GNN Note – Global “fear mongering” to push some vaccine or to force people to give up more rights – or – is there something to this situation? We know people are dying, what we don’t know is where and how this mess started. Motives, as we learn from Jesus Christ, are important.
This is already becoming the worst public health scare that we have seen in many years, and experts are warning that we are still in the very early chapters of this crisis. Officials are fairly certain that the spread of this mysterious new coronavirus began in the Chinese city of Wuhan, and as you will see below, measures are now being implemented to try to isolate that city from the rest of China. But it is already too late, because cases have already been reported in other major Chinese cities, and the virus has also already traveled to a whole bunch of foreign countries via airplane. Cases have been reported in Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Taiwan, the Philippines, Australia and now there has even been one case in the United States. It is being estimated that this virus has an incubation period of about a week, and so the truth is that countless others could be spreading it around right now without even realizing it.
There is so much that we still don’t know about this disease, but what we do know is that there were 48 confirmed cases on January 17th and now there are 440…
Chinese officials have just held a press conference that was anything but the usual CDC “everything’s ok” statement. The particularly ominous warning that the virus is mutating and spreading is perhaps due to the poor handling of the SARS breakout in 2002/3 which was marked by cover-ups and official reluctance to share information.
Li Bin, vice head of China’s National Health Commission, confirmed there are 440 confirmed coronavirus cases in this new outbreak and there have been 9 deaths. Some 1,394 patients are under medical observation.
What this means is that the number of confirmed cases has gotten nine times higher in just four days.
Needless to say, this is creating a tremendous amount of panic. In China, a lot of people are completely shying away from public places at this point…
“I don’t really dare to go to the airport right now, or even to the movie theater,” said Xie Jing, 33, who works in advertising in Shanghai, where there have been two confirmed cases of coronavirus. She canceled her planned trip home to Sichuan, where two cases are suspected.
“Everyone is being very careful at the moment in Shanghai. Everyone is wearing masks on the streets,” Xie said.
Sadly, the demand for masks is far greater than the supply, and some sellers have decided to make a quick profit by selling them “for more than 10 times their original price”…
Several unscrupulous sellers who bought up masks en bulk are now managing to sell them for more than 10 times their original price. Some retailers were selling the masks for as much as 40 yuan ($7), a more than 10-fold mark-up. Users of Weibo, a Chinese social network similar to Twitter, warned anybody planning to travel to instead consider staying home, and repeatedly washing their hands.
According to certain sites that track prices of Chinese goods, the masks typically sell for 53 cents.
We haven’t seen this sort of panic since the days of the bird flu scare, and Chinese citizens are demanding action.
Unfortunately, there isn’t that much that can be done at this point. Chinese officials are taking some steps to try to isolate Wuhan from the rest of the country, but many are skeptical that these measures will really make that much of a difference…