Sunday, 29 March 2020

Some figures on the virus. AKA “China Can’t Win"

The reaction in the West to good figures coming out of China -- low rates of cases and deaths per population and a high recovery rate of 93% -- the reaction on both Left and Right, has been to say: “China is lying”.
Well, we live here in Hong Kong, and we know that there is a very vibrant community here that absolutely loathes the mainland and loathes Xi Jinping (on the latter, I do too) and would look for any opportunity to lambast them. If China were indeed lying, we would know about it here pretty smartly. 
There is no real “Great Firewall of China". Anyone in China can get a VPN. I've got one. My friends visiting China get one set up in China in minutes. The VPN gets you access to any site in the world you want.
China is not a police state. Whatever you’ve heard, whatever you think. It’s not. People can say anything they want.  You can even criticise Xi Jinping. Just not in national media. 
There is a flow of information. Including on Covid-19. We would know if people were coming down with the virus and dying, and if China were hiding it. So, our conclusion is: they’re not. Or we’d know. We’d know it right here in HK. Right on the unfettered social media of LIHKG and Telegram.
Ergo: China has indeed managed to control the virus. Not so the West. 
So: rather than face their shortcomings, they hate on China.
China can’t win.  If it donates medical equipment, it gets blamed for doing “generosity politics”. If they don't donate, they’re hammered for being callous and uncaring. If they shut down a whole province, it’s “dictatorship” and “cruelty”, then a few months later the west has to to that same and it’s “necessary tough measures”. Hypocrisy. 
A few months ago, they changed the way they recorded Covid-19 cases, which led to a spike in the numbers. Consternation. But now, that the numbers are coming down, the only explanation for the west is that “they’re lying”. 
The longer the west believes that, continues to be in denial, the longer they will take to get this virus under control. 
Below the fold are my spreadsheets with selected comparative figures:

From Worldometer, the total number of cases.
USA becomes No.1, not a prize they wanted...
The total number of cases per million of population.
Why is Italy so much greater in proportion?
Greater than US, UK, 27 times China? Why?
The total number of deaths from coronavirus per million population
Again, death rates in Italy vastly greater than anywhere
72 x China. Why?
Recoveries as a percent of the number of cases
Is the percentage of recovery in China, 93%, believable
or a target to be aimed at? I dnn’t know. Maybe it’s because
they had so many ventilators vs they don’t in the USA