Do we still say “that much ink has been spilled?” There’s no ink anymore, or not much, just electrons. But even though it is easier to find information, most of it is probably wrong. Some of it – early on – was wrong by the design of the Chinese government. I still can’t get a read on what the mortality rate of this virus is, though it is clear that it spreads fairly quickly. Anyway, here is some info that probably isn’t fake news.

Are we surprised that a government coverup/screw-up is probably at the heart of this? WaPo – Early missteps and state secrecy in China probably allowed the coronavirus to spread farther and faster.

So leading up to the Chinese/lunar new year, there was a festival in Wuhan, but people went because…

The government says it’s not a problem, there are no cases anymore.

Faced with a potential pandemic, the Chinese government wanted to put on a good show of “We’re in control; there’s nothing to fear.” So how’s that working out?

An analysis of those early weeks — from official statements, leaked accounts from Chinese medical professionals, newly released scientific data and interviews with public health officials and infectious disease experts — reveals potential missteps by China’s overburdened public health officials.

It also underscores how a bureaucratic culture that prioritized political stability over all else probably allowed the virus to spread farther and faster.

“It’s clear that a much stronger public health system could save China lives and money,” said Tom Frieden, former director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Medical professionals who tried to sound an alarm were seized by police. Key state media omitted mention of the outbreak for weeks. Cadres focused on maintaining stability — and praising party leader Xi Jinping — as the crisis worsened.

And those Chinese .gov functionaries who arrested some doctors for trying to get the truth out… 8 people were dealt with according to law because of spreading false information about Wuhan Viral Pneumonia online. How much pain, suffering and death will they ultimately be responsible for, no one can say at this point. But they surly didn’t work to stop the spread of the disease. (That’s a Google Translate of the original article. I wish I had notes on who directed it to me, but I can’t find anything other than a mention in Twitter.)

For the details on what is happening, see NY Times – Coronavirus Live Updates: Vietnam and Australia Curb Access to China as Death Toll Passes 250.

Travel restrictions. Canceled flights. Quarantine. Welcome to the pandemic.

3 thoughts on “Coronavirus

  1. It’s not a pandemic…..yet. And at this point it’s looking like it probably won’t be. I’ve heard reports of morbidity rates approaching 10%…..but most put it more like 2-3%, which is not far off from the death rates of many types of Influenza. Yes….we aren’t getting much truth out of China….as if that is new or news. But it’s been in the US for more than a week and still only accounts for less than a dozen confirmed cases. A true pandemic would have multiplied further and faster so it seems this isn’t “The BIg One” that will bring about TEOTWAWKI. The rumors that it is an engineered bioweapon that escaped or was deliberately released by the Chinese seems to have a basis in reality. Geneticists looking at this virus are finding DNA markers in this disease that look JUST LIKE markers from HIV…and that NO OTHER CORONAVIRUS has. If true that would indicate to a virtual certainty that this virus was MANUFACTURED. The Chinese of course will NEVER admit to that….even though the science supporting such an assumption would be almost unassailable.


    • The thing that made this so prone to conspiracy theories was the disconnect between the “everything is OK” pronouncements for the Chinese bureaucracy and the images coming out of China. “It’s no big deal” doesn’t mesh with quarantining an entire region, and having medical professionals in what looks like a good approximation of full-on hazmat gear.


  2. Hmmmm….first, whatever’s coming out of China in the form of “news” is almost certainly not just wrong but really damn wrong; second, as for the number infected vs the number dead, wasn’t it Mao who said he’d welcome a war with the west because he had a couple hundred million people available for use as cannon fodder because he was having trouble feeding them? I suspect lives in China are regarded by their leadership as pretty damn cheap. This may be the point where those lives discover how poorly they’re regarded by their leadership.


Comments are closed.