Contributed From New South Wales
It amazes me how some people are so blinkered with political prejudice. Even while facing the Covid-19 threat, they can’t accept what is going on before their eyes.
I’m talking about the lead being given by China and Cuba in fighting this threat.
Covid-19 may have begun in China. Having more densely populated regions than any other nation, makes them more vulnerable to outbreaks like this. Despite the horrific impact, they managed to turn it around. The epidemic is now in a sharp decline, and people are out in the streets and back at work again.
How China is containing the spread of Covid-19. This is as it was last week.
Video from South China Morning Post
Whatever one’s political stripes, facts are facts, and credit should go where it’s due. For our benefit as well. Every nation can learn from the experience.
Governments in the west have adopted a golden rule. Never to admit that the Chinese have got it right. This iss an attitude that has helped to spread the pandemic further.
China mobilised the population and its resources. when the extend of the contagion became obvious, there were total shut downs. New and effective drugs have been put into the field. Perhaps the most important, is the development of interferon through a Cuba/China research facility in China. Thousands have been cured, and many more are on the way. A lot of lives have been saved.
A wealth of knowledge was accumulated along the way. All nations can benefit from this. Help is available if asked for. The west is ignoring this to its cost. It seems these governments would rather sacrifice us all, than ask the Chinese.
They’d rather stick to half measures, viewed from the lens of neoliberalism and its insistence on minimal government intervention and maximum reliance on the market. For example, rather than rely on effective drugs already used in China and a few other countries, it is left in the hands of the big pharmaceutical companies to re-invent the wheel. The reason is that they can then patent their brand, achieve a monopoly, and then charge fortune for treatment.
Curing Covid-19 should not be a business opportunity.
Today’s ineffective response also involves the half measures taken to quarantine those infected and protect the rest of the community. Nothing short of a total shot down is effective. We have seen this where the virus first spread.
China helped Iran and Iraq. They have now turned the corner. Italy and Spain became the new epicenters. They tried the other way and it didn’t work. After the European Union failed to act, both asked the Chinese to help. China has now sent planeloads of equipment and medical specialists through the Red Cross.
Covid-19 spread in Italy
Video from Channel 4 News
Both nations have shifted from the half measure approach to the Chinese pioneered total shut down.
Spain has gone one further and responded to the failure of the the private hospitals, by nationalising them all, to ensure that the hospital system is up to the task.
Meanwhile, like some other countries, Australia keeps on dithering with the failed method. This means more people will get sick than would otherwise be the case, and the impact on households and the economy is going to be more extensive.
Australia is among those countries needing far better leadership. Good leadership does not only make the right decisions. It confides in those it is supposed to represent, and involves them in implementing the solution.
We need a social movement of ordinary people volunteering and working closely with specialists on the ground, to make sure individuals and communities are properly resourced, re-assured and cared for in ll ways.