"Instead of trying to outsmart the health experts by posting our own analytics on the issue, let’s wait for the official pronouncement from the health authorities."
A new breed of virus is haunting us; it’s a virus called idiocy. This we owe to the social media experts who, overnight, can transform from being a volcanologist, to a Kobe Bryant biographer, a press freedom fighter, a political analyst, a virologist and everything in between, and to the political opposition, who, like thieves in the night, would try to sneak in every opportunity to move for a power grab. Thanks to them all, we are now a nation deeply stuck in paranoia, not fully knowing how to deal with this dreaded novel coronavirus os what it is called now, the Covid-19.
In fact, maybe the best way to combat Covid-19 is to refrain from engaging in the social media.
When the news about this virus first came into the open, these social media experts were the first to warn the public the virus is airborne, hence advising everyone to use facial masks. When health authorities declared there was no need to use facial masks except when dealing face to face with someone who has cough and cold as one can only catch the disease through the viruses contained in droplets, social media were suddenly quiet.
After a time, news again spread on social media claiming the virus was airborne, thus the need to wear masks. This again has been debunked this time by no less than the World Health Organization.
But what’s more disturbing with these fake news peddlers from these so-called experts is propagating these conspiracy theories that the Covid-19 or nCoV-19 as it was called then, was a product of China’s biological warfare, that it was being developed in Wuhan, the epicenter of the virus and was accidentally leaked. This, together with news claiming the virus probably came from Chinese’s fondness of eating exotic animals like bats and snakes, might have reinforced the China hate campaign.
So, instead of being concerned with resolving the problem of the viral spread and containment, people are more focused on the blame game. Blame China, hate the Chinese.
While the real origin of the virus has yet to be determined, one thing we are sure of is that even if it exploded in Wuhan, no one, not even the Chinese government, wanted this to happen. And if we are having a hard time empathizing with China on the matter, let us take time to reflect on another incident that could be far worse than the Covid-19 which took place over a decade ago, the H1N1 Swine Flu which hit the United States in 2009.
The 2009 H1N1 virus was declared a global pandemic, as it reportedly infected 60 million and initially killed a minimum of 18,449 cases that year. However, the final result of the H1N1 global pandemic placed the death count at 300,000, based on final tallies in 2012 reported by the Center for Disease Control.
But during that time, there was no incident of anti-US attacks, even as the American Government took all of six months to declare a national emergency, which is over much unlike the reaction of the Chinese Government upon the discovery of the virus. After just a few weeks, it ordered the lockdown of Wuhan.
As this piece is being written, China is assuring everyone that President Xi Jinping has put to task all concerned agencies to prevent and control the spread of the disease, which they claim has so far been productive.
In a statement, the Chinese Embassy in Manila said that China has established an all-round and multi-layered epidemic prevention and control system and that the system centers around Wuhan, capital of Hubei province, which is the epicenter of the outbreak, as well as the province. This has been laid out from the Communist Party of China Central Committee to local governments at various levels. All the work is open and transparent, and are advanced scientifically and in an orderly manner.
“China has a strong resolve as well as full confidence and capability to win the battle against the contagious disease,” the statement added.
Since the outbreak of the virus, the Chinese Embassy said China has been not only taking the most comprehensive and most rigorous prevention and control measures, many of which go well beyond the requirements of the International Health Regulations, but also releasing the information on the novel coronavirus in a timely, open, transparent and responsible manner, and responding actively to all concerns.
In fact, China informed relevant sides and shared the genetic sequence of the coronavirus with the World Health Organization and related countries immediately. This was lauded by WHO and many countries which have recognized and commended China’s constructive efforts.
No less than WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that China identified the pathogen in record time and shared it immediately, which led to the rapid development of diagnostic tools.
China is completely committed to transparency, both internally and externally. And China has agreed to work with other countries who need their support, they stressed.
And that’s what matters most. That China, along with other countries, have been working to control, if not neutralize the virus.
Remember, this is not China against Covid-19. Or China against other countries including the Philippines. This is humanity against a dreaded virus.
This is a fail one, fail all situation. If they fail, we all fail.
So, instead of trying to outsmart the health experts by posting our own analytics on the issue, let’s wait for the official pronouncement from the health authorities.
Instead of hoping China and our leaders fail in handling the situation so the political thieves, err, the opposition could have someone to blame which they believe could enable them to move for a power grab, let’s just all pray.
For if they fail, there will be no one left to blame and be blamed.