Journalists are Doubting Thomas and the one who is not can be anything but a journalist. I am a Doubting Thomas and I must say I have a lurking suspicion that someone somewhere has a vested interest in keeping people in a state of perpetual fear in the name of Corona pandemic.
The basis of my suspicion is that whenever there is a good or hopeful news (they call it positive news) about Corona it is quickly contradicted. Not only this something else is quickly said to make it look that the situation is grim and it is going to be worse.
Madagascar, the tiny island country in East Africa, said that it has developed a concoction which can keep Corona at bay and because of it there are no Corona cases in the country. The claim was dismissed without examining the concoction.
The Oxford University said that it was close to developing a vaccine for Corona. Nothing further was heard of it.
A big Indian pharmaceutical company said it is close to making a vaccine. Nothing is being discussed about it,
An Italian drug firm said it is close to finding a cure to Corona. Nobody is talking about it.
Russia says it has started human trials of the vaccine but none seems to be taking interest in it.
And the same is about other places from which some progress has been reported in the matter.
Plasma therapy raised a lot of hope and was thought to be a game changer. Nobody is talking about it now.
Our own Yogi Ramdev was ridiculed and derided when he claimed that his Patanjali outfit has developed a preventive and early symptoms cure medicine for the disease. Efforts were made to get his medicine rejected. Only his huge clout could save the day for him.
You may not be a Doubting Thomas but you cannot deny the fact that everything is not transparent about this Corona business. A video is going viral according to which the Italian Government has broken the WHO protocol and done autopsy on dead bodies of Corona victims to discover that Corona virus is not a virus but bacteria and the whole line of its treatment prescribed by WHO is wrong. It says instead of costly respiratory support system Corona can be contained by giving ordinary blood thinners to the patients.
All we, the non-medical persons can say is that only either God knows what is the truth or some vested interests who have some gains to make by manipulating information.
What we can say with a degree of certainty is that even if medical research is generating signs of hope the general public mood all around remains one of despondency. There is paranoid fear in the air thanks to information management.
This indifference towards various research efforts to find a cure to this dreaded disease and this lackluster response to something to which the whole world is eagerly looking for is what make me suspicious.
Only a fool will say that Corona is not a threat to humanity and we should take it lightly and ignore the strong security precautions. But while precaution is required, panic is not. My complaint is that we are living or are being forced to live in a state of panic and morbid fear because of Corona.
Let us understand it this way, Malaria is by now an old disease and till a proper vaccine was found it was a big killer of humanity. However, 40 years after the discovery of penicillin, Malaria still affects people and in the world kills around one million people per year. However, nobody lives in morbid fear of malaria.
As against this in its now five month presence, Corona has killed only around 29,000 people in India of which many have been victims of co morbidities. Lives of only 0.003107 percent of people in our country are in danger because of Corona. And in our country every year more that 1,35,000 die in road accidents in normal times.
I repeat I do not undermine the severity of Corona nor do I oppose strict precautions to checkmate the spread of its infection. I oppose panic, morbid fear and the psyche of helplessness that is prevailing in the name of Corona.
The big question is who all could be interested in perpetuating an atmosphere of fear and panic and what could be their gain in doing so?
This is the point where the job of a researcher starts. A journalist like me can only make some conjectures.
So the question is who could be the culprits behind this conspiracy? Criminology teaches us that in 99% of cases a crime is committed only when there is a definite gain. Now who gains the most by keeping our society in a state of morbid fear by harping on the threat of Corona.
To my mind the culprits come from three professional groups – the politicians and administrators, the drug lobby as the pharmaceutical firms are known, and the corporate world.
Can it be a mere co-incidence that in the eight countries being ruled by political parties whose head are macho men the scare of Corona virus is agenda no. 1 on people’s mind? These countries are the U.S., Russia, France, India, Brazil, Britain, Spain and Italy.
The seven countries where the war against Corona has more or less been won are being ruled by women, including a woman who is lactating mother of a new-born babe. These countries are: Germany, Iceland, New-Zealand, Taiwan, Finland, Norway and Denmark.
The leaders of the first eight countries more or less have something is common. They have a totalitarian approach to power and leadership. They hate opposition parties and their leadership and they are against public dissent and its expression in critical discourses.
To such leaders keeping their people frightened and focused on the one-point agenda of Corona suits very much. It gives them definite political advantage.
In India Corona scare helped quell the anti-CAA agitation. What no government measures could do the Corona did and wound up the Shaheen Bagh protest. Similarly it also took the focus away from the humiliating defeat of the BJP in the Delhi Assembly elections, seventh successive assembly election defeat for the party in the past two years or so.
The Corona scare also took the public attention away from a worrying decline in the growth rate of economy and increasing joblessness in the country. Now all this can be attributed to Corona impact and the lockdown, a definite political gain for the ruling establishment.
It is common knowledge that Bill Gates is funding seven big pharmaceuticals companies to the time of several billion dollars for research on Corona vaccine. Bill Gates is a philanthropist but this funding is business investment and not charity. Once the vaccine is found and marketed he can make trillions out of it. For the success of this business venture it is necessary to keep the Corona fear at a high pitch, especially when the World Health Organisation (WHO) is ready to play the ball. It is natural that WHO and the big international network of Bill Gates should frown at the attempts of those who are trying to put forward cheaper solutions to fight Corona pandemic. Such people spoil the taste of international drug lobby.
Not only this. It is also being alleged that Corona is a potential weapon in the armory of the supporters of Depopulation theory which call for making the planet earth a better place to live by drastically reducing the population of the world. The obvious targets of this theory are South Asia and China where nearly half the population of the world resides.
It is also alleged that the protagonists of the Depopulation theory enjoy the support and blessing of Bill Gates.
No doubt transport, tourism and hospitality sectors have lost heavily because of movement restrictions in lockdown times. However, the corporate world knows how and where to make money. In Corona times with people staying in- doors deep freezers, refrigerators, air conditioners, heaters and kitchen equipments industry is witnessing brisk sales. The home delivery services are having good business and with online teaching and webinars it is boom time for I.T. industry. The sales of Computers, Laptops, Software and apps is at an all time high. Textile industry has also diversified to meet the huge demand of masks, gloves, PPE and other hospital items. Corona is no problem for the corporate world. Rather it is a good business opportunity with no or very little competition and an assured market
With food supplements, vitamin capsules and ordinary tablets in great demand and being purchased even on black market prices it is boom time for the drug industry as well. The same is the case with the manufacturers of medical equipment. Therefore, the big business has no problems with Corona restrictions. More it is prolonged better will it be for the business.
With so much of vested interests around nobody should be surprised why so much of needless panic and morbid fear is being built around Corona.
Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of our Nation, was a great preacher of ethical values and morality in life. He asked ordinary people to emulate the conduct of his three monkeys.
One monkey had his eyes closed which suggested that see no evil.
The second monkey had his ears closed which suggested that hear no evil.
The third monkey had his mouth shut which suggested that speak no evil.
The vested interests of our politics, health and business too have great respect for the Father of our Nation and they also follow his teaching and emulate the conduct of his three monkeys. But their monkeys give different messages to people.
The first one with eyes closed says see no wrong doing by those in authority and their designs to suppress dissent, increasing joblessness and inflation etc.
The second one with ears closed says listen to no criticism of the establishment and voices of protest against the system.
And the third one with mouth shut says speak no word of protest, make no complaint against exploitation and suffer in silence.
Who says they do not respect the Father of Nation and do not care for Gandhian values?
—By Pradeep Mathur