I am not a sailor. I get seasick pretty easily and am quite terrified of big weather on land, let alone at sea. But I have heard that one threat to the sea-faring sailor, is the existence of submerged shipping containers, floating invisibly beneath the waves. Imagine the shock of running into one!
The thing is, though, there seem to be submerged containers everywhere. Containers full of assumptions and prejudices and all sorts of crap. Some of them are my containers. I have experience of that. But I have so little power. Individuals have so little power. It’s when the assumptions are grand, public ones that it begins to really bother me.
Today I read an ABC article about how well Vietnam has fared during COVID19. They have had just over 300 cases and no deaths. The facts were there (I felt somewhat grudgingly). But there was this underlying (submerged) sense of doubt because they are a developing country and because they have an autocratic government which has a history of being secretive.
It really shits me.
Honestly, our media is so judgemental of the weirdest things. Let’s start with the word “secretive”. I found out just last week that Darwin was bombed nearly 100 times during World War II. Did you know that?! And I found out at age 19 that Aboriginal people weren’t given the vote until 1967. And I learned just this year that, before white people invaded, Aboriginal people did build permanent buildings and that they had crops. How’s that for secretive, ABC? This is my own nation’s history and I studied modern and ancient history at school and for some reason, none of these interesting facts were ever mentioned! And what about right now?! How many nations can you name that initially only counted deaths in hospital (from COVID19)? I can name 3 big ones right now – England, France and the USA. And all those nations just excluded aged care facilities from their tallies. Wouldn’t you call that secretive? I mean, it’s well known that the elderly are some of the most vulnerable to this virus. Oh but we just won’t count aged care facilities. That’s logical.
As to developing country… what a hogwash reason to doubt them. The reason they have a clue how to deal with an epidemic is because they’ve done it many times before! Remember SARS? Remember MERS? Remember swine flu and bird flu? These “developing countries” that we are so keen to look down on as somehow less than us, get the shit end of the universal stick quite a lot and therefore they have some experience. They know what it’s like to have people dying in front of them. They know what it’s like to have medical facilities that are not up to the task. So they pre-emptively strike. They recognize the snake and they avoid the territory, if you follow my drift.
We complacent, well-living folk have no idea. We sail along in our little bubbles of individual rights and we think we’ve got it all figured out. But the truth is, most of us have never seen the shit end of any stick. And when suddenly we get presented with that smelly offering, we say “eewwww!” and “take it away!” and “how dare you impinge on my personal liberties?”
And as to the autocratic government… humph. We don’t even have a freakin’ government. We have a bunch of rich businessmen who tell our puppet PM what to do.
ABC, get real. Before you look for dog turds that the neighbour has missed, just scout around on your own front lawn.