How China Mishandled the Spread of COVID-19
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Health and Wellness

How China Mishandled the Spread of COVID-19

Regardless of where the virus actually began, China's grave mishandling of the disease launched this pandemic.

How China Mishandled the Spread of COVID-19
Watch China's State TV Report On President Xi Visiting Wuhan – The Coronavirus Epicenter | NBC News

The World Health Organization (WHO) has officially characterized the spread of COVID-19 as a pandemic. COVID-19 has spread to at least 118 countries and has killed more than 4,600 people globally. While it is mild for younger people with healthy immune systems, it has been proven severe to fatal for older people and those with compromised immune systems. However, COVID-19 likely would not have spread this far and to this extent if not for the misinformation spread by the Chinese Communist government.

Ophthalmologist Li Wenliang, who bravely treated patients in China and attempted to expose the severity of the disease long before it was actually revealed, brought this mishandling to light with his death on February 6th after catching COVID-19 himself. In December, after treating patients with the virus, which looks similar to SARS, long before it was actually characterized, he voiced his concerns to fellow doctors. However, soon after the Chinese government forced these doctors to sign agreements admitting to "spreading lies" about the virus. For days the Chinese government tried to silence Dr. Li, until he caught the virus and was confined to a hospital bed in the ICU, eventually dying from it.

The official timeline went something like this:

Between early December and mid-January, the Communist Party narrative was that only a small number of people connected to a local live animal and fish market had caught the virus, and it was nothing like SARS. They release data to the public that suited this story and stifled the voices of anyone who said otherwise, including Dr. Li.

After they announced the disease on New Year's Eve, the narrative changed with the government claiming that the shut down of the market had effectively stopped all transmission of the disease. The government stated, to the local Chinese public and to WHO, that there was nothing to worry about. Official numbers of those afflicted even decreased, a ploy to fit this narrative.

For the next two weeks, the virus spread completely independently from the market. Researchers at Imperial College London speculated that 1,723 people in Wuhan were infected by January 12. Within those first two weeks of January, aggressive measures could have stifled the spread of the disease; instead, the negligent measures by the Chinese government and their concealment of the true nature of COVID-19 only served to perpetuate the spread.

Still, Chinese President Xi Jinping tried to hide this information, until it was no longer possible on January 19th, when the original live market disappeared from the story and Wuhan officials started to play the blame game, accusing each other of mishandling the then epidemic. Suddenly, it became known the people without symptoms could spread the virus and it started to look less like SARS and more like influenza in its highly contagious characteristics.

Wuhan declared a state of quarantine, ultimately becoming a ghost town (until very recently, as the numbers of afflicted individuals are decreasing each day). As people all over the globe are preparing for their potential quarantine, colleges have shifted to online classes, national events have been canceled, and even the state of the Olympics is shaky. COVID-19 has caused global panic and confusion over contagion and, even worse, xenophobia against people of Asian descent perpetuated by Donald Trump. Instead of inciting such hatred among the public, it would do officials, including Donald Trump, better to learn from China's mistakes and reinstate trust between the public and their leaders.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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