Home > Critical Thinking, Current Affairs, Dystopia, Musings, Philosophy sans Sophistry, Reason, Secular Religions, Skepticism > Some Initial Thoughts about the Recent Coronavirus Outbreak in China

Some Initial Thoughts about the Recent Coronavirus Outbreak in China

More than one commentator on my previous post wanted me to write something about the recent Coronavirus outbreak in China, especially regarding how bad it really is or might become in the near future. Since useful and concrete information about this outbreak has been overshadowed by a lot of racist mental projections in the declining west, I thought it was a good idea to write down my initial thoughts about the situation. FYI, one of my degrees is in microbiology. So let us talk about about this outbreak, starting with what we know for sure about the virus in question.

1] The Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) behind this outbreak is fairly close in its sequence to one which caused the SARS outbreak in 2003. And yes, it is closer to some known bat coronaviruses, but not others. Also, both SARS and 2019-nCoV almost certainly jumped from bats to human hosts. The odd thing, though, is that most bat species in Wuhan are currently hibernating and the initial outbreak occurred at a seafood market, suggesting that another mammalian species acted as an intermediate host between bats and humans.. perhaps a sick cat, dog etc.

2] Initial sequence analysis of virus samples from multiple patients and comparing them to each other strongly suggests that the jump from bats to humans occurred very recently, mostly likely within the past 2-3 months. Interestingly it seems to bind to the same human protein (for entry into cells) as the coronavirus which caused SARS. Given the fairly high similarity in sequence, same protein used for entry into cells and similar clinical disease produced by 2019-nCov and SARS we can make an educated guess that many other characteristic (infectivity etc) are also similar. Think of 2019-nCOV as a sibling or cousin of SARS.

3] It therefore follows that 2019-nCov is likely to be similar in its infectivity to the one which caused SARS in 2003. While some preliminary analysis by western scientists pretend that the former is more infectious than the later, everything we know about viruses tells us that they are very similar viruses which use the same protein to gain entry into human cells. I do not expect 2019-nCov to be significantly harder to control than SARS. The key word is ‘harder’ as 2019-nCov might end up infecting more people than SARS- but ease of control will be similar.

4] So far, the percentages of 2019-nCov infections ending in death is around 10%, and is similar to what we saw over the entirety of SARS outbreak. It is well known that viral strains which cause severe infections and high rates of mortality evolve into ones that cause mild infections and low rates of mortality because the former burn themselves out due to lack of new hosts. We can therefore expect the mortality and morbidity rates due to this virus to drop over the course of time due to better quarantine (corrals more aggressive strains) and treatment (lower mortality). Some of you might have noticed that the increase in number of deaths is now far slower than the number of confirmed infections- which is a good sign.

5] It is highly unlikely that 2019-nCov was developed by China as a biological weapon for the simple reason that biological weapons are, for the lack of better words, stupid and dangerous. See.. unlike nuclear weapons (which China posses), biological weapons cannot be controlled once unleashed and are likely to kill as many on your side as the other side. This is especially so, if there is no readily available vaccine or decent drugs to treat that infection. Furthermore, modern scientific techniques allow us to track back their creation to a degree that was unimaginable in even as late as the 1980s. Being greedy is not the same as being stupid.

6] Most hype about 2019-nCov has a lot to do with the increasingly rapid decline of the dying west. To make matters worse, it is now obvious that the western system of corporation-controlled capitalism is vastly inferior to the Chinese system of state-controlled and directed “capitalism”. In case you think otherwise, tell me how people similar to Trump (fraudulent right-wing populists) are increasingly getting elected in western countries. Every white idiot (and non-white idiot from subservient countries) expressing public alarm about 2019-nCov outbreak is subconsciously or consciously driven to do so because of a combination of racism and the unspoken recognition that their own system is in terminal decline with no realistic hope of recovery.

7] To be clear, I am not minimizing the potential problems this outbreak could cause. Having said that, the Chinese system is probably the most capable of actually stopping such an outbreak. As mentioned above, having a state-controlled system of governance not beholden to corporations and other short-sighted moneyed interests allows you to get things done and devote resources in ways that are impossible for corporation-controlled “democracies” such as USA, not to mention semi-functional anarchies such as India. You can be certain that Chinese government will things done, regardless of the financial cost and suppression of worthless “human rights”.

What do you think? Comments?

  1. Jack Sparrow
    February 1, 2020 at 12:33 am

    The OP pretty much states that America is bad because of capitalism, and China is great due to their communist authoritarianism. Never mind the fact that it was Chinese authoritarianism that incentivized Chinese officials to not say anything bad about the state of health affairs otherwise they would be blamed for it. Hence, why no Chinese official wanted to declare that there’s an issue or a problem of a virus spreading. The OP believes China is so great because of this. Wow!

