If isolation, quarantines work, why didn’t we quarantine China immediately?

nursing home
Deadly outbreak of COVID-19 virus at Washington nursing home traced back to one man traveling from Wuhan. 

How is it that isolation and quarantine are supposed to work at the municipal and regional levels but not at the international levels?

Think about it. When news of the Wuhan virus first broke in December, those of us who keep tabs on things that might kill us were truly alarmed.

Students of history know full well that China is a vast petri dish of pathogens just waiting to infect the world and kill an un-Godly number of us.

From the Black Plague to the current SARS-CoV-2 (Wuhan virus), China has been killing millions upon millions upon millions of people for hundred upon hundreds of years.

In fact, the last deadly virus, the Spanish flu, once thought to have originated in the United States is likely to have started in China, according to new research.

China is a hot bed of pathogens for a number of reasons. First, there is an incredible density of people. Second, all those people live in close proximity to poultry and pigs. Third, the Chinese have a taste for wild animals that harbor deadly pathogens.

None of this is news to medical researchers. It’s the reason the World Health Organization has teams in China monitoring viral outbreaks.

Now, the WHO and Chinese health authorities are supposed to spring into action to contain these outbreaks and stop them from spreading.

So far so good. But what I don’t understand is why governments do not shut down domestic and international travel to and from affected areas at the first sign of trouble?

It’s Chinese travelers that brought the disease to North America, after all. In the case of the deadly Washington state outbreak that ravaged nursing homes, the virus was traced back to one man traveling from Wuhan.

One man. Let that sink in.

Researchers now have the ability to track the various strains of viruses so they know that the current outbreak in New York can be traced to travelers from Wuhan and also Europe.

Oddly, the health authorities do not think restricting international travel at the first sign of trouble does any good.


The argument is that the world is now so connected and international travel is so common that restrictions don’t make much sense. It is better to track than prohibit.


Then why are we locking down our cities and restricting travel in our countries today?

That’s the question that we need to ask of our health officials and politicians.

At this point, it’s pretty damn clear that had we quarantined China when this virus was in the Wuhan community, we would have spared ourselves one helluva lot of suffering.

That’s not hindsight. A lot of us saw the freight train coming. We were calling for travel bans, for quarantines of China. We were called racists and bigots.

Well, now, we’re demanding answers.

One thought on “If isolation, quarantines work, why didn’t we quarantine China immediately?

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