Information pinching and the truth.
As is said of war, “the first casualty of war is truth“; so it’s in any war-like crisis. The COVID-19 outbreak quickly became an epidemic. The response to that epidemic – the way it was initially handled, led to a crisis. Once in crisis mode, “information pinching” was, as is always the expected norm, the default position. It became the ‘natural‘ course of [re]action in desperate attempts, presumably, to control the true nature of the extent of the crisis and subsequent effects.
In the course of “information pinching”, truth is told in bits and pieces. The likely consequence of this truth rationing in pieces for the purpose of calm and a semblance of peace, truth is eventually grossly distorted. Distorted truth becomes the casualty of distortion.
Whether the distortion is deliberate or not, it matters less, if at all. Therefore, in any war-like crisis, truth is as much at risk, if not the major enemy that must be dealt with urgently, and removed out of the way.
In most major crises, truth is treated as a major obstacle. Efforts are made to remove that obstacle by all means necessary and available. Nothing and no possibility, tactics, techniques and/or methods are spared.
In desperate attempts to manage the crisis due the COVID-19 epidemic, it’s quite likely that “information pinching” became the default norm – the practice- that truth suffered and possibly continues to suffer the same fate in and during this crisis as it does in war.
This might partially explain why the epidemic spread and has quickly grown from an epidemic into a pandemic. This is how disastrous “information pinching” – deliberate or not – especially in critical times such as the current crisis can be. It obfuscates and inevitably kills truth.
God is in intensive care
With the outbreak of COVID-19 and how quickly it has spread and grown into a major pandemic, the ever increasing death toll; people, out of desperation, have unprecedentedly turned to God for salvation.
This sudden massive increase not only in interest in God but mainly demand for quick help from God, hypothetically, has overwhelmed God into a crisis.
Consequently God has suffered a major breakdown and is on life support machine. But the life support machine is quickly running out of oxygen. What’s even more troubling is that there’s no [oxygen] replacement. Not only falling victim to COVID-19 and sent into intensive care, COVID-19 has exposed God as pathetically ineffectual in crises.
Only the incurably affected by “COVID-God” are still hopelessly praying and supplicating to God for help – for redemption from the COVID-19 pandemic and its devastating consequences.
Otherwise, it’s Goodbye God. From whence you came, you’re disgracefully sent back by COVID-19.
Globalisation is under attack.
Globalisation has been laid bare. While COVID-19 demonstrates – far more than the 2007-2009 financial crisis did – how globalised the world is, that what happens in rural China can quickly spread to European cities and beyond; it has also exposed the dark underbelly of globalisation. The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrates that it’s relatively easy to control and/or mitigate effects of an economic and/or financial crisis than it is to control the spread of an outbreak of a novel virus such as COVID-19.
The return to national borders
The return to national borders and restrictions in border movements as a preventive mechanism, to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, is inevitably cultivating a growing sense – in fact, in some cases, a sharp surge, in nationalism.
Countries are, rightly so, closing their borders as prevention measures against the spread and consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. Even countries within the same regional political and economic blocs, like the EU, have gone back to border restrictions.
What we learn – the lesson that the COVID-19 outbreak and its threat to world health provide us with – is that in critical matters of life and death, each will concern primarily with saving their own life. Countries – nations – are no different in this primal instinct.
In a crisis such as the current one, countries – nations – will and usually do act first, in self-interest and self-preservation. Collective regional interests are secondary, although regional cooperation may still be necessary.
Border restrictions and closures are merely an act – a worthy and human act – of self-interest and self-preservation in the face of danger of the COVID-19 magnitude and its devastating consequences.
We learn that globalisation works well, makes sense, only if it’s beneficial not detrimental, as it clearly seems to be the case with the outbreak of COVID-19.
A Kinyarwanda proverb which, unfortunately is not easily translatable into other languages as any attempt to do so would do serious injustice to it and greatly diminish its essence/message, aptly captures what’s happening with the COVID-19 pandemic and the world reaction.
“Iyo amagara atewe hejuru, bur’umwe asama aye” A rough translation into English, at the risk of doing it the injustice mentioned earlier, would be: when [collective] life is tossed in air, each and everyone scrambles to salvage their own piece of life from shattering on the ground