Johns Hopkins CSSE has developed and published a GIS web map tool, whereby you can live track the spread of Coronavirus on a map. I feel the pedigree is important, because when I listen to my Alexa news brief each day, no two news broadcasters have the same numbers.
Like you I want to know how serious this is, especially now that WHO declared Coronavirus as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) and today as a Global Emergency.
You can view the map in detail, zooming into any part of the map and see the geographic spread inasmuch as ‘facts’ have been reported. I suspect given the pedigree and resources, this will be as good information as any.
Adding a glimmer of hope, it not only shows the number of deaths and where they occured, but also the number of people who have recovered and where they are. Of course 140 recoveries out of a current 8,236 people infected is not a number that will have you brimming with confidence.
The information that is of most concern is the spread which is, as is predictable under the circumstances, given that it is believed that people are contagious before they may be aware that they have caught this condition, so the numbers are therefore understated.
Whilst the line for Jan 29th to 3oth may not be as steep as previous days, the only line of real relevance at the moment is the trend line. Putting aside the hype, if you need to know what is going on and where, I recommend this page as the best I have seen so far in seeing what is going on, without any hype.
The hype is bad. A few days ago, some of us saw the 75th commemoration of the liberation of Auschwitz Camp where so many people were murdered, mostly for being Jewish, but also for being Gypsys, gay, or for some other reason, less than perfectly Aryan. With tears in their eyes, still, survivors, for whom the nightmares start whenever they close their eyes, even all those years later, told their stories to warn us of racism and of blindly following the lead of other people.
Check out the last one above, which just shows the herd mentality, when French Asians are saying “I’m not a”
What I find particularly galling is that this is also happening in New Zealand where we don’t as yet even have a single case of Coronavirus!
I get that there is fear. We all should be worried, but this is not a disease that is caused by or has any respect for race. Yes it started in China, but given that there are now 9 cases in Australia, should we start attacking our cobbers over there too? Keep those Aussies out, we don’t want any of their green and gold germs here!
When the Mosque Shooting happened in Christchurch, I took a good look in the mirror and said to myself, that like most Kiwis, I have made the odd ‘joke’ about the driving capability of some ethnicities, and kept my mouth shut when people make slurs against people because of the colour of their skin, their beliefs, their sexual orientation or where they were born, I will call this out in future.
So that’s what I’m doing today. I’m calling it out. We are better than that. We are in this together. This is a global problem. We are inside a disaster story which will hopefully end as well as it can under the circumstances.
Spreading fear and distrust of people who might be recognisable with their ethnicity (which is often wrong by the way) is wrong on so many levels, especially in New Zealand, where Chinese immigration began in 1853 and history says we weren’t too kind to them then either.
So let’s just continue to focus on the facts. There is a terrible virus out there. It will most likely come to New Zealand. I believe that our Government, our education system, our airports and workplaces are doing their best to if not prevent it arriving, then to contain it.
Our fellow citizens, especially Chinese will be very afraid for themselves, for their families. Now they are afraid of racism and being vilified because of their ethnicity. Let’s nip this in the bud.