PERSPECTIVE

BY Vincent Lyn

“By failing to prepare you are preparing to fail”

Benjamin Franklin

The Global Pandemic has tested our governments around the world. Some have faired better than others. Countries like South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore and Denmark have faired very well and that’s because they were very proactive in their Non Pharmaceutical Interventions (NPI). Countries such as the U.S, U.K, Iran and many other European nations acted very reactively and some not even that, but instead downplayed and brushed off the looming disaster that was right at their doorstep. I have sat with incredulity at my own government here in the U.S at just how pathetic their initial reaction and continued fumbling of the situation that now ravages the country. An article I wrote nearly 6 weeks ago predicted the U.S would have 1 million cases and 50,000 deaths by May 1st. Well sadly those numbers are now a reality. I spoke of exponential growth — it took the world 71 days to get to the first million cases and then 12 days to get to the second million and by May 1st we will have reached three million cases. This is not going away and whether or not a vaccine is found and I’m starting to believe that it might not be, COVID-19 might be a part of our lives from here on in coming and going as the next flu season arrives. A second wave is highly probable come the fall/autumn and together with flu season and COVID-19 could be a deadly and catastrophic combination. Only time will tell. But what I find most distressing is that the USA, the wealthiest and most powerful country in the world has been put to the test, and has failed miserably and lamentably. Over the last 5 weeks the U.S had 26.4 million filing for unemployment equivalent to 16% of the entire adult workforce, the largest weekly gains since the last Great Recession from 2007. Only the Great Depression of 1933 has seen a greater unemployment rate of 24.9%. And we are well on our way to passing those numbers. It literally took WW2 to recreate jobs and in turn an estimated 85 million people perished, which was about 3% of the 1940 world population (est. 2.3 billion). The fact that so many people are hurting after just one missed paycheck indicates that our so-called booming economy was merely an illusion with a fraudulent, impotent magician behind the curtain.

Imagine a terrorist attack that resulted in 50,000 Americans dying in one month. And as more Americans lay dying the message from the White House is….

“Let’s return to normal, and have you seen the ratings for my briefings? I’m doing an amazing job!”

I’m speechless as I’m sure many of you are, the nation and the entire world.

This biblical plague that has spread across the world, if it is impacting the U.S so adversely as the world’s richest economy, then imagine what it is doing to the rest of the world, especially the poorer economies and third world nations. Personally I don’t have to imagine because I know full well what is happening. Many of you who know me personally and the humanitarian work I do around the world in the Middle East and Africa — www.WeCanSaveChildren.org

I am being constantly contacted and pleaded with for help. I hear their cries of pain and suffering and I’m sent photos of agonizing misery. I feel helpless as I spend days here in lockdown like the rest of the world when I should be on the front lines helping. What infuriates me even more is when I see U.S citizens complaining and protesting because they need a haircut or would like to go to a restaurant. How pathetically weak and pampered we have become. There is no food shortage in the U.S. Farms are having to discard thousands of gallons of milk and eggs because the supply chain has been disrupted and of course because there are no restaurants open. Which in turn there has been a very limited need of supplies, but supermarkets are full of food and the only thing in short supply as far as I have seen is cleaning supplies. So stop with the childish sniveling and grow a pair. As the entire world is in lockdown refugee camps in Lebanon are also in lockdown within a lockdown in a country that is undergoing hyperinflation and shortage of food and work. Children are crying for food. Uganda is much worse like many other African nations. The world is facing widespread famine because of the coronavirus pandemic and there’s only a short time to act before hundreds of millions starve. More than 30 countries in the developing world could experience widespread famine, and in 10 of those countries there are already more than 1 million people on the brink of starvation, said David Beasley, executive director of the World Food Programme. People are literally marching to the brink of starvation and if they don’t get food people will die. Many were saying that 2020 would be the worst year since World War 2, on the basis of what was forecast at the end of last year. Added to that, earlier this year East Africa was hit by the worst locust swarms for decades, putting as many as 70 million people at risk. Also malaria deaths could easily double due to the lockdowns and lack of nets. But the Covid-19 pandemic, which no one could have foreseen, has taken the continent into uncharted territory. This is a perfect storm and we are looking at widespread famines of biblical proportions. According to a report produced by the U.N. and other organizations on Thursday April 23, at least 265 million people are being pushed to the brink of starvation by the COVID-19 crisis, double the number under threat before the pandemic

Not only are families on the brink of starvation there have been many cases of suicide by parents unable to feed their children and mass slaughter of entire families because the father could not feed his family. Many of the children that I have aided in the orphanages have not eaten in as much as two weeks. Some younger children who are not strong enough have succumbed and not because of COVID -19 but starvation. Soldiers have been handing out sacks of beans many of which are full of stones and actual beans are not even edible. People are struggling and the Ugandan government is not giving its citizens support. The corruption stinks to high heavens and not only is the situation diabolical but criminal. My daily conversations with some of the orphans are heartbreaking and the same question is asked, “ will anyone help us somewhere, anywhere?”

How can I answer a question like that except to say just please try to hang on and survive. Life is a brutal teacher and truly is survival of the fittest. That the entire world is finding out and not just in third world nations. Poor nations have always known of pain and suffering its sadly part of their cultural upbringing. But they are resilient and yes many thousands, possibly millions will die but they will prevail. As for the First World Nations like America might not fair as well, spoilt, pampered, soft and the thought of being inconvenienced for a month during a lockdown. Sigh!!!

So as Western Europe seems to be stabilizing and cases are slowly declining, Eastern Europe, South America and Africa are increasing. It has now become known that most of the world’s population as much as 80% is susceptible of being infected by COVID-19. Therefore nations must find every single case, isolate every case, test, test, test and care for, trace and quarantine every contact. Governments have to educate, engage and empower its citizens. With evidence based and scientific analysis. If not then this will never go away and the world as we know it will not return.

I can only hope it doesn’t take another world war to put our present world back on track.

Vincent Lyn

CEO/Founder of We Can Save Children

Director of Creative Development at African Views Organization —

Economic & Social Council at United Nations

Rescue & Recovery Specialist at International Confederation of Police & Security Experts

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Vincent Lyn

Vincent Lyn

CEO-We Can Save Children. Director Creative Development-African Views Organization, ECOSOC at United Nations. International Human Rights Commission (IHRC)