July 2020: Coronavirus Timeline Update

December 23, 2020

Photo by Tess Myrl on Pexels.com

“The shortest straw has been pulled for you.” – Metallica

It’s been almost three months since we’ve reviewed our historical pandemic moment, a whole lotta shit has happened twenty-eight weeks into 2020, so let’s update the coronavirus timeline again.

Eight months into the novel coronavirus pandemic, the earliest case of coronavirus disease is still traced back to a 55 year old Hubei resident who contracted the virus on November 17th.

American intelligence supposedly becomes aware of a health issue in China in late November 2019. No additional reliable data is available on earlier documented awareness of illness from the virus at this writing.

December 16, 2019: Wei Guixan, a 57 year old Wuhan resident is one of the earliest noted coronavirus patients admitted to the hospital with infections in both lungs.

Throughout December of 2019, American intelligence agencies begin to raise normative alarms about a potential health crisis in China. At the same time, Dr. Li encounters infections appearing similar to the SARS coronavirus epidemic in 2003 and notifies Chinese authorities of his findings.

Chinese authorities basically tell Dr. Li to shut the fuck up, and then on December 31, 2019, China confirmed cases of a new virus infecting its citizens in the city of Wuhan. January 1, 2020, the WHO set up an Incident Management Support Team (IMST) in response to China’s disclosure.

Early transmission data reports through January 2, 2020 (compiled and peer reviewed in the scientific medical journal The Lancet) revealed that 41 patients had been admitted to the hospital in Wuhan and identified as having laboratory-confirmed 2019 novel coronavirus infection. 27 of the 41 patients had been exposed to the Wuhan seafood market. One family cluster was found. All 41 patients had pneumonia with abnormal findings on chest CT; complications included acute respiratory distress syndrome, acute cardiac injury, and secondary infection. 13 patients were admitted to ICU and six died.

Read it again: From November 17, 2019 through January 2, 2020, there were 41 confirmed patients admitted to the hospital for complications of the novel coronavirus; 13 were admitted to the ICU and 6 of them died.

We’re eight months in, and I’m completely fucking astounded by the exponential increases for infection, disease, and death. In those first six weeks, if this new, highly infectious and aggressive viral pneumonia had been identified in those 41 hospitalized cases, containment may have been an effective method of disease control.

January 8, 2020, the CDC issues its first warning to clinicians to watch for patients showing respiratory symptoms who had a travel history to Wuhan. The same Center for Disease Control that the president of the United States is trying to keep from compiling infection, treatment, and mortality data advised clinicians to start watching for this on January 8th, more than two months before the White House began taking the crisis seriously.

January 9, 2020, China has mapped the cononavirus genome.

On January 10th, the WHO assembled their first technical package of information on how to detect, test for, and manage potential cases of the novel coronavirus based primarily on their experience with SARS and MERS respiratory infections.

From January 11 – 17th, the Wuhan health commission insists there are no new cases of the disease and Chinese authorities report that there is no clear evidence of sustainable human to human transmission of the virus. Based on this limited information, the WHO remains unsure about human-to-human transmission rates.

During this time, U.S. intelligence agencies are ringing much louder and bigger alarms concerning the serious nature of this impending health crisis.

By January 20th, the day the WHO makes its first brief visit to Wuhan, the virus has knowingly spread to Thailand, South Korea, Japan, and the United States. More current analysis indicates that the virus may also have been present in Europe as early as the end of December 2019.

On January 23, 2020, the WHO determines there is evidence for human to human transmission, but needs to conduct further investigation. On the same day, China quarantines Wuhan and three other cities in Hubei province with a total population of 36 million. Five million people leave the cities anyway without being screened for infection.

On January 23rd, there are 582 confirmed cases of coronavirus disease and 17 people have died from the virus.

On January 24, there are 854 confirmed cases of coronavirus infection and 25 deaths. China begins building a new hospital in Wuhan at lightening speed. China knew it was serious, they were going to need another hospital because of it, so the rest of us should have known it was serious as well.

On this day, the president of the United States tweets praise for the Chinese government’s efforts to prevent the spread of the virus, even though it’s already too fucking late to contain the spread from Wuhan.

From January 24-30, China celebrates the lunar new year, and hundreds of millions of people travel around the country; on January 31, 2020, there are 9847 cases of coronavirus infections and 213 patients have died.

