By Chand Bellur
March 11, 2020 at 3:43 p.m. PDT
- Corporate News sources have greatly inflated fears of COVID-19.
- The World Health Organization contends that the disease is serious, yet controllable.
- Efforts in China and South Korea have effectively reduced the number of new cases, indicating that effective public health policy can contain the disease.
WHO Declares COVID-19 a Pandemic
The World Health Organization today declared COVID-19 to be a pandemic. The term “pandemic” is a characterization, not a strict epidemiological definition. It means an epidemic that has crossed borders. The 2009 H1N1 influenza outbreak was also considered to be a pandemic by the WHO.
The term “pandemic” does not necessarily mean the disease is deadly. H1N1 killed approximately 4,000 Americans in 2009. Compare this with the 2018 influenza outbreak, which, according to the CDC, killed 80,000 Americans, yet was not considered to be a pandemic.
“We have never before seen a pandemic sparked by a coronavirus. This is the first pandemic caused by a coronavirus. And we have never before seen a pandemic that can be controlled, at the same time.”
The impetus for aggressive quarantines and containment is that this disease can be controlled. It’s important not to conflate these actions with the erroneous notion that COVID-19 is apocalyptic. We know about it just in time to do something. Corporate news media organizations have taken these precautions and turned them into the next apocalypse.
COVID-19 will not result in an apocalypse. Health authorities are putting forth an effort to contain the disease, because such actions produce results. If we can save people from dying, it’s worth taking some simple precautions. The idea is to buy time until a vaccine and treatments are developed.
COVID-19 Isn’t Airborne
Airborne diseases are spread when someone sneezes, coughs or, in some cases, simply exhales. The infected emit viruses, which often stay suspended in air for hours. This is true of tuberculosis, chicken pox and measles, however, it’s not true of COVID-19. According to the WHO:
“Studies to date suggest that the virus that causes COVID-19 is mainly transmitted through contact with respiratory droplets rather than through the air.”
COVID-19 is spread through droplet transmission, as with other coronavirus diseases like SARS. COVID-19 seems to settle on surfaces rather than staying suspended in air for long periods of time.
Cruise ships, which are floating petri dishes, seem to show that the disease isn’t easy to contract. With over 3,000 people crammed into a small environment, the largest COVID-19 outbreak on the Diamond Princess only infected 6% of the ship’s passengers and crew.
A recent norovirus outbreak in February 2020 sickened 12% of crew and passengers aboard the Carribean Princess. This seems to indicate that the COVID-19 virus doesn’t stay alive for extended periods once outside its host.
COVID-19 Spreads When Infected are Symptomatic
CNN and other news networks feature supposed health experts claiming that anyone infected with COVID-19 can spread the disease. This includes asymptomatic individuals who may carry the virus, yet never suffer from symptoms. Corporate news sources also suggest that people can spread the disease before showing symptoms.
The WHO doesn’t agree with these assumptions. Since the disease is propagated by expelled droplets, infected people typically need to be symptomatic to spread the virus:
“The risk of catching COVID-19 from someone with no symptoms at all is very low. However, many people with COVID-19 experience only mild symptoms. This is particularly true at the early stages of the disease. It is therefore possible to catch COVID-19 from someone who has, for example, just a mild cough and does not feel ill.”
China and South Korea Are Effectively Fighting COVID-19
Doctor Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases today said that the COVID-19 pandemic will only get worse. This counters the WHO’s observation that nations like China and South Korea have effectively combatted the disease. Dr. Fauci claims that the disease is ten times worse than the flu, however, there has yet to be large scale testing in the United States. In fact, the US lags far behind the world in testing for the disease.
South Korea is the world leader in COVID-19 testing. They have tested a higher percentage of their population than any other nation. China has also tested a large portion of their population. Both nations have seen a decline in COVID-19 infections:
“Of the 118,000 cases reported globally in 114 countries, more than 90 percent of cases are in just four countries, and two of those – China and the Republic of Korea – have significantly declining epidemics”
The Disease Has Likely Been Spreading for Several Months
COVID-19 was first discovered in China over four months ago. The disease likely jumped from bats to humans months before it was discovered. The first patient was discovered on December 1, 2019 near Wuhan, China. Since the disease often has mild symptoms, with severe cases possibly misdiagnosed, it’s likely COVID-19 surfaced longer than four-and-a-half months ago.
