Thursday, March 26, 2020

Covid-19: The Panic is Worse Than the Pathogen

March 26, 2020 (Tony Cartalucci - LD) - The Corona Virus Disease 2019 or "Covid-19" is a coronavirus similar to the virus that causes the common cold. Just like the common cold or the flu, Covid-19 is a danger to at-risk groups including the elderly and the chronically ill. 

Image: Chor's (bottom right) mask is particularly telling about the real motivations behind those fanning the flames of hysteria over Covid-19 - "if we burn, you will burn with us" - is essentially a corrupt Thai political party disbanded for blatant criminality vowing to burn the entire nation down with them - and by amplifying the impact of Covid-19 hysteria, they seek to do just that. 

If you are not elderly and if you are in good health you have virtually no chance of dying from it. 

For the vast majority of the population, Covid-19 is no more dangerous than the common cold. This is backed up by statistics already being reported across Western publications and based on information derived from China's outbreak where the virus first appeared.

Compared to cancer, heart disease, substance abuse, or car accidents - Covid-19 is relatively harmless. But it has been put in the spotlight by deliberately dishonest, selective reporting that focuses on generating hysteria by presenting out-of-context information to an ignorant and easily panicked public.

If there is no global concern or massive mobilization over cancer and heart disease - conditions that claim far more lives than any virus - why the sudden hysteria and "concern" over what is essentially a cold? 

Context is King 

According to StatNews.com in their article, "Lower death rate estimates for coronavirus, especially for non-elderly, provide glimmer of hope:"
The chance of someone with symptomatic Covid-19 dying varied by age, confirming other studies. For those aged 15 to 44, the fatality rate was 0.5%, though it might have been as low as 0.1% or as high as 1.3%. For people 45 to 64, the fatality rate was also 0.5%, with a possible low of 0.2% and a possible high of 1.1%. For those over 64, it was 2.7%, with a low and high estimate of 1.5% and 4.7%.
The chance of serious illness from coronavirus infection in younger people was so low, the scientists estimate a fatality rate of zero.
Healthline.com would report in their article, "Here’s How COVID-19 Compares to Past Outbreaks," that the most affected groups are:
...adults over 65 with underlying health conditions; children seem to be spared and are experiencing milder symptoms (in China, children account for just 2.4 percent of cases)
If that isn't convincing enough, simply scrutinize content you're already reading - especially regarding Covid-19 deaths - and see how old and in what health those are in reportedly dying from Covid-19. Many paragraphs down - far from the hysteria-generating headlines - you will find that those dying are already chronically ill, advanced in age, and/or already at risk whether it was Covid-19 or the common cold.

When deaths are reported without context they easily create panic.

When the number of Covid-19 deaths are put into perspective in relation to past outbreaks - or even side-by-side with the annual common cold or flu - we see just how unwarranted the current wave of hysteria is and how overreactions from governments are aimed more at saving face and assuaging public panic than preserving public health.

In Thailand where up to four deaths have been reported at the time of writing this article - the first case involved a man who already had Dengue fever - a serious, life-threatening tropical illness spread by mosquitoes.

The other 3 cases involved a 70 year old with pre-existing tuberculosis, a 79 year old with multiple pre-existing chronic illnesses, and a 45 year old suffering from obesity and chronic diabetes.

All four individuals would be considered "at-risk" and should have been isolated from those potentially carrying not only Covid-19 - but any communicable disease at all including the common cold or flu.

Do these deaths warrant paralyzing an entire nation of 70 million people? Or closing entire businesses and costing billions in commerce? The damage measures made in reaction to hysteria will cause more damage to many more people and for a much longer duration than Covid-19 ever could on its own. 

Common Sense Measures 

Measures should be put into place and resources invested into educating the public on how to isolate and protect at-risk individuals - efforts should be made to help those at risk isolate themselves and provisions - including investments in critical care equipment such as ventilators - made to handle the influx of at-risk patients who end up with Covid-19 regardless.

What should not be done - is the spread of panic, hysteria, and the imposition of draconian measures simply to assuage panic and hysteria - measures that will also gut the economy, impact millions of workers, and disrupt the lives of millions more who depend on the day-to-day functioning of society and who face little or no health risk upon contracting the virus.

These measures - ironically - are in turn fueling additional panic including hording and social tensions that are only compounding the damage "Covid-19 hysteria" is already having on society.

Who is Fueling Hysteria and Why? 

There is the vastly corrupt mass media who depends on public panic and hysteria at times like this to boost clicks and sell newspapers. They also seek to advance their agenda and that of their wealthy sponsors and enhance their grip over the public's attention. The media is determined to spread hysteria to keep people fixated on their reportage, completely indifferent to the damage they are causing.

There are also political groups - partnered with the media - attempting to leverage and amplify the appearance of Covid-19 into an unprecedented crisis despite a lack of evidence to justify doing so. Their interest is not in ensuring the safety of the public or maintaining oversight of government efforts - but instead leveraging the resulting hysteria to chip away at ruling governments they seek to destabilize and replace.

Aiding them are US and European-funded fronts posing as "human rights" advocates and "independent media" outlets. Groups like "Human Rights Watch" have attacked governments for not taking decisive enough action - then complained when decisive action was taken as being too draconian and violating "human rights."

These are interest groups that are never satisfied with the government's response to Covid-19 because they are interest groups completely unconcerned with Covid-19 itself and its impact on public health - and instead - concerned only with how they can generate and leverage public hysteria to advance their entirely unrelated and self-serving political agenda. Again, this is done with complete indifference to the damage being done to society by doing so.

