The Biggest Panic-Fueled Derp of the Millennium : A Timeline of the Lockdown

December 2019 – January 2020 : Looking at photographs from December 2019 is like looking at a long-lost world. We see people in crowds, celebrating. Elders smiling and hugging their grandchildren. Enjoying life.

In the Spectator, Matt Ridley wrote an article titled “We’ve just had the best decade in human history. Seriously

Extreme poverty fell below ten percent of the world’s population for the first time. Global inequality plunged as Africa and Asia experience faster economic growth than Europe and North America. Child mortality fell to record low levels. Famine became almost non-existent. Malaria, polio and heart disease were all in decline. Volunteers around the world were taking the elderly on rickshaw rides around nature. Because everyone knows, being isolated and locked indoors is not healthy.

But by November 2020, the UN was warning of an “Impending Famine With Millions in Danger of Starvation”

UNITED NATIONS, Nov 27 2020 (IPS) – The numbers are staggering— as reflected in the ongoing coronavirus pandemic which has triggered a new round of food shortages, famine and starvation.

According to the Rome-based World Food Programme (WFP) 690 million people do not have enough to eat. while130 million additional people risk being pushed to the brink of starvation by the end of the year.

“Hunger is an outrage in a world of plenty. An empty stomach is a gaping hole in the heart of a society,” Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said last week pointing out that famine is looming in several countries.

Striking a personal note, Guterres said he could have never imagined that hunger would rise again during his time in office as Secretary-General.

We could blame this on the coronavirus pandemic, but during most of the 20th century, the world weathered numerous pandemics without mass starvation, social upheaval and economic destruction. Back then, we believed that the key to humanity’s survival was our ability to adapt to the various hardships nature threw our way. After all, trillions of viruses fall from the sky everyday, mutating, spreading. You can’t hide from them – trying to do so would be insane.

That was what we thought — before George W. Bush came up with the idea for a Lockdown in 2006, an idea that was condemned by doctors but embraced by politicians; before Xi decided to use this pandemic to distract the world from his actions in Hong Kong.

From Tablet’s “China’s Covid Lockdown Propaganda

Late December in Wuhan, Dr. Li Wenliang warned his friends that a new SARS-like illness had begun spreading rapidly. Li’s message inadvertently went viral on Chinese social media, causing widespread panic and anger at the Chinese Communist Party. On Jan. 7, Xi Jinping informed his inner circle that the situation in Wuhan would require their personal supervision.

Two weeks later, Xi personally authorized the lockdown of Hubei province based on his philosophy of fangkong, the same hybrid of health and security policy that inspired the reeducation and “quarantine” of over 1 million Uighur Muslims “infected with extremism” in Xinjiang. The World Health Organization’s representative in China noted that “trying to contain a city of 11 million people is new to science … The lockdown of 11 million people is unprecedented in public health history, so it is certainly not a recommendation the WHO has made.”

This article, published January 23, 2020 in IFL Science confirms, the WHO believed that a lockdown of millions of people was unprecedented and not recommended.

Three Cities In China Quarantined As Deadly Coronavirus Spreads | IFLScience

“The lockdown of 11 million people is unprecedented in public health history, so it is certainly not a recommendation the WHO has made,” the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) director of the Division of Noncommunicable Diseases, Dr Gauden Galea told Reuters, adding that sealing off Wuhan is “a very important indication of the commitment to contain the epidemic in the place where it is most concentrated”.

At this time, Xi had been dealing with a full year of protests in Hong Kong opposing an extradition treaty that would expose Hong Kong residents and visitors to the legal system of mainland China. Protesters feared that this would infringe on their civil liberties. Xi claimed that he was concerned for the protesters’ health and security. Just like he was concerned for the Uighur Muslims.

Via the Tablet

The CCP confined 57 million Hubei residents to their homes. At the time, human rights observers expressed concerns. As one expert told The New York Times, “the shutdown would almost certainly lead to human rights violations and would be patently unconstitutional in the United States.”

Regardless, on Jan. 29, WHO Director Tedros Adhanom said he was “very impressed and encouraged by the president [Xi Jinping]’s detailed knowledge of the outbreak” and the next day praised China for “setting a new standard for outbreak response.” Yet only six days in, the lockdown—“unprecedented in public health history”—had produced no results, so Tedros was praising human rights abuses with nothing to show for them.

International COVID-19 hysteria began around Jan. 23, when “leaked” videos from Wuhan began flooding international social media sites including FacebookTwitter, and YouTube—all of which are blocked in China—allegedly showing the horrors of Wuhan’s epidemic and the seriousness of its lockdown. 

Hysteria and panic are deadly. A drowning person will often beat and pull potential rescuers down with them. Before COVID-19 hysteria and the lockdown, one of the worst examples of mass panic leading to death was the Al-Aaimmah bridge stampede in Iraq. During a religious ceremony where more than a million people were gathered, rumors of an imminent suicide bomb attack broke out, panicking many pilgrims. One person pointed a finger at a man and said that he was carrying explosives.

The panicked crowd flocked away from the man, towards the Al-Aaimmah bridge, which had been closed. Somehow, the gate opened, and the pilgrims rushed through. Some people fell onto the concrete base and died instantly. The ensuing crush of people caused many to suffocate. The bridge’s iron railings failed dropping hundreds of people into the Tigris river below. People jumped in to rescue the drowning. Some were exhausted by the effort.

953 people died. There were no terrorists or explosives involved.

Pilots, firemen, first responders and other people who are responsible for the safety of others are taught to avoid panic. Lifeguards are trained to approach a drowning person from behind, and to put them in a sort of chokehold to avoid being hurt by the mindlessness of panic.

Politicians and media outlets are also responsible for maintaining public safety. But they don’t try to avoid stirring up panic. In many cases, they actively encourage it.

The Lockdown encouraged worldwide, mindless panic, the Al Aaimmah Bridge Stampede on a worldwide scale. And there were few voices encouraging calm.

Author: marypmadigan

Writer/photographer (profession), foreign policy wonk (hobby).

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