On January 28th, Chinese government officials finally agree to allow the WHO to bring in a team of international scientists to see if they can get a handle on the virus: something that should have been done six weeks earlier. The following day, Dr. Mike Ryan, head of the WHO’s HEP, said “The whole world needs to be on alert now. The whole world needs to take action and be ready for any cases that come from the epicenter or other epicenter that becomes established.”

On January 30th, the WHO declares a global health emergency. The same day, the president of the United States, while attending a campaign rally in Iowa prevaricates, “We only have five people. Hopefully, everything’s going to be great. They [China] have somewhat of a problem, but hopefully, it’s all going to be great.”

On January 31st, Donald Trump restricts travel from China, which is too fucking late, since the first case from China had already arrived fifteen days earlier, and was likely already arriving on the east coast via European travel as well.

Over 200 people have died and almost 10,000 people are infected with the novel coronavirus by the end of January. In seven days, the known infections and deaths have increased ten-fold.

On February 10th, the WHO is finally able to send an international team of scientists into China to begin assessing the situation of the new virus on the ground in Wuhan.

On February 11th, the WHO named the new infection Covid-19, an acronym for coronavirus disease 2019.

On February 13th, there are almost 15,000 new infections in Hubei Province; total infections are now over 60,000.

February 14th thru February 28th: during this 2 week period, the virus spreads all around the fucking world.  And the stock markets begin their fall.

On February 28th, Donald Trump holds a rally in South Carolina and downplays the virus once again, stating the Democrats are politicizing the virus and making it the new Democratic hoax. Everything for this phony president of the United States is apparently a fucking hoax.

On the following day, February 29th, the United States records its first coronavirus death (since then, we know at least two people died undiagnosed with Covid-19 several weeks earlier after autopsies).

On March 3, the CDC lifts federal restrictions on coronavirus testing after their own attempt to create a diagnostic test kit failed.

On March 11, the World Health Organization declared the virus a pandemic, the stock markets continue to drop like a lead balloon, and the president restricts all travel from Europe: too late, again, as the U.S. is its own hotbed of viral infection and the president is in abject and negligent denial of reality.

On Friday the 13th of March, 2020, a full two months after the first infected patient arrived in the United States, Donald Trump, the president of the United States, finally declares a national emergency.

Less than three weeks later, after states have piece-meal shut down without central leadership on how to do so properly, on April 1, 2020, the United States has surpassed everyone else to have the highest number of reported infections and deaths in the world.

There was a time, perhaps back in April, that I would have argued China’s numbers were likely a fabrication, and they may have still had the lead. I still don’t believe their official numbers, but we are definitely leading the pandemic pack today.

On April 7, 2020, after two months of bungling the country’s response to managing the containment and treatment of Covid-19, the president of the United States criticizes the WHO for mishandling the pandemic.

On April 14, 2020, in the middle of a global health crisis, the president of the United States threatens to halt funding to the World Health Organization.

On April 19, 2020, the United States has 765,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus infection and has suffered almost 41,000 deaths. The death toll doubled in the past week, but we would soon have armed idiots protesting outside their state house buildings to be allowed to do shit they likely didn’t need to be doing while we fight a pandemic: because it wasn’t so bad where they were, it didn’t make sense to see what was happening elsewhere in the country and take heed: no, the whole thing must be a hoax…

*This is the point where I would like to point out that we don’t come together as Americans to effectively contain a problem in the real world. We are failing fucking miserably at this humanity shit.*

For the month of April, we watched as the country continued to engage the battle of coronavirus state-by-state instead of as a nation coming together to fight the pandemic. Some state governments refuse to enact appropriate social and physical distancing policies because they have not collectively been directed to do so by a competent leader. Some begin to loosen restrictions in public spaces before we have adequate testing and tracing of infections, and many of them haven’t even come close to seeing their peak rate of infections.

We’ve also watched as certain actors in the federal government interfere with the appropriation of necessary medical supplies by the states that they’ve told will have to take care of those needs themselves.

The president continues to make ignorant, uninformed, and plainly stupid comments while refusing to face the problems of an infectious epidemic like the competent leader we truly need because he doesn’t know how to lead. He encourages civil unrest for the point of undermining public safety for the economic-monkey-on-our-backs as if armed protestors are somehow liberating their states instead of being an actual minority of the population supported and manipulated by right-wing groups funded by wealthy donors to defy public health initiatives that have shut down non-essential portions of the country’s economy.

