Mounting Chaos In China

This is the right spirit:

Driver hits 111mph on M58 then pulls over on hard shoulder for a cigarette

Give that man a medal.  He’s clearly made of the right stuff. I did much the same thing on my way to funeral in a Ford Escort XR3i back in the late 1980s. Only I got up to 120 mph on the M4.

The Chinese Coronavirus crisis is now also becoming a political crisis.

Coronavirus death toll jumps to 80 as riot police are drafted to deal with trouble

Is this at all surprising? The response of the Chinese Communist Party to the epidemic has been draconian: some 14 large cities have been locked down, with nobody allowed to leave, trains and buses and airports not working, private car use forbidden.

But it seems that they locked the gate after the horse had bolted:

…about 5 million residents had already left Wuhan before the lockdown because of the deadly coronavirus epidemic and the Spring Festival holiday. As the SCMP reports, many of Wuhan’s residents had already left the city for the holiday, while others rushed out after the lockdown was announced on Wednesday night.

That means that half the residents of Wuhan (population 11 million) had already left the city. And since the new Coronavirus epidemic seems to have been under way since late December (if not earlier – 1st case was Dec 1 NOT Dec 31 so infected population may be much bigger), chances are that the virus is being spread all over China by the absent citizens of Wuhan. And in fact I’ve read that all regions of China, bar one (Tibet), have Coronavirus outbreaks.

The only conclusion would seem to be this: the Chinese government has lost control of the epidemic. They’ve been trying to catch up from the very beginning, and they never succeeded. And now their ineffective draconian measures are angering millions of their own people. So there’s now a political crisis very rapidly developing, with millions of Chinese losing faith in their own government, and starting to get very, very angry. It’s the sort of circumstance which could even see the fall of the government of (president-for-life, last I heard) Xi Jinping.

But it would seem to be a political crisis that is purely internal to China. For so far, while there are cases of Coronavirus infection popping up all over the world, there doesn’t seem to to have yet been a mass outbreak anywhere else other than in China. As the new cases outside China are identified, they are being isolated, and previous contacts of these cases traced. But for how long can this go on, if people start fleeing from a China which is descending very rapidly into chaos?

It’s approaching a circumstance where other nations – USA, Japan, Europe, Russia – should start considering airlifting drugs and food and other assistance into China, the planes stopping on the runways just long enough to  unload, the ships unloading quickly in the ports before sailing away again. After all, it’s in nobody’s interest elsewhere in the world for China to descend into anarchy, if they don’t want to descend into anarchy themselves.

Also, as far as I can see, countries outside China have all been busy talking down the crisis, and congratulating themselves on their successful prevention measures. Their message is: “Everything is under control!” In fact, it borders on complacency.

As Brigitte has been pointing out, the WHO website has been carrying brief commentaries on Ebola, the New Coronavirus, and E-cigarettes, the longest of which was about e-cigarettes.

The piece about Coronavirus reads:

On 31 December 2019, WHO was alerted to several cases of pneumonia in Wuhan City, Hubei Province of China. The virus did not match any other known virus. This raised concern because when a virus is new, we do not know how it affects people.

One week later, on 7 January, Chinese authorities confirmed that they had identified a new virus. The new virus is a coronavirus, which is a family of viruses that include the common cold, and viruses such as SARS and MERS. This new virus was temporarily named “2019-nCoV.”

WHO has been working with Chinese authorities and global experts from the day we were informed, to learn more about the virus, how it affects the people who are sick with it, how they can be treated, and what countries can do to respond.

Because this is a coronavirus, which usually causes respiratory illness, WHO has advice to people on how to protect themselves and those around them from getting the disease.

This has not been updated at all in recent days. So effectively the WHO is still trying to find out more about the new virus, how it affects people, and how they can be treated.

The piece on Ebola was even shorter:

The Democratic Republic of the Congo is grappling with the world’s second largest Ebola epidemic on record, with more than 2200 lives lost and 3300 confirmed infections since the outbreak was declared on 1 August 2018. The outbreak is occurring in North Kivu and Ituri provinces. Neighbouring countries are taking steps to mitigate the risk of spread. The World Health Organization has more than 800 staff on the ground supporting the Government-led response together with national and international partners.

But it seems that if they didn’t know much about Ebola and Coronavirus, they knew plenty about e-cigarettes:

Are e-cigarettes and other vaping products dangerous?

There are many different types of e-cigarettes in use (also known as Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS), with varying amounts of nicotine and harmful emissions.

ENDS emissions typically contain nicotine and other toxic substances that are harmful to both users and those exposed to the vapours secondhand. Some devices that claim to be nicotine-free have been found to contain nicotine.

There is no doubt that that they are harmful to health and are not safe, but it is too early to provide a clear answer on the long-term impact of using them or being exposed to them.

