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Jan Finster

Coronavirus - those in China, and general discussion

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roddy
3 hours ago, vellocet said:

It's not a big deal, but they'll make it look like it is.  

Or alternatively, it's potentially a big deal, they'll do something about it, so it won't be a big deal, and you can say 'see, told you so.'

 

Depending on how things go, you could all be looking at significant disruption, especially if you're a teacher or student - schools will be first to close. Back during SARS: Public holidays were shortened. Travel becomes risky - happen to trigger a temperature alert at a train station and you won' t be getting on board. Beijing streets were empty. I had a midday bus to myself once. Everyone started boiling vinegar. School I worked for closed permanently shortly afterwards, losing a semester's money won't have helped. 

 

China's way better at this stuff than it was back then, though. During SARS, even when the government was trying to figure out what was happening, it was struggling to get data even from military hospitals. Can't see that happening nowadays. More likely a better early response keeps things under control. You're more likely to suffer from your own or other people's overreactions...

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889

Bear in mind that depending on how this moves, if you happen to develop a fever from any cause and want to travel in China or leave China and enter another country, you may be quarantined until it's clear you don't have the corona virus. As Roddy points out, SARS had a big practical impact on those travelling about.

 

I've also read other suggestions that the crunch if any will come as temperatures start to rise towards Spring, creating more favourable conditions for transmission.

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vellocet

It's just a virus that's subject to all the same prophylaxia as any other virus.  Sure, they'll get it under control.  The media just loves stoking these kinds of stories, though.  Combine the ignorance of journalists with the hunger to report something exciting and it makes a toxic mix.  

 

Yeah, I was here during the tail end of SARS.  Had the plane over almost to myself!  That he was willing to send me should have been a tip-off that my boss at the time was a sociopath.  Found out later, needless to say.  😎  Had fun shaking hands with people when I got back and then telling them, "You've now had close personal contact with a person who recently traveled from a SARS region.  Have a nice day!"  😂

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889

Honestly, it's not just the media. People who actually do know about these things seem very concerned, as they were during SARS. Remember in Hong Kong how a slew of people were infected because the virus passed through some bad plumbing.

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Jan Finster
8 hours ago, vellocet said:

It's just another one of those panics the media stokes.  It's not a big deal, but they'll make it look like it is.  

 

Just wash your hands more often, that's really it.  And even that won't make a difference if you don't encounter an infected person. 

 

Nobody knows if it is a big deal or not. It is potentially a very big deal. Remember, the most vulnerable people are old people and children. It is easy for healthy young to middle-aged adults to say: "I shook hands with an SARS patient and I am still alive, so it is all false alarm...". Washing hands more often is not eliminating the risk since it is also mainly spread by respiratory droplets and aerosols (coughing). 

IMO, we should not be sarcastic about it, even if we are lucky and look back 6 months from now and the number of infected people was not that high...

 

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roddy

Yeah. Mortality rate of these things is crazy. Economic impact isn't trivial either.

 

And I'm not sure what news sources vellocet is using, but I'm seeing a lot more 'here's what's happening' than 'OMG, what might happen'. 

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Balthazar

Norway might be an exception, but one of our largest newspapers has started to refer to the virus as "the Death Virus" (e.g. "The death virus has reached Australia", from earlier today). The actual content of the article was more serious and informative than the click-bait headline would suggest, though.

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Jan Finster
42 minutes ago, Balthazar said:

Norway might be an exception, but one of our largest newspapers has started to refer to the virus as "the Death Virus"

 

Sure, it depends on the newspaper, but apart from saying "viral plague" even the Sun (UK) is actually quite informative: https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/10768232/china-coronavirus-symptoms-death/

 

(Just for the record, I am not reading the Sun . I just googled it as its reporting is typically the most bombastic...)

