Coronavirus: The Game of Chance

Coronavirus: The Game of Chance. There is not much hard evidence so far. But there are some useful comments among the hype and fear-mongering.

Z-Man:

Right now, the cause of this infection is being blamed on eating weird foods, but no one really knows. There are serious people wondering if this is not the result of some error in their bio-weapons program. The Chinese did steal coronavirus from Canada recently and we know they have a clandestine lab located in the area of the pandemic. It’s not an unreasonable suspicion. …

If things get much worse, then people will want to know how this happened. Even in a big country like China, a million deaths will spawn a lot of speculation. No one is going to accept the bat stew argument or dumb luck as an excuse. …

What China is today is an accidental compromise between the prosperous urban dwellers and the legacy ruling class. It just sort of happened. As long as the good times keep rolling, the new class of Chinese will tolerate the corruption and petty shenanigans of the ruling party. … No one really knows what will happen if times stop being good.

This virus outbreak could be the big test. It really does not matter what actually caused it if the government is unable to contain it. People unhappy with the party will use the crisis as a chance to speak out against the party. That’s how rumors about the plague’s origin will emerge. Instead of blaming peasants eating bats, it will be bureaucrats experimenting with bio-weapons or perhaps experimenting on people. A crisis can easily become a vehicle for conspiracy theories about the state. …

As things stand, this virus has at least two characteristics experts predict will precede a disaster. One is the virus is contagious during the “incubation period.” This means people can spread the virus to others, weeks before they show signs of infection.

The other red flag is the mortality rate. The numbers coming out of China are mostly certainly wrong, but we have roughly 100 confirmed deaths and 3,000 cases. That’s a three percent mortality rate. The Spanish Flu was around ten percent, so this virus is not as deadly yet.

James Delingpole:

The previous British Government chose Huawei to roll out 5G telephones in Britain:

Would you buy a communications system from an oppressive, secretive, totalitarian regime which may be responsible for perhaps the deadliest viral pandemic since the catastrophic Spanish Flu outbreak of 1919?

Even before the coronavirus raised its terrifying head, buying 5G technology from China’s Huawei looked like a bad idea for Britain.

Now it’s looking like the most stupid idea since the Trojans saw the Wooden Horse their Greek enemies had left outside the gates of Ilium and said: “Nice! Let’s drag it inside.” …

On Coronavirus:

The coronavirus has emerged from Wuhan which, not uncoincidentally, is the home of China’s germ warfare programme.

Rather than nip the problem in the bud, China has behaved exactly as you would expect a secretive, totalitarian regime to behave: lying about the virility and morbidity of the infection; allowing as many as 5 million people to leave Wuhan before any quarantine was able to take effect; lobbying the World Health Organisation not to declare it a global emergency.

Paul Wolfowitz:

For a precedent, look back to 1918 when the Spanish flu broke out amid World War I. In the US, government officials and the press played it down lest it hurt the war effort. While the Los Angeles health chief declared there was “no cause for alarm” and a leading newspaper described the disease as the “same old fever and chills”, people were dying in their thousands.

The name Spanish flu was a misnomer. In the countries where it originally surfaced — France, China and the US — the news was suppressed by censorship and self-censorship to maintain wartime morale. … Not until King Alphonse XIII of neutral Spain fell ill did news of the virus spread.

Between the spring of 1918 and early 1919, three waves of Spanish flu tore across the planet, facilitated by censorship and secrecy. The results were catastrophic: 50 million people died worldwide, including 15,000 in Australia in one year.

But before the advent of mass air travel, Australia back then was fortunate to have time to prepare. According to the National Museum Australia, the flu was spread quickly at the end of World War I as infected soldiers returned to their homelands. … Australia’s remoteness from the European battlefields gave it months to prepare for the inevitable onslaught. …

Meanwhile, Chinese police are interrogating people for “spreading rumours” on social media about the virus. Two days before Wuhan’s government disclosed the severity of the outbreak, it hosted shared “potluck” banquets for more than 100,000 people. On January 10, a government expert told state network CCTV the virus was “under control” and a “mild condition”. Wuhan’s biggest newspaper didn’t put the outbreak on its front page until almost three weeks after the first cases.

Analysts suspect the actual number of infected is thousands higher than the more than 2700 presently confirmed. The lesson of 1918 is that secrecy can kill. Chinese communism now threatens the world with a massive medical disaster.

Richard Fernandez:

This illustrates how giant totalitarian governments like China’s can be at a disadvantage in dealing with emergent events. What it gains in ruthless response cannot always make up for lost response time caused by the official denial of embarrassing facts. That explains why establishments are often surprised by events like Brexit and Hillary Clinton’s shock loss. They are unexpected because they were not in the 5 year plan. They arrive like a bolt from the blue.

When the unexpected happens the official Narrative often increases the reaction time of the system. While events are slow moving there may be no penalty but in the fast moving global world threats like the coronavirus may hit the public even before institutions admit it exists.

Mongolia closes China border, by Louis Casiano.

The government of Mongolia said Monday it has closed its large border with China, and Malaysia announced that it would bar visitors from the Chinese province at the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak after medical officials warned its ability to spread was growing.

The ban makes both nations the second and third countries to close its border with China, following North Korea. …

Mongolia has also closed its schools, playgrounds and universities until March 2.

Do Mongolia and North Korea know something we don’t?