ENDS are particularly risky when used by adolescents. Nicotine is highly addictive and young people’s brains develop up to their mid-twenties. Exposure to nicotine can have long-lasting, damaging effects.

Young people who use ENDS are also more likely to use conventional cigarettes, cigars or hookahs.

ENDS increase the risk of heart disease and lung disorders. For pregnant women,

ENDS pose significant risks as they can damage the growing fetus.

ENDS also expose non-smokers and bystanders to nicotine and other harmful chemicals.

The liquid in ENDS can burn skin and rapidly cause nicotine poisoning if swallowed or absorbed through the skin. There is a risk of the devices leaking, or of children swallowing the liquid, and ENDS have been known to cause serious injuries through fires and explosions.

Do e-cigarettes (ENDS) cause lung injuries?

There is growing evidence to show that ENDS use could cause lung damage.

On 17 September 2019, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention activated an emergency investigation into links between ENDS use and lung injuries and deaths.

By 10 December 2019, the USA reported more than 2409 hospitalized cases and 52 confirmed deaths.

At least five other countries have initiated investigations to identify cases of lung injuries related to ENDS use.

This article was present yesterday, but has now been removed (new link). I don’t know much about vaping (I’m an old-fashioned smoker), but as far as I can see most of what’s been written here are lies. For example the vaping deaths in the USA were all due to non-standard THC (Cannabis) juices being vaped, not standard nicotine juices.

It probably doesn’t help that the  (until recently) Executive Director of WHO’s Health Emergencies programme,  Dr Peter Salama, died suddenly of a heart attack on Friday January 24, aged 51. But it rather looks as if the WHO is as much in chaos as the Chinese government.

About Frank Davis

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14 Responses to Mounting Chaos In China

  1. Elizabeth says:

    Do you think the situation in China is so horrific that we are not being told? Quarantining huge cities seems to belie the comforting words….in no way attempting humour, I think there is something really, really fishy about the whole thing.

    • Frank Davis says:

      I think our own news sources are talking it all down. They don’t want us to panic.

      From what I’ve read from multiple sources, Wuhan hospitals have been simply overwhelmed with people seeking treatment, and some doctors have themselves succumbed. And there are bodies lying on the floor in the hospitals, and also in the streets. And the roads out of the city are blocked with trucks and earth mounds, and armed guards. And the people are frightened, confused, and now starting to get angry (why else riot police?)

  2. beobrigitte says:

    This is the right spirit:

    Driver hits 111mph on M58 then pulls over on hard shoulder for a cigarette
    Hahahahaha, Thanks Frank for this one!!
    Back in the 70s I drove this speed (car would go no faster!!) on German motorways constantly. Almost everybody did.
    About 30 years ago the M58 was nicknamed “Racing track” as it was not used by people much. It is in greater use nowadays but still pretty empty over the weekends.
    Why the guy pulled over to smoke a cigarette beats me. I smoke whilst driving. Always have.

    The Chinese Coronavirus crisis is now also becoming a political crisis.
    Coronavirus death toll jumps to 80 as riot police are drafted to deal with trouble

    I can understand this. From what I gather the Chinese public is informed as little as we are. On top of it they have to obey containment measures.

    Also, as far as I can see, countries outside China have all been busy talking down the crisis, and congratulating themselves on their successful prevention measures. Their message is: “Everything is under control!” In fact, it borders on complacency.
    I doubt it is complacency. It is the knowledge that we have nothing to fight this virus and people just have to ride it out. Since this epidemic is a REAL threat (especially to the elderly/very young and people with pre-existing medical conditions) playing it down emphasised the importance of the fake threats as harping on still continues. Nice try, Life-style control!.

    This has not been updated at all in recent days.
    It has:
    https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/situation-reports/
    albeit the WHO updates going out of date as quickly as the Corona Virus spreads.

    So effectively the WHO is still trying to find out more about the new virus, how it affects people, and how they can be treated.
    As yet there is no form of treatment other than symptomatic treatment which means plenty of rest, plenty of fluids and perhaps a bouillon with an egg.

    The piece on Ebola was even shorter:

    The Democratic Republic of the Congo is grappling with the world’s second largest Ebola epidemic on record, with more than 2200 lives lost and 3300 confirmed infections since the outbreak was declared on 1 August 2018.
    Latest update on the still ongoing Ebola epidemic in Africa (Congo); mortality rate is 66%.
    https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/ebola/drc-2019
    Unfortunately it is dated 20.1.2020.
    But then, clicking on “Disease outbreak news” and 23 January 2020 provides a lengthy article. I am a little surprised that the WHO does not appear to look into the “ground zero” patient case as this is the first (and ?only) relapse.
    WHO risk assessment
    WHO continuously monitors changes to the epidemiological situation and context of the outbreak to ensure that support to the response is adapted to the evolving circumstances. The last assessment concluded that the national and regional risk levels remain very high, while global risk levels remain low.

