China: Why are you making such a big deal out of this virus thing, USA

Originally published at:

Chinese WHO delegate warns of “deliberately creating panic” over Novel coronavirus 2019-nCoV


Isn’t every other country doing the same thing? Odd that they’re complaining about the US specifically.


Eh, they have a point. We tend to over hype these things.


I’d be happy to only implement evidence-based policies but would really appreciate much better data, both in terms of transparency, updating times, standards, review, and sharing. That policy makers have to add a cynical shrug into all the latest health data coming out of China is not helping anything.


Including China, which is what makes this super weird. The stuff I read about what’s going on internally in China is insane. Mass closures of businesses, blockage of internal travel and tons of checkpoints, including even at the entrances of apartment buildings. (Which are only active during part of the day because China…) Meanwhile the things people actually need to deal with the outbreak are absent or insufficient. (And some of things being done locally, out of panic, are actually making things worse.)


What? Nobody called it Chinese Flu yet.

A friend of mine who is a medical doctor and therefore “should know what he’s talking about” claimed yesterday that according to some new estimate, the number of infected people in China is 10 times higher than previously reported.
This sounds like a reason to panic, but it would actually mean that the virus is less dangerous than feared, in fact less dangerous than the seasonal flew that hits us every year.
That information doesn’t seem to have made it into the WHO’s daily situation report as of today, so until it does, take it with a grain of salt.


The Chinese government is right to be outraged, considering how open and forthcoming they were with the international community in the early stages of the outbreak.

[/s tag, lest a member of the 10-cent army shows up here to agree]


Compared to SARS, that actually might not need a full s-tag.


I think they’ve done better, I’m not sure I believe they are actually being open. That said, I have a strong feeling that actual scientists and doctors probably try to work with one another to prevent disasters. I bet if China is underreporting that public health officials in Canada have a pretty good handle on the real extent of the disease, or at least have a good sense of the error bars, and are making good decisions based on that. What a luxury to live in a place where I feel I can trust them.


From what i’ve read China imprisoned a few healthcare practitioners when they were sounding an early alarm about the disease, plus they had been squashing rumors online for months about a new mystery disease. And the bird flu is also back in China. Yay?


Well I, for one, am perfectly happy with China’s recent press release to calm fears:


AFAICT, in lay terms, the most accurate description of this virus would be “a bad flu strain”. Which might be a real concern in some countries, but isn’t something the average American or European would or should panic about unduly.

So, if the WHO director says travel bans don’t help, I’m inclined to assume he knows more than I do. And when the Chinese delegate says it’s the countries with least to fear who are generating the most panic, that rings true to me on the face of it. The English-language news sources I see are all but breaking out the popcorn, precisely because their audience has no real stake in the story.

The Chinese government is untrustworthy. But if they say panic is unhelpful, well, it is unhelpful. It doesn’t mean I should panic twice as hard because China said it.


If y’all are interested in how us medical types are thinking about this cluster, these guys do a pretty good job of making it understandable. (Note: This is update #9, the current one. The previous ones are available, and they put out an update pretty much daily.)


By Thursday no news media outlet will be ‘reporting’ the coronavirus and/or Trump impeachment.

Maybe not so much?


Do you know something that is going to happen on Wednesday that none of the rest of us do?

Maybe it’s not time to panic (yet), but fecal-oral transmission is super concerning. So is the 15% mortality rate for the hospitalized patients. We’ll see if the rate goes down as the sample size increases. :crossed_fingers:


More contagious than the flu, by a factor of about 2 or more based on current numbers, about 3% fatality rate vs. 0.1% or less for flu, no vaccine, method of transmission unclear but pretty effective, obviously. As the numbers get larger I get more concerned. We seem to still be in exponential expansion phase, which is scary as hell if it continues. Watch and wait, but good handwashing remains primary control method.