Recently, more and more reports have come through stating the new ports that China has banned from travel because of the recent Coronavirus outbreak. Most speculate that the latest bans spanned from the fact that it has spread to the United States, or more specifically Washington State. However, this virus started in Wuhan, and evidently 95% of all deaths were based there.
According to the New York Times, “Residents said that a sense of fear was growing as the city went into lockdown.” The virus as been the cause of a confirmed 426 deaths so far and upwards of 17,000 cases, six deaths of which were in Washington. Now, more than 150 cases have been reported elsewhere, such as the United Kingdom, and even California. There is no specific treatment that can prevent the Coronavirus, nor a vaccine. Over 84% of Wuhan and Beijing’s residents have resorted to wearing masks, as one of the only ways to combat this potentially deadly disease.
Many citizens have called the health care system out, as a multitude of people who came for check-ups or testing did not even have their temperature taken. A close family friend from China recalls how her own personal family has been affected by the Coronavirus. “My husband back in China, although he does not live in Wuhan, is still staying in his house, for the fear of catching this disease.” Her daughter also comments, “The government is not telling us everything; far more people than what they reveal are most likely dead.”
This disease is rapidly spreading, and for many people, it is affecting someone they know or a loved one. Not only does this disease have the potential to cause death, and trade ports to shut down, but it also is causing the stock market to fall at great rates. According to the New York Times, “The S&P 500 fell more than 1.5 percent, with shares of airlines and companies dependent on tourism from China particularly hard hit.” American Airlines has dropped 4%. With all of this directly impacting much of China, especially Wuhan, the people blame the mayor for reacting to slowly to this huge issue. The mayor recently released a public statement offering to resign. However, some speculate that this will do no good, as so much of the damage is already done and finding a replacement would take time.
What is most terrifying about this disease is the potential for massive miscommunication. Time Magazine says, “Experts are skeptical that official numbers capture the full extent of the outbreak. Researchers in Hong Kong have warned that the actual number of people infected in Wuhan could already be more than 30 times higher than the official tally.”
The idea that thousands of people could be dead, and tens of thousands more diagnosed, could cause even more problems. Even Chinese President Xi Jinping has called the outbreak a grave situation. Remember, although there are no vaccines, stay healthy by washing your hands and staying home if you get sick.