A MODEST PROPOSAL
A Modest Proposal for the Welfare and Safety for the people of China, who have been exposed to the deadly, novel Coronavirus
A population, currently in a state of great chaos and panic, has been overwhelmed with the constant and controlled media of the Chinese government. A country with 1.4 billion citizens has virtually been shut down, creating an economic rollercoaster. It has been quite a ride for the past month. Hospitals have been on high alert as patients are rolled on gurneys in overcrowded emergency rooms. Sneezes and sniffles of commoners, once commonplace, are now looked upon as dead men walking. Doctors are flabbergasted as patients swarm their offices with symptoms of body aches, respiratory issues, fevers, and chills. Most are sent home with diagnoses of the flu, only to return a few days later with more severe symptoms. Doctors are working around the clock, not even thinking of donning masks while treating their patients.
All the while, the Chinese government is reassuring the country that this flu season is a bit more severe than most. Chinese officials are in constant touch with the CDC to isolate and contain this “flu.” Even American President, Donald Trump, has weighed in by offering a personal phone call to Chinese President, Xi Jinping, expressing his confidence that the officials “will contain the virus.”
After many tests conducted by virologists, the strain is thought to have originated at a wholesale seafood market in Wuhan, China. Not at all surprising as these markets contain illegally traded wildlife. Skewers of bats, hedgehog burgers, fried donkey tail, and snake sausages satisfy the palate of consumers visiting the street food carts. Oh yum, I salivate just thinking about it. After much deliberation, Chinese officials have decided to close the market, so as to show the citizens that they are on top of the situation. Wow! They are on point! Officials are acting accordingly only to ease the fears of the overall population.
In the early days of this crisis, it came to their attention that a social media influencer, Dr Li Wenliang, had tried to gain notoriety by spreading rumors about the illness in order to advance his medical career. The Wuhan police are not having it. They are on to his scheme. The officers are fielding hundreds of phone calls around the clock from terrified citizens wanting answers and explanations of the new outbreak. These rumours of a plague have caused a public crisis as millions scramble to markets for provisions to stock their homes. There is not enough manpower and space in the hospitals to deal with the current pandemic. There is a desperate need for a filtering system and I have one such proposal. I lay before the state that all citizens must check in with their local police station before visiting hospitals or doctor offices.
First, this preliminary visit would ensure that a police officer could test each individual for the virus before allowing them to seek medical attention. If the individual is found to have the virus, they will then be authorized by the police department to seek medical attention at the nearest hospital, escorted by a police officer to make sure that they remain silent about their condition. This is simply the best way to isolate those who may think they are infected and to dictate whether medical attention is, indeed, necessary. No sense in overcrowding medical facilities because of some silly rumor, say I. And no, I won't be taking criticism. I honestly don’t see why anyone would be opposed to this logical solution to the public health crisis. These patients and their hypochondria need to be silenced so as not to cause public panic. This will ensure that the public is generally healthy and safe from this epidemic.
Secondly, since there is such a large number of people seeking medical help, the police force will need to work around the clock. As public servants, it is their duty to perform screenings 24/7 at no cost to the taxpayers. These longer hours for police officers will also help to strengthen the public and police relationships. And, hey, maybe the police can kill two birds with one stone...they can screen the incoming for crimes as well, helping to maintain public order.
Thirdly, while incoming patients are waiting at the station, police can interrogate them to learn if their neighbors or family are potentially involved in criminal activities. In a sense, they can spy on them without being detected as most of these people will be delirious with fever. This underhanded questioning will only help to further increase public safety. Even better yet, it can also make the police department money if the crimes discovered have penalties of fines such as parking tickets, speeding tickets, or other misdemeanors. The extra money brought in from the collected fines could go toward donuts for the entire police team to keep them fed during their long and excruciating hours.
Fourthly, police officers will already have the tactical gear required to avoid the risk of infection while patients are being screened. This gear, such as gas masks, bulletproof clothing, eye shields, gloves, combat suits, and hazmat pants, will allow the police officers to continue their essential work of keeping the public healthy. By doing so, the police officers can make sure that all people are silenced, while keeping themselves safe.
Fifthly, since there will be wait times of many hours due to overcrowding, lack of police officers, and insufficient testing devices, police will already have on hand the means to restrain unruly patients who might be fed up with the long wait times necessary to be tested. Any patient in question showing signs of disobedience and/or insubordinate behavior could easily be tear gassed into silence, making waiting areas much more pleasurable and calm.
The final benefit of my proposed plan is that the police, through their exemplary record keeping, could invite the media to their departments to show them how orderly and diligently the police are working to squelch the actual number of those truly infected by the Coronavirus. The media, no dummies at all, could report the truth to the public at hand, hopefully not having exposed themselves to the virus.
Honestly, I don’t see how anyone would be opposed to my proposal. Others among us may suggest more contemporary plans to solve the same epidemic. Perhaps, those naysayers could suggest that the government force all people to stay in their homes. Or, better yet, maybe the Chinese government can quarantine the infected on large cruise ships and set them out to sea. Countries such as Japan and Italy most likely would welcome them with open arms? What say you? That would be reasonable? No, this is purely an ill-based proposal made by those who do not understand the reality of the situation. The 1.4 billion people of China would not want to be confined in their homes or cruise ships all day without access to living necessities. Even with the virus spreading quickly, Chinese citizens would take the risk to continue their normal lives as much as possible.
First and foremost, my proposal is to protect the people of China from the virus and limit their exposure to it. Since the government and police are obviously in cohorts, my proposal will ensure that they have the upper hand in dealing with public opinion of the virus. It can then be up to the police to monitor each patient and inform them and their families of possible treatment. By putting this deadly virus and its treatment in the hands of the real professionals, i.e., the police, the medical experts can spend their time focusing on legitimate illnesses such as colds and influenza.
Eventually, with the adoption of my proposal, this virus will be contained and China will return to its former prosperity. All the while, the reputation of the central government as an institution serving the people will be protected, which it has worked so hard to earn.