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COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus, 2019-nCoV) News

A vaccine for the new Chinese Coronavirus is already being developed.

The authorities and scientists appear to be really on the ball this time.

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The US Centre for Disease Control (CDC) has some excellent information on coronavirus…

Most people get infected with these viruses at some point in their lives. Human coronaviruses can sometimes cause lower-respiratory tract illnesses, such as pneumonia or bronchitis. This is more common in people with cardiopulmonary disease, people with weakened immune systems, infants, and older adults.

While one could think from listening to the media that the coronavirus is a new human infection, it is not the case. The Wuhan coronavirus is a new strain which seems to have similar properties (human health impacts) to other known strains.

We were in China in 2003 when the western drummed up mass hysteria about SARS. After receiving advice from some world leading clininal virologists/immunologists, we realised the risks of living in China at the time were very low…almost non-existent (driving on the roads or eating local foods would have posed us a greater risk). This however didn’t stop the Chinese administration implementing a range of measures, some highly visible publically just to be seen to be doing something.

In the event that the Wuhan strain does pose a risk, no matter how small, it is best to obtain information from experts rather than relying on the media. There are a number of governnent and medical science websites that present factual and balanced information…such as the CDC, UK/European equivalents, Australian Government Health Services etc.


The ABC News had a local expert on about this, and he said it would take at least a year for a vaccine to be available.

Mapping the genome (it took a year for SARS) is not the issue now, but the development, testing, production, and distribution still takes time.


“Fauci said it would take a few months until the first phase of the clinical trials get underway and more than a year until a vaccine might be available.”


The Chinese authorities are not taking any chances.


Interesting, the western media (including ABC correspondents in China) has in recent days been asking the Chinese government whether they plan to restrict travel in and out of Wuhan. The recent response may be the appearance of gesturing to the west?

We have also received a message from a Chinese friend in Guangzhou (long way from Wuhan) that she plans to defer her Chinese New Year travels (which was to an island off Guangdong province) this weekend because of the coronovirus scare. She, like many educated Chinese, she reads western media and I wonder where this scare originated.

I wonder why the same media doesn’t have a frenzy about the significant deaths from influenza each year in Australia, US, Europe etc. In Australia there has been a significant number such as 1255 in 2017. While the mortality rates of coronovius may appear higher than influenza, the rates of infection of coronvirus are likely to be substantially underreported as most of the population may think that they have a cold or minor respiratory infection and not seek medical aattention.

It also appears from the information available, that those with weak/compromised immune systems are more vulnerable to complications from the coronovirus, just like the annual new strains of influenza.


There are vaccinations available for flu for all those smart enough to get them so most cases are in reality “self inflicted wounds”.

There is as yet no vaccinations or treatments for this virus.

Researches suspect that the virus originated from snakes.

Any new virus is of concern, and I’m glad a vaccine is being worked on for the Coronavirus.
But if we look at things in perspective:
China has a population of over 1.5 Billions, Wuhan is about 11 million,
17 deaths in Wuhan as reported a day ago.
I don’t see it as a big risk for us here,
but I may be wrong.


Would China really deprive their citizens of celebrating their most important annual occassion by preventing them from travelling?

I would think that they would prefer to keep their population happy rather than making any gesture to the West, so I believe that they are really taking the matter very is the US CDC.

China’s response is certainly no window dressing for the West.

When we were staying in Penang in 2001, we hired a driver and his car for a day to go sightseeing.

Our driver, who was Indian, made no secret of his dislike for both the ethnic Malays and the resident Chinese. and asked us what is the only thing that the Chinese will not eat.

When we replied that we did not know, he said “Rock”.

Whilst not wishing to offend any Chinese persons, the driver’s answer is somewhat prophetic, and perhaps a somewhat less diverse diet may be a much heatltier option.

An article about the Wuhan food market at the centre of the outbreak including the SouthChina Morning Post reporting that it even sold koala meat.

An update on the research by scientists at UQ into developing a vaccine.

Here’s some tips on reducing the risk of infection from the WHO … (they could have worded point 5 a little differently :wink: )


One of the issues with the virus is it is likely that some may be affected but unaware that they have the virus (some individuals may have almost no to slight symptoms). Speaking to a friend in China last night, it appears that most of the deaths in China are persons who have been elderly and with compromised immune systems. I wonder if this is why the WHO seems reluctant (even with immense pressure from the media and possibly also politicians) to declare the current outbreak a emergency.

Our Chinese friend also made a comment that the CCP seems concerned about the country’s reputation and also how others (the west?) perceives its response. This might be why extreme actions have been taken…and more urgent type responses than the SARS of 2002/2003. Chinese culture has something called ‘face’, I wonder if this may be coming into play a little as well. The CCP also doesn’t like to be criticised, especially in forums where the local population may have access to such criticisms (through common and approved foreign channels or through by-passing the Great China fireWall)


Indeed - when they say ‘5 confirmed cases’ I immediately think ‘5000 possible infections’ … when one considers all the possible interaction permutations from infection to suspicion to confirmation and the lead-times involved in symptoms/detection etc. (viewed as a lay person, among other things :wink: )

It seems a little uncertain at the moment also - I guess history will tell whether it was the right decision, as it always seems to (even if history doesn’t tell us the truth, it just seems to become the truth that is true rather than the true truth) … a little like WMD’s in Iraq, many people will say what the truth is, but that is coming from the media, politicians or a mixture of both - the public will likely never know the true truth …

To paraphrase Hegel - world history is not written about happy times … (Die Weltgeschichte ist nicht der Boden des Glücks. Die Perioden des Glücks sind leere Blätter in ihr.).


Whilst searching for a local news item today, I came across a website which had a link to this article.

Whilst Xmas is over, I could definitely smell fruit cake so I searched and found this article.

Talk about irresponsible stupidity. This character actually make Alan Jones look like the Dalai Lama.

The yanks will be starting to panic like they did during Orson Welles 1938 broadcast of “The War of the Worlds”.

An article regarding the construction of the new 1,300 bed hospital in Wuhan.

Absolutely incredible.

Translates to “World history is not the bottom of happiness. The periods of happiness are empty sheets in it”.

The bottom of happiness? Lost something in translation. Could you please explain the idiom?

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Translation is a strange thing sometimes - I don’t speak the language, so I’m at the mercy of online translations or other people’s interpretations, but my reference was more a confluence of the notions that history will be the judge along with history not being written about happy times - a conflict of sorts, but also a reality to someone whos view of the world has a solid foundation of Weltschmerz :wink:

Other ‘translations’ of the phrase are different and vary in length, including:

  • History is not the soil of happiness. The periods of happiness are blank pages in it.
  • The History of the World is not the theatre of happiness. Periods of happiness are blank pages in it, for they are periods of harmony, periods when the antithesis is in abeyance.
  • History is not the soil in which happiness grows. The periods of happiness in it are the blank pages of history.

In lay reference - we don’t write history books about good times where there was peace and stability - but that is a small part of the reference in the introduction of Hegel’s book “The Philosophy of History” … It’s a little heavy going … around pp2/7 of:

It really constitutes a tiny part of the story, and as used by many is almost a misinterpretation at worst or out of a way bigger context at best, but it still makes a valid if somewhat sweeping-statement point …

We probably digress a little :slight_smile:

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