01/24/2020, 13.41
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The Wuhan virus, the pride of the rich and prayer

by Shan Ren Shen Fu (山人神父)

The origin of the virus lies in the consumption of wild animals, in particular that of "flying foxes", known as "fruit bats". For China's wealthy elite, eating rare and unusual things has become fashionable. Eight people reported the epidemic as early as January 1, but were arrested for "spreading fake news".

Beijing (AsiaNews) - "Those who have faith in God pray for the situation in China": this is the appeal of Fr. Shanren ("the mountain priest "), a famous priest-blogger from the north of the country, faced with the spread of the pulmonary epidemic that broke out in Wuhan (Hubei), which is spreading to many regions of China. Recalling also the Sars epidemic (2002-2003), the priest expresses some considerations on the culinary habits of the Chinese. But above all it shows that the country's wealthy elite has made a fad of feeding on wild animal species, contributing to the spread of viruses. Almost in passing, he reveals that eight people had reported the epidemic as early as January 1, but were arrested for "spreading fake news". This article that we publish, posted a few days ago on Chinese social networks, has been blocked by the authorities (translation from Chinese by AsiaNews).

Based on the news that has come to us in recent days, the situation seems to have deteriorated further. Passengers with backpacks and suitcases, in front of Hankou station, who still want to go home for the Chinese New Year, clash instead with barriers and the police behind them.

Wuhan is an isolated city. An isolated city means a city transformed into a  fort: people outside are not allowed to enter; people inside are not allowed to leave.

The city of Wuhan is a metropolis with over 10 million inhabitants, and this new coronavirus is also referred to as the "Wuhan lung virus". The virus has quickly spread to most Chinese provinces making the situation increasingly critical. This is caused both by the lack of attention that the local government gave to the epidemic, and by the interhuman mode of transmission.

With further updates related to the epidemic, people are also beginning to wonder what its source is. Apparently the direct source of lung disease lies in the so-called fish market, which has instead turned out to be a market where wild animals are eaten. In a video released two days ago, Taiwanese leader Tsai Ing-wen says that once a friend of hers invited her to dinner, during which they served her a soup in which there was a piece of meat. Without thinking too much, she ate it, after which, her friend confessed that it was the meat of flying foxes, also known as "fruit bats". Why are they called this? It seems that this species of bats feeds on fruit. In another video, you see instead a whole bat in a bowl, whose appearance is rather frightening. However, Tsai Ing-wen says: "The taste of the meat is quite pleasant!".

In the Bible, the Lord established what the people of Israel could eat and what they could not. This means that man is not allowed to consume certain things. Perhaps because most Chinese people don't believe in God, they remain in the dark about what God has told them. Those who do not know the Word of God, do not fear it. Moreover, since the Chinese are a people who love and understand culinary culture, it seems that there is no animal species that cannot be eaten. Therefore, the rarer and more unusual a thing is, the more the rich want to try and taste it. Man has lived through a time when he exclusively fed on raw meat. When he realized that food could be cooked in different ways, by adding various types of seasoning, the consumption of pets was no longer able to satisfy the taste. Thus, the consumption of wild animals has become a trend. A certain thing becomes "fashion" because man does not eat with hunger (maybe even a mouse): man is no longer satisfied with daily food and hence the fashion for the consumption of snakes, hedgehogs, pangolins, peacocks, bats ...

In fact, the direct source of Sars in 2003 was the consumption of civet which, probably, before being killed was in the grip of rabis, so that the Sars virus entered the body of the consumer, who in turn transmitted it to others with amazing speed. Most Chinese have lived through that experience in enslaving terror.

Even though Sars was defeated, the Chinese not only did not learn the lesson, but the consumption of wild animals has increasingly become a symbol of privilege for the rich. Just like that scandal of two women who crashed into the Forbidden City aboard a Mercedes SUV: this is certainly not within the reach of simple people. Simple people, ordinary Chinese citizens are only allowed to commit suicide by jumping from a skyscraper, spreading some fake news, creating a bit of disorder in hospitals.

The elite, on the other hand, is a social class that affirms the right to enjoy many privileges precisely in the name of the people, and if they renounced these privileges, the people would be upset. No-one knows if the people are truly upset, and nobody knows the truth. But one thing is true there are actually many representatives who vote in the name of the people ... In fact, it is precisely this privileged elite that confers, in the name of the people, privileges on themselves.

Despite the seriousness of the epidemic, no obstacles were posed for 40,000 families in the city of Wuhan to be together for the New Year's Eve dinner, nor for the New Year's Grand Gala in the epidemic areas: the authorities continue to personally attend the performances. On the other hand, eight people who reported the epidemic as early as January 1st were arrested on charges of spreading fake news, undermining social stability. And today, people are truly in a state of turmoil, but the result is that citizens have remained isolated in their city.

Suddenly, not only the price of the masks, but also the price of vegetables in supermarkets have rocketed Wuhan. Many criticize this taking advantage of the catastrophe to get rich, but from the point of view of humanity, in front of the shelves that empty in the blink of an eye and the possibility of easy profit, traders are unlikely not to give in to temptation. The problem lies right here!

The Wuhan lung virus has now become a national public event. And since the city of Wuhan is in isolation, the key to stability is how to get food at fair prices.

Everyone's heart is affected by the severity of the epidemic, but also by the courage of the medical staff who help to relieve the pain. It is therefore necessary that those who have faith in God pray for the situation in China.

This epidemic makes me think of the biblical story of Moses who guides the people of Israel during the Exodus, of his plea to the Lord when He wants to strike the Israelites who are venerating the golden calf. The biblical passages describe this story vividly and deserve a thoughtful prayer:

"Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go down, because your people, whom you brought up out of Egypt, have become corrupt. They have been quick to turn away from what I commanded them and have made themselves an idol cast in the shape of a calf. They have bowed down to it and sacrificed to it and have said, ‘These are your gods, Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.’

 “I have seen these people,” the Lord said to Moses, “and they are a stiff-necked people. Now leave me alone so that my anger may burn against them and that I may destroy them. Then I will make you into a great nation.”

But Moses sought the favor of the Lord his God. “Lord,” he said, “why should your anger burn against your people, whom you brought out of Egypt with great power and a mighty hand? Why should the Egyptians say, ‘It was with evil intent that he brought them out, to kill them in the mountains and to wipe them off the face of the earth’? Turn from your fierce anger; relent and do not bring disaster on your people.  Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac and Israel, to whom you swore by your own self: ‘I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and I will give your descendants all this land I promised them, and it will be their inheritance forever.’” Then the Lord relented and did not bring on his people the disaster he had threatened.

"(Exodus 32, 7-14).

Shan Ren Shen Fu

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