    Does this mean the WHO will do little or nothing unless the horse has already bolted?

    But it seems that if they didn’t know much about Ebola and Coronavirus, they knew plenty about e-cigarettes:
    Perhaps there were complaints about the e-cigarette nonsense being placed next to two REAL problems? The article sure disappeared today!

    It probably doesn’t help that the (until recently) Executive Director of WHO’s Health Emergencies programme, Dr Peter Salama, died suddenly of a heart attack on Friday January 24, aged 51.
    My sincere condolences to his family. This is an awfully young age to die!

    • jaxthefirst says:

      But it seems that if they didn’t know much about Ebola and Coronavirus, they knew plenty about e-cigarettes:

      It’s no wonder, really. The WHO have taken their eye well and truly off the ball over the last few decades, chasing their imaginary demons of Bad Lifestyles – it’s much more fun, after all, to persecute real people and make their lives unpleasant than to fight something like a virus, or a bacterium, or even just a “disease,” which it might be possible to kill off or control but which can’t be seen to be being obedient or unhappy or angry. That’s no fun for any group of bullies who are used to indulging themselves in their favourite hobby of tormenting people! So of course they don’t know very much about these two (and indeed probably many other) serious diseases – they haven’t taken any notice of them in years!

      Perhaps there were complaints about the e-cigarette nonsense being placed next to two REAL problems? The article sure disappeared today!

      It wouldn’t surprise me. I think that people are starting to rumble this whole racket, and any sign of that would lead to the WHO covering its tracks mega-fast. It’s taken a while and, sadly, it’s taken a couple of very serious health threats to start waking people up. But at least it seems that they are, finally, starting to question whether or not the WHO is actually doing what they thought it had been doing for all these years. And they’re not liking the answer one little bit. Maybe they have had complaints from the public, maybe they haven’t – maybe it was one of their PR gurus who pointed out the inappropriateness of placing the e-cig story beside the other, real, ones. But whatever the reason, it does tend to indicate that someone, somewhere, in the WHO has realised that people are starting to question their true motives and motivations, and that has to be a sign of at least a tiny chink in their usually-impenetrable armour ….

  3. Smoking Lamp says:

    The WHO antismoking bias is an ideological project. They established the FCTC to pursue that effort. The data is corrupted and fraught with propaganda. the attack on vaping follows the same course. Meanwhile, they ignore real epidemics preferring to pursue their lucrative (read pharma funded) witch hunt against tobacco.

  4. beobrigitte says:

    It is 27.01.2020 21:40 hours. Today was a quite frustrating day as it seemed impossible to find the increase in number of infection/mortality. I got the impression our mainstream media is shutting down.
    Eventually I stumbled across this guy:
    https://moneymaven.io/mishtalk/economics/chris-martenson-video-who-is-derelict-on-coronavirus-XObPOr3qzkya6wZWVasVpA

    Many of you know Chris Martenson from his economic website, Peak Prosperity.

    But even those who do know him, may not be aware that his background includes a PhD in pathology.

    I do take this guy serious, he confirms my worst case scenario picture when today there was just too little information to be found.
    Here his last video:

    • Frank Davis says:

      Thanks for that, Brigitte.

    • Joe L. says:

      I don’t take this guy very seriously, because in the title of video as well as the opening graphics, the virus is referred to as the “Corona Virus”, like it’s a proper noun, like something you’d get from drinking the Mexican beer of the same name. This is a red flag. Anyone with a scientific background (or anyone who has spent more than a few hours researching this) should know that it is called the “Wuhan Coronavirus”, or more technically, “2019 novel coronavirus”, or “2019-nCoV” for short.

      Regarding a place to find up-to-date statistics, I have been following this nice dashboard (albeit it was created by people at Johns Hopkins University, a powerhouse in the Antismoking crusade). They have been updating it at least twice a day, and it seems to be very accurate: Wuhan Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Global Cases

      • beobrigitte says:

        Anyone with a scientific background (or anyone who has spent more than a few hours researching this) should know that it is called the “Wuhan Coronavirus”, or more technically, “2019 novel coronavirus”, or “2019-nCoV” for short.
        JoeL, this guy isn’t addressing the scientific community or people with scientific background. In a previous video he explains 2019-nCoV very well.
        The problem with people researching the topic for a couple of weeks or so is the acquirement of a “part-knowledge” that is usually paired with the conviction that they know what they talk about, leading them to jump to completely wrong conclusion as there are just too many basic principles missing.