    • February 10, 2020 at 7:14 am

      It seems the real virus he should be looking at is “Trump Derangement Syndrome”

  2. nyolci
    February 1, 2020 at 1:56 am

    A sober analysis at last! Eg. in almost every western article I find vague hints about some kind of Chinese “cover up”. This is superbly annoying, why the fuck want do the Chinese want to cover up? This simply doesn’t make any sense. The Chinese have been extremely open and very obviously taken this thing extremely seriously.

    • P Ray
      February 1, 2020 at 3:58 am

      Somehow, other people disagree with your opinion.
      https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7949969/Whistle-blowers-arrested-warning-coronavirus-China.html
      Whistle-blowers in Wuhan who warned about the risk of a coronavirus outbreak last month were arrested, expert claims
      Whistle-blowers who sounded alarm about coronavirus were reportedly silenced
      UK expert Dr Kumar claims they were arrested by state for ‘spreading rumours’
      ‘People could have been made aware in late December,’ Dr Kumar has claimed
      Comes as nationwide death toll in China’s coronavirus outbreak has risen to 213
      By SOPHIE TANNO FOR MAILONLINE

      PUBLISHED: 00:50 GMT, 31 January 2020 | UPDATED: 00:53 GMT, 31 January 2020

      I told everyone about that earlier

      • nyolci
        February 1, 2020 at 5:08 am

        I’m talking exactly about this. The referenced article is bullshit on a grand scale. Up to December 18 they only had 7 (seven) cases with influenza type symptoms. Up to Dec. 30 there were only 27 cases. By the 9th of January, the new virus had been sequenced already (by the Chinese), and the epidemic prevention had been already on the way. This is an extremely quick reaction, I’m pretty sure no Western country would’ve reacted so fast. There was probably a functioning alarm system, and this whole thing must’ve been the result of the SARS epidemic. The Chinese have apparently learnt the lesson. THIS IS OBVIOUS AND IT MAKES THE WESTERN BULLSHITING ABOUT “COVER UP” EVEN MORE STUPID AND PAINFUL.

      • P Ray
        February 1, 2020 at 6:40 am

        Hee hee, many Western men stuck in China with their Chinese wives and losing money everyday because they can’t work PLUS their money won’t get them seats on other carriers as their White privilege seems to be broken now.

        Teaching English seems like such a great gig until your students aren’t around and you can’t pay to fly out plus it costs money to live.

        https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12305122 – Coronavirus: NZ man in China says people fighting for food, reselling used masks

  3. Tik
    February 1, 2020 at 7:36 am

    Yeah right,China was so efficient in dealing with the swine flu after all.
    Your bias is showing by the day.

  4. Yusef
    February 2, 2020 at 3:54 pm

    “To make matters worse, it is now obvious that the western system of corporation-controlled capitalism is vastly inferior to the Chinese system of state-controlled and directed “capitalism”

    I agree with most of the post but not entirely with this comment.

    I see China’s success to be as much the result of US intervention and facilitation (to the detriment of the American citizens’ own success) more than any superiority of the Chinese or their system.

    Plutocrats living in the US, specifically the Rockefeller family, (they lived here but were already “globalist” in outlook) sent their scapegoat and lackey Richard Nixon to China in 1972 precisely to initiate this intervention.

    I believe the plutocrats had already, in 1972, anticipated and planned everything we’ve seen transpire in the fifty years since. The actual planning, state control, and directed “capitalism”– was not by the Chinese, but by the “American” plutocrats and their hired brains in American think tanks and foundations.

    I want to remind people how extraordinary it was for the great anti-communist crusader and commie-bashing Richard Nixon to visit Mao in China at that time:

    1) Tricky rode into politics by smearing democrats as communist sympathizers and was right there at the heart of the infamous House UnAmerican Activities Committee alongside Joseph McCarthy.

    2) There was a raging war with the “commies’ in Vietnam or at least the atrocities of the war were justified to Americans as a war against communist aggression. Americans were told the aggression was from China and that the North Vietnamese were allied with China. This was a lie, but that’s what many Americans still believed in 1972.

    3) In a way, the US was at war with China and had been since the Korean War and MacArthur’s written plans to use nuclear weapons to attack Manchurian and other Chinese population centers. The Korean War has never officially ended.

    4) The Maoist Chinese were at that time much more hard-lined Marxist-Leninist than the post-Khrushchev Soviet Union.

