Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

Collateral damage

Recently, the Dutch Financial Times referred to an August 2021 key statistic of the Asian Development Bank: “COVID-19 Has Plunged around 75-80 million Asians into Extreme Poverty” (see diagram on page 30). Add the African continent and we are probably talking about 200 million of people, who are facing extreme poverty due to our handling of Covid-19. WHO (sic!) cares??

Early October 2020, the World Bank had already warned for this in its press release: “COVID-19 to Add as Many as 150 Million Extreme Poor by 2021“. Hence, no one can claim ignorance but WHO cares??

Mid July 2021, the U.N. World Food Programme claimed that there is a hunger pandemic and estimated that “the impact of COVID-19 on food insecurity and malnutrition around the world, with a further 161 million people believed to have gone hungry in 2020 []”. Note: bold and italic marking in quote by LO.

It may not be fair to compare a hunger vs a virus pandemic but I will do it anyway: 4,653,230 deaths versus some 200 million in extreme poverty facing a slow death but WHO cares??

Western countries are already busy planning for a third Covid-19 booster shot, while leading scientists claim that most people do not even need a booster shot (eg, Bloomberg, FT, NYT, the Lancet). I suppose that the word “most” refers to the about 95% asymptomatic virus carriers worldwide. Apparently, the global group of about 5% symptomatic virus carriers does need that booster shot.

In my view, Western countries are extremely selfish. Yes, they have empathy for their own population but no empathy for a much larger group of African and Asian people, facing extreme poverty and slow starvation.

As a result, our handling of Covid-19 will – substantially – increase global inequality. That development will further increase global migration patterns towards rich countries because poor people will be desperate to escape poverty and starvation. There’s some irony in that: we took away their jobs, soon they’ll take ours.

I’m still flabbergasted by the insane Western Covid-19 response. I blame human beliefs. We are far more stupid than we believe (sic!). In 1976, economist Carlo M. Cipolla (1922-2000) came to a similar conclusion in his essay The Basic Laws of Human Stupidity:

1. Always and inevitably, everyone underestimates the number of stupid individuals in circulation.

2. The probability that a certain person (will) be stupid is independent of any other characteristic of that person.

3. A stupid person is a person who causes losses to another person or to a group of persons while himself deriving no gain and even possibly incurring losses.

4. Non-stupid people always underestimate the damaging power of stupid individuals. In particular, non-stupid people constantly forget that at all times and places, and under any circumstances, to deal and/or associate with stupid people always turns out to be a costly mistake.

5. A stupid person is the most dangerous type of person.

Somethin’ Stupid (1966) by Robbie Williams and Nicole Kidman
artist, IMDb, lyrics, video, Wiki-1, Wiki-2, Wiki-3

Note: all markings (bold, italic, underlining) by LO unless stated otherwise.


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