COULD COVID-19 be good for you? Surely not. Yet statistics show that people in mainland China and Hong Kong have turned the coronavirus into a positive factor for public health in some ways, at least.
The Chinese response has been very thorough: as a result, they prevented hundreds of thousands of people from catching the virus AND saved the lives of 347,000 people suffering from cardio-vascular and other diseases. That’s according to a new study in Nature, the top science journal. Cleaner air and good hygiene habits like mask-wearing are credited with saving the huge number of extra lives.
Of course, the coronavirus has taken a harsh toll on business, but fewer than five thousand people in mainland China and just 213 in Hong Kong have been killed. Outside China, the virus has killed an astonishing five million people.
Rochelle Walensky, director of the CDC in the United States, just spoke about this, saying: “To give you a sense of what lockdowns were able to do in other countries, and I mean really strict lockdowns, in China, their death rate is three per million.”
Earlier this year, Harvard’s William Haseltine slammed the media for focusing on China’s possible early errors in dealing with Covid while ignoring the far more important news about the country’s enormous success: “It is wilful disregard of an important public health achievement that we should all be learning from.”
Separately, a study of the UK government’s actions against Covid-19 concluded that their leaders’ refusal to learn from China was a key factor leading to the country’s sadly large number of victims.
What’s the takeaway here? Learning from each other is a good thing.
Image at the top from: Erik McLean/ Unsplash