by Daphna Whitmore
So far this year over 7.4 million people have died from preventable communicable diseases. There were 4.3 million children who died under the age of five. Nearly one million people have died of HIV/AIDS in the past six months. A similar number of people have died from malaria as Covid, and road traffic fatalities outnumber Covid by 100,000. (worldometer.info)
Meanwhile the World Health Organisation declares Covid with 640,000 deaths the most severe global health emergency.
In the developing world Covid deaths are absolutely dwarfed by communicable diseases and poverty-related illnesses. Yet the WHO thinks that the best approach is to demand those countries lockdown their citizens. The WHO shows no regard for the millions who barely eke out an existence. They have no regard for the millions in South Africa who are obstructed from getting their anti-retroviral medications to prevent AIDs. The WHO makes no acknowledgment that these countries with younger populations than the West are not burdened to the same degree by Covid. In the West the virus has swept through aged care facilities and that accounts for 75 percent of all Covid deaths.
For despotic governments in developing countries the lockdowns have been used to widen state power and unleash police brutality. This has been on open display in South Africa, India and the Philippines to name a few examples. Even in the West lockdowns have often been imposed unlawfully, and by and large the expanse of state power has been blindly accepted.
In New Zealand many people are happy to repeat slogans about lockdown success without giving a moment’s thought to the very mixed picture world wide. The uncurious will not ask why Taiwan with no lockdown has fewer deaths than New Zealand? Or why Vietnam has fewer deaths despite being poorer and not surrounded by a vast ocean? Why are deaths greatest in densely populated cities like London and New York, but not Tokyo, Singapore, or Hong Kong? Why does a scatter plot of lockdown effectiveness across the countries that imposed them resemble a Jackson Pollock painting with no visible trend line?
We are not likely to have those questions asked or answered by the WHO.