        Thanks for the link. It was this morning and puts the total number of confirmed cases to 4474 with 107 deaths which actually slightly reduces the previous death rate of 3% to 2.5%. (???? Does not make sense.)
        [Unfortunately they put Munich right into the middle of Germany. It is actually very near the Austrian border and Munich is a major hub for flight changes to and from Asia. I used to fly to and from Munich with Air Singapore, each flight being at stupido’clock.
        In contrast to the above the WHO provides these figures:
        https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/situation-reports/20200127-sitrep-7-2019–ncov.pdf
        WHO data appears to be out of date faster than the virus is spreading?

        Am I worried? Not really. I observe. But I am annoyed that the public is treated as being stupid, ready to start a stampede, rushing to the shops buying everything in sight in their panic.
        Fully informed people (regardless how bad the “news” is) tend to react far better.
        The current lack of information fuels fear and, above all, mistrust in the powers that be.
        The, albeit sparse, headlines to “reassure” the public that the scientific community is working on a vaccine/anti-viral treatment means absolutely nothing as it takes years and plenty of trials before these are ready for use. The only guy close to it appears to be this one:
        https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-00190-6

        We have to ride this one out. If the data provided by
        https://gisanddata.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html
        is correct, we appear to be able to fight this novel virus as the small reduction in the death rate appears to indicate.

        • Joe L. says:

          Unfortunately they put Munich right into the middle of Germany

          FYI, the locations of the dots on this map are not placed at the city level, but at the country level (for smaller European countries, or at the state/province level for larger countries like China/US). So all cases in Germany will be counted in the same dot, and it will grow in size.

        • beobrigitte says:

          I thought that was the case. What irritated me was the negligence of mentioning major hub airports as from there passengers can and do change to local/other long distance flights.

          The other irritating thing was the sudden, albeit minor, decrease of mortality rate. I shall use their figures alone for the time to come.

          I spent today with 2 friends from Microbiology. If they are any more laid back they will be upside down.
          “That was bound to happen.”
          In their view the novel virus will take its toll and the survivors ( remember the low mortality rate) will naturally acquire antibodies to this virus. At least most will.

          As somebody who despite numerous vaccination has no antibody to TB but is still alive and well 40 years after discovering this despite encountering a few cases of TB ( direct contact) in the early 1980s I am aware that I might not.
          I also never mounted an antibody to small pox. I received the scalpel vaccination in 1969 3 times without producing any response. In short, there are people who just cannot mount any immune response despite vaccination.
          Does this worry me? Absolutely not. I made it to the age to be called a bed-blocker should I have to be admitted to hospital, most likely due to yet another sports injury.

          Back to the subject. I dislike the lack of information, the mainstream media that usually harps on endlessly playing this epidemic down and the complacency of the WHO that conveniently ignores an Ebola epidemic with a 66% mortality rate in Africa, yet lives the anti-smokers’ wet dream.

  5. beobrigitte says:

    Frank, my comment is caught up in the black hole vault…..

  6. The longest was about e-cigs eh? ::sigh:: In the small chance that this virus truly does have a long asympotmatic but contagious airborne incubation period and is significantly worse than ordinary flus, the Antismokers may end up indeed “destroying the world” with their recirculated air smoke-banned airplanes and airports.

    A disease that might have spread from one passenger to just one or two others on a smoking flight or in smoking airport may end up instead spreading to dozens or hundreds. I wrote about this sort of thing in Brains almost twenty years ago:

    ===

    The following is from pages 217, 239 and 256 in DAB:

    “The ultimate assault on world health may come in the stuffy air of the modern smoke-free fleet of airplanes as germs incubate and spread in their nice, clear, recirculated air. It is quite possible that the Antismoking movement at the end of the 20th century will ultimately go down in history as the cause of one of our greatest public health disasters as some horrific airborne pestilence is spread around the world courtesy of the friendly and smoke-free skies (as) by some measures the air on smoking flights was actually healthier than the air on non-smoking ones … nonsmoking flights had nine CFU/ m^3 (Colony Forming Units” of fungi per cubic meter) as opposed to only five or six CFU/m^3 on smoking flights! (Report to Congress: Airline Cabin Air Quality. U.S. D.O.T. 1989) … other factors in indoor air pollution begin assuming a much more important role. Just as happened with airplanes, venues that ban smoking may wind up with air that is less healthy due to reduced fresh air exchange: diseases and long-term health problems may actually increase in severity! In such a situation it is the Surgeon General, rather than smoking, that poses the most danger to a nonsmoker’s health.”
    ===

    I guess there’s not much we can do at this point except wait and see what happens. Meanwhile, the smokers who’ve been avoiding hanging out in the smoke-banned venues may end up with the lowest infection rate of any group around!

    – MJM, who hasn’t caught it from his cat yet…

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