Sunday 14 June 2020

Plague, protests and how the hybrid war on China is prolonging Covid-19 pain in the West

Covid-19 and the UK's missing PPE - NHS health-workers you need this!

I'm back after a long break following my bout of strange, dry bronchitis in December (Loved One had a dry hacking smokers' cough in parallel) which lost us Christmas and New Year, through the coronavirus crisis, a ramped up Cold War on China, and world-wide Black Lives Matter protests set off when African-American George Floyd was murdered by Minneapolis police on camera in front of us over an agonising 8 minutes and 46 seconds of horror, supposedly over a $20 bill.

I've been spending far too much time on Twitter. There's always somebody wrong on the internet, as the cartoon goes, but some of the toxic outbursts prompt a response before their narratives set like concrete. I should remind myself regularly that social media - especially the Twitter hellhole that hosts Trump - is a vast undifferentiated id. So what did I expect?

If it wasn't for the mainstream media (MSM) news blackout on all things positive about China, I might be more focused on getting my second poetry book out of the way so I could concentrate on my own writing, which I used to do for pleasure. However, in this science fiction writer's coma dream where we've all been trapped ever since David Bowie died in January 2016 and took all the cosmic glue with him, the sleep of reason has produced monsters of planet-destroying magnitude.

I was brought up to believe that the Fourth Estate — our print and broadcast journalism — was there to protect us, to defend science-based truth as we've known it for 400 years of the Age of Enlightenment. (Hah, as I write that I realise that's about the same timespan during which African-Americans have been enslaved and Jim Crowed in America, so maybe there's a clue in there, somewhere.) However, the complete partisan absence of media coverage of, for instance, Hong Kong's US NED-backed Trojan Horse protester violence — beating, maiming, incinerating, killing Chinese civilians for a whole year with not one death by cop — is a whole other revelation.

Along with locusts, floods, fires in Oz and first-born (loosely, Huawei's "detained" Meng Wanzhou and Hunter Biden) we added plague to our biblical disaster list in January. After some initial fumbles, by 12th January China managed to identify, sequence and share the gene code of the "strange pneumonia" novel coronavirus that's been circulating around the globe possibly for years when it erupted in a potent new strain in Wuhan. But – oy vey! – the co-ordinated Cold War hate-fest aimed at China, intensifying Trump's three-year trade war, has been as breath-taking as the Covid-19 disease.

This week there's been another city lockdown following Thursday's Covid-19 flare-up in Xinfadi, Beijing's major wholesale food market, imported on salmon or rainbow trout, possibly from Norway. Fish: cold, moist, on ice, an ideal transportation system for a virus. BTW, "Fish cannot be infected by coronavirus." Luckily, everything's in place to contain the outbreak so let's hope the US and UK are paying attention this time. More on America and its Thucydides Trap travails later.

In the UK, arrogance and incompetence from the Boris Johnson/Dominic Cummings government has brought Britain to its knees. Instead of learning from the Covid-19 road map drawn for us by China, as New Zealand's Jacinda Arden did, the political, media and even some of the science establishment got jealous and arsey about China's unprecedented lockdown of 1.4 billion human beings in order to contain the virus and starve it of hosts.

The mainstream media (MSM) mostly joined the news blackout on anything positive about China's management of the virus after Trump's U-turn in March led to co-ordinated attacks on China. While China sent a medical team to the UK at the end of March, along with PPE and 300 ventilators when hospitals were running out, the BBC countered with the bogus "faulty equipment" smear and the ever-hateful Guardian spun it as "China portrays itself as a global benefactor". Because, of course, the Yellow Peril can never act out of altruism, empathy, humanity, ethics or just plain practical understanding that the virus doesn't respect borders. Johnson dithered, caught the thing, nearly died himself, and has led us to having getting on for the worst death rate in the developed world: 41,662 to date (in a population of 66.6 million) with no end in sight. On top of which, to brighten your day, that's no light at the end of the tunnel. That's the Brexit train headed straight for us ...

For our frontline health, care-home and transport workers bravely serving the public in bin bags or nothing against the SARS-CoV-2 virus, I've presented the video at the top of the page to show the layers of Personal Protection Equipment required to keep you properly safe. This is the state-of-the-art PPE that stopped Chinese health workers dying. This is what you need, what you deserve. Make sure you get it.

EDIT: I've been advised that Hybrid Warfare is a more accurate description of what's happening than "asymmetric" so I've changed it to "hybrid" in the headline.

Study in The Lancet documenting how China managed the Covid-19 outbreak, published 4th June 2020: Active case finding with case management: the key to tackling the COVID-19 pandemic

Alibaba produced the Global MediXchange for Combating COVID-19 (GMCC) international resource for tackling the pandemic, including multilingual manuals on specific aspects available for download

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