Friday, 23 July 2021

In Perspective

A grandmother in South Africa recently published the following in the online business blog – BizNews. Professor Lubbe writes:

I am a seventy-year-old grandmother, so yes, I am in the high-risk group. Over the last year or so, I have listened to a select number of politicians, scientists and medical doctors. I have been exposed to the eloquent views, hysteria and patronising utterances of these experts as well as the authoritarian voices of the Command Council. As each COVID-wave comes and goes, I have been told what to do, when to do it and the deadly consequences of not following the rules. I have been told my grandchildren should not hug me because they can kill me; my grandchildren have been told the same. Every day the main media has bombarded me with the same voices and the same messages. If I don’t behave, if my grandchildren don’t behave, I will die, or worse yet, I will personally be responsible for killing my neighbours. I may have already unwittingly done so because, for all I know, I may have already had COVID. I have certainly had a range of symptoms over the last year that ticks all the boxes. I did not test, so I don’t know. I may contract COVID tomorrow and die, I don’t know, but then again, I may die of cancer or a heart attack, I may die in a car accident or a violent crime; I just don’t know.

What I do know is that my freedoms and choices have been taken away by people with whom I do not necessarily agree or even find particularly pure of motive. I want to hear views from all sides, I want discussion and debate in the main media and then I want to make my own choices. I have come to realise that debate has been stifled and that anyone holding a different view on any issue relating to COVID, be it medical, economic or social, have been silenced. The main media has taken it upon themselves to define what false news is, and debate has become the sacrificial lamb at the altar of a pre-determined COVID-agenda. Anyone wishing to enter into the debate is lumped together with some crackpot conspiracy theorist. I read voraciously, and I try to understand different views. I am not awestruck by people in authority, and I am not convinced of something simply because someone else says so, even if they are so-called experts. I believe in critical thinking. So why are we being told what to do by the same people who stifle all debate? Where is the discussion? I don’t particularly appreciate being told what to do simply because others who ostensibly know better are telling me.

I have become more and more convinced that the reigning COVID scientists, politicians, doctors and media are each, for their own particular reason, on a mission to eradicate COVID at the expense of all else. COVID determines every move we make. I don’t think scientists and doctors have ever before had such extraordinary power over entire nations, and to “save lives”, they are now dictating public policy. Politicians are curtailing our freedoms because they have the ideal opportunity to do so. Humankind has been placed at the altar of COVID to serve these interests. Reputations are at stake here. We must endure every other illness as long as we don’t get COVID; we must lose our jobs, see our families suffer and our children fearful as long as we don’t get COVID. We must stifle independent thought and follow the rules just so that we don’t get COVID. We should stop questioning the lockdown measures because the reigning scientists, the politicians, the doctors know best. If we do, we risk being ridiculed, insulted and labelled conspiracy theorists.

I have been fearful many times; I don’t want to get COVID, I don’t want my family, friends or neighbours to get COVID, but then again, I don’t want to get cancer, die in a car accident or be murdered. What I do want is my freedom to choose what I want to do in an imperfect world where dangers lurk and people die. My children and grandchildren’s future depend on it.”

Berendien Lubbe, emeritus professor at the University of Pretoria, articulates, quite brilliantly, what many others in the BizNews community have expressed in different ways.

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