In the last 30 years, the idea of a United Europe has brought 27 countries together under its banner, offering all its European citizens the privileges of the single currency, free movement of people and products. The European Union has survived the economic crisis of 2008 and the wave of immigration in 2015. Today the EU is facing an even more serious problem, the coronavirus pandemic.
Although it is not the most dangerous virus that has been on our planet, let’s remember the black plague or cholera of the Middle Ages, or the Spanish flu of the beginning of the 20th century that took the lives of more than 20 million people, still it continues to be a priority on the agenda of European countries, and of the world in general.
The answer to the question, where does COVID-19 come from? it remains imprecise. There are several versions of the origins of COVID-19. One of them says that it is a virus of unknown origin, which comes from the marking of the city of Wuhan, specifically from the bats that were sold there. According to another version, proposed by English scientists, the virus is considered to come from snakes that were sold in the same market. We will deal with this question in more detail later.
Now let’s try to establish a chronology of events. On December 31, the first outbreak of coronavirus was recorded in the Chinese city of Wuhan. On January 22, the city was quarantined and on January 30 the World Health Organization considered the emergency situation in the health system worldwide. Already on March 11, the WHO declared the coronavirus a pandemic, but even so, world leaders decided not to take this statement seriously and did not take preventive measures.
The question arises, how has the virus got from distant China to Europe?
Everything is quite simple. At the end of February, the Milan Fashion Week took place in Italy, which Italian politicians have not dared to cancel, since this business moves a lot of money. This event also attracts many fashion fans and tourists from all over the world, which generates a considerable benefit for Italy.
Let’s pay attention to an interesting fact: it turns out that Italian couturiers produce their exquisite and unique garments in China! Therefore, to deliver style lovers from all over the world the latest fashion news, Chinese dressmakers and tailors came to Italy and together with them, the coronavirus traveled. As a result, in a short time, Italy has positioned itself at the top of the coronavirus-infected ranking, with the highest number of cases worldwide.
In Spain, the virus came from its neighbor, thanks to a soccer match between the Italian Atalanta and the Spanish Valencia that was played in Milan on February 19. Neither the Italian nor the Spanish governments have taken no measures to prevent the gathering of thousands of people in a stadium, and as a result, Spanish soccer fans have brought the coronavirus to their own country. After these events, the number of coronavirus-infected in Europe rose dramatically and on March 13 the WHO declared Europe the epicenter of the pandemic, with Italy and Spain ranking first and second, respectively. A priori, absolutely everyone considered that this could not happen to Europe, since Europe is not China. Unfortunately it turned out to be worse and for this there are different reasons.
It is necessary to ask why the highly qualified European politicians, who foresaw the situation that was coming, have not taken any preventive measures? The answer is simple: European politicians simply do not want to take unpopular measures, even if they are for the good of the population. Since in the conditions of advanced democracy, the politician who makes such a decision automatically becomes a political «corpse», who will surely fail in the next elections. In this case, any European politician is concerned with his own welfare rather than with the interests of the state. His own career and a well-filled pocket were always and always will be more important to them. European democracy has proven ineffective as it simply is not prepared to make tough decisions on time. As unfortunate as it may be, it is what it is. As the prominent Prime Minister of Great Britain said in WWII times, Winston Churchill «Democracy is the worst man-made system of government. Except for all the rest.» And he demonstrated it in his own example, it was he who led England to victory in World War II, and who lost the elections as soon as the war ended.
It is also quite predictable that countries that consider themselves countries with limited democracy or directly countries with a totalitarian regime have had much more success dealing with the virus that has taken over the planet. They are not afraid to take unpopular measures, but they are necessary. Furthermore, the Italians received help from Communist China and Cuba, in addition to Russia. Even Americans have forgotten about the «Russian threat» and gratefully accepted humanitarian aid.
Meanwhile, the European Commission raises its hands clean as a symbol of capitulation, since its president, Ursula von der Leyen, has explained in detail on his Twitter, how to wash his hands and is the only help with which he has contributed. Suddenly, European solidarity and mutual aid have disappeared, in a united Europe each one has had to protect himself.
