As of March 23, according to the John Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, there are 353,692 people infected with the novel coronavirus, officially known as SARS-CoV-2 or COVID-19, worldwide. A total of 15,430 have died, while 100,443 people have recovered.
In the United States, the number of cases has reached 35,345 with 459 deaths.
In addition to the human suffering, the pandemic has produced worldwide economic dislocations that have led to chaotic, and plunging, financial markets’ dropping economic output; and burgeoning unemployment. World trade and associated global supply chains have been disrupted. The net result is a deepening sense of fear and anxiety around the world.
The crisis has also given rise to an enormous amount of deliberate misinformation about the crisis, its origins and its eventual consequences. Some of that misinformation is fueled by fear and ignorance — some by crasser financial motives.
In the case of China, Russia and several other countries, however, misinformation is deliberately being spread by state media to deflect criticisms of their government actions, or lack thereof, and to push the blame onto someone else. Misinformation is also being weaponized as part of a broader foreign policy agenda that seeks to secure national advantage from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Read more ….
Update: Iran, China Predict More U.S. Coronavirus Pain and Push Conspiracy Theories (Newsweek)
WNU Editor: The fact that many governments around the world are implementing a misinformation campaign on Covid-19 does not surprise me. These are unprecedented times, and governments like China’s are scared on the impact that this crisis will have on their legitimacy to rule. Hence the blaming of this crisis on others (instead of on themselves). But there is a part of the above Military.com article that caught my eye, and deserves to be pointed out to put some prospective on what we are all going through right now ….
…. Since 1957, there have been more than a dozen major coronavirus-linked infections that have emerged, almost all of them from East Asia. Several of them have reached pandemic proportions.
The 1957 Asian flu (H2N2) pandemic was responsible for the deaths of approximately 2 million people. Other pandemics were caused by the 1968 Hong Kong Flu, H3N2, (1 million deaths) and the 2009 Swine flu, H1N1, (500,000 deaths).
In addition, there have been three major outbreaks of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) that are linked to coronaviruses: severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 2002-2004, Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) in 2012-2014 and COVID-19. Only the COVID-19 outbreak rose to the level of a pandemic.
Pandemics have been with us for a long time. And while this coronavirus outbreak is unique and different, I have to wonder if we are maybe over-reacting.I guess we are going to find out soon enough.