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Across the globe, political leaders are using the spread of coronavirus to impose authoritarian controls and increasing surveillance of its citizens.
As of last Friday, 11 countries, affecting some three billion people, were in “lockdown” mode. Citizens were ordered to stay at home, allowed to go out only for food, medicine, and “essential” business.
On 9 March, Italy, with a population of over 60 million, was the first European country to enforce a comprehensive lockdown.
Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte declared, “I am going to sign a decree that can be summarized as follows: ‘I stay at home.’ The whole of Italy will become a protected zone.”
Within weeks, Spain, France, Norway, Germany, Denmark, Belgium, and the Czech Republic ordered full lockdowns, which included the closing of schools and “non-essential” businesses, banning public gatherings, imposing travel restrictions, and closing of borders.
The following day, the French government announced thousands of police would be patrolling areas, issuing fines to people who did not have written authorization for being outside their homes. In a country of 65 million, to date, some 2,000 reportedly have died from coronavirus.
This past Tuesday, France made quarantines even more severe, with Prime Minister Édouard Philippe announcing, “Going out to go for a walk with your children or to do some exercise will have to be in a one-kilometer radius from the house, maximum for one hour and, of course alone, and only once a day.”
On 17 March, Belgian Prime Minister Sophie Wilmès imposed restrictions to stay at home unless travelling to a food market, medical facility, pharmacy, or bank. At the time, Belgium had 1,243 cases of coronavirus and ten deaths.
TRENDPOST: Each country’s politicians impose Executive Orders on how far social distancing should distance, how many people can gather, under what exceptions they can leave their homes, how long they can stay out, how far from their homes they are allowed to roam, and what businesses are essential… without providing scientific justification and/or quantitative analysis to support their orders.
Indeed, according Lydia Bourouiba, an associate professor at MIT who has researched the dynamics of exhalations, she reports that coughs and sneezes, for instance, cause gaseous clouds that can travel up to 27 feet.
Yet, there is never a mention in the media or questions as to the validity of these government mandates and/or the consequences of these actions.
“Lockdown” Mentality Virus
Last week saw many additional countries banning public gatherings and forcing citizens to stay in their homes.
Last Tuesday, India joined the list as Prime Minister Narendra Modi ordered a nationwide clampdown on public activity for at least three weeks. “To save India, and every Indian, there will be a total ban on venturing out of your homes. Every state, every union territory, every district, every village and every locality is being put under a lockdown.”
TRENDPOST: At the time of this largest lockdown, there were 519 confirmed coronavirus cases with ten reported deaths in a country of 1.3 billion people, of which some 2.3 million die each year from air pollution, according to Global Alliance on Health and Pollution. In addition, more than one third of the world’s malnourished children live in India.
And, it should be noted, despite almost 200,000 air pollution-related deaths per year in America, these factual statistics are ignored by the media and politicians.
Within a few days, photos emerged showing police physically beating citizens on the streets who disobeyed the prime minister’s order. With businesses and public gatherings shut down, hundreds of millions who live “hand to mouth” are left without any means to support their families. Millions were reported to be searching for food.
TRENDPOST: As we have been reporting in the Trends Journal, before the coronavirus, India had several quarters of rapidly slowing economic growth. And long before the virus, millions were suffering from a lack of basic living conditions and were taking to the streets.
In addition, there were mass protests against the prime minister’s citizen law that discriminated against Muslims.
Now, under lockdown, for a virus that had caused ten deaths at the time, strikes and protests are now prohibited, as they are in other nations.
As the Trends Journal was being finalized last Tuesday, we reported that Prime Minister Boris Johnson had just implemented a lockdown policy. He shut down all libraries, churches, gyms, playgrounds, weddings, and baptisms. He stated, “From this evening, I must give the British people a very simple instruction: You must stay at home… if you don’t follow the rules, the police will have the powers to enforce them.”
As of Sunday, in the UK, there were 1,228 coronavirus cases in a population of 66.4 million or 0.000018 percent of the population.
Last Wednesday, despite only 153 confirmed cases and no deaths reported, the government of Jordan initiated one of the strictest lockdowns anywhere, even ordering the closure of food stores and pharmacies. Within three days, over 1,600 arrests were made for not adhering to the restrictions, which included a ban on walking pets or allowing them outdoors.
TRENDPOST: As with scores of nations across the globe, there were massive street protests in Jordan over austerity policies and government corruption throughout 2019 and 2020 before the coronavirus hysteria. Jordan had targeted protest leaders, participants, and other critics for harassment and arrest. Dozens were jailed since September for “undermining the political regime,” a terrorism offense under the jurisdiction of the State Security Court.
