“There comes a time
When we heed a certain call
When the world must come together as one
There are people dying
Oh, and it’s time to lend a hand to life
The greatest gift of all”
We Are the World
We Hope That the Pope Will Ask the World to Provide Corona Virus Information in All Languages
Realizing that people are dying and getting sick with the Corona Virus, Martin Danenberg, ex profesor of the Consulate of El Salvador in Brentwood, NY did research that reveals insufficient communication about the virus that has led to international emergency declarations. This information supporting his statement is in his article The Corona Virus Today: Vital Suggestions.
But Danenberg went way beyond doing the research and writing the article to make sure that all people will be protected. This will be done only by the best efforts of governments and communities. People have to have access to information in languages and unfortunately the Departments have only several, a few, and one or two languages with information on their websites. The Pope was chosen to contact because he has been fighting to protect people around the world and his voice is powerful. The information has to be shared so there will be zero tolerance against failure. Information in all other languages has to be provided as well and shared by all.
He contacted the Catholic Church in New York City to ask the church to reach out to the Pope in the Vatican.
He sent an email to an appropriate contact at the Vatican.
He contacted the agency of Tom Hanks, the actor who has tested for the virus in Australia.
He contacted the House Oversight Committee in the Congress of the United States and the chairwoman of that committee.
He contacted people in government in various states including governors and mayors.
The research done can be done by others in the 50 states of the United States, the U.S. territories, and nations around the world. Testing and vaccines are badly needed, but disseminating the best information is badly needed, particularly in the United States where untruths have been spoken can only confuse people and put them closer to the illness.
I am no expert, but I have undertaken some research that should be helpful to people in Congress. In New York State information about the Corona Virus has been generated in various languages including Spanish, Korean, Kreole, Bengali, Russia, and Chinese. Spanish and Chinese are languages with posts in South Carolina (the English only state for education programs which I have written about). With the movement of people who speak lots of other languages around our country, more has to be done to protect everyone. A suggestion is that the South Carolina could immediately borrow shared information with New York State in the languages that I have mentioned that apply and that all states cooperate to generate information in all languages where possible to help people and to save lives. Money should not be a problem in these translations. Puerto Rico only has Spanish on its website. Florida has two languages and Washington State has several. Caring and sharing are needed now.
I later went to a Social Security Administration office and noticed Hispanics asking for help to process whatever they needed to do. Translation was critical and there were others as well who needed help in the hour that I sat there. I decided to check out what languages were available for translation and this is what I came up with. The website of the SSA indicates that there are seventeen languages. Here is the list: Arabic, Armenian, Chinese, Farsi, French, Greek, Haitian Creole, Hmong, Italian, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Somali, Spanish, Tagalog, Vietnamese. American Sign Language is also offered and with English that makes nineteen. Many of these languages are not on the websites of the Departments of Health that I had previously visited.
I have also contacted the Holy See Office at the United Nations. The Papal Nuncio in Washington, D.C. and the rabbi from Argentina who is a great friend of the Pope. The last two were contacted only by email.
It would appear that even that great song known by hundreds of millions of people around the world could not be made today because of the Corona Virus. That is not true. We are asked to form small groups of ten (social distancing) in order to protect ourselves and we already know about many famous people in sports and entertainment that have tested positive for the virus. We also know that many artists have studios in their own homes and we know that artists can easily have access to the major studios just for themselves. I was with Cory Rooney in the Hit Factory in New York City when J Lo arrived one night. And guess what? We were all asked to leave the premises. Cory has produced Marc Antony, Talía, and J Lo among others and he won the Grammy for Dímelo. And now people are being asked to work remotely.
The history of war that I read at night includes lots of information about communication during a war. One example was breaking the codes of the enemy, which I have written about in The Force 2020 DDT as Poles broke Nazi codes. I have read about the breaking of codes in the Pacific since people were constantly working on those communications to save American and Allied lives. And we know that Japanese fought hard to win against US as they fled to the mountains and continued fighting and killing people even after the war was over. That was a result of no communication or just the willing of the Japanese to commit suicide in battle rather than to return home in disgrace. The Japanese did not surrender as easily as the Germans did and the fighting continued and people died, I repeat. American commanders knew about this, but they could not control it. That virus spread.
We learned late last week that people in Europe have gotten the virus because they did not follow orders. I believe that better communication will save 5, 50,500, 5000 lives. Do I have proof? No! But I believe that the world can only come together right now as one in all languages. It is not going to happen because of Governor Cuomo’s announcement in English only or by the directives of “The Donald” which are in the same language.
After reading about the terrible outbreak of the virus in Bergamo, Italy, I contacted the Archdiocese in Milano. Among the trips that I have taken internationally in my life was the trip from Milano to the Alta Città in Bergamo. I wish I could be there right now, walking through the winding streets, looking at the shops and restaurants, living life to its fullest, and enjoying the best pasta as I think about others who are not so fortunate as I was and what needs to be done to save lives. Look at the languages again and notice the gap in your state health department’s website. We need more action to contain the Corona Virus now.