While much of the world’s work grinds to a halt because of the Coronavirus, China is slowly emerging from its shutdowns by restarting production at factories and resuming some flights. Employees are returning to their jobs, production lines are starting to roll and even the original outbreak epicenter of Wuhan. The Chinese government responded to the initial Coronavirus outbreak by placing Wuhan and nearby cities under a de-facto quarantine encompassing roughly 50 million people in Hubei province. But now the quarantine is now slowly and cautiously being lifted as the province goes back to work. All across the nation new case rates are dropping, making many speculate that the end of the virus season may be at hand.
COVID Quarantine Lifted
However experts say the virus may come in waves, so they encourage people to maintain social distancing for up to a year, perhaps longer. That’s a real long time to hold 7.3 billion people medical hostages. So, many want to know if it’s as bad as it’s made out to be. The answer is that as of March 24th, 2020, globally there were over 392,331 confirmed cases and 17,156 deaths, according the John Hopkins University Covid-19 dashboard, which collates information from national and international health authorities. The disease has been detected in more 196 countries and territories, with Italy, the US and Spain experiencing the most widespread outbreaks outside of China.
Speculation Being Reported As Fact
The outbreak has left the world with far more questions than answers, and has led to a lot of wild speculation being reported as sensazionalized fact. So, to figure out what’s really going on, I do as an old accountant once told me, “Forget what people say, only listen to the numbers.” And right now, the numbers say that the Coronavirus outbreak, when compared to annual infection and death rates of other influenzas, is not nearly as bad as other flus have been, which according the the US Center For Disease Control (CDC), have resulted in between 9 million – 45 million illnesses, and between 12,000 – 61,000 deaths annually since 2010.
COVID Or Starvation
So economic restlessness isn’t just happening in China. In the U.S., president Donald Trump is chomping at the bit to get the nation back to work, as is the nation itself. Now I’ve said for while here that it’s only a matter of time before the public gets mad and says, “To hell with Coronavirus, what difference does it make if I die from it, or from starvation?” Now this old fart wants to know, will people be safer from the disease after they become homeless due to financial devastation? Will people continue to be led by viral rings in their noses, or will they do as they historically have, and throw caution to the wind because life must go on?
Pandemic or Panicdemic?
What we ‘do’ know is that the disease has been circulating now for at least three months, as a general rule there are no ‘cures’ for viruses, and that viruses tend to happen during cold weather. We also know people are very impatient. What we ‘do not’ know is if a vaccine can be made, when it can be ready, or how long the current panicdemic will go on. Right now it’s hard to tell if the worst effects of the virus have been the tragic deaths from it, or the economic chaos that governments have allowed to it cause. Again, regardless my bet is that people will soon respect the virus with a one fingered salute and go about their business as they always have, and likely always will, for as long as they can.
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