I wanted to spend a few words on the cognitive dissonance surrounding the news on the new "epidemic" of coronavirus, or the fact that we are all terrified of an epidemic without any of the widespread numbers talking about the epidemic.
We can make two hypotheses: the first is that the numbers released by the Chinese government are true. The second is that the Chinese government is hiding the facts and the numbers are even worse.
Let's start with the first hypothesis. If this is true, we know that in a country that has a billion and a half inhabitants there are 1360 patients, of whom 41 have died, almost all elderly and sick.
Now, honestly given the numbers at stake, this is not only not an epidemic, it is the effect of a slightly colder day than usual, in which the elderly die of pneumonia. We are talking about a number of infected people that is within a millionth of the Chinese population, and a number of deaths that is in the order of half a ten millionth.
Then it will be said that it is the characteristics of the virus to worry about. Well. But the problem is that the characteristics of the virus have been known since December, and to this day the vector that brings it to humans is almost unknown. If they were birds, like SARS, then there is a possibility that it will fly.
If, on the other hand, they are minks, the probability of spreading by means of a vector is, as it were, "relatively low". It is necessary that someone comes into contact with an infected Chinese. I mean, with the right millionth of the population.
Under these conditions, I would say that the evacuations made by the Chinese are not justified, the flight of diplomats from China is not justified, and the extraordinary measures taken by the Politburo are not justified.
Nobody quarantines 56 million people for something that, according to the official numbers (compared to the Chinese population), is less dangerous than smog. And even if we compare it with the 56 million people in quarantine, the death toll looks like a statistic on alcohol abuse on the streets.
So, the second hypothesis takes shape: the numbers provided have been "cooked".
What we know so far is that this coronavirus has the effects of a slight flu. These are the current numbers. But the current emergency is suitable for another type of epidemic.
We know that:
- Hospitals are built so as not to have to move the sick. The new hospital built in Wuhan can hold about 1500 patients.
If this is true, considering that the official numbers speak of 41 deaths out of 1360 infected, if we give this proportion (similar to that of SARS), then the Chinese government is aware of about 50,000 infections or gives them for discounted.
Even in this case, however, the proportions are not enough to speak of an epidemic. If 56 million people are isolated for 50,000 infected, and a number of victims close to 1500, we are still talking about a probability of being infected that is around one in a thousand, and one of dying that is around one on ten thousand. If you have these fears, then don't use your car anymore, go to the gym and start eating much better. Otherwise you risk more.
My impression is that this is a panic outbreak.
What I see is that Western newspapers are spreading what they are best at spreading: fear. What, according to the numbers, seems to be not even a strong influence that mainly kills the elderly and the sick, is being described as a giant epidemic, a kind of bubonic plague.
I would just like to point out that the "terrible" SARS has made about 8000 infections per year, for a total of about 60 deaths / year, all elderly, HIV-positive or immunosuppressed people.
My personal feeling is that it is the usual free daily panic. The usual constant state of anxiety, fear and fear of the future that is used to keep the head down to those who think they are fit enough to criticize the operator.
Surely the coronavirus exists. Thousands of them exist. And if we take a population of a couple of billion people crammed into cities with insane densities, and apparently good hygienic conditions, it is obvious that they will spread.
What do I mean by "good only in appearance?" I mean the city of Wuhan may appear as clean as you want, but if they make the markets with live animals killed on the spot, it is an infamous shit worthy of the third world: the concept of hygiene includes a whole prophylaxis that concerns the food distribution chain, the waste disposal chain, the veterinary prophylaxis chain, the quality of the aqueducts and sewage systems, and many other things that the passer-by does not notice when walking through the street.
A regime that is propaganda with scavengers may also show a clean and clean city, but if in that city meat markets are made with live animals, you are walking in an infected shit as in Europe they have not seen since 1100 A.D.
The Chinese regime is, in my opinion, trying to save face because everything is about a perfect organization and a precise and punctual reaction. But the spread of this epidemic, and its passage from mink to man speak of a mink breeding chain that has third world working conditions. And in the end, you can also build me a hospital in six days (I guess the structural quality of that building), but this virus speaks to me of shacks where humans who raise minks sleep with the mink itself.
On the other hand, the Western press is desperately trying to throw something alarming on the front page. Terror, anxiety, the culture of scarcity are the weapon that allows you to pass over many things. A frightened, anxious people try to take refuge in authority.
American markets have been waiting for years for an excuse to justify a good crash, and a good epidemic is just what it takes. Unlike in 2008, if the same bad practices of that time were to produce a new systemic crisis, nobody would go on to accuse the capitalists: they would all go on to accuse the coronavirus.
The numbers we have so far, even in the worst case that they are fifty times larger and the Chinese government is hiding something (as it did with SARS at the time), are not alarming. Everything speaks of a flu syndrome slightly stronger than normal, otherwise China would already be an immense hospital and the Chinese dead would count to tens of millions (a number that, I remember, in China is small).
I'll be very sincere.
Coronavirus worries me much less than an asteroid. All I will do is keep on staying in shape, eat as healthy as I can and avoid the car as much as I can. Which I do already, and which exposes me to far greater risks than the numbers I read around. Even the worst.
And if they decide on Wall Street to have found a nice scapegoat to pull the oars in the boat and cause another crisis, I will believe it is the right one.
This isn't a coronavirus epidemic. 1360 infected are not an epidemic, let alone a "pandemic". It is less than the dead on the roads that a specific brand of Vodka makes in China.
This is a panic outbreak.
And the only vaccine is esticazzi.