Wuhan Diary #32: The 36th Day of the Wuhan City Closure — February 27, 2020

February 27 The 36th Day of the Wuhan City Closure

The shipping date for a product I ordered at JD.com on February 12th kept slipping. At first, the estimated delivery date was February 22nd, then a few days later became February 28th. When I looked at it today, it had become March 9th. I called Jingdong (JD.com) customer service and found that although delivery was to have been from a local warehouse, inventory was exhausted, and the manufacturer had not started production because of the epidemic situation. So it will have to wait until production is resumed before delivery can be scheduled. Once I understood what was happening, I canceled the order.

This call taught me something. Many of Hema Supermarket‘s fresh products were sold out but I had assumed that the stock would be replenished but ignored another possibility: that there would be no stock to replenish with. After realizing this, I took a close look at our daily supplies at home. Some things that I didn’t t think were in short supply I also listed. I’ll see if I can buy some of those things now, even though they are more expensive then usual. That’s better than having them turn into a headache if later the are not to be found.

Several friends are talking about having joined more than a dozen group buying groups. Every day from when they get up, they read the news in their groups, fill in the ordering forms, pay, and get their orders. I hadn’t participated in group buying until now. Shopping for what I needed myself wasn’t hard before the city closed. Moreover, when I placed a group order I ended up being required by the group order package to buy some things I didn’t want. I wasn’t satisfied and I was pretty fast at ordering things online and so I bought from the Hema Supermarket. I was afraid of getting infected if I got together with a lot of people. Now there are almost no infection-free communities. Sometimes I heard stories that some people in close contact with infected people participated in these groups or that someone in strict isolation would go out to collect their shipment. If I were to say that I wasn’t afraid, I would be lying.

I did, however, join several group buying groups. I’d read the group’s news where typically there the community workers would be scolded and the volunteers praised. Occasionally, I could be a bystander to a few quarrels. That is a bit of entertainment for us, banished as we are to our own homes. It’s a real shame we haven’t anyone who comes up to the level of that sister-in-law of Binjiang Park.

Today, I saw a video in our WeChat group. A patient in the Fangcai Hospital not far from my home snuck out and wandered aimlessly on the street while very pleased with himself, shooting a video.

The community was enraged. I felt angry too. Why had we hidden ourselves away at home for over a month? Isn’t is because we are afraid of catching the virus? These infected people, however are out there swaggering along as they wander the streets.

Image result for lu xun
Chinese writer Lu Xun

In these days of resentments and discontent, I look to the impassive face and warm heart of Lu Xun, who wrote “The people of a weak and backward country, however strong and healthy they may be, can only serve to be made examples of, or to witness such futile spectacles; and it doesn’t really matter how many of them die of illness.”

As early as February 15, the news that the director of the National Center for Disease Control and Prevention Gao Fu was being investigated was circulating on the Internet. Many official media microblogs also reposted it. Before long, many anti-rumor messages about that news came out. Then the “anti-rumor” messages themselves were quietly deleted.

This is an old routine that we have seen too many times before. Just like the news of the urgent actions taken on the night of Dr. Li Wenliang’s death in the line of duty, in order to suppress public opinion, to avoid “over interpretation”, deliberately creating rumors to serve an agenda, to oppose rumors and to boost the effectiveness of rumor suppression, the deliberately put twists and turns into the story so people’s interest in the story will naturally become less interested and so that, by the time the real story comes out, it will have become old news that people don’t pay much attention to.

There has been a lot of news recently. Professor Lu Hongzhou of the Shanghai Public Health Center said in an interview that they submitted a report on January 5 regarding their investigation of the origins of the the unexplained pneumonia in Wuhan. Someone found the microblog that carried the report when it came out. Naturally the report was simply labeled a “rumor”. The funny thing, of course, is the messages denouncing that report as a rumor is that the sign of this “rumor” has been quietly deleted.

Looking back a month, and you can even boldly push it a month further back, there is good reason to believe that the National Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Health and Construction Commission and the local government of Wuhan all knew about the existence and outreak of an unidentified virus. Those good-for-nothing “expert leaders” of the National Center for Disease Control and Prevention are absolutely deserve to be nailed to the pillar of shame and publicly condemned.

But if you were to ask me, are they the only ones responsible? I know too that that is absolutely not the case.

Long experience tells me that news items have to be read in combination with other news items. Two news items of note appeared recently. The first is Dr. Bruce Aylward, the leader of the World Health Organization – China Joint Expert Mission, said that [we need to take good advantage

“of time, but we have to be using that time better than we are today. In this country, outside, we have long lists of research projects and studies. But we’ve got to prioritize those things that could get the knowledge we need to stop this faster and the tools we need to reduce the morbidity and mortality. And I’ll give you one good example. There’s only one drug right now that we think may have real efficacy. And that’s Remdesivir, as you’ve heard about.

Press Conference of WHO-China Joint Mission on COVID-19
Date: February 24th, 2020 (evening)

[Note: Dr. Aylward continues

“And Cao Bin is having trouble recruiting patients not just because the numbers are falling, but also because we’re doing lots of other studies with things that are less promising. We have got to start prioritizing enrollment into those things that may save lives and save them faster. And that’s a
global issue, not China, it’s a global issue.

Press Conference of WHO-China Joint Mission on COVID-19
Date: February 24th, 2020 (evening)
End note.]

Although we have a very long research agenda to complete, I do want to insist that we need to prioritize the items on that list so that we can as quickly as possible learn what we need to further reduce the further transmission of the virus, reduce the number of serious cases and reduce the death rate. Currently there is only one drug that may be effective, Ridsivir. We need to start prioritizing research projects that may help us save lives quickly. “

The other item is Caixin ’s report, “Cao Bin, who oversees clinical trials in China and is Deputy Director of the China-Japan Friendship Hospital and a specialist in respiratory and critical care medicine said that recruiting patients for clinical trials is difficult now because drugs with little promise are competing with (Redivevir) for clinical resources.”

I feel like pointing a finger at the nose of Chinese traditional medicine and saying, “Scram!” For the sake of profits (or so-called international influence), we should recklessly discard human lives. This is being one in plain sight. Everyone should remember this.

Chinese text:

2月27日 武汉封城第36天













长久的经验告诉我,新闻要连在一起看,最近就有值得记录下来的两条。一是世界卫生组织联合专家考察组组长Bruce Aylward博士说“中国争取来的这一段宝贵时间要用好,尽管我们列出来很长的研究清单,但也强调研究项目应该有优先次重,以便快速地掌握知识以进一步阻断病毒传播,进一步降低重症率及病死率。目前只有一种药可能有效,就是瑞德西韦。我们需要开始优先那些可能帮助我们快速挽救生命的研究项目。”



About 高大伟 David Cowhig

After retirement translated,with wife Jessie, Liao Yiwu's 2019 "Bullets and Opium", and have been studying things 格物致知. Worked 25 years as a US State Department Foreign Service Officer including ten years at US Embassy Beijing and US Consulate General Chengdu and four years as a China Analyst in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research. Before State I translated Japanese and Chinese scientific and technical books and articles into English freelance for six years. Before that I taught English at Tunghai University in Taiwan for three years. And before that I worked two summers on Norwegian farms, milking cows and feeding chickens.
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