Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Carrie Lam continues to play dangerous games, and badly

She really doesn't know how to do things correctly, does she?!
Hong Kong's least popular Chief Executive ever appeared in public today wearing a mask.  It says so much that she didn't only do so so late in the "game" -- that is, close to one week after Hong Kong had its first officially confirmed case of the Wuhan coronavirus and close to one month after China alerted the World Health Organization to there being several cases of what is now known as Wuhan pneumonia in the eponymous Mainland Chinese city -- but she didn't seem to know or be inclined to wear a surgical mask in the proper manner.  

Put another way: she is apparently hoping to fool people into thinking she's effectively done something when she in fact hasn't.  Sound familiar?  Also, if anyone doubts her insincerity, consider that her government is still pushing for the Court of Final Appeal to reinstate the mask ban that she used emergency laws to introduce but was ruled to be unconsitutitional by the High Court and thus suspended.

For those who (still) think people are panicking for no reason: Consider that since I last posted just two days ago, the death toll from the Wuhan coronavirus has jumped from 56 to "at least 106" and spread to still more countries, including Germany, where a German national contracted the virus from a Chinese colleague visiting from Shanghai.  More than incidentally, there now is a website that is providing real-time Wuhan coronavirus infection and death numbers.  As I write this blog post, the total number of people who have been reported as infected is at 4698 but I fully expect that number, and also the death toll, to rise by the time I check it again tomorrow morning. :(               


smog said...

And in other news, so far this flu season in the USA alone approximately 6.4 million people have been infected, 55,000 have been hospitalized, and 2,900 have died.

But for some reason you don't panic about this.


YTSL said...

Hi smog --

I don't panic about flu because there is medication for it. E.g., I have flu shots annually. On the other hand, there still is no cure for the Wuhan coronavirus. Also, as I understand it, the Wuhan coronavirus has a higher percentage of fatalities to (recorded) cases than the flu virus. Then there's the fear of the unknown in that we know so little as yet about the Wuhan coronavirus.

Furthermore, there's the suspicion that the authorities in Hong Kong as well as over on the Mainland aren't acting as quickly and efficiently as they should, in no small part by their appearing to try to act politically and cover things up. I'm sure there would be a lot less panic about the Wuhan coronavirus if people felt they could trust the authorities in Hong Kong and Mainland China (more).

smog said...

I think you vastly overestimate the effectiveness of the flu vaccine. The effectiveness depends on how well the authorities guess in advance which mix of flu types will be ciculating in the coming year. When they get it spot on the vaccine has about 50% effectiveness, but it's often much lower - sometimes as low as 10% effectiveness. It's most effective for children, and least effective for over-50s.

Moreover, CDC data shows that having the vaccine year after year lowers its effectiveness in each individual, and that only 14% of acute respiratory illnesses are caused by influenza anyway.

And if your immune system doesn't deal with an influenza infection (whether stimulated by a prior vaccination or not) then there is no cure for it.

YTSL said...

Hi again smog --

Maybe -- but the thing with the flu virus is that it's been around for a long time and people have some familiarity. With the Wuhan coronavirus, it's the shock of the new -- and combined with, like I said before, distrust of a secretive government (China's) and one that seems to be against the majority of its people (Hong Kong's), I can see why people are so fearful.

YTSL said...

P.S. Wuhan virus death toll now up to 132 recorded, with 6161 infections in 19 different territories. Pretty scary, to my mind, re a virus most people didn't know existed just a month ago.