[ExI] > Taiwan is standing strong

Ben Zaiboc ben at zaiboc.net
Sun Mar 15 09:56:26 UTC 2020

On 14/03/2020 17:07, Stuart LaForge wrote:
> We could follow Taiwan's lead. Taiwan is an island right off the coast 
> of China with 23 million inhabitants many of whom work on the 
> mainland. Despite their proximity and population density, they only 
> have 50 cases of COVID-19 and 1 death. Yes, they were on top of the 
> epidemic from the very beginning but also of note, the government 
> foresaw the shortage of surgical masks so the government took over 
> production of surgical masks. Note that in the picture everyone is 
> wearing them going about their daily business. If everybody healthy or 
> sick wore a mask all the time in public, the virus would not be able 
> to spread. Let that sink in: only 49 infected out of 23 million people 
> with the Chinese government cyber-attacking them the WHOLE time. We 
> can beat this virus if we stop panicking and just start fighting the 
> virus instead of fighting each other over asinine politics; blaming 
> this political party or that for something that nature did. 
> *Frequent, transparent communication *

This seems to be highly instructive, and not just with respect to 
outbreaks of infectious diseases.

The extremely different, almost diametrically opposite, attitude and 
response that Taiwan has had, compared with China, is directly linked to 
the dramatically different outcome, so far at least, in each country.

I can't say what this reveals about Italy, but I'm wondering if we will 
see a correlation, worldwide, between transparency, coupled with a 
willingness to respond immediately in a practical way - rather than just 
political/ideological posturing - and infection/survival rates.

Maybe a plot showing COVID-19 infection and mortality rates against ... 
Hm, against what? maybe several plots, with scales for how repressive a 
regime is, how secretive it is (yes, I know, how can you trust their 
figures?), how 'politicised' it is (e.g. the tendency to twist 
everything towards scoring political points, regardless of the cost to 
human lives)?? Any better ideas?

What I'm getting at is something concrete to point at and say "When you 
have this kind of government, and there's a crisis, more people tend to 
die. When you have that kind of government, and the same crisis, more 
people tend to survive" kind of thing, using COVID-19 as a practical 
example. Something that, hopefully, can't be argued with.

Ben Zaiboc

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