved to detect, test, treat, isolate, trace, and mobilize their people in the response, those with a handful of cases can prevent those cases becoming clusters, and those clusters becoming community transmission.
Even those countries with community transmission or large clusters can turn the tide on this virus.
There have been positive results with proactive countries!
But at the same time we see bullshit stories too coming out from the official media, with politicians thinking other stakeholders are silly, uninformed or plain stupid!
We all accept the fact that many countries without a sophisticated healthcare system will struggle!
The issues of resources may be a glaring issue.
Many may not have a political will instead play-acting to the masses!
Some idiots think the answer is mass prayer on a football field with over 10,000 worshipers?
Others think and state this is a Chinese problem and they are super insulated?
Of course ignorance is bliss more so spiritual arrogance in some countries!
But I am also proud of the actions taken in the US, in Britain, Ireland, Iran, Italy and the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Indonesia, India and New Zealand to slow the virus and control their epidemics.
The US have now barred foreigners from 26 European countries!
President Trump’s new restrictions funnel Americans to designated airports in New York City, Chicago, San Francisco, Seattle, Honolulu, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Virginia, Detroit, Dallas, Newark, Boston and Miami.
The travelers were undergoing enhanced health screenings, and the crush of Americans returning from Europe appeared to be making those screenings that much harder.
Frustrated travelers shared images of the long lines on social media.
But there are countries where politics play a great mode.
It is idiocy but what more can one say!
They say there are enough hospitals and resources.
They say they have a great pool of experts but then in the same breathe say they are throwing in ill-equipped and zero trained front-liners, in the form of housemen?
The Politician Minister smiles in the media saying – “no worries we have the infra-structure, the hospitals, the experts, and yes – we have the beds!”
WHO are alleged to have stated that exposure may hit over 10% of a population and if that is true, can anyone explain to me, where we will find the Intensive Care Units (ICU) and super trained ICU personnel and Para medical support staff in the country where such a statement was made?
I am aware and advised even with the addition of both private hospitals and public ones one may have only over 1200 ICU beds?
So who is playing whom?
There are containment and lock down efforts put into play globally because there is a clear and imminent danger!
Borders are being in lock down mode, Spain being the latest, international and national flights cancelled, mass gathering outlawed, sports events and educational institutions closed and stock markets and economies are crashing because of economic loss!
The economic storms come in all sides with little or no monies available.
Keeping the bullshit fake narratives of preparedness aside or doing daily media lip service on statistics in and out is not what any nation need now!
We should depart from that and instead – illustrate one’s preparedness.
It is time for – dos and dont!
Are nations in a position to detect, protect and treat?
Are we in a position to reduce transmission and for that, first we need to lock down and we cannot have a ‘business as usual’ climate!
So are we in a lock down mode?
Many countries certainly not and still there are politicians excited to be in huge gatherings to boost their personal spiraling down political image!
Schools are not in locked down either.
Finally what are we innovating?
Are we learning anything from this pandemic?
The call now is to take those very brave steps in truthfulness and accountability!
Can that be expected?
You do not protect a nation with lies, half-truths and deception, any nation for that matter!
We cannot play down the threat either, for we will look like bigger idiots than previously thought.
All countries are called to strike a holistic balance share data and information, set up joint task force.
It is our duty and we are called to serve and protect the healthcare of a community, to minimize any disruption in society while respecting universal human rights!
For now, let us start with a national lock down – so that the efforts of detection, testing, treating, isolating, tracing, researching and mobilizing can be driven and monitored without fail.
It is time for the professionals, the experts, and the competent to lead not politicians, or worst, political pretenders in all parts of the world!