Tuesday 10 March 2020

Coronavirus versus Terrorism

[Image description: two panel cartoon strip; panel1, an elderly chap sitting in front of a television-set watches a scared-looking news-reporter shout, “WHAT CAN WE DO TO LESSEN THE GRIP OF FEAR FROM TERRORISM?”; panel 2, the viewer breaks the fourth wall, looks at us with a sly smile having “CLICK”-ed his remote-controller and turned off the TV. The image is by and © Bruce Beattie and was published in the Daytona Beach News-Journal.]

I shared the above cartoon on my facebook account in 2013. Since then the news media have reported endless stories of terrorism. As a resident all my life of England, I grew up with the constant threat of terrorism from the IRA. There were bomb-threats when I worked in the city of Manchester in the 1980s. I thankfully missed the Manchester bombing back in 1996 due to fortuitous circumstances. I and many others became inured to the threats because we lived with them daily. The peace-process ended with a stand-down of the opposing forces starting in 1998. Not long afterwards so-called “Islamic” terrorism (which has nothing to do with this peaceful religion) became the main focus of news media. Despite much of the hysteria around terrorism, statistically one is more likely to die from an injury in the home or a vehicle crash.

I question whether folk have now become jaded to the almost incessant news of fresh “terrorist“ attacks, and hence the current media compulsion to use scare-tactics regarding a virus? The death-rates as currently published, are lower than for ordinary influenza (‘flu). The media are fanning an hysteria. Why? Scared citizens can be controlled much easier than rational, thinking individuals. It is also a convenient cover for powers-that-be to quietly, or otherwise, remove rights and curtail freedoms.

Perhaps terrorism and coronavirus are intrinsically the same, means by which to cower and control populations who otherwise might become aware of other matters which élites wish to hide.

Panicking is totally unhelpful. Pause to think and ponder. Evaluate risk calmly. Postulate what the powerful are actually up to.

[Image description: graph indicating death rates for age deciles gradually increasing from 10 (0.2%) to 80+ (14.8%)]

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