    5) At that time, though, the USSR had been presented to people as the bastion of communist threat, Soviet power was near its height, the cold war often seeming ready to become glowing nuclear hot. It doesn’t really make sense to risk nuclear annihilation in a war with Soviet communists but then suddenly find it possible to initiate alliances with Chinese communists, who were worse.

    6) The visit was not Mao coming to the US, it was Nixon going to China. It had not been balley-hooed in the press prior, nor publicly discussed and reviewed. It had been arranged secretly, supposedly by Kissinger, a Rockefeller man. I don’t think Nixon would have found Congressional support if he had sought it beforehand, even though everyone seemed to go along with the visit and it was widely hailed as a stroke of genius afterwards. It appeared to the public as a gesture of peace and diplomacy,plus it exploited to US advantage the differences and antagonisms between China and the USSR in the communist bloc,It appeared to be part of Nixon’s wider foreign policy of detente, a lessening of tensions.

    China defaulted on its external debts in 1949, something the plutocrats had attempted to portray as as an unforgivable sin. Yet consider this history:,

    “MFN/NTR [Most Favored Nation/Normal Trading Relation] status for China, a non-market economy, which had been originally suspended in 1951, was restored in 1980 and was continued in effect through subsequent annual Presidential extensions. Following the massacre of pro-democracy demonstrators in Tiananmen Square in 1989, however, the annual renewal of China’s MFN status became a source of considerable debate in the Congress; and legislation was introduced to terminate China’s MFN/NTR status or to impose additional conditions relating to improvements in China’s actions on various trade and non-trade issues. Agricultural interests generally opposed attempts to block MFN/NTR renewal for China, contending that several billion dollars annually in current and future U.S. agricultural exports could be jeopardized if that country retaliated. In China’s case, Congress agreed to permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) status in P.L. 106-286, President Clinton signed into law on October 10, 2000.[11] PNTR paved the way for China’s accession to the WTO in December 2001; it provides U.S. exporters of agricultural products the opportunity to benefit from China’s WTO agreements to reduce trade barriers and open its agricultural markets.”

    –https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Most_favoured_nation

    This isn’t even mentioning the legal and illegal technological transfers, both of which have been to the detriment of the US tech sector. I believe some of the illegal transfers did occur under the auspices of the US government, and hey, nothing ever happened to the criminals and traitors, now, did it. This would be evidence of very high level support.

  5. P Ray
    February 5, 2020 at 6:34 pm

    Actually an important point that people seem to be forgetting, is that a lot of those dying from the Wuhan virus happen to be old.
    Tencent published – and then removed – the toll saying there were over 24,000 dead.

    The reasons you don’t hear much about this and it is easier to cover up, was because these old people probably didn’t have family or relatives that cared about them. So this whole “Asian values” thing can sometimes be crap.

    Besides that, is the stigma. Calling yourself a Wuhan virus survivor is like calling yourself an AIDS survivor. Good luck getting a job!

    Plus the kids overseas don’t want to be linked to you, that will also spoil their job chances.

    In a funny twist though, I kind of support this virus BECAUSE it forces Chinese/Asian women to feel some of the prejudice their men face.

    -Asian prostitutes in NZ for example, so used to employing the line “Freshly arrived and looking for customers” are now being shunned by clients.
    -Chinese women looking for jobs in Australia are being called “Corona breathers”.

    It’s lovely. Now their “Me love you long time” schtick becomes their undoing. 2020 has started off nicely indeed.

    • Yusef
      February 6, 2020 at 10:06 am

      Isn’t the real significance of older people dying that this is part of the campaign to hype the virulence of the virus to make it more scary and threatening to Americans and others? The old people are obviously most vulnerable health-wise and susceptible to a disease than younger, healthier people, whose immune systems are stronger, and so on.

      The hyping of the threat of such viruses and pathogens is a pattern here. We’ve seen this hype repeated over and over– people being told their health may be at dire risk, and then nothing come of it. Maybe AD could easily list the different organisms hyped in this manner; at the moment I remember best is the Zika virus scare. (I remember this because I used to donate blood to the American Red Cross and for a long period of time my blood was used, not to help patients requiring transfusions, but for experimental purposes.)

      I feel the plan is eventually enforce mandatory vaccination on the American and North American public. This is going to be huge for the pharmaceuticals and another excellent way for the government to keep tabs on its subjects. (And who knows what else.)

      I think you’re right, though, that there will be other desirable offshoots of hatred and malice and a keeping alive of the “Yellow Peril” hysteria used to advantage by the plutocrats to instill fear and hatred and division.

  1. February 8, 2020 at 10:14 pm
  2. March 14, 2020 at 1:14 pm

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