THE CORONA VIRUS: RACISM, TRADE WAR, NO CIVIL LIBERTIES?
The talk du jour these days is the corona virus that is supposed to be spreading exponentially from its discovery in China about a month ago. The news is it has killed hundreds and infected tens of thousands. The Chinese Government is accused of being sluggish in response. Its ubiquitous President Xi Jinping has said nary a word, at least, according to the US media that dominates our information systems. In The Bahamas we have banned travelers who have come in from China and who have come in from the last 20 days. They grab you at the airport and perhaps at the seaport ( it’s not clear) and put you in a quarantine, a secret place where you are to be isolated for 14 days. Bahamians in China in Wuhan in particular felt trapped because the Bahamas government has not put them on planes to get them out. Although when they were first asked by the Bahamas press they said they were fine. Then there was the news that a ship just out from The Bahamas had 4 Chinese on board and when it got back to New Jersey in the states they had the cold and so the ship was quarantined indefinitely is seems until they can sort that out. According to Dr. Duane Sands, the Minister of Health the ship never came here. But the Bahamas Press website says that Dr. Sands doesn’t know that Coco Cay where the ship came, is actually in The Bahamas. (Roll your eyes). Anyway there is madness and hysteria going on about this virus. That’s the point here and it seems like overkill. Although with health, people say you cannot be too careful. Not being too careful now means this: the civil liberties of citizens are taken away for 14 days and maybe more in secret detention; travelers are being banned so the Chinese owner of Bahamar for example was fobbed off to land in Haiti because when The Bahamas heard that his plane had been in China, the authorities here would not give him permission to land. The United States is the best though. They have stopped flights to China and they have stopped flights from China and they have banned people from coming in from China. So you know what that means, commerce stops. Hmmm! Could it just be that this is part of the trade war with the Chinese. What a wonderful cover to crimp the Chinese economy and the competition by simply blaming the virus. Just saying. The Bahamas must be rational and not be racist. So Brian Wong, the President of the Chinese Bahamian Association has already reported that there are racist things being said on social media about Chinese food places and establishments. Just saying be careful in all of this, we don’t go over the top for something which in the end turns out to have been a scare but a manageable one.