By Xuefei Chen Axelsson
China spent all its efforts to isolate covid-19 and informed the World Health Organization every day as a way to inform the whole world since January 3. With a big sacrifice, China delayed about two months for covid-19 to break out all over the world.
Now when the US began to test, they found they had large number of people infected. Trump blamed China to have hidden information about it. Has China hidden anything about Covid-19? No. It is unfair to blame China only.
China was hit by covid-19 as a sudden attack. Many people were busy celebrating the New Year’s Day and preparing for the important Chinese Spring Festival in December and January. However, unfortunately some people got infected in December already.
China’s CDC sent two investigation teams to investigate it and wanted to find out whether it was a large scale pandemic, epidemic or just individual cases.
It was similar to 2003’s SARS when there were just six or seven cases, people didn’t feel it was serious compared with politics when US invaded Iraq on March 19, 2003, the focus of the world followed American rythme then. In 2019, people were also driven by news such as assasination of Iranian military leader Sulemani with no man airplane, for the first time in history, a modern weapon no man driven airplane was used to kill a man some one considered as their enemy. And then Iran shot down an airplane with more than 100 passengers including their own citizens by mistake. The world was in a tense situation during this dramatic period.
In China due to the large population, especially Wuhan which was a huge city with the population more than that of the whole Sweden, 14 million while Sweden has 10 million.
I guess they must have struggled for some time too to inform everybody that this was a pandemic or epidemic or it was just individual cases. Thus, it was a back and forth process recognize it as an epidemic. And it was decided with the inspection and judgement of the World Health Organisation.
Chinese doctors realized that the virus infected people through people, thus it declared to take the most strict method to control covid-19.
China took it as a campaign to fight against the virus, control it by isolation and treatment. Many people sacrifice their freedom and stay at home since January 24th. Both the Chinese and western medicine doctors joined the war against the covid-19.
The Chinese theory was to strengthen people’s immunity to endure the virus while in western medicine we haven’t found any effective medicine yet. The patients mainly relied on breathing machine. The Chinese tried some medicine too, but none of them can be effective enough. They combined both Chinese and western method to deal with cases, but the death toll was still over 3000 people.
The main lesson was that due to the quick spreading of the virus, suddenly more people were inffected and the hospital capacity could not cope with the patients. The almost collapse of the hospital caused the delay of care for patients. When the central government found this problem, they immediately decided to enlarge the coping capacity.
Two new temporary hospitals with negative pressure were built within ten days and a dozen other type of temporary hospitals for light symptom patients were built.
Four thousand doctors and nurses from the military and 20 thousand from other provinces were called to help.
Day by day China opened press conferences and published the numbers of total infected, suspected cases and the death toll. As a way of preventing from virus spreading, China took the measure to cremate the corpses immediately. They were put in well sealed plastic bags.
News came out not only through public media CGTN, but also new media with the call for people to stay at home and isolate the virus.
Meanwhile a lot of workers and volunteers were called to help buying things for people. It was sad that this happened right on Spring Festival. But it was also fortunate because people have accumulated a lot of food for at least a week. Therefore, when the city was closedown, there was a little time delay for food worries. But it also happened very quickly with the assistance from other provinces, the vegetables, rice and other things were also transported to Wuhan.
At beginning, Doctor Zhong Nanshan, the focal person during this campaign, in which a lot of advices were issued with his name, estimated that it would be two weeks to reach the peak, but then it took another two weeks to reach the peak. The potential time for the virus to explode could be 28 days. And with the progress of the campaign, people realised that the healing time could be four weeks or five weeks.
During the first week, all the villages were even sealed off. But after a week, goods transportation was somewhat resumed with special order. The supermarket has been opening all the time. People were allowed to go out to buy food every three days.
There were suspicion that the air could help spread the virus too. Those who were infected but showed no symptoms could also spread the virus. That was why it was somewhat very scary with this virus.
