A few days ago, I wrote a post praising China for their response to the Corona Virus epidemic. I still praise China for such an effective effort.
Since then, a few things have changed. The total infection rate has increased, though the rate of new infections has still slowed. The deaths have increased, including in percentages.
So, while I may have been incorrect about some statements in some way, that is debateable.
Rapid deployment of criteria. New diagnoses would naturally increase as more people during an epidemic seek treatment, new tests have been developed and more medical professionals have learned the signs and symptoms. Just the fact that the country has imposed a quarantine would make more people seek medical treatment if they become ill due to natural anxiety.
Retroactive diagnoses. More deaths would be attributed to this infection as some deaths may have been diagnosed retroactively, as they were attributed to other organisms or causes previously. That does not mean the mortality rate has accelerated. 90% of the cases diagnosed and 90% of the deaths have been in Wuhan province.It is also estimated that there are many cases which have not been diagnosed because the illness was not serious enough to seek medical attention.
Violence during the largest quarantine in human history. There have been some highly publicized instances of violence which have occurred. This is not abnormal during any quarantine, especially one of the scale China is imposing. During such an event, people become nervous. If a person is claustrophobic, being confined to their home for extended periods would be torture. I advise taking a more critical look at the videos of these instances and realize just how rare these events are and how minor most of the violence is. Compare what events have occurred there with what you could easily expect if such a quarantine were imposed in the US. As far as I have heard, there have been a few minor injuries but no deaths as a result of violence as yet.
Reasonable precautions. China has instituted very reasonable precautions to prevent further spread of the virus. Some of the videos being shared here include people who have violated the protocols established. Those protocols are very reasonable and include such steps as wearing a mask when in any public space, use of hand sanitizer and limiting travel to work and grocery shopping. Even packaged food being delivered to peoples homes are sanitized and delivered with as little direct contact as possible. Masks and hand sanitizer are provided by the government. Long distance travel between cities is only allowed for official business. All of this means that violations of these protocols is rather unreasonable. One person violating these protocols can place hundreds of others at risk.
Medical response. The medical and scientific response has been impressive, with a test to detect the specific infection developed rapidly. (Note that I have not heard any information on how accurate the test is.) A vaccine has allegedly been developed already and is about to (or is) be submitted for human testing and from there to mass production, to be provided free of charge to Chinese citizens. Capitalists just shit their pants after that sentence.
Wait and watch. What this epidemic means for China’s immediate future is not certain. While they have taken unprecedented steps to contain the spread of the virus, only time will tell how effective these steps have been. Even if the response proves to be in vain, the effort is still highly respectable.
Many westerners are only concerned regarding the economic impact and some are trying to profit from it. I won’t even disparage that reaction. Others are using this short episode to claim that the US has “won the trade war with China”. Um, no. China has suffered reduced capacity for a short period. The effects have not even filtered down through our economy YET, as I have pointed out. Those effects WILL be seen very soon. Besides, define “winning”.