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COVID-19 vs Humans

Coronavirus & Anti-China rant

Would history repeat itself?

Let me begin by acknowledging the great work that healthcare workers, frontline workers, nurses, doctors, people working for essential services are doing across the world. Salute to all of you to serve society before your self. I can only imagine what it takes to go to work when you could be the next one like the one you are seeing. More power to your family and well-wishers. Having developed the deepest regards, I want to clap for you and echo the words of all the great leaders who asked citizens to pay respect to health workers in tough times. I donated to the Courage fund of SG (link defunct) and the PM cares fund of India, sincerely request you to please support their cause and generously donate/volunteer as well.

This week I am being flooded by China-bashing posts that are indeed a little too harsh to a degree of being racist not only against the innocent Chinese people but also to the racially-Chinese people who are citizens of other places like Europe, USA, Singapore, etc. I can only feel sorry for people facing racism including the north-east citizens of India who just happen to be the only community to share mongoloid facial features within the country. These are the times which yell loud and clear that we should have educated ourselves to be more inclusive or else racialism would never die. Not defending the perpetrators of such nasty comments, but hey, we should also understand that it is coming out of deep frustration and fear for everyone’s life and livelihood. We live in a free world and speaking the mind out is expected out of people - especially when it comes to their health and well being. These days, I see many online social media posts and news on legit sources about bashing and accusing “Chinese” instead for the virus scare and claiming that they have intentionally caused a threat to everyone’s life and forced them to stay indoors. One can easily scroll down to the comments section and after ignoring some racial comments, only to discover a deep resentment against the Chinese govt and it's absolutely nothing against the Chinese people.

Before writing this blog, I was waiting for truths to emerge out regarding the early day’s disease spread in China. But with time it is becoming clearer that Chinese govt has not only hidden news of disease spread since November last year to save their image but is even now implicit in putting a heavy hand to actively pressurize academicians and censoring their work from internet. Chinese govt has recently increased the Wuhan death toll by +50% which honestly gives me a feeling like WTF, are we just reduced to mere numbers now by such dictatorial regimes? I am not with the view that China has created the COVID-19 as a biological weapon as of now - maybe it needs a deeper investigation, but by hiding facts and keeping the whole world in dark regarding its spread in early days has certainly exported Chinese-govt-spread virus along with the Chinese goods - an act of pure treason. Many countries including India and Singapore (two dearests to me) are struggling to convince and keep the citizens at home and prevent others from contracting the disease. On the economic side, millions are predicted to lose jobs, get plunged into poverty and it appears a very hard time is impending all of us. All of this could have been well-avoided if China had acted fast or had been more open.

At stake is humanity, nothing less.

One of the most reliable news portals in India considered by me The Print, by the famously-sensible Indian journalist Shekhar Gupta, claims that China may as well have allowed the virus to spread to all its population. Another news says that millions of Phone Sim cards were deactivated in China in the period when virus should have shown it’s nastiest impact in mainland China. Maybe Shekhar Gupta is also a victim of fake news, but then so am I and several other journos and sane-headed people who are speaking about it. There’s also a piece of news that countries like Iran and North Korea have stopped counting coronavirus cases now. Same for its ally Pakistan - it refused to go under lockdown and let its people die. I cannot imagine how many people will suffer because their weird governments who was sworn in to protect them but choose to keep the “money flowing” instead.

I cannot help but also look at how China record at helping other nations - even to its friendly nations. Spain, Italy, India all have rejected the sub-standard medical equipments and usables. In an Urdu report from China’s client state Pakistan, I saw a journalist showing china exported masks as a token to help and it turned out to be made out of discarded undergarments - men’s underwear and women’s bras to be precise and shipped to Pakistan for their use. What mockery could be more humiliating than this!

I see that many leaders including those of UK have expressed their views that business won’t be as usual with China, but there’s also an alternative view that China is going to emerge as a global superpower post a corona-vaccine world. You cannot fight an unethical enemy having the baggage of ethics. I do not mind any country being a superpower be it China - but the least anyone would expect it to be responsible. China cannot be trampling human rights, buying out countries like alcohol from supermarkets, supporting oppressive and dictatorial regimes as friends facing adversities and dream of being respected by the world. I think it’s enough now - it’s time to call for what should have been said way earlier in our history. That is more transparency in the Chinese government for the immediate term and a pro-democracy regime change in the longer term. I believe our countries are all guilty of being not loud enough against the Chinese govt’s ugly suppression tactics until it got to our throats.

One compulsion is one cannot let their country and business suffer too, nor can we expect everyone to suddenly move out of China - esp for manufacturing and logistics which takes years to develop anywhere - but atleast we can start taking steps towards that. China as of today sits at the highest power echelons - a UNSC permanent member and can veto any movement against it. Now, the UN seems to be reduced to that distant relative for China who sees evident issues with a child but won’t call it out to save relations.

I am not so concerned yet by the minor issues faced to me - to stay indoors, etc. But for many others, it’s really difficult and I feel bothered by that pain. I saw a very old Singaporean uncle’s video who got so annoyed by the social distancing that he just sat on the bus floor - frustrated with almost with a crying face that he has no one to talk to. In another video, another uncle in India was crying to have lost everything in his life - job, home, everything we call as stability. What had they done to face that such hardship in supposedly the most stable leg of their life! I feel pity for that uncle and billions across the globe. India has enough food stocks, Singapore has enough money to come out of this. But I only have tears for those who die helplessly.

I want to say into the ears of our leaders to keep supporting the countries and once this is done, please do something with China. This shall not go unpunished.

Dialogue & Discussion