Publisher's note: This informational nugget was sent to me by Ben Shapiro, who represents the Daily Wire, and since this is one of the most topical news events, it should be published on BCN.
The author of this post is James Barrett.
While the United States is currently ramping up response to coronavirus - with cities and states imposing restrictions on businesses and services, and in some particularly hard-hit areas, like San Francisco, taking more drastic measures
- China, where the virus originated, has begun the recovery process. Even residents in Wuhan, ground zero for the virus, have headed back to work
So what, if anything, can the U.S. learn from cities in the region? As she explains in a recent article
for BuzzFeed News, Hong Kong-based journalist Rosalind Adams suggests that the answer is a lot. Because of measures taken by residents and the government, the city has experienced a significantly lower number of COVID-19 cases than many other major cities.
Adams, who was in Hong Kong when the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed on Jan. 23 and China quarantined Wuhan, says the response among the 7.5 million people living in the city - many of whom experienced the 2003 SARS epidemic - was quick and dramatic, and ultimately appears to have been effective in curbing the spread of the virus.
"Almost immediately, the number of people on the street and on public transportation dwindled, as people kept themselves at home to avoid exposure,"
writes Adams. "Within days, the government directed civil servants to work from home, and private employers largely followed suit."
Much of the initial response Adams describes involved residents' individual actions, rather than government-imposed restrictions. "People understood their responsibility to keep themselves and others safe,"
she writes. "Sanitizer, rubbing alcohol, and face masks flew off the shelves. Other countries advised residents to wear a mask only when sick, but it became impolite not to wear one in Hong Kong."
Adams also describes the degree to which business owners worked to sanitize their shops, including scrubbing door handles and building putting plastic covering over elevator buttons.
After the first death in February, schools and non-essential public places, like museums, were shut down, and events - both big and small, public and private - were canceled or postponed. While it all felt "apocalyptic" at first, Adams writes, the less-crowded streets and the extreme precautions became "routine."
Tensions and controversies arose at times, including health care workers going on strike in demand for Hong Kong to close its borders with China. But all the measures taken by individuals and the city appear to have largely worked, Adams explains, as the number of cases in the city have remained quite low - fewer than 150 cases and four deaths - compared to other cities where cases skyrocketed. (Read the full article here
As The Daily Wire highlighted
, a little over three months after the first case of COVID-19 in Wuhan was reported back on Dec. 1, residents of Wuhan are getting back to work after the Hubei provincial government announced last week that essential businesses can reopen:
- The first known case of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) was traced to Wuhan, Hubei, China, on December 1, 2019. That was 105 days ago. Since then, the sweep of the virus across China was devastating. In the Hubei province alone, there were 67,798 confirmed cases, according to the Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering.
- But the virus - which shut down businesses and industries as it spread across China - began to level off in the Hubei province in the past couple of weeks. And while there were 3,099 deaths in Hubei, 55,094 people there recovered from the virus. Late last week, residents of Hubei province began returning to work as factories and businesses reopened.
A video that quickly went viral shows medical workers in the Hubei province removing their medical masks in celebration of closing the last temporary hospital in Wuhan. "The reported [COVID-19] cases went from a surge in February of 15,000 in one day to only 15 this week,"
reads a post containing the viral video.