Grow Youthful: How to Slow Your Aging and Enjoy Extraordinary Health
Grow Youthful: How to Slow Your Aging and Enjoy Extraordinary Health

Why was the Chinese virus epidemic confined to Hubei province?

Viral recovery requires sleep, peace-of-mind and sunny outdoors

Death from fear

Other blogs on covid19

In a previous essay, I made a case that the Wuhan coronavirus had already spread to most of the world in December 2019 and January 2020. So why did the disease manifest as an epidemic in Wuhan only a month or two later? Or, viewed another way, why did the same epidemic not manifest in most other cities in China as severely as it did in Wuhan?

It no longer makes sense that Wuhan, the main city in Hubei Province, was so hard-hit mainly because of the chronology of the pandemic. We now must assume that, even if this coronavirus originated in Wuhan, it reached the rest of China before the Chinese government started containment in Wuhan - a case of closing the stable door after the horse has bolted.

The media pictures from Wuhan in January and February were awful. Sick people were lying in the streets, curfew breakers and suspected infected people were captured and taken away in vans, families were locked inside their apartment blocks, and there were even images of apartment gates being welded shut. There was a great deal of deprivation and personal suffering. Social restrictions were applied in other cities around China, but not with the draconian hand that applied to Wuhan. The death and severe illness rates in Wuhan seem to have been far higher than in other cities and other parts of China.

Viral recovery requires sleep, peace-of-mind and sunny outdoors

All viral disease is likely to be more harmful when the population is panicked than when the population is calm. This is because the immune system tends to be undermined by prolonged fear and emotional distress. Research shows that elevated cortisol and lack of sleep contribute greatly to the severity and length of viral infections. In Wuhan, the fear was not only of the virus itself but also of the measures taken by the government. The people of Wuhan sensed that the cure was likely to be worse than the disease. Because the population of Wuhan was terrorised by the combination of news of the danger of the virus, misinformation about its origin and extreme repression of human freedom, it seems possible that the disease manifested there as much because of the fear as because of this virus itself.

After initially denying the origin and severity, the various levels of Chinese government did an about-face and locked down the entire city and province of Hubei with some of the most severe quarantine and isolation restrictions ever instituted. Millions of people could not get to work, lost their jobs, were locked in or out of the city, were locked in apartment blocks, could not go shopping, had little or no food or money, and found themselves in a bleak, uncertain, even dire situation. Their stress levels went through the roof and they found themselves unable to sleep well, just when their immune systems needed more sleep.

Death from fear

So I suggest that the death and severe illness from the Wuhan coronavirus was caused more by the authoritarian lockdown than by harm from the virus itself. The government's intimidation made the situation far worse, not better. With the population having previously been infected in December 2019, if there had been no panic in Wuhan then it is likely that the manifestation of the disease, although certainly worse than the seasonal flu, would hardly have caused undue comment.

If the manifestation of the Wuhan coronavirus within China was really a combination of two major factors - namely the spread of the virus itself and the incidence of panic - then might this also explain, at least partly, the disparate effects of this pandemic on other parts of the world? For example, could it be that New York was so hard-hit mainly because the population there became particularly fearful? Please bear in mind that we now know that, like most of China, New York was already home to this virus by the end of 2019, with no obvious epidemic.

It seems that China acted brutally to control its epidemic, while the West reacted mainly out of compassion for the vulnerable. However, could it be that in both cases we have inadvertently promoted the very disease we have sought to control?

Ultimately, we should be focussing on empowering our immune systems rather than trying to disempower the virus. Freedom, support in every way, sunlight, fresh air, fresh wholesome food, places to exercise; and NOT social isolation, draconian restrictions and financial calamity.

Other blogs on covid19

Have most of us already been through this epidemic without noticing?

Why was the Chinese virus epidemic confined to Hubei province?

Do we understand the Wuhan coronavirus enough for governments to make even the most basic recommendations?

The World's First Iatrogenic Pandemic.

How I protect myself & stay healthy

Study finds covid19 in Barcelona in March 2019 - a year before the lockdown