On January 24th I tweeted that the COVID19 virus because of its virulence had the potential for global pandemic with considerable economic impact. The high Case Fatality Rate similarly had the potential to produce millions of deaths on a global scale.
At that time there was clearly something unusual about the virus, which we subsequently learned was that it is contagious before symptoms are evident. This is different to SARS or MERS, both Corona viruses.
At the end of January there was an opportunity to halt this virus from spreading far outside China and establishing local cells. The risk was obvious and governments in the west should have acted. They did nothing of consequence. The solution at the time was to curtail all travel from China. Your politicians had neither the ability or the foresight to take decisive action and now the world will suffer considerable human and economic pain as a consequence. While the potenital for a COVID19 pandemic should have been the focus of political attention, your elected leaders were entertaining extreme climate activists and spending near limitless moneys on climate conferences, solar and wind subsidies and climate research. While Extinction Rebellion was blocking highways and railways, COVID19 was, in plain sight, germinating a disaster.
Anticipating a panic rush on basic food staples and pharmaceuticals and PPE, I stocked up and encouraged family and friends to do the same in early February. I also elevated levels of personal hygiene as it takes 3-4 weeks to stop touching your face and washing hands rigorously.
The western political elite has performed very poorly until recent times when the pandemic was self-evident. The political environment and the public tolerance for climate scaremongering will I expect be very different after several months of global pandemic.