What has resulted is governments around the globe taking measures in reaction to public panic - not to fight the actual pathogen. While draconian efforts to isolate the entire population may work in slowing the spread of Covid-19 - is it worth paralyzing entire economies, costing billions in economic damage, disrupting the lives of hundreds of millions of people who - if contracting Covid-19 - will have what is essentially a cold for a week?

The answer should be an obvious "no."

Now and in the Future 

The answer also isn't "doing nothing."

Again, at-risk groups can and should be protected. State resources should be mobilized to protect and isolate them from the general population and treat them in the worst case scenario should they contract the virus anyway. Public information campaigns should be mounted to encourage basic hygiene especially for those who may come in contact with at-risk individuals - something that should be done year-round and regardless of whatever strain of the cold or flu is prevalent at the time.

And just in case a genuinely deadly pathogen appears on the horizon, nations should invest in economic infrastructure that can thrive regardless - just in case nationwide containment ever truly is necessary. This includes investing in online commerce, delivery services, decentralized manufacturing, and localized food, water, and energy security measures - all measures that would make for a more resilient society regardless of the threats that may or may not appear in the future.

Panic has proven a greater enemy than the Covid-19 pathogen. That society can be crippled by politicians, political groups, and a corrupt mass media over what is essentially a slightly more virulent form of the common cold, says a lot about how the world currently works and what needs dire attention to fix.

From those driving needless hysteria to those caving into it at the cost of economic stability and the disruption of millions of ordinary lives - it's clear that we face a precedent being set - one that will ensure virtually any excuse in the future can be used to cripple civilization on a global scale. It seems obvious this cannot be allowed to stand, but what is less clear is what can be done to ensure it does not.

It can be hoped that governments around the globe pressured by hysteria this time around will set up measures in the future to avoid caving in again.

For the average individual - knowing that virtually everything you read in the media is likely promoting an agenda and thus being misrepresented - gives you the ability to look for context and truth yourself and applying critical thinking skills - reducing your suseptibility to panic and hysteria - and innoculating us all against the real virus infecting society - a political and social virus. 

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Philippines: Crawling Out From Under America's Shadow?

March 20, 2020 (Joseph Thomas - NEO) - President of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, has announced his intentions to end the nation's security agreement with the United States, specifically its Visiting Forces Agreement. 


The move puts into question America's military presence in the Philippines and the influence it projects across Asia with it. In particular, it further complicates US attempts to encircle and contain the rise of China both in the region and upon the global stage. 

Framing Growing US-Philippines Tensions 

NPR in its article, "Philippines Says It Will End U.S. Security Agreement," would report that: 
At the direction of President Rodrigo Duterte, a fierce critic of the United States, the Philippines announced Tuesday that it would scrap a security pact that allows American forces to train there.
The article would also report:
"It's about time we rely on ourselves. We will strengthen our own defenses and not rely on any other country," Philippine presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said at a regular press briefing, quoting Duterte.
He said Manila would be open to similar agreements with other countries. "As long as it is favorable to us and there is a mutual benefit to both countries, we are open," he said. 
NPR would cite US pressure placed on the Philippines regarding its "war on drugs" and the alleged human rights abuses stemming from it as the motivation for this recent decision.

Of course, the US itself is one of the leading nations in terms of human rights abuses meaning that any pressure placed on the Philippines for allegedly violating human rights was done solely for political reasons.

In the Philippines' case, its attempts to improve ties with Beijing and distance itself from commitments to its former colonial masters in Washington drive most of Washington's "humanitarian concerns" regarding Manila and its domestic policies.

The Philippines: Former Colony, Current Client State  

NPR would describe the Philippines as having been "a former U.S. territory that gained independence in 1946" and that it "has long viewed Washington as its strongest ally."

In reality, the US seized the Philippines at the end of the Spanish-American War, then brutally extinguished attempts by the island nation to grain independence from Washington resulting in tens of thousands of deaths. The Philippines have since been the subject of US political machinations, meddling, interference and coercion since achieving its mostly symbolic independence in 1946.


Sunday, March 15, 2020

Anti-Gov Mob Risks Spreading Covid-19 To Demand Gov Stop Spread of Covid-19

March 19, 2020 (Tony Cartalucci - ATN) - In another example of the opposition in Thailand's true - and counterproductive nature - mobs assembled in Khon Kaen risking the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus.


Their purpose? To complain about the current Thai government's inability to stop the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus.

The Bangkok Post in an article titled, "Anti-govt rally at Khon Kaen University," would report:
Khon Khaen University students held a second round of demonstrations on Saturday night despite fears of the coronavirus spread, saying they have had enough of the government.

The article would also note the purpose of the mobs (emphasis added):
Student leaders took turns to deliver speeches attacking the government's handling of various situations, including the spread of Covid-19, which they said clearly showed failures in its administration.
The utter lack of logic underpinning the opposition's activities is not a reflection poor leadership or a deficient of intelligence but rather an indicator of the self-serving single-minded nature of the opposition's desire for power at any cost.

If the opposition truly believed Covid-19 was a serious national threat the last thing they would have done was assemble in large numbers in close proximity and risk spreading the virus further.

Instead - the virus - just like concepts such as "democracy" and "human rights" - serve merely as a pretext for the opposition's bid to seize power. Assembling in the streets is merely a pretext to undermine national stability to pressure the government further - not genuinely shine light on government short-comings or implement constructive solutions to problems the nation collectively faces - including the recent Covid-19 outbreak.

For most Thais, the prospects of street mobs drove them in unprecedented numbers to vote for a pro-military political party in 2019 in the first place. The continued presence of logic-defying mobs who now risk public health and safety to deliberately target national stability will only reinforce support for the current government - not shake it.

Once again the opposition - despite imagining a ruthless dictatorship threatening them - proves they themselves are their own worst enemy.