In this ‘blogchain’, I will relate a vivid souvenir both personally and professionally impacted by the event. As I was involved in all aspects of the outbreak as a medical insurer but also based in Vietnam back then, I share my insider view of the past and current developments.
I have been fascinated by the fact that some days, you remember all what happened vividly and accurately everything that happened even 18-years ago like on Tuesday Sep-11, 2001.
For me, 1 such marking day, was Saturday 1st March-2003, 6h24am T-off Thu Duc Saigon golf course, 3 golf buddies tell me about, a serious infection case of Johnny Chen, American chinese traveler from HK. He was admitted on 26-feb-2003 at Hanoi French Hospital, 7 days after my son Remy was born on the 19-Feb. We were 2 weeks after Tet, lunar new year festivities, I was back to work and was waiting for my son weekly updates on newborn follow-care & vaccinations, we were 2-weeks into the year of the goat.
I never call during a golf game to stay focused, but I was stressed anyway since 6h24, so I called my wife so she cancels any medical visit to HFH for Remy/her… with immediate effect!
On Monday, I got a call from my friend Thuy Anh -head of Marketing from the HFH Hanoi French hospital- informing about Doctor Carlo Urbani, specialist in infectious disease, coming to study the case of Johnny Chen. She tells me, she is quarantined and she cannot get out of the hospital until further notice by Vietnam Ministry of Interior security. Due to illness of 4 nurses and no access to external medical staff to the HFH, she has been requested to replace nurse as a HFH employee.
She can not see her family from now and content communication is censored and restricted. She adds that she does not want to scare her family with her fears of death…
The rest is history, 5 people died at the hospital, Doctor Urbani died of SARS in Thailand 19-Mar. The HFH quarantine lasted 60-day. Back in 2003, the ADB calculated the economic cost of a pandemic at -0.7% of GDP per quarter for VN and -1.8% for HK & China/quarter: in 2018 GDP terms, potential loss would be -$1.7Bn for VN, -$6.5Bn for HK and a staggering -$240Bn for China. Not counting the death toll mounting…
A lot of questions arise then:
- What is the illness? Research for the cure? All kinds of theories back in 2003, all kind of Fake in 2019
- What is the incubation period (Corona 2-days) before your fever is spotted by a doctor, it was
- The information by scientists? By fear? By SN? By the governments? By politicians? By the UN? By hostile gov and interests consciously or not?
- Personal measures? Buying drugs as you follow info, paranoidly
- National actions in an authoritative country (CN, VN…)
- International actions out of fear or interests
- How it can affect your business… or Corona beer’s business?
- If you are quarantined… do you decrease your survival rate or does it increase it
- Where will you be quarantined?
- Who are the competent doctors to deal with an unknown illness? Will they be willing to risk their life to study or cure the virus? Will the update with the latest info on the spread available in your hospital? Are all necessary equipment available where you are hospitalized
- For how long will you stay?
- Who is going to pay the bill? Your insurance? The local government? The WHO? Your government?
- And more…
In this ‘blogchain’, we will try to highlight an practical view on what happens and the impact of the life of people involved directly or indirectly.
The 2003 SARS was a warning rehearsal of what happens now from Wuhan spreading to the world. To be continued…
PUBLICATION from INSIDER ASIAN PERSPECTIVE:
DAY07: Mon 28-jan: Enters the business sell, sell, sell…
DAY06: Mon 27-jan: Risk/Reward Enters the e-Opportunist, Fearmongers and FOMO press
DAY05: Sun 26-jan: Lesson from SARS 2003, Xi Jinping, Transparency triple announcement
DAY04: Sat 25-jan: Happy New Year, Generation Facebook Likes, Fakes & Foolishness can kill in Europe
DAY02: Thu 23-jan: Now it is serious, enters CNN, BBC, FOX, we need audience and dead bodies
DAY01: Wed 22-jan-2020: It is getting serious, Coronavirus is out now: what do we know? (Dated 22-jan-20)
DAY00: Wed 22-jan-2020: Opening letter for the ‘blogchain’