“We live in a society exquisitely dependent on science and technology, in which hardly anyone knows anything about science and technology.”-Carl Sagan
I thought I would take some time off from being the romantic dreamer to satisfy the medical side of my mind that has found much to chew on with the news as of late. Those who know me well know that epidemiology has always been a fascinating subject for me, and I have often dreamed of eventually procuring a PhD in Epidemiology. The Spanish Flu is also one of my favorite historical subjects, as it is a perfect marriage of my love of American history and epidemiology. Unknown futures aside, the COVID-19 situation currently gripping the world has held my attention since the Chinese announced its discovery on December 31st, 2019.
Indeed, this situation has not only tickled my epidemiological funny bone but has also struck a chord with my boundless interest in conspiracy and the occult as well. It might seem odd for someone with a scientific and medical background to also consider alternative and controversial topics, but I do find that in certain cases, the truth often lies in places that many people may not be willing to look, and rarely is the truth presented in full light, especially by those in power.
As such, in this series of posts, I am going to attempt to cover as much ground on both the published and peer-reviewed, scientific side of COVID-19, as well as the top alternative theories on the disease in order to a full view into the current state of the world, how we got here, and where we may be going. Throughout this series, it is my mission to provide high quality and unbiased sources as possible, to give you, the reader, the ability to come to an informed conclusion. I feel that this is extremely important given the inherently misleading nature of both mainstream and alternative news sources.
This first part of the series will focus on the origins of COVID-19, and the most widely accepted theory on the disease, which is the virus theory. Subsequent posts will delve into origins of the virus, and alternative causalities to COVID-19.
Birth of a Virus
First things first, it is worth explaining that COVID-19 is not a virus itself; it is merely the disease condition currently attributed to the SARS-COV-2 virus. Think of this in terms of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, or H1N1, the virus that caused the Spanish Flu. As such, I will use the virus’ name and not the disease condition when talking about the virus theory of COVID-19.
The currently believed epidemiology for SARS-COV-2 is that it originated in late October or early November of 2019 from the Huanan Seafood Market located in the Jianghang district of Wuhan, China. It is postulated that a bat housed in the unsanitary conditions of the wet market was the vector in which the coronavirus was able to jump to a human host, possibly through contaminating an intermediary animal such as a pangolin or ferret via contaminated food stuffs in the market.
The earliest confirmed date for this having happened is November 17th, 2019, based on the first case being hospitalized on December 1st, 2019.
The Official Narrative
According to the official World Health Organization (WHO) timeline, after the first confirmed case of the SARS-COV-2 virus, and thus, COVID-19 was hospitalized on December 1st, 2019, the virus was tracked to 9 individuals who were all present at the Huanan Seafood Market within a certain timeframe. This suggested in late December that human-to-human transmission had not yet occurred.
Indeed, on January 14th, 2020, the WHO released a statement on twitter saying that China had not found human to human transmission possible with the virus up to that point. It would take almost 10 more days for the Chinese government to realize that the virus had become transmissible. Meanwhile, 3 days prior on January 11th, SARS-COV-2 claimed its first human life.
On January 23rd, cases began to increase at an exponential rate, and Wuhan was placed under quarantine. By the beginning of February, the entire province of Hubei was also locked down, as well another neighboring province. Cases exploded not only across China, but also across the world.
Though the first death outside of China was recorded in the Philippines on February 2nd, Italy was the next country to be severely impacted. Interestingly, despite other countries also seeing COVID-19 cases, they were nowhere near the numbers that ravaged Wuhan, China, and Lombardy, Italy.
It was not until the middle of March that the United States began to see an explosion of cases. As of this writing, the USA now has the most cases and deaths of any country worldwide, with 765,556 positive known cases and over 40,000 deaths. Over 100 countries are currently on some sort of lockdown, with no established timeline for when this will all be over.
Contradictions with Chinese Information
Taiwan provides interesting insight into the tracing of the disease, as they warned of an unknown viral pneumonia causing panic in China before China announced to the WHO that there was a novel coronavirus infecting citizens on December 31s, 2019. As a result of these findings, Taiwan closed its border to passengers from Wuhan, China before December 31st, and as of this writing, their COVID-19 caseload remains one of the lowest in the world. This is despite sharing a border with China, and despite how heavily connected their economies are. Taiwan officially closed their borders to other countries on March 19th.
This information from Taiwan was reportedly severely underplayed by the WHO, which has now been accused of blatantly disregarding their warnings. Famously, a WHO representative was unwilling to even acknowledge Taiwan during a phone call which went viral immediately, prompting some backlash and suggestions that the WHO was being controlled by China. These allegations were even hurled by the Japanese government, fueling distrust in both the WHO and China.
It should be noted that US Intelligence has released a statement saying that they were aware of the emergence of a different type of viral pneumonia in China in late October to early November, further bolstering this timeline of events which suggests the virus was spreading faster and more aggressively than first reported.
As the virus spread and more became known about the associated disease process, more discrepancies arose between the Chinese story and what other countries were experiencing.
Whistleblowers in China began to voice concern in late December and early January. Certain doctors were reporting to the Chinese government human to human transmission earlier than the January 14th WHO tweet regarding the nonexistence of such transmission.
In fact, on January 10th, 2020, two doctors from Wuhan, Dr. Ai Fen and Dr. Li Wenliang, reported to the Chinese government that human to human transmission had been occurring for quite some time, and that cases were about to explode exponentially. These doctors did not come out anonymously, but instead used their real identities when exposing this information. Given China’s history of poor treatment to whistleblowers, this suggests that these doctors were confident enough about their findings to risk their careers and lives to get the information out. Dr. Ai Fen also took to the Chinese social media site, Weibo, in an attempt to spread the information herself.
It should be noted that China now considers one of the early whistleblowers, Dr. Li Wenliang, a martyr for his efforts to make people aware of the seriousness of the situation. He succumbed to the virus on February 7th while fighting on the frontlines. Dr. Ai Fen has disappeared and there is some concern for her safety.
Historically, China does not have a good record with honesty and pandemics. The 2003 SARS epidemic was handled poorly from start to finish, claiming 774 lives before it was finally contained. Certain experts from various scientific and medical backgrounds are beginning to call China’s perfect curve of cases and deaths into question, especially when considering the data from Europe and the United States.
All of this considered, there seems to be a lot of information either obfuscated or completely hidden from the public. In part 2, I will cover more ground on the virus theory, including alternative theories on the origins of SARS-COV-2.