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Who's Fiddling While Rome Burns?

Tanvi Mishra

Posted on July 2, 2020 13:32

3 users

Is there really anything that hasn't already happened in history?

It can be rather difficult to imagine a time before COVID-19. 

When the illusion of normality was still intact, its shimmering bubble safely encapsulated us all. Moving onward to harsher realities all of us, in one way or another, have come to terms with what is most important to us; the vanities of life have been stripped away, leaving us to face our most base desires. And for some, that desire is to stay in power.

In 1791, King Louis XVI of France was terribly afraid of losing his position. His attempts of pacifying the country by abolishing serfdom and circulating grain had backfired quite severely on him. The nobility did not appreciate his lax attitude and the bourgeoisie and peasants could not afford bread. In retaliation he attempted to flee to Varennes and left behind a document that, to be succinct, said: "Constitutional systems suck, bring back absolute monarchy." He was executed two years later, ending the monarchy in France until the Bourbon Restoration.

The parallel of fleeing from one's palace can very well be applied to recent events.

A certain president, when found under stress from ongoing protests for civil liberties, decided to pull a Louis XVI and hide in a bunker. And despite his insistence that he was "inspecting it," I can't help but wince at the pattern emerging from history.

They say Nero fiddled while Rome burned. Some say he was the arsonist, others say he just didn't care. His relaxed demeanor and inaction in times of crisis is more than just a horror story; it's a powerful metaphor for a leader's power gone unchecked, to protect personal interests. When the dust settled in Rome, Nero blamed the most vulnerable and minor group in Rome at the time — Christians.

How can we trust our leaders to pull through during unprecedented times?

On January 20th, the first case of COVID-19 was reported in the US. A few hours later, the World Health Organization released its first COVID-19 Situation Report, explaining the novel virus's growth in (at the time) a few countries, including the one I'm currently writing in. On January 26th, the global risk level for the virus was set at "high."

Why is it that the United States of America only went into lockdown at the end of March?


Thousands upon thousands of lives could have been protected. Unfortunately, it seems as though somebody decided to politicize the virus. Labelling a pathogen a "hoax" does not reduce the severity of it; and it is, once again, ordinary citizens who have to dance in the flames while the man fiddles. This goes beyond being a Republican or a Democrat. The most bipartisan issue of all time is public safety.

But somebody didn't want to hurt his reelection chances.

Regardless of what side you currently lean on, know this: A man who only serves himself can never serve others.

Remember this in November.

Tanvi Mishra

Posted on July 2, 2020 13:32

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Source: 13 News Now

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