, , , , , , , , , ,

People hoping to buy face masks crowd outside a medical supply shop that was raided by police for allegedly hoarding and overpricing the masks, as public fear over China’s Wuhan Coronavirus grows. Getty Images.

The Virus @ the Coronavirus has gone Viral

It is said that the first victim of war is the truth; it appears the first victim of our current pandemic is also the truth.

So concerned is the World Health Organization with the amount of misinformation that has been spawned from the coronavirus pandemic that it has negotiated with various social media search engines to ensure the WHO is among the first spots to be found in order to provide the most accurate information concerning this virus.

the flood of false information spreading faster than the pathogen itself.

While the coronavirus has been declared a “global public health emergency” – it has provided unsavoury and unchecked opportunities for racism. Take the remark made by a white male to an Asian-Canadian in a Burnaby, BC parking lot:

Excuse me, you’ve dropped your coronavirus.

Racism has Economic Impacts

Comments like this have mutated to phobic-messaging intended to prevent people going to Asian restaurants or grocery stores for fear of catching the Wuhan virus from people merely because they are of Chinese descent – as if being Chinese (or of Asian-origin in general) pre-disposes one to the disease!

There has been disheartening stories of Chinese Canadians being singled out on the bus, at work, and at school. (James Morrison/CBC). But it’s not just about the racism – it’s about the economic advantage gained by economically disadvantaging another country or people group.

For more see: “The Coronavirus’s Xenophobia Problematic Outbreak” published in The Atlantic, March  2020.

The Coronavirus and the Shock Doctrine

Enter “The Shock Doctrine” as written by Naomi Klein in which she unveils how disaster capitalism operates more easily in societies reeling from the shock of natural disasters, economic collapses, pandemics, or wars. When most vulnerable, a society is more easily manipulated by “rapid-fire corporate reengineering.”

The Shock Doctrine is linked to how “well-known events of the recent past have been deliberate, active theatres for the shock doctrine, among them: Pinochet’s coup in Chile in 1973, the Falklands War in 1982, the Tiananmen Square Massacre in 1989, the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Asian Financial crisis in 1997 and Hurricane Mitch in 1998.”

Will history add the Wuhan Coronavirus to this list?

CNN reported earlier today that with fear of the virus – and reported cases – growing worldwide, the World Health Organization (WHO) is urging governments not to impose travel and trade restrictions, though many already have.

“We reiterate our call to all countries not to impose restrictions that unnecessarily interfere with international travel and trade. Such restrictions can have the effect of increasing fear and stigma, with little public health benefit,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Tuesday during a briefing to the UN’s executive board in Geneva.

“Where such measures have been implemented, we urge that they are short in duration, proportionate to the public health risks, and are reconsidered regularly as the situation evolves,” he added.

How we respond With and For others reveals our true ethics

How we respond to this pandemic will ultimately betray what we really believe about the mystery of our worth.

While there are some lining up to economically exploit the situation, how will we live out our ethics?

While there are some intentionally injecting false information into the news stream, how inoculated are we to viral lies?

The only immunization for lies is truth.

Whatsoever things are True

Truth is lived-in, lived-with, and lived-out. The ecosystem in which you nurture truth will result in the harvest of your life.

May this global crisis find you in your finest hour.

And Speaking of going Viral:

A cautionary tale: one can hardly imagine the lack of insight it takes for a person to pull a stunt on a flight by announcing he just returned from “Hunan Province” (sic) – implying he might be carrying the Wuhan virus. This “announcement” resulted in the flight being forced to return to the airport, inconveniencing both the passengers hoping to go to Jamaica, and those waiting to return. When asked why, he said he was hoping his video would go viral… perhaps not his finest hour – or – his finest 10 seconds. Perhaps not his finest work as an artist.