Final Word from Monday, August 31, 2020

The World Health Organization didn't exist in 1918, so it couldn't declare a global Spanish flu pandemic that would override all national health laws. As Václav Drchal of Hrot pointed out in April of this year, Lidové noviny and other local publications initially paid scant attention to the disease in 1918, usually burying reports about it on back pages. Not so today, of course. Hardly anyone is sick with covid-19 in the CR, but it's still among the top news stories. By the cabinet's definition, a pandemic is an "epidemic of a large scale affecting entire continents" and with a "high incidence rate over a large area." Yet the "pandemic" is so narrowly contained in the CR that the local head of the WHO, Srdan Matić, acknowledged last week to TV Prima that he personally knows no one who has caught the disease. This makes for really bad pandemic PR. If the WHO wants to continue to enforce a global pandemic, the local head of the agency should at least be able to say he has visited hundreds of its victims. Otherwise it makes it appear that the WHO doesn't really care if people realize that this is a pandemic in name only. [ Czech Republic influenza public relations CNN Prima News ]

Glossary of difficult words

to override - to be more important than;

scant - minimal; barely sufficient or adequate.

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