‘Coronization’ and Powerlessness

Deputy Chief Editor
‘Coronization’ and Powerlessness ‘Coronization’ and Powerlessness

One issue that is of serious concern to informed minds is if the corona virus hangs around for another six to eight months what will become of state and government institutions all over the world. 
The disturbing response seems to be that these and other organizations we know so far will have become irrelevant, if not cease to exist, and will be lost to the coronavirus, which gives the image more of ‘coronization’.
One should look around to see the scale and scope of the disaster unfolding in countries hit hard by the contagious disease. As of this write-up (Friday evening) one million plus people are infected and 40,000 lives have been cut short. Tens of millions have been displaced and there is as shortage of almost everything hospitals need to attend to the sick and dying. 
Insofar as Iran is concerned and according to the Health Ministry, the pandemic has killed 3,200 plus people while 53,000 have been diagnosed. Almost 18,000 people have been cured and released from hospital. 
Schools, colleges, businesses, hotels, airlines, religious centers have been shut down indefinitely as COVID-19 asserts its disastrous power in more ways than one. 
The government, burdened with hostile US economic sanctions and assorted accusations about misinformation, delayed medical action, red tape and unhelpful confidentiality, has made announcements that seemingly fails to convince the people. 
Things are reportedly being better managed by the Tehran government as time passes and health danger takes on bigger and more dreadful proportions. Authorities at different levels were colossally unprepared when corona hit the country six weeks ago. The lack thereof was conspicuous in the shortage of kits, disinfectants, masks, gloves, gowns,  and medical equipment to fight coronization.
Our medical professionals and first responders were hit hard as large numbers approached hospitals and healthcare centers with symptoms of the disease. For understandable reasons, most of the sick were told to go home and quarantine themselves in a separate room for two weeks. 
As the conditions became desperate, lockdowns came while social distancing and stay-home appeals were made only to fall on deaf ears. As is usually the case, the measures were too little too late.
The inauspicious outcome of government dilly-dallying was that hospitals were, and are, overstretched and tens of exhausted doctors, nurses and other medical personnel have been lost to the covid -- a monumental setback for our medical industry. Moreover, hundreds of health workers have tested positive for the virus. 
Another major danger was that the spread of the disease coincided with the eve of Norouz, the Persian New Year that began on March 20. As the two-week annual holiday season began, an estimated eight million Iranians left for other cities to meet friends and relatives despite the Health Ministry’s persistent appeals to avoid travel.
The stringent travel restrictions imposed by the government as the holidays came to a close in the last week of March had some impact, though, but the harm had already been done. 
If anything, the indifference of millions of families who were holidaying and were openly indifferent to risks of spreading the novel virus, showed, among other things, that government policy is not resonating with the public. 
Sociologists and those who really care for Iran’s future, have long warned the corridors of political and economic power that one victim of all things gone wrong in the country is the people’s trust -- something statecraft can afford to lose at its own peril, especially in times of national crisis when harmony and cooperation is the best healer.

As economies fall into coma, economic pundits, social experts and highly-paid advisors to governments struggle to comprehend the fact that trillion-dollar stimulus packages have failed to deliver, control the rapid contagion and save lives

As for the world stage, as coronizaton takes its heavy toll, economies collapse and livelihoods are torn asunder, it becomes obvious that wealth, power and status are being degraded as the disease spares no one. 
Nations rich and poor, developed and underdeveloped, dictatorships and democracies… are at the mercy of the new corona monster. Let’s be clear: the covid pandemic is a phenomena that simply does not recognize national frontiers and does not take orders from powers that be. Nor does it care for caste, color and creed. 
Time and again prominent physicians and researchers from top universities and higher centers of learning have come on TV in the past few weeks and have admitted that they “do not understand” this highly infectious disease and “know very little about it”. 
As economies fall into coma, economic pundits, social experts and highly-paid advisors to governments struggle to comprehend the fact that trillion-dollar stimulus packages have failed to deliver, control the rapid contagion and save lives. Has all the money spent so far by rich countries been able to prevent, detect, control and contain the deadly disease? 
The answer is apparent in the overflowing morgues, collapsing national economies, the quagmire the virus has  created from Afghanistan to America and the shocking inability of governments, which not long ago, prided in claiming that they can respond to any major foreign threat or calamity. Most often said they have the best and brightest plus everything money can buy. 
Whether we like it or not, major economic, political and social disruptions and dislocations are on their way the impact of which will be such that has not been seen since records were kept. How the virus will evolve and how many lives and families will be turned upside down is impossible to predict. 
But what can and should be said with clarity of purpose, albeit with a lot of pain and anguish is that normal life, as we knew it before the new corona reared its ugly head, will not be the same again.  
As fear and panic spreads among billions of people across continents, COVID-19 has taken dysfunctional and inefficient governance to a whole new level. 
Unable to respond in a professional manner and at the right time has brought hubristic powerhouses and their coterie of sponsors to their lowest point.


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