There was just one death from coronavirus when the Kenyan government imposed their dust-to-dawn curfew. Videos have been uploaded showing police beating people with batons and spraying them with tear gas for disobeying the edict.
Ironically, the result of being hit with tear gas caused people to cough and vomit, dramatically increasing the chance of spreading the virus. Amnesty International reported, “We continue to receive testimonies from victims, eyewitnesses and video footage showing police gleefully assaulting members of the public in other parts of the country.”
Last Thursday, President Cyril Ramaphosa, previously an anti-apartheid activist, showed up for an address in full military uniform for the first time since elected head of state. He announced that the country’s 57 million citizens would be forced to stay home. At the time, South Africa had less than a thousand known cases of coronavirus and no deaths.
Both alcohol sales and dog-walking were among the activities no longer allowed under the new lockdown orders.
TRENDPOST: As we have been reporting in the Trends Journal, South Africa, dubbed the “protest capital of the world,” ranked as one of the highest rates of public protests in the world.
Declining into its second recession in two years, its GDP growth in 2019 was 0.2 percent, the lowest in a decade. The unemployment rate is close to 30 percent, business confidence is down to a 30-year low, and gross fixed capital formation decreased by annualized 10 percent in the quarter. Thirty percent of South Africans have no access to running water and live in dilapidated housing.
Now, despite not one death from the coronavirus, the nation is in lockdown, and protests have been banned.
On 23 March, President Kais Saied gave orders to the country’s army to enforce his lockdown protocols. People were forced to stay at home except to buy absolute necessities. At the time of the lockdown there were 89 confirmed cases and one death.
TRENDPOST: Beginning in January, thousands of unemployed youths have been demonstrating, demanding an end to unemployment, poverty, and poor living conditions. Unemployment is more than 15 percent and as high as 30 percent in some cities.
On 18 March, Chile’s President Sebastián Piñera declared a 90 day “state of catastrophe” to deal with the coronavirus pandemic. The entire country is under a curfew and the declaration charges the Chilean military to protect the streets from anyone breaking the lockdown measures.
TRENDPOST: As of Sunday, Chile, with a population of 19 million, had the grand total of seven corona deaths.
The lockdown orders took place exactly five months after massive country-wide demonstrations in which millions took the streets against income inequality, government corruption, and lack of basic health services… which have been detailed in previous issues of the Trends Journal.
At that time, in response to the demonstrations, Chilean police and military forces responded to protests in a “fundamentally repressive manner,” committing serious human rights violations – including unlawful killings and torture – that should be prosecuted, UN investigators have concluded.
Now, the capital city of Santiago, scene of the largest protests, is silent as military personnel patrol the streets.
Columbia, Argentina, Bolivia, El Salvador, and Peru also have imposed national lockdowns and states of emergency. As of last Sunday, the grand total of deaths from coronavirus in these four South American countries, with a total population of some 106 million people, is … 44!
Despite President Donald Trump stating, “Our country wasn’t built to be shut down,” by last Wednesday, close to 50 percent of all Americans were being ordered to “stay home” except for essential needs.
On 19 March, California became the first lockdown state, as Governor Gavin Newsom ordered a “stay at home” directive that shut down all “non-essential” businesses and significantly restricted where citizens could go when they left their homes. As of Sunday, 123 people out of a population of 40 million have died from the virus.
By the end of last week, 24 governors followed suit, ordering various levels of lockdown, which adds up to more than 50 percent of the entire U.S. population told to stay home.
As we reported in last week’s Trends Journal, the restrictive measures, however, vary from state to state. And, as we have noted, the range of restrictions imposed have been mandated without scientific or quantitative data to support them.
For example, in Georgia, there are no orders to self-quarantine, but the governor has shut down bars and public gatherings of more than ten people.
Party Time Prohibited, Fun Banned
 In the northeast, New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut governors agreed on common restrictions including banning public gatherings of over 50.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on 16 March: “We have agreed to a common set of rules that will pertain in all of our states, so don’t even think about going to a neighboring state because there’s going to be a different set of conditions. If you can’t do a party in New York City, you can’t do a party in New Jersey, you can’t do a party in Connecticut.”
TRENDPOST: As dictated by Andy Cuomo, born on third base and thought he hit a home run, the daddy’s boy who renamed the Tappan Zee Bridge after his Dad Mario. Last Thursday, he proclaimed that We the People must live in a new world order according to his rules: “This will change us. This is going to form a new generation, and it will transform who we are and how we think.”
It should be noted that there is a strong movement for Cuomo to replace Joe Biden as the Democratic candidate to run against Donald Trump in the race for the White House.
 As of last Friday, among the approximately 327 million people in the United States, 1,382 had died from the coronavirus.

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