I don’t want anyone to misinterpret what I’m saying in this column. I’m not saying authorities are overreacting and I’m certainly not saying that people should not take COVID-19 seriously. Having said that, there are some thoughts I want to share with you.
For quite some time I’ve heard people in this area say they thought they or someone they work with or a neighbor may have had the virus. The symptoms were there, these folks said. I was not quite ready to totally buy into this.
I’ve also heard that clerks at hotels located next to international airports have had the virus. These clerks claim to have suffered all the symptoms and were quite sick. This seems a little more plausible and makes the claims of the local folks more probable.
Then I heard a really interesting story. In late 2019 (remember COVID-19
Stands for Coronavirus Disease 2019) a Chinese hockey team comprised of high-
school-age youngsters came to the U.S. and played a team from Minnesota. Shortly
after the Chinese players left town, the Minnesota players started coming down
with severe cold symptoms matching the description of COVID-19. The symptoms were soon being demonstrated by family members of the players and other members of the community. At that time, it was diagnosed as bronchitis. That cough was described as “the worst cough they’d ever had.” In February, in a county north of the Twin Cities an individual was ill and recovered, later to be tested and identified as having recovered from COVID-19.
The point I want to make is this: It appears quite possible that a number of Americans already have had the virus in the past few months and have not suffered dire consequences.
Why would we not have had the virus? The Chinese government did nothing to stop people from traveling from that country to the U.S. during the time China was busy trying to cover up the outbreak. What I consider to be reliable sources put that number at 10,000 people per day. Note that in the 2017-18 school year, 330,000 Chinese students were enrolled in our colleges and universities. That number has probably increased.
Even more ominous than this, is the role of the Chinese government in the plague being inflicted on the people of Italy and Iran. Our media does not pay attention to this, but there is a direct connection between China and the virus in Italy and Iran.
I feel the media has allowed us to believe the virus in Italy was brought about by tourists traveling into that country. There is far more to the story.
In 2013 China embarked on a program where Chinese banks loaned large sums of money to numerous countries, including Italy and Iran, for infrastructure projects. The program is entitled “One Belt and One Road” and envisions China linked to countries throughout Asia and Europe by a system of highways, railroads and a sea-lane, which includes ports. The Chinese banks always choose Chinese construction companies, which bring Chinese workers into the nations where the construction is taking place.
In addition to construction workers, things in Italy are much worse. That nation no longer has young people to work in its factories. Purses, gloves and other goods bearing the label “Made in Italy,” bring top prices. The solution to the shortage of Italian workers was to bring in Chinese who work in conditions far worse than the term “sweat shop” would imply. These Chinese workers sleep in cardboard boxes located in the factories.
There are 45,000 Chinese factory workers in one city near Florence, the epicenter of the virus in Italy. Two-thirds of these workers are illegals. In addition to the employees going back and forth to China, Chinese materials are brought in for use in the factories.
The story is not over. Even after Trump announced his travel restrictions against China, Florence went ahead with “Hug a Chinese Day.” So much for social distancing.
China is trying – and in many cases succeeding -- in bullying us over COVID-19. We shouldn’t allow that to happen. Over the years the Chinese government has killed 50 million of its own citizens. Chinese leaders have been bad for decades and are only getting worse.
We don’t receive much news about COVID-19 that will make us optimistic. If you’d like to see what a Nobel prize winner has to say about the virus that will give you hope, google “Levitt reason for optimism.” There are five stories there. Read one or all five.
Also, google “Fiasco in the making?” This is not the we-are-all-going-to-die message you might think.
If that’s not enough, consider this: Even the Los Angeles Times is saying the pandemic may over sooner than we think.
Remain vigilant and hopeful.