by Cristiane Roget, Sr. Correspondent AdAvenueGroup/Forbes – Editor Pacific Rim Chamber of Commerce.
The entire planet seems to be revolving around a virtual crime scene. As days of quarantine and isolation drag into months (and some predict years) accusations of who is to blame fly fast and furious with each swipe or click of a mouse.
A toxic debate over what or who was culpable for the Covid-19 catastrophe pits conspiracy theories against those who insist the virus origin’s are organic. While serious science suggests a benign bat was the carrier or a scaly pangolin in the Hubei Province harbored the pathogen winding up a tasty dinner in the gut of the first carrier.
As the suffering and incertitude takes its toll the impact of Covid-19 pales in comparison with past pandemics. Fatalities resulting from the 1918 Influenza caused by a similar H1N1 virus exceeded those of the First and Second World War combined. The death toll from Tuberculosis (another airborne disease) tops out at an estimated 1.5 million a year. Where was the international outcry when the Ebola – Sars and Mers was taking its toll with a fatality rate of 25-35% whereas death from the Corona Covid-19 Virus is 1-2% Actual deaths attributed to the Swine-Legionaire-Sars-H1N1 pandemics are no longer an aberration but a fact of modern life.
A fact that must be put in perspective when one weighs in the specter of worldwide starvation as a result of a broken food chain, catastrophic unemployment, unchecked homelessness and systemic instances of sanctioned brutality against the most vulnerable. A diseased society that has incited a wave of social unrest from Hong Kong, Cape Town to London and Portland. Channeling Dr. Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi most protestors have embraced peaceful demonstrations to express their outrage over inequities that have festered for centuries. As the chasm between the haves and have nots widens, disenfranchised segments of the population are coalescing to forge a more just and united path forward.
Conversely the ‘leader of the free world ‘ has seized on isolated instances of civil disobedience to double down. With TV depictions of a lawless dystopia, President Trump has launched a 26 million dollar media campaign advocating for an iron fisted approach to law and order.
Black Lives Matter – @Me-Too- Extinction Rebellion and LGBTQI coalitions are building momentum to address society’s ills. The toppling of statues by activists, celebrity conscientious objectors taking the knee, citizens storming the streets and engaging on social media are all symbolic of a collective outcry against the faceless oppressor.
Caption: The beheading of statues was a populist pastime during the Fall of the Roman Empire, at the defeat of Nazi Germany, fascist Italy and Imperialist Japan and later the Fall of the Berlin Wall and today in the ‘Deep South’.
Time Magazine’s feature by Justin Worland calls 2020 ‘The Defining Year of the Planet, One Last Chance’. A pivotal election year President Trump’s rattles sabers in a cringe worthy display of political posturing, while presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden bides his time.
Entering the realm of the surreal billionaire performer Kanye West has thrown his ‘lid’ in the ring. He claims he is walking (not running) for President and his affiliation is the ‘Birthday Party’. No one thought Trump had a shot either three terms ago when the Tea Party held sway.
Pity the many who insist if it is posted it must be true as they rush head on over a cliff of demagoguery and mindless obedience at the altar of social media. It behooves us to question the media frenzy, to question everything during this global “time out”. Is the relentless reporting a diversionary tactic to bolster a system that uses even the fear of a pandemic to increase ratings? Are we destined to adhere to a value system rife with mendacity and corruption?
Has the time to ratchet down the techno-industrial complex- which D.H. Lawrence described as “the Mammon of mechanized greed”? Taking note of the mass failings of iconic Big Businesses and conglomerates, is this a positive trend? Are we living in a world so cynical that people cannot succeed without disavowing any moral turpitude at the altar of money?
The Pacific Rim Chamber of Commerce and now boasts 150,000 members was founded two decades ago by Ambassador at Large, Uber Entrepreneur and Visionary, Holmes R. Stoner, Junior to empower sole-owned enterprises and ‘mom and pop ‘ proprietors. His program, ‘Direct Globo’ a worldwide global buy and sell services amasses countless small businesses, arming them with the buying power to compete with the voracious behemoths like Amazon ™ and China’s Alibaba ™ .
Dismissed as nostalgic, last centuries Utopian ‘back to the land movement’ combined with ‘grassroots political organizing’ that saw the ascendance of ‘Black Power’ has come full circle. Unlike the ‘Psychedelic 60’s’ the scale of this movement is ‘Global’. The world’s population has the means to seize the power and to re-define self-determination as taking up the cause of world peace, civil rights and environmental protection.