Here is how quickly things can change with this Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic.
After 55 days without any new reported infections and an easing back to sort of, kind of normal life in Beijing, China, lockdowns have returned. That’s because a new outbreak of Covid-19 coronavirus cases has occurred. On Thursday, testing found a 52-year old man to be positive for the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Since then, dozens of new cases have emerged with most being linked to the Xinfadi food market in Southern Fengtai district of Beijing.
Here’s a South China Morning Post segment on this outbreak:
As you can see, they also found the virus on boards used to cut salmon in market. That may sound fishy but so far there haven’t been any known cases of humans catching the virus from eating salmon.
In an attempt to contain this outbreak, officials have shifted the Beijing district into “wartime emergency mode,” which is certainly not as fun as pie à la mode. According to Emma Graham-Harrison and Lily Kuo reporting for The Guardian, this has meant placing restrictions on movement, suspending sports events, barring tourism, keeping schools closed, and closing the market. Officials have already quarantined 139 people and plan on testing over 10,000 people. The concern, of course, is that this outbreak could lead to a second wave. And no one besides the virus wants such a second wave.
Yep, officials in China are hoping that this new outbreak doesn’t become like the movie Grown Ups 2, a sequel that’s as bad as the original. When the virus first started spreading widely in China, things were looking grim until late January, when officials began implementing aggressive social distancing measures, testing, and test-trace-isolate efforts.. As I covered for Forbes back on March 26, which was about three missed haircuts ago, these approaches allowed China to effectively “flatten-the-curve,” and even turn the curve upside down. As a result, China could then progressively ease restrictions and re-open their society.
Ah, but, remember the movie The Rock, when Nicholas Case warned, “Mason, the second you don’t respect this, it kills you,” while handing a bunch of poisonous gas bubbles to Sean Connery? Well, the moment that you don’t respect the Covid-19 coronavirus, the moment that you get too lax about the virus, it could come back to bite you on the proverbial behind. The virus is like that house guest that’s in your bathroom for an hour. You have no idea what it’s doing when you can’t see it. Since the virus is quite contagious, it only takes a few cases to lead to a resurgence.
All of this should serve as a warning to the U.S. This virus isn’t going to simply go away like a contestant on The Apprentice or a toupée in a furnace. Just because businesses are re-opening in your community and you can’t see the virus, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t continue to take precautions.
Succumbing to those pressuring everyone to return completely to normal too soon can be like following Regina George in the movie Mean Girls. It’s not a good idea. Unlike the situation in Beijing, the virus wouldn’t even need to make a comeback in the U.S. because it never really went away.