COVID-19 – Update on 02-16-2020 from Inside China

As I mentioned in a previous post, I am in China and not very far away from the city of Wuhan.

As you may already know the entire area (Hubei Province) is quarantined and people going into and leaving the area is pretty much shut down.

I have been in touch with several people – people I know personally – inside the city of Wuhan.

Most of the information I presented in the last post hasn’t changed with the exceptions I am going to explain here.

First, the numbers have changed dramatically. The WHO (World Health Organization) is now reporting more the 50,000 cases globally, with 1,500 deaths – this is up (since my last post on February 9th) from 38,000 global cases and 800 deaths.

An originating source has still not been confirmed for the virus. From media reports, many rumors are still floating around, with the dominant theory being that it originated from animals – like the pangolin, which are often found at live animal markets.

After corresponding with people inside Wuhan, some of the information being spread through news agencies and social media is, as you would expect, not very reliable.

For starters, the number of infected people and the number of deaths is probably somewhat truncated – in other words, the number of deaths is probably closer to 15,000. I am hearing horror stories of bodies being swiftly carted away while not being reported as an associated death from the virus. Also many of those sick, are being treated, but being recorded as another ailment, or just not recorded at all.

Some examples, really quick. I got a screenshot from a medical worker showing numbers around 65,000 infected, with 12,000 being severe – the death toll was omitted, and replaced by 7,100 as the number cured.

I also received some messages from a medical worker in Shanghai showing the confirmed cases in that city as being around 340, with 1 death. What is interesting about these messages is the total number of deaths (globally) was 1124 on February 14, and 1123 on February 15. So, even information from a personal source appears to be unreliable.

Now before the conspiracies start flying, I am not pointing the finger at anyone for these errors. You need to know that this virus shares symptoms with many other diseases and illnesses; additionally, the medical workers in Wuhan are desperately overworked – many not even leaving the hospitals. Because of the pressure created from the media frenzy, and international organizations, these workers are compelled to provide the most accurate information possible. This means that if they are not certain a case is related to COVID-19, then it doesn’t get reported that way, even if it is markedly similar.

There are a lot of sources around the globe rumoring that the Chinese authorities are hiding the real numbers. I have no evidence to support such claims. From the sources I’ve spoken with – and, these are people inside the city of Wuhan, and people on the front lines of this thing – the Chinese authorities are doing a great job in controlling the situation and moving forward aggressively to resolve it as well.

As a side note, I am not being compelled in any way to make such statements. I am simply offering information from the sources I have, and I know for a fact they are not being monitored nor compelled either.

The source of the virus is still up for debate. As I mentioned, the media is really pushing the animal/pangolin theories. I am being told that it most likely came from the bio-lab in Wuhan. This is not a fact, but it is a prevailing belief among the people I know in Wuhan.

From what I have personally seen and heard

As I mentioned on the previous post, WeChat is THE social platform in Chinamessages, rumors, videos, get around very quickly. There is also TikTok and other social media platforms growing in popularity.

On TikTok people can upload short videos which are then available for all users the view. The premise with TikTok is an advertising platform – get people to do creative things, capture it on video, then present it to hundreds of millions of viewers – the goal being to either place an ad on videos with lots of followers, or encourage the video maker to show off products in the videos for them.

Anyway, the reason I mentioned TikTok is because people in China have been uploading videos from inside Wuhan. I have seen the produced videos, which are encouraging and only show the efficient handling of the situation. I have also seen videos of a different, more candid nature.

One video showed people getting off an airplane and walking through a lineup of people in bio-suits. As they passed through the lineup, the people in the suits sprayed them with some kind of disinfectant (it really looked like they were being doused with fire extinguishers).

I saw another video of people suited up walking through the streets of Wuhan spraying those “fire extinguisher” things everywhere – it looked like a military formation marching through the streets.

I have seen a number of videos of outraged people attacking police officers and even doctors – understandably the quarantine is stressful, but attacking the authorities hasn’t ended well for any of those involved – at least not from what I’ve seen.

I saw a disturbing video of a medical worker sitting at what appeared to be a nursing station in a hospital, while other workers were nearby. This person just collapsed – hitting their head on a desk, then the tiled floor; eventually, being collected and carried off by about six nearby police officers.

I have seen quite a few videos where people who are reportedly infected with COVID-19 fall to the ground in apparent seizure-type fits. One such person did so on a subway – needless to say, when they hit the floor and started with the spasms, the other people nearby scattered in all directions.

To summarize, the numbers are most likely not what are being reported – mostly because no one knows the real numbers. The authorities in China, although unpopular in may places around the world, appear to be doing the best job possible in controlling the situation. Most of the videos and pictures being passed around that show authorities fighting with civilians are really depicting the authorities fighting back – as I mentioned, every video I’ve seen with fighting, the fighting was initiated by the civilian and not the government authority.

For the most updated information, check out my podcast and check back soon as I will update again from inside of China.

You can also listen to the most recent podcast here:

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