On April 20, 2020, the price of American Oil turned negative for the first time in history as demand dries up, and the stock market followed suit by dropping once again. Two days later, prices rallied a bit after the president of the United States tweeted that he has instructed the Navy to shoot down and destroy Iranian gunboats in the Persian Gulf.

While the threat of war during a global pandemic isn’t anything if not fucking stupid, it’s all bluster coming from the president of the United States: the president is derelict in his duty to act in time of crisis, attend to the real problems we face, and has to rely solely on political distractions in order to deflect from his raging incompetence. It’s a constant con, a slight of hand, built with impotence on a house of fucking cards: his modus operandi.

Meanwhile, the daily infection rate for the month of April – around the world – begins to climb significantly. From 900,000 cases of coronavirus infection on April 1 to almost 3.5 million cases thirty days later.

By April 2, New York state has more coronavirus cases than the country of China. By the end of April, they have over 300,000 cases and over 23,000 deaths. New York took a direct and powerful punch in the face early in the U.S. experience of the pandemic. And yet other states chose not to learn from the catastrophe and began to plan the reopening of businesses by mid-May, while their infection rates were still increasing. The CDC warned that reopening states too soon could lead to a second wave of the coronavirus that would be much worse as it would coincide with the flu season in America, but the truth is that America’s first wave has just kept going and growing.

None of these states implemented the sort of public health policies that might actually allow them to reopen businesses, even according to the meager guidelines put out by the White House. They weren’t engaged in significant testing, contact tracing, building more hospitals for the sick, isolating the infected, and requiring the protective measures we need to eventually get back to a somewhat normal life but modified life. Nope. Let’s just open this shit-show back up and let the rubes enjoy it while it lasts.

Then on May 25, 2020, a white police officer pinned to the ground and knelt on 46 year old George Floyd’s neck for nine minutes while George pleaded that he couldn’t breathe. He called for his mother. And we all watched the video recording his pleas and murder. On May 27, as coronavirus deaths in the U.S. surpass 100,000, protests against police brutality begin spreading across the country, and then across the world, as people step up and out to acknowledge that Black Lives Matter in collective anti-racism action to demand change.

Early protests were plagued by police violence toward protestors while opportunistic rioting and looting muddied the waters conflating grass roots social action with criminality. And large protests increased fears of further spreading the coronavirus at the same time the president of the United States announced he would be pulling the U.S. out of the WHO.

By the end of May, the world has 6.3 million coronavirus cases and almost 380,000 deaths.  The U.S. owns a quarter of those numbers.

From about May 15th thru June 15th, the U.S. weekly averages about 23,000 new infections per day for a solid month. But that’s all about to change. Daily numbers begin to steadily increase over the next two weeks, reaching more than 40,000 per day by the end of June, and by July 10th, daily cases have tripled from where they were a month before as the U.S. hits its current all time high of over 66,000 new cases in one day. On July 12, the state of Florida sets a record of over 15,000 infections in one day: if Florida were a country instead of a state, it would have ranked 4th in new coronavirus infections for the day. Disney World opens the very same day.

The World currently has 13.5 million coronavirus cases with 582,000 deaths. The United States of America currently has 3.4 million coronavirus cases with 136,000 deaths. We have 5% of the world’s population but 26% of the world’s coronavirus cases and 24% of the world’s coronavirus deaths.

As infections continue to surge in a manner that will likely shut down the economy once again, the president of the United States continues to be a totally incompetent and delusional fuckwit incapable of being an actual leader because he’s not: he’s an aging reality television star and habitual hustler who cares nothing for the presidency, the American people, or the consequences of his narcissistic ineptitude.

Pushing for schools to open in the fall without any direction as to how communities might actually do so safely (and with necessary funding), while also undermining the Center for Disease Control and trying to throw the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Dr. Fauci, under the bus for his failure to lead once again, and distracting the public by commuting the prison sentence of criminal Roger Stone while upending the moratorium on federal executions and allowing ICE to set up localized training camps for the Brown Shirts, the president of the United States would kill us all rather than take responsibility and do his job.

Since the American people have clearly demonstrated that we cannot pull together effectively without some sort of real leadership, it’s near impossible to claw our way out of this nightmare: the sense of entitlement coupled with a bottomless sense of fucking stupid ensures that without intervention, there is no indication that we will be able to find our way out of this crisis.

There has been no positive action to combat our social, economic, and health crisis for the past several months. There has only been shifting the narrative and shifting the blame: deflection, weakness, instability, and failure.

So hang on tight, America, because this shit isn’t even close to being over.

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