Beyond the escalating global health emergency, which has already killed thousands, the pandemic has disrupted normal trade and travel, forced many school closures, roiled the international financial system, and sunk global stock markets. With oil prices plunging, a global recession appears imminent.
None of this would have happened had China responded quickly to evidence of the deadly new virus by warning the public and implementing containment measures. Indeed, Taiwan and Vietnam have shown the difference a proactive response can make.
Taiwan, learning from its experience with SARS, instituted preventive measures, including flight inspections, before China’s leaders had even acknowledged the outbreak. Likewise, Vietnam quickly halted flights from China and closed all schools. Both responses recognized the need for transparency, including updates on the number and location of infections and public advisories on how to guard against COVID-19.
Thanks to their governments’ policies, both Taiwan and Vietnam – which normally receive huge numbers of travelers from China daily – have kept total cases under 50. Neighbors that were slower to implement similar measures, such as Japan and South Korea, have been hit much harder.
If any other country had triggered such a far-reaching, deadly, and above all preventable crisis, it would now be a global pariah. But China, with its tremendous economic clout, has largely escaped censure. Nonetheless, it will take considerable effort for Xi’s regime to restore its standing at home and abroad.
Compare that to the situation in Italy, reported by AP:
Provincial mayors are sounding an alarm that the virus-related toll fails to reflect a spike in deaths in the general population among those who have not been tested. Last week alone, 400 people died in Bergamo and 12 neighboring towns — four times the number who died the same week the previous year, according to the Bergamo mayor’s office. Only 91 of those had tested positive for the virus.
People on the front lines of the virus fight, including hospital officials, funeral operators, city administrators and union leaders, told The Associated Press that Bergamo’s crisis might have been prevented had their individual requests to create a red zone around the area as early as Feb. 23 been heeded.
Instead, strict containment measures were extended to Bergamo only on March 8, two weeks later, without ever isolating two valley towns where the outbreak was first recorded.
“When the virus arrived here, there was no containment and it spread through the valleys very quickly. … Some said it was the normal flu. We doctors knew it was not,” Lorini said.
Of course this speaks to a number of aspects--including the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of existing tests and/or testing programs.
I note that among 'conservatives' who oppose current measures, Ginn's data-rich but analytically flawed article is getting a lot of play. Had I known that I would have been offered more criticisms than I did, instead of simply excizing those flawed portions. At the time I was simply trying to offer a constructive narrative for worried people.
UPDATE: Now consider this, which appears to be what some commenters are recommending--60 really isn't that old:
Israeli doctor in Italy: We no longer help those over 60
Jerusalem Post ^ | MARCH 22, 2020 09:21 | By JERUSALEM POST STAFF
Israeli medical doctor Gai Peleg told Israeli television that in northern Italy the orders are not to allow those over 60 access to respiratory machines
(Excerpt) Read more at jpost.com ...