The Coronavirus debacle

Before you start calling me irresponsible for referring to what is now, according to the W.H.O. a pandemic, as a debacle, I’m using the word firstly to describe the conflicting, contradictory information and advice we are being given either through the media or from government/health officials and secondly due to the sometimes crazy response from the general public….and thirdly I am writing this a little bit tongue in cheek – because the whole issue is absurd.

Reading an article in the NZ herald newspaper, it talks about a 79 year old grandmother who was scared she may be infected with the virus as she was sitting close to a woman on a plane from Italy who has since been confirmed as having the COVID-19 coronavirus. So far she is not showing any symptoms but since there is an incubation period of between 2 to 10 days she was afraid that she may have already passed on the virus as she had attended aqua aerobics classes with lots of other people. She has since been advised to self isolate for 14 days. But what about those she has been in contact with previously?

Now here’s where the conflicting info comes in. The W.H.O. world health organization says that anyone who doesn’t have symptoms is not infectious. BUT the scientists in China, where the virus originated, have prompted the Chinese health minister to state “that the ability of the virus to spread seems to be getting stronger.” And that “people with novel coronavirus may be able to spread the illness before they even develop symptoms.

Doctors slam face mask price hikes, call for better ...

Similarly there is conflicting information about whether wearing a mask will protect you or not. Officials have said – on the one hand – that masks are ineffective against coronavirus because many of them don’t seal to the face…..and in the next breath they tell us that we shouldn’t stockpile masks because we are causing a shortage for front line health professionals dealing with the virus, and putting them in danger. So….the masks don’t protect civilians, but somehow work for doctors and nurses…..right. Meanwhile Mitre10 and Bunnings Hardware stores along with any other store selling masks of any kind have been cleared out, so you may have to be inventive……and don’t forget about your pets.

You Won't Believe The Items People Are Using As Face Masks ...
Chinese pet owners are creating makeshift coronavirus ...

Similarly there was a rush on supermarkets in Auckland – which has a high Asian population. Security guards were only allowing one person into the supermarkets as one person left the supermarket to save congestion and chaos inside. Shoppers cleared the shelves of bottled water, toilet paper and canned goods. Of course if they had been sensible New Zealanders who should, in theory, already have a stockpile of food, water and other essentials for a minimum of 3 weeks to see them through a natural disaster such as earth quake, volcanic eruption, superstorm etc there wouldn’t have been this panic buying. I mean come on people it makes sense to build up a stock pile over time….a couple of extra cans or packet of dried food every time you go shopping. Be prepared Kiwi’s.

Coronavirus: Empty supermarket shelves amid panic buying - BelfastTelegraph.co.uk

To put things into perspective. Coronavirus COVID-19 has caused about 4500 deaths world wide so far. There seems to be a lot of fuss about something that has yet to cause a single death in New Zealand, and yet the flu causes 500 deaths here on average each year (and about a half million deaths yearly, world wide). Around 400 people die in traffic accidents each year in New Zealand too….and New Zealanders are really crap drivers….but drivers are not asked to self isolate. We also have around 800 to 1000 deaths yearly attributed to alcohol consumption….of course tax on alcohol brings a lovely amount of cash into the government coffers so we can’t really stop people drinking can we?

The “leader of the free world” – cough cough….and no I don’t have the virus…..on the one hand told us that it’s all false news and pushed the problem across the desk for his deputy to deal with, but now has closed the borders to European travelers….as well as Chinese, Koreans and Iranians. BUT he’s allowing travel between Britain and the USA, even though there are already over 200 confirmed cases in Britain……AND he’s not stopping American citizens from going to Europe, or returning. It’s really difficult to understand the logic there. President Trump’s latest brainwave….I call it a “brainwave” because I think he has finally waved his brain goodbye….is to be talking about putting a ban on flights from California to Washington D.C. It’s all very strange. Perhaps he doesn’t realize that California is part of the USA? But its unfair of me to say that because we all know that Mr Trump is a clever…very clever…intelligent….very intelligent, super intelligent man who knows a lot….much more than most people actually about just about anything – he told us that himself….many times, many, many times.

Meantime to counter the US claim that COVID-19 is both the fault of China and originated in China, the Chinese are now saying that the virus was manufactured in the USA, that deaths in the USA from the coronavirus have been happening for a long time (before it broke out in China) but were attributed to the flu. The playground squabbling has begun. “It was him…no it was him, he started it!” Yes folks these are the people we elect to “RUN THE WORLD”…..what a joke!

China, Korea and now Italy have shut down their countries in order to get on top of the coronavirus situation and by the sound of things the USA isn’t far off sealing it’s borders to anyone but US citizens and Brits.

Meanwhile here in little old New Zealand people coming into the country are still not being monitored or examined by health professionals. They are instead given a piece of paper telling of the symptoms of COVID-19 and are told that if they feel ill they should self isolate for 14 days. Of course everyone who comes into NZ are totally responsible and will obey this bit of paper. History has told us how little faith we should put in a piece of paper. Remember British PM Neville Chamberlain with his piece of paper from one Adolf Hitler guaranteeing “Peace in our time”….in late 1938. Oops!

