Updated: Mar 29, 2020
Today has seen what appears to be a sudden explosion of Covid-19 cases around the world. Iran has an unknown number of cases with over 20 dead. Italy has just had their first casualty and is shutting down schools. In S. Korea the number of infected has gone up 90% in the last 3 days. How did all this happen? It's happened so fast!...or has it? This is not intended to be a full timeline of events but rather is being written to help people understand how we got here. As I am a US citizen, the events contained in this article are largely through a US perspective. However we are all in the same situation and I believe this can help people regardless of where they come from.
To understand where we are now you have to look back at how all this started. The key to understanding not just today, but tomorrow lies in the data. Myself and others have been predicting this for weeks but we aren't psychic. The sad truth is this was all set into motion over 2 months ago.
December 1, 2019: This is the date most commonly ascribed to "patient 0". However due to a lack of information and a lack of transparency from CCP, we do not know anything about this person. We have been led to believe that the virus originated in a meat market in Wuhan China, but many point to the Viral Institute located near by as the source. Regardless of where it came from, this is when the chain of events starts.
Late December 2019: Dr. Li Wenliang warns his friends and co-workers over Chinese social media site WeChat that a new virus is causing pneumonia to spread in Wuhan China. He later realizes the significance and warns others.
December 31, 2019: The first case of "viral pneumonia" was reported to The World Health Organization, or WHO. It is clear that this is not something they have seen before and concerns are quietly raised about this new mystery virus. However, with a long and varied incubation period, infection of this individual could have been between 10-24 days before. This is important to understand.
January 1, 2020: China orders the Huanan seafood market closed due to concerns that the virus originated there from one of the many wild animals sold as meat.
January 3, 2020: Dr. Li Wenliang is arrested and forced to sign a document retracting his warning regarding the virus now known as covid-19. In this document he had to admit to spreading false information regarding the virus.
January 7,2020: China tells WHO that the virus is not MERS or SARS and names the new Virus SARS-COV-2
January 9, 2020: The fist person dies from covid-19 in China. We are led to believe he contracted the virus from the Huanan seafood market and that the virus is not transmittable from person to person. It is unknown at this time whether officials in China yet knew this to be untrue.
January 13, 2020: This marks the date for when cases of covid-19 infection begin to be reported by other countries from citizens who had been to Wuhan and are now sick. This will continue to happen whether reported or not as people come and go from the epicenter of the outbreak.
January 20, 2020: China confirms Human to human transmission of the virus. THIS is very important to understand. It was obvious that the virus had human to human transmission well before this but until this point it was denied by not only China but The World Health Organization. This out and out lie, slowed global response and led to an unknown amount of death.
January 25, 2020: Chinese New Year. Millions of people have been traveling in and out of China to points all over the globe in celebration. 60,000 from Wuhan alone. Unfortunately what no one outside a handful of people knew, was that the virus went with them. Up to this time, the public was still being told that the virus could not spread from person to person. It was assumed that one could only get the virus from eating infected meat. This was deliberate as the economy gains a massive boost from people traveling and celebrating Chinese New Year.
January 26, 2020: Independent reporter Chen Qiushi begins reporting on the situation in Wuhan. All public transportation is stopped from coming in or going out of the city. It is now obvious that person to person infection is possible. We find out that it can be spread through close contact via droplet and is suspected to live on surfaces.
January 31, 2020: The president of the united states puts travel restrictions on foreign nationals entering the US if they have been in China in the last 14 days. This is after a person in the US is confirmed to have covid-19. WHO begins the campaign to get counties to keep transportation to China open and says that closing transportation is "racist". Many countries listen.
February 2, 2020: The first covid-19 death happens outside China. It is a man in the Philippines. Up until now the virus has gone mostly unnoticed by the world at large. It is compared as being, "Not as bad as the flu". A critical error that causes people to tune out and forget about the situation.
February 3, 2020: The World Health Organization stated that travel restrictions were not needed to prevent the spread of coronavirus. The Chinese ambassador to the UN used WHO's statement to denounce "certain countries" who had issued travel restrictions from China. The US had restricted all foreign nationals who had been to China in the last 14 days from entering the US. At this time WHO and China were continuing to use a narrative of "racism" to persuade countries to continue allowing open travel to and from the infected region as well as China itself.
February 4, 2020: The Diamond Princess cruise ship is docked in Japan and found to have 10 people infected on the ship. It's passengers are to be held for 14 days in quarantine. The virus now has infections in 24 countries including the UK, Australia, France and others around the world. The nature of the covid-19 virus is beginning to be know. It is highly infectious and can live on surfaces for 9 days. It can be spread for up to 2 meters from a person coughing or sneezing. The mortality rate is calculated at 2-3%, 20-30x higher than the flu. Those paying attention to the situation in China doubt their confirmed numbers. Videos captured by Chen Qiushi and others show Wuhan in a state of disaster. Mortuary calls are leaked stating that they are running 24/7 to keep up with the bodies. The media and WHO continue to downplay the situation.
February 5, 2020: Myself and other researchers and journalists start trying to warn the public of the dangers of covid-19. Based on the capabilities of the virus itself and the situation up to this point, it is obvious that the infection cannot be contained. Covid-19 has the ability to destroy the supply chain and overrun healthcare causing countless deaths as a result. By analyzing the data you can see that the virus has the ability to make massive amounts of people sick and keep them this way for a long time while continuing the chain of infection. This causes people to be unable to work, produce vital supplies such as food and medicine, and get them shipped to local stores. The majority of the world's medical supplies are made in China and other countries will be at a greater disadvantage than China in an outbreak due to an inability to get medicine and protective equipment. Experts say that it has a 60-80% infectivity meaning that unchecked, 60-80% of the world population could become infected. 15-20% of those infected need hospital treatment. 5% need care in an ICU and 2-3% will die, The average time to death is 3 weeks. All this is based on the numbers we have from China so far. It is assumed that this is the "best case scenario" as the situation is likely worse than reported. These kinds of numbers would overrun and healthcare system leading to much higher death rates in those infected as well as those needing life saving care that would be unable to get it. The panic and violence that a situation like this would cause would lead to even greater casualties. It is vital to get people to properly prepare in the event of supply chain failure and to help slow the spread through infection control measures.
