I love a good conspiracy... China drop a deadly virus in the middle of their own country right before the largest mass migration of people in the world because, you know, let's just make this as difficult for ourselves as we can. China basically cancels what would be the equivalent of Christmas in the West because, you know, let's upset the population as much as possible as they will be super supportive of a government that does that… and that works well for social harmony. Not. China loses trillions of dollars in GDP and literally welds doors shut to stop people from leaving their apartments. Their measures are Draconian by Western standards, but extremely effective, nonetheless. The virus kills a lot of people but because everyone is literally locked in their apartments for two months, they dodge a bullet. Meanwhile the West has 2 months' head start but thinks it's 'just a flu' and does too little too late. The virus runs rampant and the necessary medical supplies are in short order. The West is so far from prepared that fundamental questions about national security arise, "We can't let our entire supply chain for essential products like medical supplies and drugs come from one place". In one fell swoop, China has undermined their own economy and all but ensured that whole industries will be pushed offshore to other countries so that the West doesn’t put all their eggs in one basket. Not good for China. China comes out of hibernation relatively quickly, thanks to their extreme measures, and ramps up production of all the essential items ASAP. It tries to get these products around the world to help where possible. Factories start pumping out masks and PPE to fill a massive shortfall in the West, while at the same time saving the Chinese economy, which had stalled for months. Because, you know, the medical supplies sector is worth $43 billion and this is enough to justify all of the other damage done. Not. Facepalm. If China were serious about affecting their ‘master plan’ then surely it would be more effective to deploy a virus in Africa, Europe, or America... and then shut down the Chinese borders before it hit. Easy enough to do. And rather than a virus with 1% mortality that mainly affects the elderly and immunocompromised, they would be better served by designing a virus that takes out a younger, working-age demographic. To drop a bomb on yourself and hope the radiation kills your enemy is hardly a key strategy in Sun Tzu's 'Art of War'. Enough of the China-bashing. Enough vitriolic and racist hate-speech and innuendo. Yes, China needs to change its laws and culture around the handling of animals, and specifically wildlife, in wet markets. So does all of Asia, as these wet markets are spread from Indonesia to Thailand and beyond. Instead of pointing the finger of blame, let’s address the fact that many countries were woefully unprepared for this pandemic. And let’s also acknowledge that we are lucky as COVID-19 is a dress-rehearsal for the real deal. Imagine if a virus as infectious as COVID-19 had the same mortality rate as MERS (30%). Instead of hundreds of thousands or possibly millions dying, we would be looking at hundreds of millions dying. While debilitating to the global economy, and heartbreaking for those people and families that are directly affected by loss of life, this is actually an opportunity for the entire planet to recalibrate. Never before has everyone on earth been aligned towards a single goal. Let’s draw upon the positives here rather than hypothesise about the negatives. No doubt, this is an awful time for humanity and the global economy will take years to recover. However, we are also seeing so much innovation, compassion, empathy, and a rethinking of priorities. New business models are being discovered, the air is becoming cleaner, rivers flowing more clearly, families and friends are being reconnected, and people are taking a moment to think beyond the next item on their to-do-list. Let’s embrace the possibility that this catastrophe presents. In Chinese, Crisis is “危机 = WeiJi”. 危 = Danger and 机= opportunity. Within a dangerous situation we can find an opportunity to become better. To evolve more quickly. What can we pull from this that will make us better as a person, a state, a nation, a planet? In the fullness of time we may reframe this episode as one that galvanised a positive movement. Or perhaps not… it’s up to us. This paranoid conspiracy-based rhetoric simply appeases the tin-hat brigade and gives people a direction to point their finger. It was an accident that got out of control, not a carefully orchestrated plan to crash the world economy. We are better than this. Spare a thought for your Chinese friends in Australia, or America, or Europe, that are just as concerned as you are… simply trying not to get sick. Tell them ‘it’s ok’. Don’t abuse them on the street or hurl insults. Tell them you don’t blame them for the actions of a few of their comrades. Aussies are resilient. Time to demonstrate that we are also a class act.