What started like a child’s play last December in a not-too-popular Province of Hubei in Wuhan City in far East China has gained notoriety by becoming the world’s most pandemic disease ever suffered since the creation of modern humanity. Expectedly, the outbreak has been generating quite a number of controversies or what I can describe as conspiracies, given its attendant hue and cry. Leading the league of these conspiracy theories is the public perception about the US and other world powers. If accusing the world powers, especially the American government of having masterminded the whole Coronavirus saga does not hold water in any sense, the same cannot be said for their handling of COVID-19 media propaganda.
In the last few days, there have been allegations – though yet to be solidified with evidences- gracing the airspace about the US high-handedness like the dropping and spread of the popular infection. The US Army officers are specifically accused of having been deployed to certain areas in Wuhan City of China to plant and pollute the environment with substances that have the capacity of endangering the lives of human. Carriers of this news believe the aftermath of that military action is the Coronavirus outbreak that is threatening the continued existence of human race after its manifestation towards the end of 2019. Nevertheless, believers of this theory need not rush to throw in the towel now, for in every accusation, at least an atom of truth is always present. Bob Marley of his blessed memory said “if some people are fooled at sometime, fooling everyone everytime is a task of impossibility”
The other conspiracy theory is the strategic application of media power to confuse the world. The media, as powerful as it is, has remained one of the best tools to affect the minds and conscience of the larger proportion of the listening public, especially the ignorant populace. The media if well employed, can even make the most sophisticated or enlightened to question the correctness of their own knowledge. At the global stage like such that is being controlled by advanced nations, vibrant international politics is well at play. They decide which information they want the world to know and for how long it will last. China and the US are leading the respective East/West blocs as it relates to the scramble for influence and dominance on other smaller nations of the world. So there is a battle of who is more influential on the economic and social lives of those countries. China, a fast growing super power has steadily been at the upfront. The American government will not be at peace with herself about this. So the hype via the use of its media coverage about Coronavirus is a very lethal strategy.
As all these hypotheses remain to be substantiated, they constitute the perception of a fractional population of the enlightened world. We can therefore take them to be unfounded assumptions, at the moment.
Aside the sensitivity of the human lives involved like the gradual depletion of human race from the surface of the Earth, nations’ economies are adversely affected. Industrial production activities have considerably reduced. Schools’ gates shut. Movement of a substantial percentage of Italian citizens is said to have been restricted in the last one week. Investors are not smiling because of million dollars losses being reported on a daily basis. The entire Europe is not taking it funny, with their major football leagues notably, the European Champions League suspended till a later date. Stagnation in almost every sphere of life is what we now see.
Back home, one may be compelled to doubt the realness of the viral outbreak when it is compared with the level of seriousness and reactions of governments of all countries in both the spread containment and search for cure. Perhaps the White can help us with another name for the disease. Ours can’t be said to be this same much-talked-about COVID-19. News updates that keep bombarding the online media space alone from all over the world will make one tremble and in the same vein, our leaders would rather elbow shake or leg shake for photo shoots sessions with ‘hypocritical’ smiles on their faces.
Opinion of Kola Ghayneous