Particularly important role in the spread of the virus in the European territory, have had the famous reforms of optimization and monetization of medicine, which took place all over the world at the end of the Cold War. These reforms cut the number of hospital beds and strongly privatized this sector. Taking into account the situation that has been generated in Europe, the United States and the world in general, it is clear that this optimization only served well for those who received monetary benefits from it.
So, in the event of a possible armed conflict, is any European NATO member country prepared for it? They could probably still send a battalion of soldiers somewhere far away, but what if the war were to take place on European soil, with wounded and dead, not only military but also civilians? Privatized medicine can provide its services in exchange for money, and he who has no means to pay is destined to die. If there is no money — is there no life? Another question arises here, if in 2015 NATO member countries spent 892 billion dollars on military needs and in 2016 even more, 918 billion dollars, have these expenses made the life of safer european citizens? Or is it that the only ones who really benefit from this situation are the multinationals, mainly from the United States, that satisfy NATO’s demand for weapons?
On Israeli television, the former head of an intelligence center «Nativ» and currently a public figure in the political arena, Jakov Kedmi, comments on his opinion on medicine. He believes that to be effective and efficient in any situation, medicine has to be public, it has to serve the interests of the state and not the interests of specific people. The health of the population, according to Kedmi, must be a priority for the government of any country.
Meanwhile, small and medium-sized businesses are disappearing, and large corporations are confident that they can earn money from an extraordinary situation like this as well. Finally, it is clear that everything that happens in the world, is subject to the economic interests of certain individuals, is the essence of the capitalist economic model. Billionaires get richer, and mere mortals plummet into the abyss of the global economic crisis. A number of prestigious economists were already announcing the arrival of a crisis regardless of the pandemic, but the coronavirus has appeared at an ideal time. It allows politicians to camouflage their political, economic and social mistakes, blaming COVID-19. In history, there have already been cases when only war ended a global crisis, and as has been demonstrated in the previous paragraphs, European countries, especially their health system, are not prepared for armed conflict.
We now return to the question of the origins of the coronavirus. Most biologists and the official media consider that COVID-19 is not of artificial origin. Although it is still a fact, that near the city of Wuhan there is a laboratory dedicated to researching and developing different viruses. In such laboratories around the world, various viruses, including the coronavirus, are created, and 37 types of coronavirus are already known to date.
It is known that on June 19, 2019, the British Pirbright Institute, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, applied for a patent for a new type of coronavirus. Formally, this new type is a weakened form of the original virus, which serves as the basis for creating a vaccine for respiratory diseases. At first it seems like a good cause, but we must pay attention to the fact that research is being carried out in this field, financed by various foundations, and the coronavirus as such can be patented and sold.
The COVID-19 prototype could have been created in the United States five years ago. The work of 15 American researchers from the University of North Carolina was published in the journal Nature in November 2015. They were the ones who were experimenting at the time with the creation of a hybrid of the Chinese bat coronavirus. The scientists paired the SH-014 surface protein with the bats’ SARS virus. The result obtained was a mutated virus, which was capable of developing in the human body. And although, in 2014, a moratorium was imposed that prohibits carrying out experiments with viruses, it was allowed to finish the investigation, since it was started before the ban.
As Simon Wain-Hobson, a virologist at the Pasteur Institute in Paris, says, this virus «grows remarkably well» in human cells, noting further that if the virus escapes «no one could predict its trajectory.»
In 2017, the moratorium prohibiting this type of work was removed and scientists from the University of North Carolina have been able to resume their research, since they considered that the results serve the good of all humanity. They had warned of the danger of the appearance of a new deadly virus. However, the journal Nature asks not to blame American scientists for the current situation.
But the existence of research and experiments with viruses and coronaviruses in particular, assures us one more thing. Knowing that the COVID-19 outbreak originated in Wuhan on December 31 and the virus’s genome was already deciphered on January 7, it stands to reason that there is extensive previous work that enabled this scientific speed.
In any case, it is still too early to predict the future. Today, each of the experts has their own founded opinion on the current situation. But returning to the issue of the United Europe and the European Union as such, we should ask ourselves how the EU will survive this pandemic, for which it was not prepared due to the negligence of its politicians? Time will give us all the answers, but for now what we have left is to wash our hands well, protect ourselves and be afraid.