You can’t sit down for lunch without the topic of the Wuhan coronavirus coming up nowadays. Go out for a work lunch? Let’s talk about the virus. Meeting family for a reunion dinner? Your aunts forcibly pass out face masks, accompanied by well-meaning and persistent explanations on the grave dangers of the contagious disease. But despite the wealth of knowledge that the internet potentially offers us, a quick skim through news feeds and social media timelines reveals that most of the talk on the Wuhan virus isn’t exactly on the virus itself.
Instead, everyone’s talking about stuff like fake news, how you get fined for uploading false Wuhan rumours on the virus, how e-commerce platforms are assuring everyone that packages from China won’t infect you with the Wuhan virus, and even news that the outbreak is affecting the technology and manufacturing industry.
But how many of you genuinely know how the Wuhan virus really works? How contagious it is? How it affects the bodies of the infected? To be honest, I doubt that many of you—beyond medical professionals out there—have a full understanding of the topic. I certainly didn’t understand it. Then, someone shared a video that explains things in an easy-to-understand way:
There are a ton of TIL (today-I-learnt) moments—for example, did you know that viruses are sometimes considered living or non-living things? Or that the coronvirus hijacks your body’s systems to produce viruses? Viruses apparently are sometimes considered non-living because they don’t actually have the machinery to replicate cells. Or at least, that’s what I understood from the video.
The video also has animations that are easy on the eye, which certainly help to spruce up the video and give a visual representation of what actually goes on in your body. As someone that struggled to find science-y subjects interesting in school, the video offers an interesting way to learn about a very important and relevant subject.
The video ends with the hosts providing some context for the Wuhan coronavirus. It’s worth noting that the numbers are “relatively low”—40,000 people died of the flu in the U.S. last year, while over a million people died from heart disease. The mortality rate for the Wuhan virus is between 2–3%, while SARS had a 10% death rate. Ebola? 50%.
The hosts also discuss the potential for racism, highlighting the case of SARS in the past. This is something that needs to be avoided for the current Wuhan coronavirus, and the situation cannot be used as an excuse for racism.
So the next time you sit down for a discussion on face masks and ordering packages from China via Taobao, you’d do well to watch the video above first. Besides the obvious benefit of looking like you’re extremely well-read on the topic, it’s also good practice to understand something before you talk about it—not just on the Wuhan coronavirus, but in general.