The Chinese horror is their government, not their disease

The worldwide lockdowns have clearly been driven by academic panic-merchants like Neil Ferguson’s Imperial College team, and a hysterical media. But you’d also have to say that the Chinese behaviour has equally driven it. If China had been open all along, and told other countries that it looked like there was another SARS-type illness around, and shared whatever data they had, then we wouldn’t have lost our heads to the extent we have.

Instead China did exactly what was going to freak everyone else out: they denied everything in a most implausible way, then they allegedly murdered scientists and doctors who tried to tell the world, and then they launched a brutal lockdown straight out of a dystopian Hollywood movie, with reports of whole apartment blocks being welded shut and mountains of corpses piling up inside.

When the rest of the world saw all that happening it’s no surprise that they panicked and thought the worst. And then you had a load of powerful academics and media figures, who instead of keeping their heads and saying let’s look at this carefully, stared pushing for lockdowns and denouncing anyone who didn’t want one.

I’m not pushing any sort of conspiracy theory about China doing this deliberately to screw up the West. I think they just did what they usually do, and what all despotic governments do, when they’re having domestic trouble: use secrecy, censorship, repression, and extremely authoritarian measures whenever they are threatened by something (in this case, the threat was both a disease and unrest in the population). We were fools to treat their behaviour as the start of a science-fiction horror movie, rather than as the typical behaviour of a totalitarian state.


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18 thoughts on “The Chinese horror is their government, not their disease

  1. Bang on. I saw one comment recently describing their supposed response as ‘textbook’ which seemed amazingly credulous. Can’t believe we are using them as a template!

  2. …with reports of whole apartment blocks being welded shut and mountains of corpses piling up inside.

    If there actually were mountains of corpses piling up that would suggest the disease might well be a horror for the Chinese.

  3. President/Chairman Eleven is on record (though I can’t immediately find the reference) as saying that the way to deal with the epidemic is by increased police action and law enforcement. Way to go…

  4. We don’t know how many deaths there really were in these apartment blocks, and how many were caused by the disease, and how many were caused by starvation, or the residents turning on each other, or whether the whole thing was just a total exaggeration (clearly the ‘mountains of corpses’ is unlikely to be true).

    If we could trust the Chinese then we’d have a much better picture of how bad the disease really is. But we can’t. Then again, we can’t even trust our own media.

  5. “President/Chairman Eleven” Bugger! I thought I had invented that joke first and then I stumble across it online.

    It’s so not fair!

    Anyway, how about Killie-the-pooh?

  6. My feeling is this – the virus escaped from the local bio-lab, accidentally due to the usual lackadaisical Chinese attitude to rules, and made its way out into the local population. When the Chinese authorities finally stopped trying to brush it under the carpet and investigated properly they realised it wasn’t a natural virus and was something that had specifically been engineered to attack the human system. They then sh*t themselves. And thats why you saw the whole ‘close down everything now!’ behaviour. They knew what it had been engineered to do, and what it was potentially capable of, so the only reaction possible (after the initial attempts to brush it under the carpet) was an over-reaction. This then fed into the Western media circus, and the whole thing was born. Had it just been another natural case of a nasty flu bug they wouldn’t have behaved so extremely and spooked everyone and it would just have been another ‘bad flu epidemic’ as we’ve seen may times before.

    That to me is the smoking gun – the extreme reaction of the Chinese authorities to this bug that they’ve never shown before to any of the other ones. That to me is the guilty conscience at work – they knew where it had come from and thus had to be contained at all costs.

  7. There was actual footage of them welding apartment blocks shut, not just reports.
    The number of urns sent to crematoria’s at known c40,000 in Wuhan alone is also an interesting guide to real numbers.

  8. We know the welded shut apartments, that’s the sort of thing Communists do. What we don’t know is the real death tolls.

    The number of urns sent to crematoria-type stuff doesn’t tell us much, the UK is building mass hospitals and morgues, don’t mean they will be used.

  9. I feel Jim makes a good case. However, I think the more salient point is, will the buggers react in the same way when the next microbe trots along?
    Fine, if they deal with it sensibly, but otherwise….?
    I really don’t think I could stand another spasm of national panic and hysteria with added “lockdown” syndrome, with people jumping (literally) off the pavement in order to avoid getting any nearer than 78.7402 inches from me.
    I really couldn’t.

  10. The Chinese closed everything down because that’s what they did last time (SARS 2002/3) and they believed had worked.

    The great irony will be that, if it is all shown to have been an over-reaction, in a sense, trying to stop people like (Wuhan doctor) Li Wenliang spreading rumours, was the ‘right’ thing to do. This may be something of an abuse of the word ‘right’, I accept.

    My money is on incompetence and over-zealousness. Maybe the virus first spread between humans in Wuhan, maybe it had been circulating for a while inside or outside China. Wuhan had the medical research community and equipment to quickly identify a new bug. Bright young doctors/researchers, for whom 2002/3 was very much in their memories and, for many, was perhaps their inspiration for joining the profession, now equipped with a state-of-the-art laboratory, got carried away. Things moved fast.

    Had cooler heads prevailed, inside and outside China, mortality rates for early 2020, in various parts of the world, might have caught the attention of researchers…or might not.

    Perhaps someone here can answer some of these questions:
    1) When a new virus is identified, what kind of steps take place to verify that identification, and have those steps been followed in this case?
    2) When a new test (for a new virus) is created, what kind of verification or validation is normally required, and has that happened here?
    3) There seem to be several different tests (different methods?) used in different countries to establish whether a patient has this new virus. Are they all equal sensitivity and specificity?

  11. Not to say anything nice about China’s rulers — but let’s not give our own Political Class a pass on this.

    Regardless of what China did or did not do, there was no reason for our media to be so irresponsible in creating panic or for our politicians to be so weak-kneed in caving to the media-created panic.

    If we could drain our own swamp, it would not matter what China’s rulers did.

  12. I suspect you are very right here, and that the majority of the deaths will be a result of the clamp down, not the virus.

  13. “but let’s not give our own Political Class a pass on this.”

    Of course not. How on earth does almost the entire west adopt the strategy of the CCP almost in the blink of an eye without the slightest evidence it was in anyway effective.

  14. Mr. Moore,
    Your main paragraph is possibly the most relevant and the most searching of any I’ve seen in this utter fiasco.
    Why the hell can’t people actually look at what’s in front of them?
    Why the hell do they appear to fully believe all that the TV, the radio and the bloody awful rags that pass as “news” papers tell them?
    Apologies for language and shouting.

  15. Wait for the next 28k death Flu season (similar to 2014/15). Last time nobody noticed and collective memory is small – BUT next time there will death counters on the nightly news again and MSM and Pols demanding action.

  16. My pet theory on the Chinese and Iranian death rates is that some number, presumably a fairly high one, of people recovering from this disease do so because of first world healthcare. Hence countries without that suffer more deaths. Welding people into blocks of flats is denying them any healthcare.

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