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889

For those who don't quite pick-up on that last remark, here's a Chinese translation of Bernard Woolley's famous remark about The Sun in Yes, Prime Minister:

 

伯纳德:《太阳报》的读者不在乎谁治理国家,只要(内页女郎)前凸后翘就行。

 

https://daily.zhihu.com/story/7072832

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Flickserve
1 hour ago, vellocet said:

Yeah, I was here during the tail end of SARS.  Had the plane over almost to myself!  That he was willing to send me should have been a tip-off that my boss at the time was a sociopath.  Found out later, needless to say.  😎  Had fun shaking hands with people when I got back and then telling them, "You've now had close personal contact with a person who recently traveled from a SARS region.  Have a nice day!"  😂

 

I lived in close contact with the SARS situation.  It’s good to be cautious and being cautious does no harm.
 

It was a nightmare during SARS in Hong Kong. When you and colleagues go through perceived risk of death everyday, it is quite depressing. People avoid you because of your job. 
 

Situation in terms of notification seems to be much better. The annual migration is definitely the X factor. 

 

 

Wash your hands frequently.
Try to minimise touching mouth and nose. Wear a mask if you’re ill. 
 

 

I was on another community forum during that time. I remember a post from uk making light of the situation in Hong Kong saying to probably was overreactions. I had to give a realistic picture which wasn’t pleasant

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Flickserve

It was great to hear president Xi make a strong statement. China is one of the few places that can place controls in a way few countries can in a very short space of time. 

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roddy

That’s obviously quite worrying, and congratulations on your new job as the site’s Wuhan Health Correspondent. 
 

I did read something about Wuhan travel restrictions, but think it was for tour groups. Do try and ignore rumours. In 2003 you got text messages about government planes being set to spray the city with drugs. Which is silly, they control the water supply. 

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vellocet
3 hours ago, Balthazar said:

but one of our largest newspapers has started to refer to the virus as "the Death Virus"

 

Yeah, that's what I'm talking about.  It's hard to tell if it's ignorance or dishonesty.  Either way it's sadly what we all expect from journalists today.  

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ChTTay

My train yesterday was to Wuhan so you can still go there! I’m hoping that being in a sparsely populated village for a week will be an advantage but let’s see! 
 

China warns Communist Party officials: cover up spread of Wuhan virus and be ‘nailed on pillar of shame for eternity’ | South China Morning Post

Chang An Jian, the official social media account of the Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission – Beijing’s top political body responsible for law and order – ran a commentary on Tuesday telling cadres not to forget the painful lessons of Sars and to ensure timely reporting of the current situation...

 

“Anyone who puts the face of politicians before the interests of the people will be the sinner of a millennium to the party and the people,” the commentary read.

“Anyone who deliberately delays and hides the reporting of [virus] cases out of his or her own self-interest will be nailed on the pillar of shame for eternity,” it added.

 

Above summary from the sinocisim newsletter (free version). 

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suMMit

take a look at ctrip. There is sold out train after sold out train to and from WH from every major city from now til the end of the holiday. Some of my Chinese colleagues have canceled trips to WH however.

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roddy

On travel restrictions: 

Quote

 

The local government has cancelled public activities during the holiday, including the annual prayer-giving at the city’s Guiyan Temple - which attracted 700,000 tourists last year. Tour groups heading out of the city have also been cancelled.

Wuhan’s mayor Zhou Xianwang urged residents to not leave the city and visitors to avoid it so that the possibility of transmission can be reduced.

“If it’s not necessary we suggest that people don’t come to Wuhan,” Zhou told state broadcaster CCTV.

 

 

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Tomsima

update 1: friends that have been away on holiday aren't coming home for new years now, there are rumours going round that an entire carriage on a train was infected in wuhan today…and of course, anybody over the age of 50 is basically still wandering round outside without a facemask on and couldn't really care less.

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889

I seem to recall that during SARS there were instances where all the passengers on a flight were put in quarantine because one passenger had suspicious symptoms. This is why travel during an epidemic like this may be troublesome, quite apart from the risk of contracting the disease.

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suMMit

I think its crazy to keep sending trains in and out of wuhan

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