December 01, 2020
 
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  • Source: FreePressers
  • 10/22/2020
FPI / October 22, 2020

By John J. Metzler

While recent flareups of the coronavirus have been spreading across large parts of the USA, Americans are hardly alone in facing the deadly pandemic.

Though virus outbreaks are often presented by mainstream media outlets as a political validation of the contentious mask debate, leading European countries such as France, Belgium, Spain and the United Kingdom are facing a far more dangerous covid spike as we enter the cooler Autumn months.

A one day surge of 30,000 cases in France tipped the scales; French President Emmanuel Macron ordered tough curfews on eight cities including Paris where people must be off the streets between 9 PM and 6 AM. The shutdowns are slated to remain in force for at least a month, with about 20 million people directly affected out of the population of 67 million.

This is very serious for the French who already withstood a lockdown between March and May where ordinary citizens literally had to have their papers in order and updated daily just to go out for the necessary baguette and or an afternoon dog walk.  Closing bars and cafe’s is near heresy, but shutting restaurants and placing a curfew on Paris the City of Light at 9 PM borders on ludicrous social engineering.

But there’s more. Germany’s capital Berlin has suspended an evening curfew from 11PM to 6AM because a court ruling “considers it disproportionate in view of other measures taken to fight the pandemic.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged residents to stay at home amid a dramatic increase in the number of coronavirus infections in Germany. “We have to do everything we can now to ensure that the virus does not spread uncontrollably — every day counts,” Merkel said in a podcast.  Until now, Germany has had one of the world’s best records in containing covid.

Crossing the Channel it doesn’t get better. London’s nearly nine million people will be banned from socializing indoors with people outside their households and “support bubbles,” while commuters are urged to avoid public transport. There’s a 10 p.m. curfew for pubs and restaurants in England.  Scotland faces widespread  restrictions.  British Prime Minister Boris Johnson advises coronavirus constraints on gatherings and contacts will have finished by September next year!  covid cases have more than tripled since September.

This Covid-19 virus is global and lethal.  Few places except for South Korea and Taiwan have handled it very well.  If you view the West European mortality rates, except Sweden, which remained open through the worst of the crisis in the Spring,  many countries actually have a much higher death rate than the USA  proportionate to their populations.

The mainstream media and big tech platforms downplay or hide this grim reality.

Though the United States has tragically suffered in excess of 200,000 deaths, many projections and scenarios by Imperial College in London predicted nearly two million fatalities if no action was taken. This combined with the World Health Organization’s (WHO) too late health hush up from the spread of the Wuhan virus in China assured an accident waiting to happen.

France’s 67 million people have seen 33,000 deaths which proportionate to the U.S. population of 331 million remains only a slightly lower rate. The U.K. however with 44,000 fatalities from a population of 68 million has a higher mortality rate than the U.S. as does Spain with 34,000 deaths from 47 million people.  A global Vaccine won’t turn the tide at once.

And what about China where it all started?  Only the usual highly sanitized narrative.

Ironically the WHO has now warned against renewed lockdowns given the extreme economic damage they cause. Governments must choose between safeguarding lives or protecting the economy.

There’s another sadly overlooked victim; the poor.  Until this year global poverty was falling.

Now since the pandemic was declared by the WHO in March, poverty is on the rise.  There’s a terrible contradiction; lockdowns have locked people out of work, of opportunity and of hope.  For example, Latin America has seen a rapid erosion of middle classes especially in Mexico, Brazil and Argentina.

New York City has become a cloud coo-coo land of restrictions as restaurants and bars navigate a maze of regulations which change like the Fall weather.  The City which lives and thrives on commerce is starved of oxygen thanks to a venal arrogant political class.  In the meantime, the pandemic has become a political football for media discourse in a Presidential campaign where the facts don’t get in the way of a good story.

John J. Metzler is a United Nations correspondent covering diplomatic and defense issues. He is the author of Divided Dynamism the Diplomacy of Separated Nations: Germany, Korea, China (2014).

Free Press International

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