Editors Note: This article was written on the 3rd March 2020
A democratic government may be either competent or incompetent. However, the ruthless, totalitarian regime that rules China is necessarily incompetent, for it cares more for its ideology of continuous hatred than it does for its mere citizens, whom it treats as its minions, to whom it has no real obligations.
In December of last year, a doctor in Hubei Province asked the Communist authorities to take immediate steps to isolate carriers of a new virus that had emerged owing to the squalid, unhygienic conditions in a public market in Wuhan, where – as is common throughout China – fish and meat are sold next to each other.
The authorities acted with great promptitude. They had the doctor arrested, and he was warned that if he breathed a word of this latest humiliation for Communist China he would be clapped in jail. So the virus spread beyond all hope of containment, and the gallant doctor who had tried and failed to persuade the gruesome regime of the useless Tsi Tsin-Ping to govern in the interest of the people rather than the Party has died of the infection.
UPDATE: On Friday 20th March, after much public outcry in China over the treatment of Dr Wenliang, the Chinese government posthumously exonerated Dr Li Wenliang of any wrongdoing.
There has been hardly a whisper of criticism for the unholy blend of malice and ineptitude by which the Communists first failed to maintain even the most elementary standards of hygiene and then obstructed attempts by health professionals to halt the spread of the infection.
The reason for this lack of criticism is that the Marxstream news media in the West are no longer closet Communists: they are open supporters of what they call “postmodernism”, which is Communism by a fancier name.
That is why the media bleat on and on about “global warming” – which is in no way a genuine threat to humanity – while giving a free ride to Communist dictators and terrorists worldwide.
For postmodernism – i.e., Communist primitivism – holds fast to the doctrine that there is no doctrine, and to the untruth that there is no such thing as truth. The Age of Enlightenment has given place to the Age of Endarkenment, where the Party Line is everything and the truth, insofar as it is at odds with the Party Line, is to be disregarded and condemned.
Now the Communists in the media face a rude awakening. They have belatedly realized that there are problems far worse for humanity than somewhat warmer weather worldwide.
The hierarchy now has the difficult task of balancing the natural desire to avoid causing panic with the necessity of preventing the infection from spreading. One of the largest clusters of infection is a church group in South Korea. Large meetings – such as Masses – are fertile ground for infections.
What should be done? The correct course of action now that the virus is known to be fatal, particularly to the old and the sick, is to advise people not to gather in large numbers (which may mean that the people should not attend Mass), to travel as little as possible even internally, and to take far greater care than normal with hygiene. Such restrictions will come as a shock, particularly to those who rightly value daily or at least weekly Mass, but it may be necessary.
If the virus continues to spread as rapidly as it has to date, governments will have to display rather more determination than – for instance – the spectacularly incompetent Italian authorities, who continued to allow unrestricted and unmonitored travel to and from China long after sensible countries had banned it.
The European Union – obsessed with the non-problem of global warming – was, as usual, way behind the curve. The sheer uselessness of the unelected Kommissars who are still (for now) your masters in Ireland, but are no longer ours in the UK, is well demonstrated by the fatal dithering and faffing about that has allowed the virus to spread.
Enough is enough. It is now clear that unless the virus is stopped in its tracks it will cause global devastation.
What, then, is to be done?
I studied this question when the HIV virus first appeared. It was at once apparent that all carriers should be isolated forthwith, that the entire population should be regularly tested for the infection to establish its rate and route of transmission. Nothing was done, of course, because Communist campaigners announced that preventing HIV from spreading would constitute discrimination against homosexuals.
Unlike HIV, the coronavirus does not – as far as is at present known – survive in the body for very long. It either kills its host or its host’s immune system eradicates it. The public authorities, rightly humiliated by the 50 million deaths (and counting) that they caused by kowtowing to homosexual campaigners rather than doing their job, are showing a little more determination this time.
However, they do not appear to have realized how important is the distinction between HIV, which can survive in the human body for a lifetime, and the coronavirus, which appears to be much more short-lived.
What is now needed is what my late beloved father, the British Army’s youngest general, used to call a “command decision”. This is not a moment for hand-wringing, buck-passing and speech-making, the traditional propensities of the classe politique.
Since the virus persists for not more than a month, the cost-effective course of action is to shut down all trade and travel across national borders, worldwide, for just six weeks. That will at least provide some hope of containing the infection. During that period, the entire global population should be tested, and all carriers should be immediately isolated for six weeks.
Countries failing to take the necessary steps will have to remain cut off from the rest of the world until they have eradicated the infection.
If this course of action seems drastic, consider the alternative. Some 2% of the global population, or 160 million people, may be killed if current trends are any indication, and the coronavirus, like HIV, will become a permanent curse at least until a vaccine is developed. And the collapse of stock markets worldwide is an indication of the long-term economic damage that will be done if the short-term cost of taking decisive action is not endured.
One of the most difficult tasks of government is to decide when to act in a crisis. The cost, as well as the disruption to travel, to businesses and to vital supply lines will be severe. But, with sufficiently determined action now, when only 100,000 are infected worldwide, the virus can be eliminated altogether within a couple of months.
As with HIV, so with coronavirus, waiting in the hope that a vaccine will be discovered quickly is not the humane option. The more decisively the world acts now, the sooner this latest lethal threat will be eliminated.
In a few short weeks, the coronavirus has killed more people than 30 years of “global warming”. Frankly, it would be sensible to redeploy the trillions now squandered on shutting down industry after industry in the name of Saving The Planet, and spend the money instead on the real problem of the coronavirus.
And the postmodernists who command and control the Marxstream media should awaken themselves from their fatal delusion and start taking a closer look at the many faults of regimes such as Communist China.
It is time for the zombie-like disciples of Mao Tse-Tung to realize that, though the cost of the free market’s shortcomings is measured in dollars and cents, the cost of totalitarianism is counted in human lives, by the hundreds of millions.
What should Catholics do? Step 1 is to pray.