The calm before the tsunami storm

33Nicolas's picture

I hate sensationalism but a modicum of common sense would have us be more careful.

I'm lucky enough to have traveled to China until this year. In fact, I was there between Christmas and New Year's Eve as the Coronavirus, now rebaptized Covid-19 hit the country. I was born in Europe and still read the news there. I'm a journalist. I keep in touch with my Chinese contacts and friends, as I do with my European counterparts. We saw the tsunami wave start in China, hit Europea and now witness the nonchalant ways we're treating it in the US.

It all started in Wuhan, a Chinese province well known for its genetic research institutions. While the Chinese government downplayed the risk at first, it quickly reacted thereafter. Today, two months later, the situation is under control. It then hit Europe. The south was hit hard. Italy today has closed its borders. It has a high aging population and hit the hardest. Unless you watch International news, you won't know that its army trucks are used to pick up coffins to be burned elsewhere. Hospitals don't have enough room for everyone. Push comes to shove, younger folks are treated first and elders after, if at all.

France is in the middle of a typical king of the hill battle where a southern hospital has had good results with hydroxychloroquine for about two months or more. Paris won't have any of it until it has been thoroughly tested withing its own hospital. Such is the way of politics. The problem is that drug has been found to be effective and as doctors are saying, what is there to lose, people are dying. Recently, the minister of agriculture has called on the French to go to work in the fields and feed them, supposing politicians? Oh, my how wide is the disconnect?

Over here, and especially in the south of California, Americans are getting acquainted with something only their great-grandparents knew, quality of life. With enough time to stay home and work from home, people are going out, walking, exercising, engaging with one another, and keeping pretty close to each other. Although medical experts have asked people to maintain a healthy 6 foot apart strategy, you can walk on our beach path and have to dodge people walking together. The latest WHO (World Health Organization) seems to contradict many of the things we're heard about how Covid-19 propagates. No wonder why so many doubt and are confused.

As much as I'm happy to finally see everyone talking and engaging, a part of me can't help but worry. We've seen China start late and act quickly. We see Europe incapable of tackling the pandemic spread. We're seeing politicians arguing about what to do when Taiwan acted back in 2003. By the way, do some research on why Taiwan hasn't been hit as hard as China and Europe have? Now that's serious and real leadership.

The latest statistics show the virus effects the elders and those who are in a fragile immune state. It doesn't mean we should go out and tempt the devil. We hear that it's just a flu virus. Although true to a certain extent, it spreads differently. With no natural defense against it, those who are in a weakened state can die from it.

Sometimes it's scary for the child in me to see what happens. Adults are supposed to have it all together and protect the weaker. Politicians represent authority but only act when their welfare is at stake. Just go and see what is happening in the Senate today. I long for a common-sense pandemic :)

One thing is clear. Our elected officials have been woefully unprepared for a serious problem as the Covid-19 pandemic. The French are up in arms with the politicians not acting. Ours are no better besides much talking and little action. Many French folks feel this is happening to give pharmaceutical companies enough time to react and made a bundle. It wouldn't be the first time a few humans scooped this low.

Stay at home, don't get too close to others. You might not be affected but others can. Take the time to check in with yourselves. Reach out online, through video conferencing tools. Check out,, And hey, let's reach out. I'd love to hear from you. I record time passing by.