“The importance of a person or thing is the way it is not because of what it is called. Simply, it means the names of things cannot affect what they actually are.”

And this is where the problem lies the way I see it. Over the past month, we have been inundated and saturated with COVID-19 news, updates, testing, statistics, and the list goes on, but I have a different angle to it that has nothing to do with the conspiracy of 5G.

Every year people contract flu, in fact, I am one of those unfortunate people who seem to contract flu even when I don’t come into contact with someone that has it.

Some years it would be really bad and would have me down in bed for days inevitably leading to bronchitis.

I have never had a flu shot but well-meaning concerned family members or friends have always suggested I do.

I’m one of those people that have what I term “ugly flu.” Some people have flu that’s barely visible except for some sniffles. I have flu where strangers walk up to me offering me counselling because I look that bad. My face swells, my eyes continue watering and it looks as if I am crying, my nose resembles Rudolph the reindeer as its red and glows in the dark, my skin peels and my body aches as if I have gone ten rounds with Mike Tyson.

It’s always been like that ever since I can recall and naturally, I have become accustomed to it. I always get the, “You look so bad,” or “the flu is worse this year” comments and I politely agree then proceed to self-care until it passes.

Last year, however, was particularly bad and I ended up being hospitalized with double pneumonia. I never felt that bad and didn’t merely look as if I was going to die, I was close to death.

Then came the inevitable “I told you this flu was bad” comments from people and that time, I had to agree. It was bad. I promised myself I would get the flu shot this year before the “flu season” was upon us.

But a part of me brushed it off still thinking it was bad, but it was flu.

Nobody ever named the flu of previous years. Or at least, I never heard it being named other than by its name flu.

I read about the horrific deaths particularly those who died of flu in 2018 but it was far away from me and yet again, it was flu. There have always had different strains of flu but it’s been flu. Until they named this flu.

Now this flu has a name and because it has a name it has become more real for people worldwide. In fact, it’s been called a pandemic. Pandemic sounds scary but it simply means widespread.

I am not trying to make light of this strain of flu but I have to wonder if it wasn’t named or given a name would the world not have treated it as simply the bad flu as they did to the one in 2018? An estimated 80 000 people died in the States alone and in South Africa, the Department of Health estimates about 11 000 deaths.

The conclusion:

If so, many people die globally each year from flu, why is this year different considering there have been fewer deaths?

Why is it suddenly named a pandemic when logically every year should be named that?

Why are economies shut down because of this year’s flu only?

The World Health Organization calls it the flu, scientists call it the flu, doctors call it the flu. So, it is in fact, the flu. Granted a more virulent strain but nonetheless the flu.

So, if the flu never caused worldwide economic shutdowns before and widespread panic is it because we have given it a name? Does naming it this year have the desired effect of shutting down everything and bringing the world grinding to a halt?

I am no conspiracy theorist, but the figures speak for themselves. Are we being led down the garden path with constant attention focused on this particular flu and if we are, who stands to gain, not from the deaths but the economic shutdown? 

The Juliet Rose is known as the £3 million rose because that’s how much it cost rose breeder David Austin to create it over a period of 15 years. Yet, as expensive and I have no doubt beautiful as it is, it remains a rose like it’s cheaper version “cousin” you pick up from the vendor on the street.

Just because we name something doesn’t mean it’s different unless of course, the intention is for us to see it as different.