Hand mit Schutzhandschuhen hält eine Blutprobe mit der Aufschrift "COVID-19", vor einem Globus

Like many of you, I’ve been struggling with ways to convey my feelings towards the global pandemic that is COVID-19 (at home, I’ve created a nickname for it too: Covo).

Around this time last year, I was getting ready to head to Shanghai for a tech conference (CES Asia, the little brother to CES Vegas) and organizing paperwork for a business visa. All the excitement of a two-week visit (conference + solo press trip) to China (my first visit) was in stark contrast to what’s currently swimming in my mind.

Li Wenliang
[RIP, Dr. Wenliang]

No surprise here that this miserable COVID-19 could have likely been prevented had China listened to whistleblower doctor Li Wenliang. He tried warning the government ahead of the deadly outbreak and what was his reward? Death by that very virus.

Having recently returned from the US, where COVID-19 news rages on in all forms of media, I came across a USA Today article by Chinese researcher Yaqiu Wang while at my hotel that has lived with me for days.

Dr Bruce Aylward from the World Health Organisation
[The WHO’s Dr. Bruce Aylward]

His article mentions the praise that World Health Organization team leader Dr. Aylward bestowed on the Chinese government regarding their swift measures once COVID-19 was on the loose.

Aylward gave kudos to the makeshift emergency hospitals and close to 60 million people under quarantine, yet failed to mention doctors (including Wenliang) that warned about the virus while there was still time to contain it.

Shanghai-7

With social media banned in China, this brought back memories of purchasing VPN while in China in order to access my social media feeds. Had social media been open to the public there, all those tales of misery, desperate calls for help and life under quarantine might have motivated the rest of the world to act quicker and to get their own citizens prepared for eventual global spread.

For all those wonderful memories of my trip to Shanghai, I think back to the article. Censorship played a key role in silencing what was going on there, yet a few stories did make it out, mostly of citizens trying to save themselves as they were turned away from hospitals afraid of cross-contamination.

Coronavirus - Vita nella zona rossa

I hope that wherever you are in the world and whatever you’re doing to keep calm and #selfisolate, that you’re taking a moment to read this — and be blessed that for all the misgivings of social media’s rants and false information, that we live in a part of the world where we CAN post (and read posts) on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok.

Peace out to our friends and readers.

xo

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