The former Chief of Staff for Barack Obama’s White House once chimed ‘You never let a serious crisis go to waste’. Such thought is apt for the current global COVID-19 virus.
The response from various countries has been similar in parts, and different in others. An intelligent response would be something along the lines of: ensuring key supplies are manufactured within each individual country, ensure a blanket response is not enforced on all areas of a country as infection rates differ across different areas of a country, and ensure that the reason behind the outbreak is properly investigated. But what of the cultural response in a ‘post-lockdown world’. What of the ‘spiritual’ response of the West?
Places of worship across the Western world have been closed, and have sought measures to serve their faithful via modern methods. These modern methods such as streaming a church service or sounding the call to prayer whilst preventing followers to attend are at play with the regular oasis of internet information.
Take Italy for example. Italy is a Catholic country which, due to its high level of infection, was forced into a stricter lockdown than some other European nations. One particular response was from the global pornsite Pornhub, and it would remind one of the quote from The Usual Suspects: ‘“The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist”.
In true selfless PR fashion, the site donated 50,000 surgical masks to the New York City responders. At the same time, to massage this apparent display of moral virtue, and thus demonstrating that a leopard can’t change their spots, they announced that Italians would be given Pornhub premium access for free. So as their fellow countrymen and countrywomen were taken in the night by army trucks as a modus operandi for dealing with the increasing death toll, a company with 0 scruples seeks to desensitize the minds of the populace, whilst appearing to the basest desires of one’s mind at a time of crisis. It would be saddening if it weren’t followed by a sanitised version of assistance.
Said sanitised version of assistance was provided by individuals with celebrity status. These celebrities provided a rendition of the song Imagine by John Lennon. A song that has been played in a range of settings: from terrorist attacks to now providing purported solace in the face of a global virus.
During the song, celebrity Gal Gadot sings the lyric ‘Imagine there is no heaven’ with a smile to the front facing camera that leaves one wondering, what the hell is going on?
Whatever your thoughts on religion, it might seem inopportune for the passionate rendition of a song containing lyrics that may appear insincere for the family suffering from the loss of their elderly relative.
When the proverbial smoke settles, and the impact of a forced shutdown affecting ordinary peoples’ daily lives is internally understood by those very people, we must collectively ensure we have the society we want for ourselves. We must force our elected officials to ensure that the things we hold dear are protected. If the virus has proved anything conclusively, it is that most things we hold dear and take for granted are easily taken away.