A mysterious killer-plague virus spread from wombat-to-human is on the loose out of Wuhan. Hong Kong undergoes a sudden outbreak of face-masks. It will be interesting to see how much Chinese officialdom has learned since SARS. (When they tried to cover it up: a reminder of how the CCP killed nearly 300 Hongkongers in 2003.)
In theory, Mainland bureaucrats today should understand the need for transparency. But the reality is that China now has tighter censorship and greater rule-by-fear under an Emperor-for-Life screwing up one thing after another (swine flu, Hong Kong, Taiwan). For the sake of the personality cult, things cannot get nasty. If the disease does turn out to be seriously deadly and spreads overseas, the regime will need someone to blame or something to distract attention, big time.
Don’t panic! It would be nice to think that Hong Kong too is better prepared than 17 years ago. But the intervening period, we joyously recall, has been all about ‘integration’. We now have a convenient high-speed rail connection to – yippee – Wuhan. We have a government that was last seen trying to convince the courts to let it ban face-masks (for public safety, yes). And then there’s the little matter of credibility. When Tung Chee-hwa spoke, you knew you were going to hear something stupid; with Carrie Lam, you know it’s probably going to be a lie.
Update: not wombats, but bamboo rats.
Update: not bamboo rats, but snakes.
Let’s hope that Prof Dr Yuen Kwok-Yung has learned from the panic overreaction of the medical establishment at the time of SARS. As noted in the SCMP of 9 May 2003: “He [Dr Yuen] said that most SARS patients died because of the serious side effects of the steroids.” (Contemperaneous screenshot of the SCMP article on their website here: https://ibb.co/LhFDCwW )
In other words, it was the “treatment” that killed otherwise healthy people, not the virus. In addition to those killed by the treatment, several hundred more survived it but were maimed for life. The government has so far spent $300M looking after those people unfortunate to have been “treated”. https://www.swd.gov.hk/en/index/site_pubsvc/page_medical/sub_trustfundf/
And just to give a sense of proportion, in 2018 the number of people who died from pneumonia in Hong Kong was 8437. https://www.chp.gov.hk/en/statistics/data/10/27/380.html
Not that I wish to denigrate the mighty organ that is the CCP, but I wouldn’t be surprised if instead of working feverishly 😉 to find a cure for the Wuhan virus, they are instead concentrating efforts on finding someone to blame for the outbreak, as Hemlock pointed out. Obviously, it can’t be the CCP as they are infallible, nor can it be due to the traditional abuse of wildlife or the appalling hygiene in China’s markets, since this would hurt the feelings of the Chinese people. Therefore, the list must start and end with “evil foreign forces” intent on preventing China’s rise, possibly the very same ones currently destabilising a neighbourhood near you.
Of course this is all an American plot to make China look bad. The eating and sanitation standards of the Han could never cause such an outbreak. I am sure Free Sex Fanny can explain how this has been confirmed.
Sorry – Forgot the link.
@Big Al: hurting Chinese people _everywhere_, please…
@Big Al how very right you are. That very same “excellent” publication that is Dim Sum Daily already punched below the belt with this unconfirmed nonsense:
Once again, the world sees the true face of China even as masks are put on. Unable to take initiative and unable to listen to actual experts because blind and unthinking allegiance to the ‘Party’ is paramount…the rumbling of discontent is already being heard among mainlanders, though that could be due to a lack of proper patriotic fervour.
Respected virologist Guan Yi has essentially stated that the clowns up on the mainland have already made huge errors during the first few days of this epidemic.
This virus is estimated to have an incubation time of 8 days…but the anti-Sino blowback will last a generation (witness the sentiments about Chinese tourists already seen within the past 48 hours!).
As Hemlock stated above, the Beijing Boyz will need something more than black hair dye to distract from reality.
Perhaps an impeachment trial? Oops, wrong country.
No need to invent conspiracy theories. The fabulists at Ta Kung Po have already blamed the protesters for spreading the virus by having nicked and set fire to all the rubbish bins.
Hong Kong as ever has stuck to its priorities. Cancel the football match – we all know that the open air stadium would host a mere smattering of fans. Racing, all those $$$$$ in gambling revenue from punters packed into crowded stands, goes ahead.
Of course the probability that the fuzzie fans might have blown some raspberries has nothing to do with this decision.
Uh, small correction, the protesters certainly set fire to a few bins, but in actuality most of them are now being hidden by the government.
Meanwhile, watch video of Carrie Lam at Davos on Hong Kong’s Wuflu response. Reminiscent of the best of Jim Hacker’s replies to media questions, sadly, without it being at all funny.