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          size="-2"><a class="domain reader-domain"
href="https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/03/06/all-the-devastating-epidemics-that-coronavirus-is-distracting-us-from/">https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/03/06/all-the-devastating-epidemics-that-coronavirus-is-distracting-us-from/</a></font>
        <h1 class="reader-title">All the Devastating Epidemics That
          Coronavirus is Distracting Us From</h1>
        <span class="post_author_intro">by</span> <span
          class="post_author" itemprop="author"><a
            href="https://www.counterpunch.org/author/tampear0934/"
            rel="nofollow">Tamara Pearson</a> - March 6, 2020</span></div>
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              <p><i>[not to speak of the millions of people living in
                  prisons in the US, Israel, etc - being denied
                  healthcare and other human rights - ed]</i></p>
              <p>Almost every day the BBC’s <a
                  href="https://www.bbc.com/news/av/10462520/one-minute-world-news">One-minute
                  World News</a> 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.</p>
              <p>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.</p>
              <p>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.</p>
              <p>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.</p>
              <p>While <a
href="https://www.pharmaceutical-technology.com/news/coronavirus-a-timeline-of-how-the-deadly-outbreak-evolved/">3,000</a>
                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:</p>
              <blockquote>
                <p>– <a
href="https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2018/11/30/671872574/u-n-report-50-000-women-a-year-are-killed-by-intimate-partners-family-members">87,000</a>
                  women a year, or 238 a day, are murdered.</p>
                <p>– <a href="https://www.unhcr.org/5d08d7ee7.pdf">36,000</a>
                  people a day are forced to flee their homes, with a
                  total of 70.8 million people currently forcibly
                  displaced.</p>
                <p>– <a
                    href="https://www.mercycorps.org/blog/quick-facts-global-hunger">24,600</a>
                  people die every day from starvation, and <a
href="https://www.who.int/news-room/detail/15-07-2019-world-hunger-is-still-not-going-down-after-three-years-and-obesity-is-still-growing-un-report">820
                    million</a> people don’t have enough food to eat.</p>
                <p>– <a
href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/5-shocking-facts-about-extreme-global-inequality-and-how-even-it">10,000</a>
                  people die daily because they lack access to
                  healthcare.</p>
                <p>– <a
href="https://www.ilo.org/moscow/areas-of-work/occupational-safety-and-health/WCMS_249278/lang--en/index.htm">6,000</a>
                  people die daily from work-related accidents or
                  illnesses, for 2.3 million people per year. There are
                  340 million occupational accidents every year.</p>
                <p>– <a
href="https://www.who.int/mental_health/prevention/suicide/suicideprevent/en/">2,191</a>
                  people die to suicide every day, for 800,000 per year.</p>
                <p>– <a
href="https://www.who.int/quantifying_ehimpacts/publications/shsarticle2010/en/">1,643</a>
                  people die every day due to second-hand smoking.</p>
                <p>– <a
href="https://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/notes/2013/make_walking_safe_20130502/en/">740</a>
                  pedestrians are killed on roads every day.</p>
                <p>– Around 998 million women have experienced sexual
                  violence (that is around <a
href="https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/equalitynow/pages/208/attachments/original/1527096293/EqualityNowRapeLawReport2017_Single_Pages.pdf?1527096293">35%</a>
                  of women).</p>
                <p>– At any given time, around <a
href="https://www.ilo.org/global/topics/forced-labour/lang--en/index.htm">40.3
                    million</a> people are working in some kind of
                  forced labor or marriage.</p>
                <p>– An area of forest the <a
href="https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/sep/12/deforestation-world-losing-area-forest-size-of-uk-each-year-report-finds">size</a>
                  of the UK is being destroyed every year.</p>
                <p>– There are <a
href="https://yaleglobal.yale.edu/content/cities-grow-so-do-numbers-homeless">150
                    million</a> people without somewhere to live and 1.6
                  billion people living in inadequate housing.</p>
                <p>– More than <a
href="https://www.un.org/esa/socdev/unpfii/documents/SOWIP/press%20package/sowip-press-package-en.pdf">50%</a>
                  of indigenous adults suffer from Type 2 diabetes.</p>
                <p>– An estimated <a
                    href="http://www.syriahr.com/en/?p=108829">560,000</a>
                  people were killed in Syria by December 2018.</p>
                <p>– Almost half of humanity is living on less than <a
href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/5-shocking-facts-about-extreme-global-inequality-and-how-even-it">US$5.50</a>
                  per day.</p>
              </blockquote>
              <p>Then there are the epidemics that aren’t even
                documented or counted. We know that <a
href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/jamiewareham/2019/11/20/three-in-ten-young-trans-people-attempt-suicide/#d69386b7d73f">three
                  in 10</a> young trans people in the US tried take
                their lives in the space of a year, and that <a
href="https://www.hrc.org/blog/bisexual-health-awareness-month-mental-health-in-the-bisexual-community">40%</a>
                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 <a
href="https://www.axios.com/where-us-troops-deployed-middle-east-5e96fdb2-c7ba-4f26-90b4-7bf452f83847.html">800</a>
                military bases, or the mind-numbing impact of the <a
href="https://www.imarcgroup.com/global-advertising-market-grew-at-a-cagr-of-4-during-the-last-five-years">US$532</a>
                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 <a
href="https://www.theworldcounts.com/challenges/planet-earth/waste/electronic-waste-facts">50
                  million</a> 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 <a
href="https://www.aljazeera.com/ajimpact/corporate-havens-spur-breakdown-global-tax-system-report-190527160842242.html%20)">$500
                  billion</a> per year).</p>
              <p>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.</p>
              <p>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.</p>
              <p><em>Tamara Pearson is a long-time journalist based in
                  Latin America, and author of </em><a
href="http://www.amazon.com/The-Butterfly-Prison-Tamara-Pearson/dp/0692449264"><em>The
                    Butterfly Prison</em></a><em>. Her writings can be
                  found at her </em><a
                  href="https://resistancewords.wordpress.com/"><em>blog</em></a><em>.</em></p>
            </div>
            <p> <em><strong>Tamara Pearson</strong> is a long time
                journalist based in Latin America, and author of </em><a
href="http://www.amazon.com/The-Butterfly-Prison-Tamara-Pearson/dp/0692449264"><em>The
                  Butterfly Prison</em></a><em>. Her writings can be
                found at her </em><a
                href="https://resistancewords.wordpress.com/"><em>blog</em></a><em>.</em>
            </p>
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