Amazing but hidden news about coronavirus

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by Fabius Maximus

Summary: The coronavirus epidemic provides amazing news. About the epidemic, about the barrage of fake news (that we love), about the fear it creates (that we love), and the wonderful hidden news that makes this a milestone in history.

“We need a vaccine against misinformation {and} a communications vaccine. We need to be able to communicate in a much more effective way.”
— Dr. Michael J Ryan at WHO’s Feb. 13 press briefing. He is Executive Director of WHO’s Health Emergencies Programme.

Pandemic

“News” about the coronavirus global pandemic!

If you have been reading the headlines from the “right” sources, you are terrified of the coronavirus pandemic. Pants-wetting is America’s new national pastime. No wonder our rulers and foes have contempt for us. Coronavirus disease is now known as COVID-19, the virus is SAR-CoV-2; details here.

Jan 23: Coronavirus Pandemic Simulation Run 3 Months Ago Predicts 65 Million People Could Die.

Jan 23: “Doomsday Clock Hits 100 Seconds To Midnight As Viral Pandemic Sweeps Globe.

Jan 24: Coronavirus Pandemic Simulation Run 3 Months Ago Predicts 65 Million People Could Die.

Jan 24: “This Time I’m Petrified”: Virologist Who Helped Discover SARS Offers Chilling Take On Coronavirus Outbreak.

Jan 24: “‘This Time I’m Scared’: Virologist Who Helped Discover SARS Offers Chilling Take On Coronavirus Outbreak.”

Jan 25: “‘Thermonuclear, Pandemic-Level Bad’ – Harvard Epidemiologist Warns Viral Outbreak Might Get A Lot Worse.”

Tweet by Feigl Ding about coronavirus

Jan 25: “Martenson: The Risk Of A True Pandemic Is Higher Than We’re Being Told.”

Jan 26: “Is Another Black Death On The Way?

Jan 29: “How Viral Pandemic Benefits The Globalist Agenda.”

Jan 30: “GnS Economics: Coronavirus Has The Potential To Trigger A Global Depression.”

Feb 1: “Fear Of The Coronavirus Is Spreading Like Wildfire All Over The Globe.” – I wonder why?

Feb 3: “Petition For WHO Director-General To Resign Reaches Over 210,000 Signatures.” – From where comes the misinformation about WHO?

Feb 3: “Brace For Impact: Global Pandemic Already Baked In” – “If we accept what is known about the virus, then logic, science and probabilities all suggest we brace for impact.”

Feb 5: “The Lies We Are Being Told About The Coronavirus.”

Feb 6: “Mish Exposes WHO’s Historical Controversies” – The usual nonsense. When dealing with disasters, some people always accuse agencies of acting too slow or too small. But I never hear people offering to give them the money to stand ready for any disaster, anywhere.

Feb 8: “The Pandemic Isn’t Ending, It’s Just The Beginning Of Global Disorder & Depression.”

Feb 10: “Even The Mainstream Media Is Now Admitting That Humanity Is Facing ‘A Perfect Storm’.”

Feb 11: “Hong Kong Coronavirus Expert Warns Outbreak Could Infect “Between 60%-80%” Of Humanity, Causing 51 Million Deaths.”

Feb 11: “Why Is The Government Turning 11 Military Bases Inside The US Into Quarantine Camps?” – Remember the big camps supposedly being built before Y2k?

Feb 12: “‘All Disasters Are Not Created Equally’ – CDC Powerless In Halting Spread Of Covid-19.”

Feb 13: “In Shocking Admission, WHO Advisor Says Coronavirus May Infect Over 5 Billion People.”

Feb 14: “Chaos Is Coming: US To Start Testing People With Flu Symptoms.”

Feb 14: “What If… The November Election Has To Be Postponed?

Feb 14: “If we accept what is known about the virus, then logic, science and probabilities all suggest we brace for impact.”

Feb 14: “Harvard Expert Warns, Coronavirus Likely Just Now ‘Gathering Steam.’

These headlines are from ZeroHedge. These stories are not all exaggerations and misinformation. Some quote actual experts seeking their 15 minutes of fame. But they fail to provide any larger context, such as that by the experts at WHO and CDC. It adds up to fake news. They publish this because they are smart.

Gallup’s surveys of Confidence in America’s institutions show a collapse during the past four decades. Especially the well-deserved collapse of our confidence in newspapers from 41% to 23%. So, many Americans have turned to vendors of exciting misinformation (see other reasons for this here). This makes fake news a fast track to success on the Internet.

The bottom line: the scarier the story, the less accurate the stories. That’s true from Climate Change to Coronavirus. Institutions trying to keep us informed about these complex and poorly understood issues (e.g., IPCC and NOAA) are attacked all sides. Sadly, Americans often express the most confidence in the most bogus sources.

The hidden story

On January 25, I wrote that that “the 2019-nCoV virus shows that we’ve built a better world.” The response by public health agencies was faster and more powerful than anything before in history, a combination of global organization and high technology. China’s scientists isolated the virus on January 9 and sequenced it on January 10. On January 20 the CDC released a diagnostic test for the virus. On January 22, China quarantined the city of Wuhan.

Since then, China has implemented quarantines on a scale never before attempted. Coordinated by the WHO, the world’s nations implemented screening and research programs of unprecedented scale. See the full timeline here.

China has been hit hard by the epidemic. It combines poverty, high population density, and people living in close proximity with animals (even wild animals). It will have horrific epidemics. China’s people must deal with them. The rest of the world must act so that these epidemics do not devestate the other six-plus billion people

The great fear of the global public health agencies is that coronavirus would spread to poor nations with weak health infrastructure (those nations with strong ties to China are especially vulnerable) – from which it would spread around the world. So far that has not happened. WHO is working with those nations to make that less likely.

Every day the world becomes better able to defend itself against the coronavirus, with better screening mechanisms, better detection machinery, and better treatments (the first human trials of treatments have begun). The public health agencies are the core of our defenses. They are criticized for not accomplishing miracles with the small funds given them, which shows the nature of our greatest problem.

World Health Organization logo

From WHO’s February 14 Situation Report.

See the full report.

  • Lots of bad news from China. But at their February 12 press conference, the Director-General said “The number of newly confirmed cases reported from China has stabilised over the past week but that must be interpreted with extreme caution.”
  • No coronavirus cases have been reported in new nations since February 4.
  • A total of 505 cases have been reported so far outside China, with 2 deaths (Feb 1 in the Philippines and in Japan on February 13).
  • Other than those on the quarantined Japanese cruise ship (blue below), there have been few new cases reported outside China in the past 5 days. See the graph; ignore the blue segment (click to enlarge).

WHO daily coronavirus cases outside China - Feb 14

Conclusions

Events in the three weeks since my post have validated my original assessment. This is a milestone in history, no matter what happens next. But this is not the amazing news. It is that this remains hidden news.

The news media are no different than McDonald’s. Both work in the free market, serving us what we want. Americans today want exciting and scary news, not accurate news. We saw this in the hysteria during the 2009 swine flu and 2015 ebola epidemics. This weakness of ours almost guarantees that we will make poor decisions as citizens about America’s future – about coronavirus and our many other big challenges.

It’s easy to follow the coronavirus story

The World Health Organization provides daily information, from highly technical information to news for the general public.

 

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