Different Takes: Coronavirus Alerted World To The Value Of Whistleblowers; A Look Behind All Those Masks
Editorial pages focus on public health issues triggered by the coronavirus.
Detroit Free Press:
Coronavirus Shows Importance Of Whistleblowers
During a trip to China in 2018, we were watching BBC News in our hotel room. When the anchorman started to talk about something going on in the country’s western provinces, the screen went blank. After a minute or so, the picture returned. The newscaster had moved on to the next story. The next day, we mentioned the interruption to one of our tour guides. “The government wants us to be happy,” the guide said with a wry, tight-lipped smile. “So they try not to show us things that would make us unhappy.”I recalled that exchange last week when I heard about the fate of Li Wenliang, a Chinese doctor who tried to sound the alarm about the new virus now spreading around the world. (Bill Sternberg, 2/13)
The New York Times:
Why Do People Really Wear The Coronavirus Masks?
The latest coronavirus epidemic has sent people scrambling for face masks like never before. “The world is facing severe disruption in the market for personal protective equipment,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director-general of the World Health Organization, warned last week. “Demand is up to 100 times higher than normal and prices are up to 20 times higher.” This, even though face masks are not, on their own, a proven prophylactic against infection from the new coronavirus (hand washing is more important, medical experts seem to agree). (Christos Lynteris, 2/13)
San Francisco Chronicle:
How To Contain The Virus Of Racism During Coronavirus Outbreak
Being Asian in the midst of coronavirus means being scared for our health while simultaneously facing unpredictable racism and xenophobia. So, how do we cope with this? Here are some strategies to deal with the social consequences of the disease. (Sherry Wang, 2/12)
The Washington Post:
As Health Experts Sound The Alarm, Trump Fights Coronavirus With Alternative Facts
President Trump’s governing strategy is on a collision course with a novel foe. Can alternative facts stop a pandemic? Some of the nation’s leading public-health experts assembled before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on Wednesday morning with some worrisome warnings: The dangerous Wuhan novel coronavirus is probably already in the United States in greater numbers than we know and should show itself in clusters in the coming weeks. There’s reason to doubt its spread will die down when the weather warms. And it could ultimately affect hundreds of thousands of Americans. (Dana Milbank, 2/12)