Wuhan virus puts airlines on high alert around the world

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/01/23/wuhan-virus-puts-airlines-on-h.html


What scares me the most in this situation is that there’s genuinely no way to know for sure just how serious this is in Wuhan. Does the fact that the regime was willing to quarantine and effectively shut down a city of 11 million people at a cost of who knows how many billions of dollars mean it’s being responsibly proactive and displaying an abundance of caution? Or does it mean that there are already thousands of dead in Wuhan that we don’t know about?

Could be either? Sure is fun waiting to find out, though!


I put about zero faith in the Airlines self policing during an emergency, it ain’t never worked before.


“The biggest concern is a sharp drop in travel demand if the virus becomes a pandemic.” Really? Not concerned about hundreds or thousands of people dying?


This virus is zoonotic, it jumped from cold blooded snakes to humans via meat consumption. In Asia snakes hunt bats, the bats had the virus, then the snake is eaten by a human, and bingo you have a pandemic on your hands.


As most of the people who would die would probably not fly much (older people and people in poor health), the airlines would not be much affected by those deaths. That’s not so hard to understand, is it?

Zoonotic, zoonotic, nasty germs all over your body…


tRump, is that you?

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You blew he cover of a stable genius. So sad.

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Or does it mean government officials are doing something so that it looks like they’re doing something and don’t lose their heads when blame is apportioned?

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Wuhan has a major university with a relatively (for China) international faculty; I assume that if the people in the city have an idea of the scale of the problem, then that news is making it outside.

You OK? I think you’re a few hundred miles away from Wuhan, is that far enough?

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“As of 2016, the number of passenger-journeys during the Chunyun season was almost three billion.”

What could possibly go wrong?

I agree. The people have their own grapevine, outside what the authorities officially proclaim. If the international faculty members have Chinese friends, they will likely have a good idea of how bad the casualties are.

I was several hundred miles away and went on vacation (outside China) just in time. Did pass through Beijing, where a few cases had already been reported, but hopefully am ok. I probably am, but that long incubation time certainly leaves things up in the air.

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Not for nothing, but that might be a big part of why public transportation was shut down within the city as well. In a city of 11 million, there could be thousands of people dead in one part of the city and people on the other side of the city might not have any personal contact with them or be aware of the actual scope of the problem.

Is there any communication that’s been published from those international faculty saying everything’s A-OK? (this isn’t snark, btw, I’m genuinely asking if you’ve seen any because you raise a fair point and I don’t have any info one way or the other)

At least the information is getting shared, along with the research, far more quickly than was the case in 2003 with SARS.

Chinese officials deserve credit for dealing with this outbreak openly and engaging internationally.

@DrNobelDynamite raises a valid concern, but I’ll also point out that resources can be surprisingly limited in any country in a situation like this, and responses may reflect that. Here in :canada: and Ontario our hospitals are at or past capacity and that’s only during flu season. We have no “surge capacity”, as the newspapers here have been pointing out.


There’s this:

I have no close colleagues in Wuhan, so haven’t heard any firsthand reports, but Wuhan has partnerships with several universities in the UK, and 20% of all students in Britain are Chinese international students, so I would expect information to be flowing there. I would also expect – for this reason – that the UK will end up being the site of the biggest international outbreak, if one occurs.


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