Some health experts claim that COVID-19 is highly transmissible, as it has spread to myriad nations in a matter of weeks. This isn’t true. Recent testing for COVID-19 discovered the virus in numerous locations throughout the world. It’s likely the disease existed and began spreading in mid-to-late 2019.
Chinese authorities also tried to cover up and suppress knowledge of the disease. They admitted to finding COVID-19 in late December, however, infected people were showing up in hospitals prior to this date. It’s probable that the disease has been spreading for several months. With Wuhan being a worldwide manufacturing hub, it’s easy to see how the disease spread throughout the world over the course of months.
It’s important to understand that, since we have only begun testing a few weeks ago, this does not mean the virus has been spreading for weeks. Every gloom and doom prediction of coronavirus seems to assume the virus just started spreading a few weeks ago. Such rapid transmission would truly be alarming, if only it were true. Corporate news media has much to gain by using fear to captivate viewers.
Fear is Profitable for Twenty-Four Hour News Networks
Think back to the days prior to 2000. The whole world was living in fear of the Y2K bug. Planes were going to fall out of the sky. Nuclear missiles would launch spontaneously. All of this due to a software defect in legacy computers.
I remember this time well, as I was working at a major software corporation. Even amongst such intelligent people, there was great fear that Y2K would wreak havoc on the world. To many, it would be an apocalypse. After all, twenty-four hour news networks, staffed by communications and journalism majors, had very strong, yet incorrect, opinions on technology.
Virtually nothing happened from Y2K. There were a few computer systems that failed, however, planes didn’t fall out of the sky. Elevators didn’t end up trapping people between floors. There was no nuclear apocalypse. It amounted to nothing.
Remember Stormy Daniels? The Russia Investigation? These were hyped beyond belief. People still believe the President is controlled by Vladimir Putin, although there’s no evidence to support this. The media was grinding away on this for years, and then dropped it entirely.
Corporate news remains profitable by distorting reality. They employ fear as a tactic to keep viewers engaged. Ebola was tremendously profitable for CNN and other news networks. It’s the blueprint for coronavirus hype.
COVID-19 is a serious disease. It kills people, however, it has likely been circulating throughout the world for several months. It didn’t get discovered the day it jumped from bats to humans. Furthermore, Chinese authorities suppressed information about the disease. The disease has been around for much longer than four-and-a-half months. It’s highly likely that people were transmitting the disease throughout the world long before Chinese authorities admitted it was a problem.
iPhone Production Back to Normal
China’s experience with COVID-19 proves that the disease is not as disruptive as the corporate media would suggest. The WHO has found that they’re effectively curbing new transmissions. Apple and other companies have manufacturing returning back to normal.
For now, the corporate media is going to profit from COVID-19 as much as possible. Leaders like Dr. Fauchi also stand to gain from overselling the disease. For one, it’s always best to err on the side of caution. Of course, it’s also an opportunity to increase departmental budgets — a phenomenon known as bureaucratic inertia.
It’s a good idea to stay up-to-date on COVID-19. That said, twenty-four hour corporate network news is not the best source. If you want to know the truth about coronavirus, please visit the WHO’s website and watch their regularly scheduled press conferences.
The WHO actually covers COVID-19 less than CNN or other corporate news sources, which seem obsessed with a completely manageable pandemic. After all, they’re making a lot of money from this.
The most recent WHO press conference spends the first 5 minutes addressing Ebola in the DRC. This is also a serious disease, but the news consuming public has grown tired of it. 90% of the WHO’s press conferences are dedicated to COVID-19, whereas CNN dedicates 95% of their coverage to the disease. Even worse, they recruit so-called experts who have the most dire conclusions, often based on inaccurate information.
As it stands now, not enough people have been tested to assess and predict the full impact of the disease. We’re testing the sickest people. Until a true survey has been conducted, there will be a lot of conjecture and misinformation. No one knows exactly how much coronavirus will impact the world, but this doesn’t prevent so-called experts from voicing their opinions.
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