The Wuhan Coronavirus has been a nasty outbreak with a lot of confusion, panic and misinformation. But, in all the chaos and terrible news, what has impressed me most of all is how we as a world are responding to it. It really shows how far we’ve developed as a society when we look at the speed in which we’re able to develop countermeasures for a virus that spreads as easily as the 2019-nCoV.
And perhaps no show of speed is more impressive than the fact that China built an entire hospital dedicated to fighting this virus in just 10 days.
In a collection of mesmerising timelapses, the construction of the Huoshenshan temporary hospital in China’s Hubei province was documented, and it is nothing but an impressive display of efficiency. Thousands of workers worked day and night to erect this 25,000 square metre structure in just one and a half weeks. The new hospital will provide an additional 1,000 beds and went into operation on the 3rd of February 2020.
I remember the terrifying prospect of how every major outbreak has a the very real potential of turning into a global pandemic almost entirely because of how developed our travel systems are. While the diseases of the past would have had their spread slowed by poor modes of transportation, our current civilisation does not have that crutch. Planes, trains and public transport have made us more connected, but also increased the ease in which diseases like these can spread.
But, in a fascinating video by Wired, Dr Seema Yasmin noted that one of the most impressive things to her about this new Coronavirus epidemic is how quickly we were getting new information about the disease. Doctors around the world are pooling their resources and developing new antiviral medicines and various experimental vaccines for this Coronavirus.
And that fills me with hope, naively or not. Because while the spread of a disease like this in the modern day is far quicker and easier than before, modern medicine is also far quicker to respond to an epidemic like this. I
n any case, I thought you would appreciate a little feel-good blip in the otherwise depressing stream of Coronavirus news, because when I watched this satisfying timelapse, it definitely made me feel just that little bit better.
UPDATE [05/02/2020]: Here’s a quick look inside one of the rooms of the hospital.