The coronavirus outbreak – the human cost

So well said– fear is greater than reality.

Matthew Wright

As I write this the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak has many unknowns, including the actual death rate. I have no doubt that many of those unknowns will be discovered; the fact that the genome has been sequenced (and shared) is a huge step up.

What intrigues me is the way that this outbreak has also acted as a lens on human nature. It’s underscored how inter-connected the world is these days. The fact that it spread so quickly from its putative origin in China’s Hubei province reveals the extent to which air travel intrudes into world activity; and that’s without considering the consequential effects of the clamp-down that followed. The fact that South Korean vehicle factories have had to stop production, for instance, because they rely on Chinese-produced parts, is just one example.

The other lens this event has cast on humanity as a whole is more subtle. It’s revealed a…

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