An Analysis of COVID-19 and its Social, Political, Economic, and Psychological Toll on America and the World
To begin with, I must state the projected fact that all major powers, US, China, EU as a whole, and Russia will come out bruised and battered by this Coronavirus, aka COVID-19, and quite possibly its second strain COVID-20 which is forecasted both by our CDC (Center for Disease Control) and well as the WHO (World Health Organization) to unravel in the fall of this year. I would also like to mention that in the Middle East, Iran in particular, which happens to be the only counter hegemonic player, will definitely be downsized in its economy and state capacity. All major powers will suffer from this. It’s only a question of nuance.
Are certain counties abusing COVID-19 to repress their citizens? Yes. Dog cages, crackdowns, censorship, surveillance, and expanded police powers, just to name a few. Indeed, authoritarian regimes are having their great moment. After all, they believe a crisis should never go to waste. Here are a few examples as noted by my colleague Thomas Gilbert:
In Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has approved the use of secret cellphone data to track the coronavirus outbreak. The highly personalized information, originally developed for counterterrorism, will be used by Israel’s internal security agency. Those in breach of home-quarantine rules face up to six months in prison. Netanyahu has also ordered all the courts to close, which means his own scheduled appearance to face corruption charges will be delayed.
China: Beijing didn’t need the excuse of the coronavirus to surveil its citizens’ movements online and offline, but it did take the opportunity to impose a new color-coded surveillance app designed to determineif a citizen was free to travel or not — and of course the app sent all the information it collected to the police.
Poland: The current regime is seeking to force through the upcoming presidential election, despite a ban on campaigning due to the health crisis — a move the opposition says highly favors the incumbent, President Andrzej Duda.
United Arab Emirates: The Gulf News reported recently that “people who circulate rumors may be jailed for one year if they spread false information.” Rights activists now worry that COVID-19 could be used as a pretext to imprison some of the bloggers and Internet activists who are targeted by the State Security Apparatus (SSA).
In North Korea, Kim Jong Un, like his counterpart in Turkmenistan, is opting for denial to deal with the pandemic. Officially, North Korea has had no infections and it has tried to seal its borders with the rest of the world to stop the spread of the coronavirus. However, there have been reports that hundreds of soldiers have already died from COVID-19 and with a health system ranked among the worst in the world, experts fear Pyongyang is ill-equipped to deal with the outbreak and Kim’s denials are making the situation much worse.
India has been strongly criticized for the way it has been treated its tens of millions of migrant workers during the coronavirus lockdown, but more worrying for privacy advocates is the explosion of new apps designed to collect biometric data on citizens without any legal framework or oversight in place. One app being rolled out in Karnataka, a state in southwest India, forces people in home quarantine to upload a selfie every 30 minutes to ensure they are complying with self-isolation rules.
Iran is one of the countries worst-hit by the COVID-19 outbreak. It has reported around 6,000 deaths so far, and government critics say the toll is much higher. In the midst of this crisis, the government launched an app that claimed to diagnose coronavirus but instead sent users’ real-time location data to the Ministry of Information — without any explanation of what the data would be used for, who would have access to it, and how long it would be stored for.
Professor Luc Antoine Montagnier is a French virologist and a joint recipient with Françoise Barré-Sinoussi & Harald zur Hausen of the 2008 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his discovery of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). He argues that the 2019–20 Coronavirus pandemic was man-made in China and was the result of an attempt to create a vaccine for HIV/AIDS. His allegation came after the United States had launched a probe into whether the virus came from a laboratory. According to Dr. Montagnier, "The presence of elements of HIV and germ of malaria in the genome of coronavirus is highly suspect and the characteristics of the virus could not have arisen naturally." Even though he's 87, Montagnier still teaches as a full-time professor at Shanghai's Jiao Tong University in China. This is a highly-respected scientist and not a mock conspiracy theorist.
We are told by our scientist colleagues that a vaccine could be available in 18 months. Between now and then, other than those who would tragically die from this horrific respiratory illness, what will for sure spread faster will be the spread of fear and panic even though we are told that only 2% of the people who get the COVID-19 will actually die from it.
Also, our scientist colleagues inform us that 80% of the cases are mild and easily treated. It’s also very important to mention the difference between the cause of death verses the approximate cause of death. This has been a controversial topic within the medical community here in United States.
In America, where and how we draw the line between public health verses our deeply-cherished constitutional rights is the key challenge as more and more Americans are getting irate and frustrated with all sorts of restrictions: socially, politically, economically, and psychologically.
Economically speaking, we are forecasting that our GDP will decline by a whopping 35% in the second quarter of this year, with a possible overall contraction of 8 to 10% for 2020 as a whole. So far, over 26 million Americans have applied for unemployment benefits which barely covers living expenses, at least here in Southern California. In other words, around 30% of the working Americans are unemployed! This is worst than the unemployment rate of around 25% in 1933 following the great market crash of 1929 which brought about the Great Depression. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell by 16% although it has made some gains since that fall.