February 7, 2020: Doctor Li Wenliang dies as a result of infection with covid-19. This comes as a shock to all paying attention and a wake up for some, to the human rights violations happening in China. People are being sealed into their homes and those that share information about the situation are arrested, forced to sign documents retracting their statements and even going missing. The death of Doctor Li becomes a rallying call for many in China and the world over. The death of the man who warned the world is one no one will forget.
February 9 2020: Chen Qiushi goes missing after posting another video about the situation in Wuhan, in which you can see him crying as he says how afraid he was. Only a few days later a second journalist, Fang Bin is arrested after posting a video of bodies in a Wuhan hospital as well. This sparks outrage and grief for all those both inside and outside China who have been following the situation. More and more efforts are made by independent researchers and journalist around the world to solve the problems this virus causes. It is clear based on the information, that a large portion of the countries around the world have been infected with the virus, but due to the long incubation period and the ability for people to spread the virus to others without symptoms, the cries of warning go mostly unnoticed. As of 3/28/2020 we have not heard from Chen Qiushi, and Fang Bin is assumed incarcerated.
February 11, 2020: Researchers begin to suspect that infections of covid-19 are being masked by the flu. Doctors rarely test patients for flu and instead diagnose people clinically. This could cause an infection like covid-19 to spread unnoticed until numbers of infected become critical and overrun the system seemingly "overnight". Looking at this years flu data, it's clear that there are more cases of flu and related deaths than usual. Researchers suspect that this is a result of covid-19 but have no idea what the number of infected really is. Several cases of "flu like illness" and pneumonia related deaths are looked at, but researchers can do nothing more than guess at their true cause. It is revealed that the virus is also airborne.
February 13, 2020: CDC briefs the US senate on the covid-19 situation. They warn to prepare for hundreds of thousands of cases. They tell the senate to take the numbers you see and multiply by 7 and that is the real estimate you should use. The director of WHO has said that Ebola is lousy compared with covid-19 and that they take covid-19 more serious. Companies like Apple are unable to fulfill their manufacturing quotas due to China not being able to produce the products outsourced to them. Europe braces for drug shortages as does much of the rest of the world as the majority of drugs and components are made in China. Stock markets are artificially inflated to attempt to ward off fears of a covid-19 pandemic but experts warn that this will only lead to a greater loss when they inevitably crash.
February 17, 2020: Most of the passengers of the Diamond Princess are now returned to their home countries. The US had stated that no infected individual would be brought back, but stay in Japan for treatment. The CDC warned that moving infected individuals creates a higher risk to others of becoming infected. 14 US citizens test positive for the virus after being cleared by Japan and the state department overrules the CDC and brings them home. Infected individuals are placed in a separate container to try to avoid spreading the virus to uninfected passengers. Some of these individuals later admit to lying about being cleared and about having symptoms, further spreading covid-19. The virus has a 30-50% false negative on tests so honesty from infected individuals is crucial to controlling the spread.
February 20, 2020: 11 of 13 people from the Diamond Princess who were sent to Nebraska are now showing infection with covid-19. One woman admits to lying about testing negative in Japan to get on the plane to go home to Nebraska. She and her husband later test positive for covid-19. Thousands of people potentially infected with covid-19 are under self quarantine. Flights continue to come in from China with US citizens potentially infected with covid-19 with only temperature checks to clear them. The US continues to release people from quarantine after only 14 days. This, even after it has been well documented that the virus can incubate more than 24 days (1 account of 42) and can infect others before the infected person has symptoms such as a fever. The situation is similar the entire world over.
February 21, 2020. present day: 77,811 have been officially reported infected. 2360 have been officially reported dead. It is obvious that despite China's numbers saying that the infection is slowing, that it is not. They begin construction of a 30,000 bed facility and reports of the virus spreading in prisons and in Beijing are rising. Iran has more than 20 dead from covid-19 and is unable to trace infections back to China meaning that the virus is now spreading within communities. Schools are shut down and an Iranian doctor is reported dead from the virus. S. Korea is facing a large outbreak with several dead and 156 reported infections. Italy has an outbreak leading to one dead so far and the closing of public schools. Violent riots have broken out in the Ukraine over protests regarding quarantine sites. France and Germany have had fatalities and while their official numbers remain low it is now clear that infections will start showing up all over the world due to a lack of action 3 weeks ago. News media continues to ignore the situation and the general public remains unaware of the danger. CDC has sent faulty tests out to the states health department and still refuses to test people who have not been to China.
It is clear that this is only the beginning. We are running 3 weeks behind covid-19 and the numbers you see today, reflect that. Many more are infected and totally unaware that they are spreading the virus. It is critical that people do everything they can to protect themselves from infection and slow the spread. Supplies should be carefully and rationally bought as a buffer in the event of a complete break in the supply chain. Myself and others working to help the world cope with covid-19 will continue to do so. There are guides on this site written to help people prepare and protect themselves and have been checked for accuracy by researchers and medical providers. I make no money from all this and have no political ties. My only interest is in helping people and managing the spread of covid-19. I urge everyone to take these warnings seriously as the events of today are only the beginning.