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Published: June 17th 2020
Covid-19“There is no such thing as race. None. There is just the human race – scientifically, anthropologically.” – Toni Morrison.
The World graph continues its upward trajectory
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is defined as someone who suffers persecution or death for advocating, renouncing, refusing to renounce, or refusing to advocate a religious belief or cause as demanded by an external party. Accordingly, the status of the “martyr” can be considered a posthumous title as a reward for those considered worthy of martyrdom by the living. Over the centuries there have been a number of martyrs who qualify according to this definition and one who springs to mind in these modern times is Martin Luther King, leader of the Civil Rights Movement in the USA from 1955 until his assassination in 1968.
What does this have to do with the Covid-19 pandemic? Well, look no further than the death of George Floyd
at the hands of a policeman in Minneapolis on 26th
May. We will certainly remember the pandemic but the death of Floyd, a black man, at the hand of a white man, and the aftermath which followed will not be forgotten for a very long time. It sparked massive rioting in the USA and across many countries
South Africa. Are we on the edge?
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on a scale probably never seen before. It gave birth to yet another all-encompassing word, systemic
, which the media has embraced to describe the deep-rooted racism still evident in so many countries. Floyd’s death was a deplorable act. No doubt about that. He certainly lived an eventful life having had four stays in prison starting in 1998 before doing a four-year stint in 2009 for armed robbery and home invasion charges. He was paroled in 2013. This unfortunate event then took on a life of its own under the banner #blacklivesmatter.
American cities came under siege as huge gatherings of protestors vented their outrage and anger. Dare I say it, but these protests, in many countries across the globe, develop their own systemic
aspect; many people who join these peaceful protests are opportunists who have little interest in the “cause” but, maybe instigate and then cash in on the orgy of violence, vandalism and wholesale looting of any business enterprise along the path of the protest. The police are often outnumbered and simply have to be restrained to prevent further escalation. Somewhat insanely in these times, Covid-19 regulations such as bans on large gatherings and social distancing were abandoned. The
Overall World situation.
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liberal fringe and a number of Democrat city leaders jumped in with bizarre demands that their city police budgets should be slashed and some even suggested that the police force in their cities should be disbanded and the funds diverted to “make communities better” to end systemic racism. Really? Talk about throwing the baby out with the bathwater! The trashing, looting and boarding up of 5th
Avenue stores in New York city looked akin to the impact of all out down town warfare. The media went into overdrive on this story and perspective became somewhat blurred. But, thankfully, the voice of reason and logic does occasionally bubble to the surface and cause reflection. If anyone cares to try and understand beyond the rhetoric swirling around this unfortunate death, go onto YouTube and watch “Candace Owens gives George Floyd facts”. She is a black, 31-year-old conservative commentator and political activist. Controversially she was quoted as saying “I don’t care WHAT George Floyd did. The officer should have never treated him like that and killed him! But we still must ask: Is he a hero? The fact that he has been held up as a martyr sickens me.” I don’t have any
New York under siege
answers but I suspect these events will be interwoven with the Covid-19 conversations of the future.
Here in South Africa, media “distortion” was demonstrated by none other than eNCA, an independent TV news station. They devoted an entire evening to broadcasting the Floyd funeral in the USA and yet, here in South Africa, we have no idea who the other 11 people are, apart from Collins Khosa, who were killed by security forces supposedly for lock down infractions. There is not a single news article or mention of these deaths on their website. Why the sickening silence here at home with evidence of current police brutality? As a nation, we should be outraged and rampaging in the streets. Back to Covid-19
. The graphs tell a story; this pandemic is far from over and South Africa
is witnessing a rapid escalation in daily infection cases and deaths. There is little doubt, based on what one witnesses happening in small towns, shopping malls and many public gathering areas, that Level 3 in the current lock down process has opened the flood gates. Crowds of people are seen in many places. Masks and social distancing are often being ignored. Hospitals are
Boarding up business on 5th Avenue. The looting and vandalism already done.
filling up due to gender-based violence, road accidents and brutal criminality linked to the unbanning of liquor sales. The voice of the medical and scientific advisors to Government is being largely ignored. The Minister of Health goes on record and says that deaths due to TB, HIV and other common causes will exceed that of the virus. Are we standing on the very edge of a massive spike in infections and deaths and yet, large numbers of people are simply not paying attention?
And then there are pockets of good news! Take New Zealand
, which on 8th
June, removed all lock down regulations making it the first country in the world to get “back to normal.” The obvious question; what did they manage to do right? Their seven-week lock down ended on 14th
May and they had no infections post that date. Being an island country, they were quick to close airports and restrict inbound travellers and their PM led from the front in a very visible manner. It had 1504 cases and 22 deaths. To celebrate, a Super Rugby match between the Blues and Hurricanes was played in front of a capacity crowd last week end.
New York. Huge protest action
the other end of the scale are the “disasters.” Brazil
leads this dubious pack. Their fundamental problem is a President who has convinced himself it’s just a “little flu thing” and to hell with the consequences. Their health authorities removed all data on Covid-19 cases from their website to try and hide the seriousness of the situation. This was then reversed by the courts but Brazil is now in second spot behind the USA with 828,000 confirmed infections and 42,000 deaths at 14th
June. Activists in Rio De Janeiro recently dug 100 symbolic graves on the famous Copacabana beach as a symbol to those who have lost their lives and those who struggle with no work and no food. The President continues to play down the gravity of their situation. Maybe his days are numbered?
And then there is China.
All looked good a week ago with virtually no infections in Wuhan city. This has all changed with infections on the rise in Beijing and spreading to neighbouring provinces. Schools have been closed. What is bizarre are reports that the infections started close to a “market.” The only positive news out of China is the ban by their Government of the use of pangolin scales for medicinal purposes. Sadly, this will probably result in the sale of these scales and other exotic animal products being transacted in illegal markets in the future.
is hell bent on getting the economy going with Donald Trump at the wheel knowing how important a vibrant, growing economy is to his re-election chances later this year. There are significant infection rate increases in a number of states across the country and it would appear that the Americans have thrown caution to the wind. South Korea
and the USA confirmed their first virus cases on the same day in January. By end February the Koreans had the world’s second-worst outbreak. Again, the discipline of these Asian nations kicked in and with huge scale testing and contact tracing, they quickly brought their crisis under control. Importantly, they did not lock down or ban group activities. Right now, South Korea is anticipating a second wave of infections and gearing up to repeat their successful formula.
The fact that countries, which have fought off the initial outbreak, are now experiencing or anticipating a second wave makes this a frightening disease. There are many reports in the media of politicians in many countries predicting that the worst will be over by September. Do not trust these people. They are truly gifted when it comes to distorting truth and logic!
The point being; no one knows when and how Covid-19 will exit the world stage.
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