Irrespective of the origin of the virus, the Chinese government did eventually contact the World Health Organization (WHO) to solicit help in identifying and containing the spread. Reports suggest that WHO was contacted by the Chinese government at the end of December 2019. Regardless one’s opinion about China (or the Chinese government), it “did the right thing” in the end; unfortunately, in the eyes of the rest of the world, that does not absolve China from its original sin; some would say it was too little too late.
Although history is still recording the course of the virus – its impact on the economy, on health, on social interactions – Covid-19 is very, very far from inflicting on society the types of affliction registered in the annals of history of other pandemics.
In 1918, the worst pandemic in the history of mankind – the influenza, otherwise known as the Spanish Flu (no direct connection to Spain itself) – claimed the lives of over 50 million people worldwide. It could have been worse. According to estimates by health experts, only 20% of those infected with influenza lost their lives, which translate to the headspin number of approximately 500 million infected at the time; in comparison, the Coronavirus has thus far registered just over 13 million infections. The jury is still out of course.