And it was not without confusion during this compaign. The social media constantly spread conspiracy news which confused people whether this was a natural disaster or man made mistake.
But China was concentrated in fighting against the virus by increasing the bonus for medical staff and allocated more staff from other provinces and cities. China even changed the old currency to replace them with new ones so that it avoided the virus spreading by touching it.
What happened then with the US, Germany and Sweden? Just a couple of days of closedown, the US sent an airplane to fetch American citizens back and declared to close down the customs to ban Chinese from going to America, which I didn’t think it was wrong in terms of self protection. But in addition to that, there were no other measures taken, but watching.
First, the Danish cartoonist paint virus on Chinese National flag, second American Secretary of Commerce Roth said this would help jobs to go back to America.
The Wall Street Journal even published a commentary calling Chinese ‘the patients in Asia’ which deeply hurt the Chinese emotions because it reminded Chinese of their humiliated history before the founding of the People’s Republic of China.
In Swedish TV, immediately there was a negative report about Xinjiang and said the source was from Germany.
A leading writer Magnusson even wrote an article calling China ‘a political prison’ because of people staying at home?
On those days, I didn’t say anything, I didn’t think we need to demand apologies because these remarks were inhuman and evil and deserved no response. Of course many others didn’t think the same as I.
Overall, neither the US nor European countries thought this was a common disaster, it could spread to ourselves. They thought that was China’s problem and since they were busy dealing with disaster and had no time to respond, we just hit them politically. When the virus spread to Italy, Spain and Iran, some people think it was because they have close relations with China. Innocently it didn’t prevent the Swedes or others to continue to have holidays in Germany, Italy, Spain and Iran.
All the way, the ideological thinking drove people to think the virus had nothing to do with them and they were not afraid. They criticised panic, which was partly right, but partly neglected the severity of the virus.
China didn’t hide any information but tried to inform all they could including inviting the WHO delegation including American experts to China to inspect. By doing all China could, the virus was somewhat blocked for two months time before other areas broke out. But instead of preparing for the war against virus, they all put the fire on China.
Even when the US tested a few cases and found infections, Trump always said there was no problem. It was under control. The US didn’t test the virus early or thoroughly. There were reports saying that they tested long time ago, but then dropped the test. They called it the flu. Even the CDC official admitted that there were cases of covid-19 among flu infectors.
The right way is to pay attention to the war against cover-19 with all your national strength to save lives and more importantly protect the people.
If you don’t take measures, Event 201 gave a wonderful simulation on this virus, it predicted that 65 million people would die and all the business would stop.
Event 201 simulation was done by Johns Hopkins Health Security Center together with World Economic Forum and Melanda and Bill Gates Foundation with a kind of corona virus they called CAPS and that spread from Brazil and then spread to the US and China.
If you haven’t read that, you can just google Event 201 and you can see the scenario which was almost the same as what happened in the world now. Only that when it was in Wuhan, China did what exactly the simulation suggested and thus got the spreading slow down.
It suggested that the government, business and NGOs should all unite and combat this war against the virus. It didn’t suggest the suspension of cargo circulation because it was needed. Tourism was definitely down, but goods transportation should go on so that each country can have the supply of medical resources and other materials.
The conclusion is that China didn’t hide any information, but because they were not certain the scale of the virus and how shrewd the virus was, but as time went by, they took the measures to sacrifice the short term economy and save lives and prevent the virus from spreading. China used the isolation and putting on masks to prevent it. Since no other ways really cure, you can only avoid catching it.
In fact, there should be further studies because it was reported that the virus were not the same and changed a lot as it spread further.
It is unavoidable that the campaign against virus will cause a slowdown of economy, even recession because people stayed at home and limit consumption. The US allocated a lot of money to rescue the market. But the stock market didn’t function as how much money you put on, it functions more on confidence. The crisis cycle is coming and people don’t have confidence for near future, thus in my opinion, we have to bear for certain period of time of bad luck. Any recovery will happen after the end of this virus spreading in the world.