Tradition of Naming a Disease After Its Place of Origin Is Now Racist? [OPINION]
How did so much energy and focus turn toward what not to call this globally life-altering pathogen COVID-19? I am aware of some ignorant imbeciles lashing out at Asian-Americans and Asians in Europe and North Africa, but one thing you cannot contain is stupidity. That doesn't mean we must change the practice of naming diseases after their birthplace.
Dummies come in all forms. The ones promulgating the latest outrage are writers, show hosts, and reporters from the mainstream liberal media. Yes, they are the same grammatically superior, more polite ones who try to convince you that you need to invoke your deepest hatred of President Trump and anyone who could have possibly voted him in.
The president recently called the COVID-19 coronavirus the "Chinese virus." The media gasped, gulped and probably vomited, before resorting to Threat-Level: Midnight.
Let's look at some other illnesses and the stories behind their names:
The West Nile Virus: Was discovered to have originated along the west banks of the Nile River in Uganda in 1937. Never deemed to be racist or degrading, insulting or incendiary – but the day is still young.
Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever: A pathogen discovered in 1896, whose symptoms included high fever, headaches, muscle aches, vomiting, disorientation. Obviously named by haters of elevation and great views.
Lyme Disease: A mostly tick-borne disease discovered in the 1970s first in Lyme and Old Lyme, Connecticut. Whoever titled this illness obviously has a bitter distaste for nutmeg. I'm worried for the safety of Hartford residents who may come in to contact with those who fear this curse.
Ross River Fever: A mosquito-borne illness first identified on the Ross River in Australia in 1928. While I never really heard about this disease until I began researching how diseases have always been named after the places they are first discovered, I find myself wanting to kick the #$@! out of one David Schwimmer, and, you know what? Foster's beer sucks!
MERS (Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome): I knew it – terrorists! First found in Saudi Arabia in 2012 with a near 35 percent fatality rate. Oh, the lengths they will go to. Never forget! Oh, and yes, it is also a coronavirus.
German Measles: Otherwise known as rubella, it was named because of the frequency of outbreaks there and the three German doctors who studied it first in the 18th century. I don't know about you but all partakers of Oktoberfest should picket the U.N. until that's changed. I mean, someone could get hurt.
Norovirus: We correlate that to cruise ships because that is the term synonymous with the pathogen but it comes from Norwalk, Ohio when scientists found it in 1968. So were these doctors haters of the Buckeye State population or everyone in the Big Ten? Wait, it was in the 1960s? Maybe we should all be careful not to point to hippies, lest they are found by the torch-carrying, witch-burning mob the media seems to now be worried about.
Obviously, I've used sarcasm to make a point here: when you give the liberals too much free time, they will somehow, someway find something or someone that they find offensive. If not to them specifically, they will find people who they think could – no, should – be offended.
Because President Trump has (rightfully, and semi-accurately) named COVID-19 a "Chinese virus", the left has once again flipped their lids. It should actually be called the Wuhan Disease and very deservedly.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the Chinese government discovered this outbreak days before the Chinese New Year and as far back as December 18, 2019. Even as the outbreak was being reported on WeChat by Chinese bloggers and citizen's social media interactions, the Communist Chinese government was telling their citizens that there were no further problems any longer, and that was in mid-January.
It not only originated there but should have been corralled there but for the deranged ideology of the government.
If any disease deserves a stamp of locale identification, it is COVID-19, the Wuhan Disease, or how about something less "offensive" like the "Wuh-ping Cough?" I did note the name "Kung Flu" went over about as well as a pro-Trump reference at a Cambridge vegan breakfast for the Rainbow Hemp-Rope Merchants Club.
Let's worry less about butt-hurt feelings and more about solving this crisis, doing our part, being there for each other and living to tell the story about the time the world combatted the Wuhan Disease.
Ken Pittman is the host of The Ken Pittman Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon. Contact him at ken.pittman@