From the beginning of the Arab Spring revolutions, the world seemed to be preparing for an event unknown to the general public, but about which the leaders of the global superpowers had knowledge. In my opinion, the revolutions were nothing but a re-drawing of the 1916 Sykes-Picot agreement in light of a severe global economic crisis to which the major powers are still trying to find solutions.
Following the end of the Arab Spring phase, and the First World rid itself of the revolutions by throwing them into a basket of civil wars, there has now emerged the coronavirus Covid-19 crisis. Such viruses are known to have been around in 1890, when bovine and equine strains existed. They were found in humans in 1950. There was also the bat strain, SARS, which emerged in the early 2000s, resulting in about 8,000 people contracting the disease, 10 per cent of whom died in 2003. Coronaviruses then developed into MERS-COV and led to the death of 52 people in 2013 and 93 in 2014. There were outbreaks in South Korea in 2015, and a new strain, Covid-19, emerged in China late last year. As of 30 March, there are almost 700,000 cases worldwide, and more than 33,000 people have died of the virus.
Seasonal influenza comes around every year, with around 5.30 million people getting “flu”; estimates of related deaths vary from 290,000 to 650,000, according to the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organisation and its global health partners. Yet there isn’t the degree of fuss around influenza as that which we are seeing about Covid-19.
The flu epidemic that swept Germany in 2017 and 2018 claimed the lives of about 25,000 people. The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) estimates the number of people with influenza in winter in Germany at between 4 and 16 million. The CDC, meanwhile, reported shocking numbers of deaths due to flu in the US; from the beginning of last October to the start of February this year, the estimates ranged between 16,000 and 41,000. Moreover, 6.2 million people in France were infected by seasonal flu and nearly 9,500 people died of it in 2019.
Surprisingly, despite the long history of coronaviruses, scientists have not come up with an effective vaccine. Is this neglect, laziness or a conspiracy? There are claims that pharmaceutical companies are avoiding a vaccine because it would not as profitable as treatments produced for recurrent or chronic diseases. That’s understandable, up to a point. Why are world leaders prevaricating about finding a vaccine, though, given that the medical profession has been warning about an epidemic since 2018, when my daughter, for example, had the same symptoms of the current virus and many people in my city were being transferred to hospital after contracting severe pneumonia? Conspiracy theory or plain and simple fact?
The spread of coronavirus Covid-19 is reminiscent of an episode of The Simpsons aired 27 years ago, where a disease similar to the virus spread across the US after packages were received from Japan. Think too about the 2011 film Contagion, whose director apparently sought advice from the WHO, scientists and doctors to make it more realistic. And what about the 1989 novel Eye of Darkness that mentions a biological war with coronavirus spreading from the Chinese city of Wuhan where the latest pandemic was first identified. Other significant events have featured in the movies years before they happened for real. The 1996 film The Long Kiss Goodnight, for example, mentioned a plan to attack the World Trade Centre in New York.
Personally, I do not believe in coincidences, so I only have two possible explanations: either the real plans were leaked, or the film makers, writers and so on inspired people to enact the events for real.
A world threatened by aliens in science fiction usually leads to people panicking as their political leaders take them to war or disaster. The people become like putty in politicians’ hands, ready to obey every order no matter how absurd it is. Mass manipulation, in other words.
China and America are now trading accusations about Covid-19 and suspicions surround the political responses to the pandemic in Germany, France and Britain. The exact number of coronavirus infections isn’t really known because some governments are — it is alleged — covering up the facts to project their own “strong” image. Meanwhile, heads of state and senior politicians are being quarantined having exhibited symptoms. Are they in “self-isolation” for genuine reasons, or are they there to be protected? Powerful generals die of the disease, or did they? Were they taken out because they were regarded by those at the top as a threat to their own positions?
Coronavirus is affecting the whole world, will it unite us? – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]
People all over the world have been ordered by their governments to stay at home; schools, universities and places of worship have been closed; and non-essential travel is banned. The same precautionary measures are being taken in many countries, despite their varying rates of infection. Is the media exaggerating the severity of the virus and its effects? Is this sort of response way, way over the top and not absolutely necessary?
The fact that the world as we know it is going to change as a result of all of this suggests that hidden hands are at work to manipulate the end results of new state borders, empires rising and falling and national economies being even more beholden to non-elected bank officials. There may even be a kind of natural selection at play here; the law of the jungle and survival of the fittest. There could, of course, be all sort of reasons for such things to be happening to so many people in so many countries across the world. Not many which can make it all happen at the same time, though.
I am troubled by a lot of these ideas, but above all else I am troubled by the fact that Covid-19 has sparked off a concern for human lives that has been missing completely from places like Yemen and Syria and a myriad of other global trouble spots. If human life is so important, why has the world not acted together with the same degree of Covid-19 urgency to stop the “intervention” in Yemen which has led to 3 million people facing famine, cholera and a humanitarian catastrophe? The war in Syria has killed over half a million people and displaced millions more? Is a person being killed by a preventable disease any different to killing them with a gun?
The bottom line is that there is a political shift or similar developments hiding under the cloak of the coronavirus, and it will not become obvious until the Covid-19 storm subsides. Is the coronavirus the result of a conspiracy? The evidence available to all of us should make us think twice before dismissing such claims out of hand.
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