March 5 The 43rd Day of the Wuhan City Closure
Today is sunny and warm. Sitting by the window reading a book taking in some sun feel very nice. However, according to the weather report, beginning tomorrow we will have several days of rain. The cherry blossoms have bloomed in our small community. Too bad it is just one tree without many blossoms so from a distance it looks like a pink mist rising up into the sky. The cherry blossoms on the Wuhan University campus have probably bloomed as well.
When was a student I especially disliked this time of year since the campus would get jam-packed with people and on paths stretching along ranks of cherry trees all one could see was a great mass of black-haired heads. So how could anyone appreciate then the beauty of the cherry blossoms? This cherry blossom season nobody went to see them. I really do envy the faculty and staff who live on campus who have their own cherry blossom garden.
The past few days the trash we put outside the gate often gets scattered far and wide. I didn’t realize at first what was going on then my mother said that it must be stray cats “How sad. There isn’t anyone outside so now nobody takes care of the little wandering animals.” I thought that must be the reason.
I could only sigh and think that everyone and everything are suffering from this epidemic.
My friend told me that in their community two people killed themselves by jumped out of their buildings. Then I realized that the reports I had seen on the Weibo microblog about an old man who had killed himself were about their community. A mother pregnant with her second child also killed herself there.
I have heard of other suicides recently. I don’t know anything about the personal circumstances but they do have indicators — a lonely old man and a woman in her second pregnancy — I can guess that some of these cases may be related to depression and hopelessness caused by the difficulties that they face.
We are all waiting for the end of the epidemic. If you have never lived through this experience yourself, it is hard to understand what it is like. This affects people in different ways so unavoidably there are some people who feel that they just won’t make it so I don’t have the heart to tell people to “be brave”. That would just be too flippant and arrogant a thing to say. I can only hope that we will soon be done with this very difficult situation.
A few days ago, the Zhong Nanshan group published in the Journal of Thoracic Disease and article entitled “Predictions on Trends of the Chinese COVID-19 Outbreak Based on the SEIR Optimization Model and AI”. According to the article:
“A five-day delay in implementation would have increased epidemic size in mainland China three-fold. Lifting the Hubei quarantine would lead to a second epidemic peak in Hubei province in mid-March and extend the epidemic to late April. Were the interventions to be introduced 5 days earlier than they had been, the number of cases nationwide would have been two-thirds less.” [Note 120K vs 40K with wide 95% confidence intervals on text available online. Article preprint available PDF online in English http://jtd.amegroups.com/article/view/36385# End note].
The first time I saw this article was on Dr. Ding Xiang (a public social media accout). Later I saw it several times in other places. Then official media picked it up. The most interesting thing about it is that when official media share the article they deleted that last line..
Wuhan was closed on January 23. Five days before that was January 18, a saturday when I went with friends to a museum and the theater. The theater was bustling and there wasn’t an empty seat in the theater. We didn’t know then that that terrible virus was silently spreading all around us. Fortunately my friends and I were wearing face masks but only ten or twenty percent of the people there were wearing face masks.
Here I don’t want to be imagine myself after-the-fact some great hero like Zhu Geliang “If only at the time I had done this or that”. I don’t have any expert skills and I don’t have any authority myself, but where were the experts and the people in authorty then? They are there to protect us!
Today we know a number of lines of evidence from which we can deduce that by January 18th things were already extremely serious. But there was no “management and control” going on. At that time the word the propaganda people were putting out was still “there is just limited person-to-person disease transmission going on” and that “no medical workers have been infected”. Please now, I ask you, what good are you people?
Today on social media microblogs I saw a video by the “miraculous doctor” Li Yuehua someone who has no medical license whatsoever. When I saw the name, it look familiar. Then I realized that wasn’t he the family physician who Chen Beiyang, that former deputy commissioner of the Justice Bureau who had demanded a high class sickroom for himself, had mentioned in his letter of apology as someone who had “astonished the nation’s leaders with the effectiveness of his treatments”?! When I thought of that I smiled to myself because I never thought that story would have gotten around so quickly.
This guy practicing medicine without a license, the miraculous Dr. Li, seriously claimed that his medicine can “kill the virus”. The therapy was to give an injection of phenol at four acupuncture points on the chest. Not to mention that this had long been used, but went on to say that this therapeutic method can cure the common cold, mumps, measles, shingles, and viral facial paralysis. All these are self-limiting illnesses that get better on their own. If that kind of fraudster can fool a deputy commissioner of the Justice Bureau, that those old guys in authority must really be pretty weak-minded!
Today is the anniversay of the death of Yu Luoke [Note: Yu Luoke, a 28 year-old apprentice in the optics department of the People’s Machinery Plant, was executed at a rally in Worker’s Stadium on March 5, 1970 for having written an essay opposing the Cultural Revolution. End note] . There are some things and some people who can never be forgotten.
前几天，钟南山团队在Journal of Thoracic Disease发表了“基于SEIR优化模型和AI对公共卫生干预下的中国COVID-19暴发趋势预测”的文章，其中提到：