The invisible coronavirus has accomplished a feat not recorded ever in world history. It has brought mighty nations’ rulers who projected their might and power with much fanfare and bluster only a few weeks ago to their knees and have made them grope for solutions that are apparently not there — as yet. Perhaps for [...]

Sunday Times 2

Coronavirus shuts up big talkers in politics


The invisible coronavirus has accomplished a feat not recorded ever in world history. It has brought mighty nations’ rulers who projected their might and power with much fanfare and bluster only a few weeks ago to their knees and have made them grope for solutions that are apparently not there — as yet.

Europe under lockdown: Is George Orwell’s 1984 being re-enacted in 2020? AFP

Perhaps for the first time in recorded history, almost the entire world has physically put up its shutters. People are being ordered not to leave their homes except to buy food, medicine or fetch water. Restaurants, clubs, hotels are closed; wedding receptions banned, no public gatherings or sports events. Meanwhile, the ‘big brothers’ in khaki are watching and if you dare transgress orders, punishment will be stringent.

Is George Orwell’s 1984 is being re-enacted in 2020?

Powerful leaders democratically elected or elected not by accepted democratic standards and strongmen in power through dubious means can’t control the virus but they hope to control the virus by controlling those whom the virus has captured. The hope is that the virus will die out soon and with it will come the end of the pandemic.

The Covid -19 pandemic is being taken seriously, virtually as a matter of life and death by all countries. But there are issues that should be of even greater concern. A columnist for Britain’s Guardian last week asked why the Covid-19 issue was taken more seriously than other issues such as Global Warming when the damage caused by the latter to the world and humanity was much greater. Others claim that the current influenza epidemic around the world is more deadly than Covid-19. Meanwhile, diseases endemic in poor countries such as malaria and tuberculosis have been raging for decades, it being alleged that the pharmaceutical industry does not consider investments in research into such diseases of the poor of the world much profitable and leaders of poor countries cannot or are not doing anything about it.

A hypothetical question is being asked: Is the Covid-19 pandemic Mother Nature’s way of remedying the idiocy of Homo Sapiens that is wrecking Planet Earth? Demographic studies point out that while it took 200,000 years to reach the human population figure of 1 billion, the human population reached the present 7 billion mark in just 200 years.

Humanity’s current urge to merge results in the addition of 80 million each year and the figure of 10 billion would be reached by 2050. According to demographers, the maximum sustainable population the world could support is 9 billion to 10 billion. Pandemics such as Covid-19 may help the earth to sustain itself in the face of failure of Homo Sapiens –wise man — to contain themselves by wiping out a substantial section of the population. Septuagenarians, octogenarians and other gerontocrats sustained by medical specialists will be memories of the past, if the pandemics are permitted to rage through unimpeded.

‘National Security’ is today considered a vital factor in the survival of nations although what it means in exact terms concerned is subjective. At times it means security of the nation and on other occasions it may mean the security of those responsible for maintaining security along with their families, relations and cronies. ‘National Security’ lapses are said to have occurred in countries, developed and developing counties in recent times. National security is also associated with matters concerning military and intelligence matters but in recent times, cyber intelligence and even health affairs such as in the case of the coronavirus are included.

It is very likely that as dedicated scientists in their respective countries and the WHO are attempting to turn around this ‘corona war’ against the virus, political bosses who were in the shadows of these professionals are now coming out to claim victory in the ‘war’, if not wholly for themselves at least the lion share.

In China it is alleged that attempts were made to suppress news of the outbreak of the virus disease and a doctor who attempted to reveal it was punished by the Chinese authorities. Attempts to suppress the outbreak, it is alleged by some Western media, are the main reason for the pandemic breaking out in full fury. But now a view is being projected that the drastic measures enforced by Xi Jinping and the Chinese Communist Party are the major causes for the turn around.

In the United States where ‘transparency’ and ‘openness’ are considered watchwords in all matters concerning governance, President Donald Trump’s denial at the initial stages that the virus was a threat to the nation and the claim of fake news, it is now revealed, left the nation unprepared and unprotected to face a pandemic. It was only two weeks ago that President Donald Trump grasped the enormity and the gravity of the problem and declared it a national emergency. On Thursday last week at a press conference, he declared that it was a ‘war’ that he was conducting, pointing out to his achievements such as bringing in the private sector to provide the massive amount of medical equipment that would be required and federal funding of billions of dollars to various aspects of the campaign and the affected people. With or without the presidential election on in November it would be impossible for Donald Trump to be modest about his claims.

Russia’s president Vladimir Putin who has been in the top echelons of the Russian Government since 1999 , twice prime minister, president from 2008 to 2012 and 2012 to date (his fourth term as president), pushed through a pliant Russia Duma and the Constitutional Court a proposal to ‘reset’ his presidential term tally to zero. He is required by the constitution to step down in 2024 but this new move will enable him to go on as president till 2036 when he will be 83 years old!

Putin in his recent address to the Duma had said that when a country is experiencing shocks and difficulties, stability is an important factor and that it must be a priority, adding that Russia was still recovering from the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991! Even though the coronavirus pandemic is not a hot issue in Russia now, he may well cite the Covid -19 pandemic as well for him to continue in power.  Cannot almighty Russia with the proud history of Catherine the Great (34 year reign) and Peter the Great (43 year reign), the Legendary Vladimir Illich Lenin followed by the indomitable Josef Stalin be ruled by any other leader than former Secret Intelligent Agent (KGB) Vladimir Putin till 2036 ? Putin has of course to face elections, victory being no great task even though his opponents allege gross undemocratic practices and corruption.

The question that intrigues us most is: Why does a man a man want to be in power from 1991 to 2036?

We will attempt to answer that with a quotation from an American lawyer of yore George Mason:

‘From the nature of man we may be sure that those who have power in their hands will always when they can increase it.’


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