Our flaws the Corona Virus exposes.

Conor Matthews
8 min readMar 22, 2020


Photo by CDC on Unsplash

for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” — Galatians 6:7

For years, if not centuries, there have been many who have a talked about flaws in society and how it would only be a matter of time before they were exposed. Indeed, this truism is so often repeated there’s almost a sick how, by osmosis, the likes of Pepsi ran with this idea when they marketed themselves as the choice of a people’s revolution (led of course by our brave anarcho-communist leader, the Kardashian one who isn’t Kim (I honestly don’t know which one it was)).

But despite this, it doesn’t negate the fact that there are glaring oversights and sick distortions in our world that have been brought center stage by the Corona Virus. Here are but a few.


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My previous article touched on the subject of the recent sweep of unemployment caused by the virus. But for those who weren’t laid off, they were advised to work from home. So long as there is a shared cloud service that everyone is using and everyone is reachable by Skype or Zoom, many jobs can be done from home (analysts, graphic designers, copywriters, consultants, PR, video production, sales, coding, tech support, etc).

For anyone who’s ever wasted hours in a meeting that could have been done by email this may be a darkly amusing if not frustratingly validating fact. There really is no reason for you to spend hours every week commuting to and from work, wasting money on transport, parking, and sheer boredom other than your boss’ outdated idea of work.


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Health professionals, transporters, and grocery worker have emerged as the most important laborers to keep society functioning in it’s most stripped down state. Yet these exact same workers are either mocked as being undeserving of livable wages, with the phrase “minimum wage for minimum work” thrown at them, or are overworked doctors and nurses, fighting in the front lines of containing this deadly disease, only to have spent years fighting along with their unions for better pay and funding, which could have gone some way to alleviate the stress most health services now find themselves under.

When all is said and done, we can now declare proudly that during a time of emergency we don’t need a stock broker or a celebrity. We need people who will keep things going and keep us idiots alive.


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Before all this, housing shortages, low wages, medical funding, public safety, and debt were all “You” problems.

Now, many people will receive some form of welfare assistance. In many cases mortgages, rent increases, and evictions have been paused for three months. Medical staff and hospitals are being promised major funding increases to treat the infected, test suspected cases, and contain the virus.

Listen as hard as you can… you might be lucky to hear “where’s the money coming from” being muffled by the same governments who would be spewing that rhetoric before all this.


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Just Google the price of hand sanitizers. Look up news stories of people hoarding toilet paper, hand sanitizers, and medical masks and selling them for inflated prices. Somewhere, Martin Shkreli, the man who increased the price on a brand of HIV medication that he owned the patent to by 5000% (yes, five-thousand), is clawing the walls, infuriated that he was sent to jail but these people get to go online and complain about the death threats they are receiving because of their selfish attempts to get rich during a crisis.


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Not everyone is out of a job or even essential. In fact, some people are still employed but not working. There’s been many cases so far of people being asked to go on sick pay, despite not being sick and being advised to stay home to ensure that others don’t get sick. Wholefoods in America has made headlines recently by suggesting that employees should donate their sick pay to others, just so Wholefoods doesn’t have to pay to ensure their employees and customers aren’t killed.

Let that sink in for a second.

This is on top of the fact that it’s been an open secret that many employees, especially in food services, regularly go into work sick, simply because they either don’t get sick pay or have already used them.

Some employers have been known to hold off paying unless a doctor’s note can be produced. Even when you’re sick you’re still working for your wages.


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It really is amazing how we can all fly around the world freely, travelling over huge patches of the globe unobstructed. As an EU and Irish citizen I have (or had, until recent events) every right to travel freely to any EU member state, and even the UK. Americans can travel through Canada on their way to Alaska or fly across the Pacific ocean to Hawaii.

And yet, maybe in some misguided attempt at individualism or isolationism, we have yet to all agree on universal standards on travel and health precautions. It really is strange that you’re more likely to be stopped for bringing certain food or animals into countries than ailments. Even besides that, it’s amazing how little people cared about being sick on a flight, despite the fact that you are surrounded by hundreds of people who have no choice but to be in close proximity to you, breathing the same recycled air as you.

We all have a habit of hearing about some horrible infliction affecting a foreign country and watching it with detached passing interest. It was the same with the Corona Virus at first; we all reasoned it was spreading quickly solely because of China’s population density. Even when the first cases reached Italy and America, we all wrote it off as being from tourists who visited Wuhan (despite the fact that by this point the virus had already spread outside Wuhan).

WHO, the World Health Organisation, has proven themselves valuable and unwavering in their efforts to give relevant, reliable, and up-to-date information on the virus and how to contain it, but the fact still remains that an alert should have been sent out sooner, governments should have assumed that it would spread just as easily in their own countries, and should have put measures in place for accessing the health of people coming and going, even tourists.

There’s more global cooperation on what kind of shots your dog needs than on containing illnesses.


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Dr. Li Wenliang was the man who sounded the alarm on the first cases of Covid19. Ironically and tragically he was one of the first to die. I hope in the future he is remembered and memorialized because he was nearly silenced and erased from the records.

In the initial wake of the virus spreading, infection numbers, Li’s testimony, and photos taken of the first infected victims, both of which went viral on Chinese social media, were censored and taken down by state watchdogs, in a vain attempt to make China seem more impervious to such silly concerns like a new virus. And as such governments had nothing to go off that state propaganda. A single country dictated the world.

Fast forward to March of this year and we have the US president repeatedly referring to it as “The Chinese Virus”, a name which has led many to insults and assaults directed to Asian-Americans. The British Prime Minister himself defending his decisions at the time for not closing schools and non-essential businesses because he believed that they could contain the virus using “herd immunity” (which is beyond asinine because not only is that not what herd immunity means, but also in order for herd immunity to actually work at least 90% of the population needs to ensure that they don’t contract nor spread the virus, which would only be achievable if they were able to avoid each other).

Even our own phones are betraying us, with apps like viber and whatsapp being used to spread misinformation like how covid19 can be cured with heat (it can’t), cured with alcohol (also untrue), and even cured by drinking bleach (do I even have to say no to this one).

This time last year the idea of a draconian state imprisoning whistle-blowers, a president saying overtly racist things as fact, and your friend forwarding you a link to an article on the health benefits of rat poison would have been cute. But people are dead. People are being blamed for this solely because of their race. People are surprised when the cases go up despite the smart buzz words used by their head of state. And this is all nothing new. We’ve been putting up with this kind of stupidity and absurdity for years. But the sad fact is that we can’t afford to put up with this kind of thing anymore.


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For many people, this could very well be the first time they’ve realised things are not right. Whether it’s the belief that your job needs that expensive office building, or that governments can’t afford safety nets, or that your government would never lie or mislead you, so many of these myths have been blown wide open for hundreds if not thousands of people. And much like a Pandora’s box, when it comes time for everything to go back to the way things were, a lot of people would be right to ask “why”.