COVID-19 Reflections

COVID-19 Confirmed Cases 5,354,539
At 11.32 AM May 24, 2020 
Top Five Countries 
United Kingdom260,916
Source: John Hopkins University

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc throughout the world, albeit at a slower pace, countries are taking tentative steps to restore their economies to some semblance of normality.

In the early days of the then novel coronavirus, our basic nature was laid bare as people stampeded to purchase food, sanitation agents, masks and just about anything judged able to afford protection from the virus. 

Few people cared if supplies were distributed based on need; it was every man for himself. Selfishness was the order of the day.  Few spared a thought for the needs of others.

There is nothing like a crisis to reveal one’s true character.

As the virus spread from country to country, the World Health Organisation (WHO) distinguished it from other corona viruses with the name COVID-19 and declared a global pandemic.

By February and March 2020, the virus, which first emerged in Wuhan, China in December 2019, had made its way to Europe and North America, leaving thousands of deaths in its wake.

COVID-19 Global Deaths343,116
At 11.32 AM May 24, 2020 
Top Five Countries 
United Kingdom36,875
Source: John Hopkins University

Some heads of state took the pandemic seriously and followed the guidance of public health experts and scientists.  One prominent leader brushed aside the dangers of COVID-19 as just ‘a little flu’!

As the virus took hold in countries and the death toll began to rise, hospitals quickly became overrun with patients.

Countries started to close their borders and institute lockdowns and stay-at-home orders to control the spread of the virus.

 It was not long before economic activities all but ground to a halt.

Unsurprisingly, countries with leaders who trivialized the seriousness of the virus and initially disregarded the advice of experts have seen the highest number of infections and deaths.

Humility would dictate that leaders, who scoffed at warnings, would eat humble pie and admit their mistakes but that was not to be.

 A scapegoat had to be found and WHO was selected.

The WHO did not sound the warning soon enough it is alleged.  The organization is too cozy with China and did not sufficiently question data and information coming out of the epicenter of the virus outbreak.

It does not matter that countries with the best and worst outcomes received the same information and warnings from the WHO, some leaders are just never wrong.

One leader in his continued quest to show his country’s superiority brags about having the greatest doctors and scientists, the most ventilators and his people being the greatest in the world.

His country also excels in another area that the leader does not find convenient to highlight.

His country has the highest number of fatalities from COVID-19 but, of course, that’s the WHO’s fault!

As countries begin to ease lockdown restrictions and stay-at-home orders, the WHO warns the virus maybe here to stay and great care must be taken to prevent a ‘second wave’ of infections.

The aforementioned leader is not too concern about a ‘second wave’ as he supports demonstrations to lift restrictions and pressures state governors to allow businesses to reopen at warp speed.

The leader has a trump card to play if a reckless reopening of the economy leads to the feared ‘second wave’ of infections.  The WHO can always be blame, maybe this time for not issuing the warning in a tweet!

As the world scrambles to return to some semblance of pre-COVID-19 normality, authorities continue to stress ‘social distancing’, face coverings in public and frequent washing of hands.

These measures are not without controversy as one man in the land of the free was seen on television declaring it is a free country and each person should be free to choose if they wish to stay six feet from another person! You don’t hear such wisdon everyday!

Additionally, again in the land of the free, guns have been brought into play when customers are refused entry to places of business without face coverings. It is an infringment of their constitutional right, they assert!

 At least one person has been killed while enforcing face covering guidelines.

May common sense prevail as governments seek to minimize the economic fallout while balancing economic, social, and public health considerations with individual rights and responsibilities.

Success or failure may depend on the attitude and approach of leaders. Now is not the time for frivolous superlatives! Lives are at stake!

COVID-19 is not a “little flu” and it couldn’t care less if you are the greatest, the most powerful or the best in the world.

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