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COVID-19 is not just a disease; it is also a state of mind, a psychosis, a fear. It is an event that, all over the world, unleashed irrational behavior by the governments, individuals, and media. It triggered speculations, bizarre analyses, and selective 'cut-and-paste science.'
Result: while there are, undeniably, few optimistic success stories, including the Russian vaccine, China's and Vietnam's ability to contain the pandemic without ruining economy and livelihood of the citizens, the great majority of the world is undoubtfully in disarray. Hundreds of millions of people are literally tossed into a gutter. Other billions, all over Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, and to some extent, the United States and the U.K. are locked in, unable to travel abroad, and unwilling to accept visitors from other countries.
All this is pure insanity. Families are divided, broken apart. People are locked out of their homes in other countries. Lovers are told they cannot see each other, perhaps for years.
Extreme right-wing governments that are ripe to fall, like those in Thailand or Chile, are hiding behind the COVID-19, not allowing anyone to enter and face their downfall.
International life patterns of billions of people are ruined. Which leads to suicides, deep depressions, violence, as well as COVID-19 unrelated but lockdowns-related health issues.
In brief: The world is Screwed! Most likely, billions of human lives are.
Apart from my work in several parts of the United States after the murder of George Floyd, and then in Aruba, from where the NATO is threatening Venezuela, I spent almost five months in a brutal lockdown in Chile. Truly brutal, because I arrived there after covering several conflict zones in Asia, with the COVID-19 at my heels. One airport after another was closing behind me, after my departure. A journey took eight days: Hong Kong to Bangkok, then Seoul, Amsterdam, Suriname, Brazilian Belem, Brasilia, Rio de Janeiro, Lima, and finally, Santiago.
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