Italy is in complete lockdown for 14 days, and Donald Trump is facing his toughest presidential fight yet.
Not from the coronavirus but from boy-who-cried-wolf syndrome. After dining out for years on the battle against alleged media froth, he’s now being screwed by real fake news, if you get my drift. Well, that and the fact that the economic dip might just as well be linked to the falling price of crude and a Russo-Saudi spat.
Still, he’s pointed out that 37,000 Americans died from flu last year, and that this number averages between 27,000 and 70,000 per year. Meanwhile, the globe keeps turning. Nothing gets shut down, and life continues.
Whatever you may think politically about Mr Trump, he’s on the money here. The much better approach for all would be to reiterate the standard, sensible guidance about flu and germ control and to ensure that the limited specialist healthcare we all have gets allocated to those who really do need it.
Remember the Swine Flu debacle? I’ve never met anybody who knew anybody who had it. Unless of course a lot of us did and we simply shrugged it off.
It’s going to be heart-breaking for the Italians to emerge from their national quarantine in two weeks only to see their population once again infected by the rest of Europe. I mean, that’s how viruses work isn’t it, or are we all assuming that once it’s subsided in one country, it won’t return?
But you’ve probably guessed that what they’ll then do is just endure the mild illness that it brings and claim that the quarantine had worked precisely as planned.
In other words, everything will all pan out exactly as it would have, had they not shut down. Apart from the fact that their already bleak economy will have taken another needless kick in the nuts.
And you have to laud the gall of Twitter and Facebook, who have taken steps to remove sites propagating fake news. These are organisations that sat on their hands when other fake news was rampant and overturning whole political systems but now get all bent out of shape and indignant about a flu bug. How do they keep a straight face? So, stand by for Deap Heat anus man to be duffed up by SWAT agents dropping off zip wires into his humble abode while mainstream media outlets splash panic-promoting hyperbole with immunity.
This is manifestly not about a war on fake news, but a civil war between competing fakery. The authorities want distraction but not the side effects that they then cannot control. That’s why it’s their fake news that has to remain in the eye of the storm.
Naturally, there all the other conspiracy regulars have leapt to the fore with one particular gang suggesting that the virus was man-made in a US laboratory. Others claim it was designed in China to control a spiralling population We heard the same old stuff about AIDS in the 1980s. All harmless hot air, but not the most damaging fakery. That is the stuff that happens at a lower-level and stimulates grass-roots agency. The collective action of individuals then leads to damaging change. The most successful revolutions take place when individuals believe.
And this time it’s not social media, but the mainstream news organs.
When the dust finally settles on this, we’ll hardly be able to look each other in the eye, such will be our collective embarrassment.
Meanwhile, all the other truly harmful stuff will be beyond the point of no-return. We should draft in John Malkovich to deliver his very best Con Air, Cyrus the Virus line because with the corona-farce, the last thing we’ll all smell will be political skulduggery’s stinking breath.