Epidemic

A couple walks by the Castro theater with their baby in San Francisco, California on 17 March 2020. (Josh Edelson/AFP)

Annihilation or protracted war ⁠— which is our best bet against Covid-19?

Professor Deng Xize of Sichuan University says that months into the fight against the coronavirus, strategies that countries are adopting are coalescing around two main threads — a war of annihilation or a protracted war. He cautions that these conflicting approaches are bound to generate risks on a global scale. Not only will the history of some countries take a different turn, international dynamics will also be altered. For the individual, it may become a gamble of health and luck.
Medical staff prepare to transfer Covid-19 patients from Wuhan No.5 Hospital to Leishenshan Hospital in Wuhan, March 2020. The people of Wuhan are grateful to front line healthcare workers and volunteers. (AFP)

Official's call for city of Wuhan to express gratitude backfires

Angry netizens suggest that Wuhan party secretary Wang Zhonglin’s call for gratitude for the CCP shows where officials’ allegiance truly lies. The testy mood of the public portends the zero tolerance of further grandstanding behaviour.
This photo taken on 28 February 2020 shows a statue with a face mask on in Wuhan. (STR/AFP)

Chinese novelist Yan Lianke: When the epidemic ends, let our memories live

In his first creative writing class of the semester, acclaimed Chinese author Yan Lianke addresses the Covid-19 milieu of the times. He urges his students to remember what they have seen and heard as memory separates man from beast; memory begets truth. He says if one cannot speak loudly or even whisper, at least remember.
The plague outbreak in late 1910 spread with the use of railways. There were many cases and deaths in northeast China, and the Qing dynasty government pumped in plenty of medical resources. In this photo, medical staff gather in front of an inn. At the time, there were many confirmed and suspected cases, and there was a serious lack of medical spaces, leading to the use of inns as medical facilities.

[Photo story] The Manchurian plague outbreak and the Malayan doctor Wu Lien-teh

The current coronavirus outbreak is not the first epidemic in China. Photo collector and Taiwanese writer Hsu Chung-mao, looks at a plague outbreak in Manchuria over a century ago and the role played by a Malaya-born doctor and Nobel Prize nominee.
Women wearing masks in Hong Kong. The Hong Kong authorities have stepped up vigilance against the mystery pneumonia in Wuhan. (CNS)

China’s mystery pneumonia

The recent outbreak of a mystery pneumonia in Wuhan brings back memories of the 2003 SARS epidemic. How are the Chinese authorities responding differently this time, and are people sufficiently reassured?