The Athena Institute

Jul 31, 2020

3 min read

An Orwellian view on the current pandemic

Photo by United Nations COVID-19 Response on Unsplash

It has been more than 71 years since George Orwell wrote one of his masterpieces ‘1984’, but the book seems to be more relevant now than ever before. The book portrays a dystopian future of the year 1984 in which ‘the party’ controls the state. The book follows the life of Winston Smith who is a member of the party and works at the department of truth.

“Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.”

In the book, a couple of key themes are being explored such as surveillance, mass media control, and totalitarianism. The party controls every aspect of people’s lives and decide what people must think and do. In every house, there is a telescreen that not only displays propaganda but also hears everything being said in the house. People that think differently than is desired by the party will be investigated by the thought police. In another department of the party, they are working on creating a new language called ‘Newspeak’ in which they try and eliminate as many words as possible, such that people are not able to vocalize their criticism at the party.

The most notable point George Orwell is trying to make is that perhaps a completely controlled state is not that far away as people might assume when technology will develop this way. Meaning that when a wrong party becomes in charge of a nation with the wrong intentions and too much power they will be able to destroy everything and propagate whatever they would like to their country.

That being said, I would like to draw a few correlations with what is happening at this moment during the COVID-19 pandemic. The first one being the overly propagated viewpoints of the WHO on the pandemic. They propagate that we can only return to normal when there is a vaccine made. They also propagate that we need to stay at home and to remain at 1.5-meter distance outside.

Another problem is the spreading of fake news in order to push agendas forward. The fabricated article on hydroxychloroquine has made it into the lancet, only to be later called fake. This push to keep hydroxychloroquine of the market is very dangerous, as there are multiple doctors and scientists who have said to apply this method successfully. Opposing viewpoints are being shut down and censored, which brings us to the next point.

Censorship… Accounts on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter are being shut down and are getting restrictions because of their opposing views on how we should have dealt with the virus. The silencing of people and not having a free debate over this topic seems extraordinarily strange. The pandemic is destroying economies and causing psychological damage to a lot of people worldwide. It only seems fair enough to everyone who is affected by this to have their opinion on the dealing of the virus and how we should deal with it.