Coronavirus Update

2020_02 22 coronavirus

I received this letter in a forwarded email. It appears to be from a foreigner living in China and describing the conditions there. I cannot personally verify its provenance, but thought it was worth passing on for your thoughtful consideration. I think the biggest take away for me is the need to pray.

Hi all.  So the Corona Virus has shut down all of East and Central China and is now moving across other countries in Asia.  This is going to have deep and almost immediate effects on goods and products that are for sale in the US, on everything from auto parts to zippers.

Of greatest concern for now is what it will do to supplies of medical equipment and drugs, everything from band aids and cotton swabs and vitamins and prescription drugs of all kinds.  Also, protective gear like face masks and hazmat suits.

I strongly advise that you prepare your families accordingly, and consider begin stocking up on some of these items that will be in very high demand, very soon.  China makes of 90% of the drug ingredients and about 80% of the medical supplies used in the United States, and right now, nobody in China is making them at all.

I have been living in China for eight years and am on Wechat (a social networking app) with about 800 expatriate business executives across China.  The economy here no longer exists, basically.  It’s been closed for 3 weeks, and nobody really knows when the manufacturing sector or any of the factories will reopen.

Martial law has been declared in eight provinces with a total population of 500 million people, and the rest of us outside these zones have had our movements proscribed to going out to get groceries once every two days.  Army and police in the Eastern provinces (where most of the industry is) are arresting people who are outside their homes, though even that isn’t as effective as before because now so many military and police units are infected and unable to function.  There are very few flights available in; the roads and ports are closed, railroads shut down.  Even if a factory owner can get permission to open, his workers aren’t allowed to move, and he can’t ship product out.  This will go on for an indeterminate period.

For the kinds of drugs and supplies I’ve mentioned above, the export markets will not be getting any new production for many weeks.  These supplies and medicines are in critical and desperate supply here and the Chinese government has ordered local governments to procure whatever is necessary from factories and shops.  The true numbers of the infected and dead are many orders of magnitude higher than the official accounts, which nobody really believes anymore.

A quick note about care or aid packages:  in the event you have churches or friends here in Asia who ask you to send them medical supplies, those packages will likely never arrive to where you had hoped.  The customs officials have been ordered to seize any medical supplies for use in hospitals.  Even passengers arriving in airports are having their carry-on bags and stowed luggage searched for masks, respirators, rain gear (no kidding)—anything that could be used by hospital staff to protect themselves from what they’re dealing with—and it’s being confiscated.

With respect to the disease itself, I don’t think this disease can be stopped anything short of supernatural means.  Infections continue to soar, even under military-enforced quarantines that have been in place for almost a month.  You have to see the Army response here to believe it, and yet nothing has worked.  You mercifully haven’t had many cases there, yet, but I fear that you’re just six or seven weeks behind where we are in China, and four to five weeks behind Japan.  Only a miracle can stop it, and that’s what we need to be praying for. If you’re a man or woman of faith, get some more.  If at some point you left it or lost it, go back to where you saw it last, and pick it up again.

All the best,

Kevin Walmsley

[Header says he is Retired Special Forces living in China]

5 Comments

Filed under Loose Pollen

5 responses to “Coronavirus Update

  1. red

    He had better be careful. Chicoms were arresting anyone caught discussing the virus with those outside the country. Again and always, why the secrecy?

    Liked by 1 person

    • chrissythehyphenated

      I figured it was a combo of a dictatorship avoiding embarrassment and the Chinese horror of looking bad.

      Like

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