As far as our mainstream media’s coverage of COVID-19, it might be interesting to my Russian audience to know that in 1983, 90% of US media was controlled by 50 companies. As of 2011, 90% was controlled by just 6 companies and in 2017 the number was 5. These five mega corporations are AT&T, Comcast, the Disney Company, ViacomCBS, and Fox Corporation. The relationship between news channels and huge pharmaceutical corporation, what we in America called “The Big Pharma”, has always been a tight one. Those who sell the panic will be selling the pills! It’s a revolving door. The job of mainstream media in this country is not to inform. Their job is to terrorize! But fortunately, less and less Americans get their news from mainstream media. Nevertheless, panic sells.
On the other hand, there has been an incredible rise in the number of people, especially since 9-11, who get their information from almost completely none-sensical conspiracy theory media outlets on the internet. President Trump is an indirect advocate and an integral part of this conspiracy-oriented mindset. He actually reinforces it through his erratic comments and irrational tweets.
But ultimately, it was not COVID-19 that broke America. It only revealed what was already broken. To his credit, Candidate Trump pointed the fall of America in 2016 when he verbatimly declared, “The America Dream is dead.”
Back on the cutting-edge vaccination frontier, “Depopulation through vaccination” has been a phrase that Bill Gates, business magnate, software developer, investor, philanthropist, and now global vaccine advocate has used frequently. In other words, eugenics! We Americans are generally very suspicious of authority. It’s in our historical DNA. Don’t get me wrong. COVID-19 or whatever people are dying from is very real. People are clearly dying from something, over 60,000 to be exact here in United States. That’s more than the total number of our soldiers who died in Vietnam.
Generally speaking, truth is something that’s learned. It’s rarely told.These days, for better or worse, Americans, all-in-all, don’t trust people like Dr. Fauci. He is the lead member of the Trump Admistration’s COVID-19 Task Force and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984. There’s a great spirit of distrust and cynicism in America. It’s alive and well, especially among President Trump’s electoral base.
Many believe that our American political system is much more hazardous than COVID-19 or anything else for that matter! This is not an exaggeration. Those who have the courage to question the mainstream media’s narrative and indoctrination are the only ones who will find the truth.
We now know that our thoughts and beliefs can strengthen [or weaken] our immune system. This couldn’t be truer in these strange times where there is a highly-organized fear-mongering campaign pointing to a world-wide calamity with repeated “predictions” that hundreds of thousands of people are going to die. Last year, around 61,000 Americans died from the common flu. Did the mainstream media cover that as they are covering COVID-19? No! According to WHO’s own figures, 1.5 million people died from tuberculosis in 2018 around the world. Did the mainstream media cover that as they are covering COVID-19? No! In 2018, an estimated 405,000 people died from malaria around the world. Did the mainstream media cover that as they are covering COVID-19? No! Again, according to WHO, the global death rate pertaining to seasonal influenza is between 6 to 12 times higher than COVID-19.
The problem is that fear generates stress which in turn is responsible for 90% of all illnesses. This is now a scientifically proven fact and not conjecture. While we should take every possible precaution to fight COVID-19, we also have to learn to let go of the fear. This requires the individual as well as the collective consciousness to change. It’s the chronic fear chemistry itself that is the cause of most human problems today. In other words, if you change your mind, you literally change your chemistry and that is what empowers you.
Professor Etienne de Harven said it best when he said, "We are not just witnessing a viral epidemic: we are witnessing an epidemic of FEAR." Dr. Etiene de Harven was a Belgian-born pathologist and electron microscopist. He did pioneering research on viruses, mostly related to murine leukemia. He was the former President of the Electron Microscopy Society of America.
We fell asleep in one world and woke up in another. Suddenly, Paris is no longer romantic. New York isn’t the city that never sleeps. The great wall of China is no longer a fortress, LA isn’t where dreams come true, and Mecca is empty. Hugs and kisses have become weapons and not visiting our parents and friends has become an act of love. People slowly realize that power, beauty, and money can’t buy them the oxygen they are fighting for. But the world continues its life and it’s beautiful: Much more beautiful and much less polluted. It only puts human beings in cages. Yes, Mother Nature is sending us a message and the message is this: You human-beings are not necessary whatsoever. The air, the earth, the water, and the sky are just fine without you. When you do recover from this COVID-19 pandemic and you will, remember that you are my guests, NOT my masters.
The biggest obstacle to establishing a one-world-order authoritarian global system is the rapid spiritual and political awakening of the masses! Perhaps that’s what COVID-19 is trying to teach us all along.