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Coronavirus - those in China, and general discussion

Jan Finster

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Wish more of my posts got this much traction. I should post other people's opinions more! 

I realise that newspapers use headlines to grab attention and sell papers/subscriptions and it’s just what they do. However, it still annoys me. Especially as a lot people just read the headlines or at least remember / focus on them. Maybe that says more about “people” than papers...


Here are some examples: 


First American dies of Coronavirus, Raising questions about US response (NY Times)


Australia Coronavirus: hundreds evacuated to Christmas Island (BBC) 


The first one makes it seem like the US has a fatality and will critique their handling of it. It’s actually about a 60+ year old who was in Wuhan from the start. The second makes it seem like everyone’s being evacuated. That might be true now but at the time it was just those in Wuhan. 

And these are just stories from fairly respectable sources with crap headlines. I know many people here who have actually asked friend and family abroad to stop sending “news” articles about this. 

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Been following this thread closely. Hope all of you closely involved are safe and well, and that things return to normal soon. 


Wondering if anybody currently in China feels that things are beginning to resolve themselves? If you can believe them, it seems like that outside of the epicentre the case and mortality numbers are relatively low and the rates of new cases are beginning to decline fairly steadily now. Does anybody feel cautiously optimistic and when do you feel that some sort of normality will return? Realise this will be only informed guesswork.


Still have a trip booked for April to theoretically see our daughter at university in Shanghai but feel like we would have to be really lucky for it to come off now. She is spending time elsewhere in Asia waiting to see if her course restarts at the moment. I’m also wondering to what extent this will have had to have died down for foreign office travel advice to change regarding China since insurance will be impossible until it does.



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5 hours ago, Balthazar said:

At the same time, some of the described episodes of xenophobia towards Asians are troubling (assuming they are true, I see no reason to doubt that).


Are you referring to the article posted on LinkedIn? The only xenophobic episode he describes is



I have a friend in Mesa, Arizona. He told me earlier that the big popular China City buffet, a huge busy place, has no customers. Does that make any sense at all?


But there are plenty of reasons a buffet restaurant might be empty. It might have failed a health inspection, closed for renovation, or there may have been a sudden dip in quality. His evidence is completely anecdotal and secondhand. He states clearly toward the end of the article that he hasn't lived in the US for two decades, so he hasn't been observing things on the ground.


Besides this, the author doesn't cite where he's seeing "vicious, political, xenophobic racist attacks and smearing of all things China". If he's talking about mainstream media, it's not there. The headlines over here have been dominated by impeachment fallout and the Democratic Party nomination process. Coronavirus is not a big threat here and the coverage is brief and light on details. For the most part, reports haven't talked much about the inadequacy of the Chinese government's response until the death of the whistleblower doctor. It is somewhat possible that I live in a media bubble, so if there really are racist attacks on Chinese people in American mainstream media right now, I would like specific examples pointed out to me.

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As to what's going to happen from an epidemic standpoint, you really need to wait at least two weeks likely much longer to discern any definite trend. There's the incubation period of the disease as well as the return of workers across the country following CNY. Further, these are still relatively small numbers in terms of China's population, and a few sharp local outbreaks here and there could send the statistics up considerably.


As to what's going to happen from a political standpoint, it's pretty clear that unless the country heads back to work in a couple of weeks, the economy will be in more than great trouble, the sort of trouble that standard monetary or fiscal measures don't handle well. How the Chinese government plans to square the circle -- get people back to work while controlling the epidemic -- I have no idea.

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19 minutes ago, roddy said:

some people will see this as an excuse to crawl out from under their rocks


yes there are racists in every country (including china let’s not forget please) and this will be something that is used by racists in the west as an excuse to be racist to asians.

(note that china is not a race, so you can’t be racist to chinese people)

china-bashing on the other hand is a different issue. countries’ people and governments that don’t dedicate as much money and sympathy to this epidemic as they would to for example australian wildfires, might be influenced by the recent trade war, chinese IP theft, etc. 

i doubt americans / western europeans were very sympathetic to russian problems during the cold war.

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30 minutes ago, Flickserve said:

Did you take any footage for your vlog?


I filmed about a week of entries, but sent most of them to family only in the end. Didnt manage to get any footage of the Chinese side, but filmed us getting off the plane at the military base, which I'll upload


Also, can I thank you in particular for your level-headed advice, your experience and calm manner made all the difference when we were stuck indoors in the cycle of taking it in turns to read out to each other the next shocking 'fact' about the outbreak to each other

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Amazing the U.K. went to such great lengths to find you and evacuate you. Wonderful news!


Did you have any sense that other countries were making similar out-reach efforts? Seems I read that at least for the initial flight, the U.S. was expecting its citizens to somehow get themselves to the airport under their own power, difficult if not impossible as that is at present.


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@Tomsima Did you get taken to Milton Keynes? If so your flight was on the news and I saw you all boarding buses. Apparently you will all be  lent phones and tablets to let you communicate and keep you occupied. :shock:

Glad you are back safe, hope it works out for you.

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On 2/8/2020 at 8:09 AM, Shelley said:


It has been said that as he was working with patients and may have been infectected several times over and over a longer period before it was acknowledged as this virus, he was probably quite ill even for a young person.


If you refer to this BBC report, you see a picture of  Dr Li wearing an N95 mask. It's not been picked up by mainstream news but he has an ordinary face mask underneath the N95. This is not the way to wear an N95 properly. Hence for him,it is quite likely that he had a high viral load.




Virus has been reported as getting through the eyes. There is a connection from the eyes to your nose where tear drops can drain into - the nasolacrimal duct. 


He was an opthalmologist and probably had less awareness of proper infection control practice at the time. Looking at the pens in his white coat it's hard not to believe he didn't change the white coat daily. Pens are also vectors of disease. In UK for doctors, white coats are out, ties are out, watches (bugs hide in watches) are out. Forearms should be sleeveless to aid washing up the forearm.



On another note, I saw a video of a hospital in China with sick patients. I saw crowded beds - no surprise there. I also saw something which is culturally different to care in UK hospitals. You get family relatives actively taking care of sick relatives. They only had masks on. How are they protected in a crowded ward full of people coughing? That's probably a reason for more people getting infected and why Hubei hospitals are having such a hard time of getting control of things.


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