By Don Frost
Probably the most despicable life form ever to roam North America is the Thought Police, aka, the politically correct police. People telling other people what to think, feel, and believe – not through reason, or argument, or logic, but by fiat – is reprehensible in the extreme.
Nonetheless, the Thought Police (TP) wield tremendous power in America and you dispute them at your peril. An often fatal flu-like disease is sweeping the globe. It originated in China, specifically, in Wuhan. But call it the Chinese Flu or the Wuhan Flu and the TP will slap you down with the ultimate crusher: “That’s racist.”
It isn’t, of course. After all, for decades epidemiologists have been naming various diseases for their places of origin: MERS-COV for Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus; West Nile Virus; Lyme Disease for Lyme, Conn.; Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever; Zika for the Zika Forest in Uganda; Hong Kong Flu; German measles; Hantavirus for the Hantan River in South Korea; Ebola for the Ebola River in the Democratic Republic of Congo; and the Spanish Flu.
No one cried “racism” or “xenophobia” when those monikers were current, not even Spain when no one could say for certain that the deadly flu originated there (50 million dead worldwide, 675,000 in the U.S.). Still the TP have dictated that the current flu be called the coronavirus (a generic name that includes the virus that causes the common cold), COVID-19, or “the novel coronavirus.” So what happened? What’s different now with the Chinese Flu?
It’s difficult to say. The TP have no central clearing house for its dictates, though those rulings spread and are adopted with alarming speed. The TP-approved terminology could have originated with an individual eager to portray himself or herself as an incredibly sensitive and caring person: “I’m so nice I won’t call it the Chinese Flu because it would offend a race of people.” This despite the fact that the Chinese government originally called it the “Wuhan Virus” before that country realized that doing so gave it a public relations problem.
It’s quite likely the change was mandated by Ethiopian Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO). Tedros has been unstinting in his praise of China’s handling of the outbreak that started in the open food markets of Wuhan. He also discriminated against Taiwan, China’s enemy, by cutting the island nation out of pandemic information networks. Oh. Forgot to mention: Tedros was China’s candidate for his present job at WHO.
Ultimately the Chinese leadership grew eager to remove its name from the deadly virus because it remains locked in the Cold War mentality that the Communist form of Socialism is the best form of government; that it can do no wrong; that its solutions to all problems are the best. To foist these beliefs on the rest of the world has been standard operating procedure for Chinese regimes since 1948. If lies are necessary, so be it. Keep that in mind when you read enviable flu numbers from that totalitarian nation. Multiplying China’s reports on the number of its flu cases and fatalities by three will get you closer to the truth.
China has not been the world’s good neighbor in this pandemic. It detected the first infections in November, 2019, and said nothing. Potential whistleblowers were silenced. By the time it spread beyond Wuhan and even beyond China’s borders the leadership realized it had an international public relations problem. Still, no alert went out to the world. By Dec. 31, 2019, China broke down and informed WHO they’d discovered several cases of “an unknown pneumonia” in Wuhan. Even as the deadly flu, born in Wuhan’s “wet markets,” began circling the globe China and Tedros maintained for weeks that it was not spread by human-to-human contact.
So what’s in a name? What difference does it make what we call it? It matters because China is a bad actor here and by using the TP-approved euphemisms the world takes the onus off that government, giving it no reason to clean up its act. Even now it is considering reopening the wet markets, birthplace of the flu that has killed thousands and will kill thousands more. It is in markets like China’s that viruses mutate and make the leap from animals – like bats – to humans.
The TP did not designate coronavirus, COVID-19, and novel coronavirus as the preferred terms for precision of meaning. They are not. They were mandated because they deflect blame for the birth and spread of the disease from China. Because of this China’s role in giving rise to this pandemic will eventually be forgotten. That is China’s goal and that appears to be the goal of the Thought Police and WHO.
Don Frost blogs at www.Commonsense931.wordpress.com.