[News] All the Devastating Epidemics That Coronavirus is Distracting Us From

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Fri Mar 6 10:54:05 EST 2020


  All the Devastating Epidemics That Coronavirus is Distracting Us From

by Tamara Pearson <https://www.counterpunch.org/author/tampear0934/> - 
March 6, 2020

/[not to speak of the millions of people living in prisons in the US, 
Israel, etc - being denied healthcare and other human rights - ed]/

Almost every day the BBC’s One-minute World News 
<https://www.bbc.com/news/av/10462520/one-minute-world-news> provides 
the latest death tally from coronavirus. The short news wrap-up 
typically covers about three news items only, meaning that for the BBC, 
the virus has been among the top three most important issues for the 
world, daily for the last two months.

All the other mainstream media outlets are likewise reporting on every 
single angle to this story they can, including regular updates of the 
global tally and a country-by-country breakdown.

The impact of such intense coverage of the virus is widespread fear, 
even though pedestrians are still 13 times more likely to be killed by a 
car than by this virus.

Further, media-based concern about irreversible climate change and the 
ubiquitous sexual abuse of women seems to have died down. Those issues 
have become less of an emergency, and the sense that governments and 
businesses need to rectify straight away, has diminished.

While 3,000 
people have unfortunately died from coronavirus over the past two months 
(50 people per day), here are some stats on some comparatively atrocious 
epidemics that we should also be informed about every single hour, in 
lurid detail, until something changes:

    – 87,000
    women a year, or 238 a day, are murdered.

    – 36,000 <https://www.unhcr.org/5d08d7ee7.pdf> people a day are
    forced to flee their homes, with a total of 70.8 million people
    currently forcibly displaced.

    – 24,600 <https://www.mercycorps.org/blog/quick-facts-global-hunger>
    people die every day from starvation, and 820 million
    people don’t have enough food to eat.

    – 10,000
    people die daily because they lack access to healthcare.

    – 6,000
    people die daily from work-related accidents or illnesses, for 2.3
    million people per year. There are 340 million occupational
    accidents every year.

    – 2,191
    people die to suicide every day, for 800,000 per year.

    – 1,643
    people die every day due to second-hand smoking.

    – 740
    pedestrians are killed on roads every day.

    – Around 998 million women have experienced sexual violence (that is
    around 35%
    of women).

    – At any given time, around 40.3 million
    people are working in some kind of forced labor or marriage.

    – An area of forest the size
    of the UK is being destroyed every year.

    – There are 150 million
    people without somewhere to live and 1.6 billion people living in
    inadequate housing.

    – More than 50%
    of indigenous adults suffer from Type 2 diabetes.

    – An estimated 560,000 <http://www.syriahr.com/en/?p=108829> people
    were killed in Syria by December 2018.

    – Almost half of humanity is living on less than US$5.50
    per day.

Then there are the epidemics that aren’t even documented or counted. We 
know that three in 10 
young trans people in the US tried take their lives in the space of a 
year, and that 40% 
of bisexual people have considered or attempted suicide there, but we 
don’t have global figures. And no one is measuring the death of 
imagination of people who work three jobs, or the global impact of US 
invasions and its almost 800 
military bases, or the mind-numbing impact of the US$532 
billion advertising industry. And we do not know how many people 
globally are subject to racist attacks, nor is there some kind of daily 
measurement of the pandemic of bland apathy to the world’s toxic social 
and economic structures. There is no one categorizing the overproduction 
of useless shit, though we do know that there are around 50 million 
tons of e-waste produced each year. There is no daily news on the 
virulent erasure of histories, voices, people’s organization, cultures, 
and languages. The mainstream media are not concerned in the same way by 
the epidemic of corrupt politicians bought off by big business or by the 
public money lost to corporate tax avoidance (estimated at $500 billion 
per year).

And the mainstream media will not talk much about these things. That 
isn’t just because rich people can’t catch poverty, it’s because the 
mainstream media is capitalist and it does not recognize systemic 
issues, and certainly not the causes and solutions to them. The media 
pretends not to, but it does have an agenda, and that agenda is in fact 
counter to the one that us serious journalists commit to – to revealing 
the bruises of the world and the screaming injustices and holding those 
in power accountable.

Panic and fomenting fear are well-tried methods of control, distraction, 
and of shifting popular support towards the rightwing. On the other 
hand, raising awareness of the sickening global inequality and the daily 
pain so many are subject to develops critical thought, and would be 
empowering and disrupting, and so the mainstream media does not do that.

/Tamara Pearson is a long-time journalist based in Latin America, and 
author of //The Butterfly Prison/ 
Her writings can be found at her //blog/ 

/*Tamara Pearson* is a long time journalist based in Latin America, and 
author of //The Butterfly Prison/ 
Her writings can be found at her //blog/ 

Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 
863.9977 https://freedomarchives.org/
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