Meanwhile the stock markets are taking a beating and of course this is being blamed squarely on COVID-19 even though the cracks in the world economy were already showing prior to the virus. Some economists were even predicting another crash like, but worse than, the one in 2008. So is coronavirus being used as a convenient, or even manufactured, scapegoat? The conspiracy theorists say so. Naturally “Joe Normal” isn’t going to believe anyone who is a “conspiracy theorist”…..maybe if we changed the name to “Truth Seekers” the public would listen?

I’ll give it a try…see how it sounds….roll it around the tongue.

The Truth Seekers ….oooh yes I do like the sound of that…..The Truth Seekers say that the Corporate bosses and their bought and paid for media are blaming the Coronavirus for all the financial problems that have brought about the drop in the stock market. The Truth Seekers say that this is just a smokescreen so that the public won’t realize that the whole foundation supporting the economy and finance was about to crumble and fall anyway. Like all great civilisations of the past, ours has run its course. The debt part of the Debt Economy has finally caught up with us. The Trillions of dollars of debt finally needs to be paid. Blaming the coronavirus is a last ditch effort to buy time to try to shore things up. And governments restricting civilian movement is the first step in the United Nations agenda 21….now superseded by agenda 2030…the reduction and control of the civilian population. They can’t just close borders and restrict travel or people will complain about their rights….BUT do it as a “safety measure” to “protect the people”…. and I think we may fall for it. And lets face it the public can be sooo stupid! Sales of Corona beer have plunged because of its name…..it’s too much like coronavirus. I kid you not. So there you have it. If someone with such a responsible name as the TRUTH SEEKERS say the economy is a sham, and BIG BROTHER from Orwell’s 1984 is about to come true…then surely it must be true. And it must therefore be time to start anew and find a better way of running things…….right?

Either way….if you haven’t already stocked up on food, water and toilet rolls, for goodness sake don’t forget toilet rolls….AND cleared out your bank account before the collapse….do it now.

Dystopian novels and real life Preppers

I love a good dystopian novel. I enjoy a good story where I can’t afterward pick the story to pieces, highlighting the glaring errors and the “no way would they react like that” events.

I’m actually surprised, reading other WordPress blogs, at the number of female fans of this genre. I had assumed, obviously incorrectly, that this was the domain of males…..Survivalists and Preppers.

If I may just mention a couple of novels in this genre I enjoyed reading…

James Herbert’s “48”

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set in London in 1948 after Hitler won the war by bombing the UK with a biological weapon designed to kill people of certain blood groups – keeping the Arian race pure. Naturally, things don’t go quite as expected…..I won’t spoil it for you. London is eerily empty and abandoned as we follow the struggle to survive of “our hero”. It certainly makes one think about how different things would have turned out, had Hitler had this weapon at his disposal and had the chance to deploy it. I really enjoyed this book.

John Marsden wrote a series of 7 books for young adults which are still worth a read for adults too. The first book in the series is “Tomorrow when the War began”.

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Set in Australia, follows a group of teenage friends who go camping, at the end of the school year, in the outback. One night while camping they hear a large number of military aircraft flying overhead. They return to their small town a few days later to discover the entire town’s residents have been coralled into a makeshift prison camp by Chinese troops. They don’t know at this stage if it is a localized or national invasion. It’s not just a book about surviving and trying to fight back against a foreign foe, but also about the relationships that develop with in the group and who among them step up to lead.

As I mentioned earlier it is the first of 7 books in this series AND there is also a spin off trilogy called “The Ellie Chronicles” – which continues to follow the life of one of the lead characters from the “Tomorrow” book.

There are several events in the series of books that are of the “no way would they do that” or “no way would that happen” – but they don’t detract from the story which barrels along from start to finish. I can see why teens would enjoy reading this series of books.

A movie was made of the “Tomorrow” book with an option to do one of the second book. Unfortunately the first movie failed to meet the financial targets so the second was never made.

I must admit that when I read dystopian type novels or watch apocalyptic movies I do tend to analyse the characters and events – and whether or not what they do, or the way they react to a situation, is within the realms of realism.

I live in New Zealand – known as the “shaky isles” as we are sitting on the edge of two techtonic plates and numerous fault lines and just to add interest, have active volcanoes. All of which combine to also make us a Tsunami risk. Many of us here wouldn’t label ourselves as “Preppers” as in the American National Geo Series “Doomsday Preppers” – we’re not prepping for the Zombie outbreak, but we do take steps to prepare for natural disasters. We have emergency supplies (food, water, medical supplies, emergency shelter etc.) just in case something major happens. I believe that the direction that the world is currently heading – with extreme weather phenomina, the predictions of a major pandemic (similar to the Spanish Flu of 1918 – which infected 500 million people around the world – without the assistance of passenger jets, including people on remote Pacific islands and in the Arctic, and resulted in the deaths of 50 to 100 million), the possibility of natural disasters and the danger of political leaders with “balls bigger than their brains” being in charge of nuclear, chemical and biological arsenals – it pays to take precautions. As one who does – I feel qualified –  to a point – to pull apart bad dystopian novels.

New Zealand’s earth quake and tsunami risk doesn’t put off rich – mainly American – businessmen and celebrities from buying up land here (and building underground bunkers) for their emergency bolt holes when things go belly up in the northern hemisphere. NZ has been named as one of THE best places to be should a major world wide disaster occur.

Fellow blogger wishvintage has a post on her favourite list of dystopian novels. It’s a really good list. See link below.

My Dyspotipian and Apocalyptic Literature recommendations.

If anyone has other recommendations, please let me know.