LOS ANGELES, CA: The Chinese coronavirus COVID-19 originated in Wuhan in October 2019, and had already begun spreading by November. The first British citizen to get COVID-19 in Wuhan, Connor Reed, has kept an intimate journal of his entire terrifying journey from cold to flu to pneumonia. He makes clear that he showed severe symptoms on November 25th. That would mean that he would have been infected as much as two to three weeks before, as early as November 4th.
COVID-19 escaped from Wuhan government laboratory in October
This puts the entire Chinese government’s timeline in question as to when people began getting infected. And how long this was a clear catastrophe in the making. It also raises questions about the actual origin of the virus. It certainly calls into question why it took until January 24th for the Chinese government to take action to contain the virus.
By then it had already exploded in China and incubated throughout much of Northern Italy.
It now seems likely, as reported here on Feb 16th, that the bat virus at the heart of COVID-19 came from either the Wuhan Center for Disease Control or the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
At every point where the medical crisis escalated, Chinese authorities downplayed its importance. Delayed notifying world health authorities at the World Health Organization (WHO), and other governments.
China intentionally denied access to crucial information to US authorities and the CDC.
Chinese government China Flu lies and cover-up: The facts are clear
Now China is engaged in a disinformation campaign. Claiming the virus originated with US soldiers visiting Wuhan. Add that to their other actions. The clear evidence of bat virus as the origins.
The estimation by Chinese documents that it was unleashed by an accidental exposure in one of the two government military viral laboratories.
The facts and evidence point to an accidental escape of the virus through exposed laboratory workers in mid to late October.
Connor Reed was exposed to one of the first early carriers in early to mid-November. By November 25th he had a severe cold. Twelve days later he had full-blown pneumonia.
Doctor Li Wenliang spoke up about the growing outbreak at the end of December on WeChat. Chinese authorities silenced him and punished the doctor and his colleagues who also spoke out.
Doctor Li died of the coronavirus disease on February 7th.
Spreading the coronavirus from Wuhan to Italy
The World Health Organization, or WHO, which is heavily funded by China, issued a statement on January 7th claiming that the virus was not shown to be communicable. Chinese authorities wanted to wait until after the Lunar New Year to act.
In the meantime, hundreds of millions of Chinese traveled throughout China and internationally to celebrate the holiday.
Including tens of thousands of Chinese workers who work in Lombardy, Italy in the textile and leather industries in Chinese owned factories. There are direct flights from Wuhan to Milan.
Close to 100,000 Chinese factory workers live and work in Northern Italy.
They live in dormitories, in close quarters. They are in the middle of every Italian factory community from Bologna to Milan. Their travel to and from Wuhan from December through January 24th lead to the disease incubating throughout Northern Italy.
That is one of the principle sources of the mass catastrophe currently gripping Italy and now Europe as a whole.
President Trump stopped travel from China on January 31st. Europe did not. Chinese fleeing China went to Europe. To Italy, and France, and England. There is little doubt that some of those refugees brought the virus with them.
The Wuhan China Flu diary of Connor Reed
The diary of Connor Reed, a 25-year-old expatriate British citizen from North Wales, is his account of the 72-day experience, from Nov 25th to February 4th. He previously worked at a school in Wuhan for almost a year.
In November he became the first British man to get COVID-19.
It is a chilling insight into the timeline of the coronavirus outbreak. More interesting, a look at life in Wuhan as the pandemic began to unfold.
Day 1 — Monday, November 25:
I have a cold. I’m sneezing and my eyes are a bit bleary. It isn’t bad enough to keep me off work. I arrived in this country to teach English as a foreign language — but now I’m a manager at a school in Wuhan, the city in central China where I have lived for the past seven months.
I speak Mandarin well, and the job is interesting. My cold shouldn’t be very contagious, so I have no qualms about going to work. And I live alone, so I’m not likely to give it to anyone. There hasn’t been anything in the news here about viruses. I have no cause for concern. It’s just a sniffle.
Day 2 – Tuesday, November 26:
I have a sore throat. Remembering what my mum used to do when I was a child, I mix myself a mug of honey in hot water. It does the trick.
Day 3 – Wednesday, November 27:
I don’t smoke and I hardly ever drink. But it’s important for me to get over this cold quickly so that I can stay healthy for work. For medicinal purposes only, I put a splash of whiskey in my honey drink. I think it’s called a ‘hot toddy’.
Day 4 – Thursday, November 28:
I slept like a baby last night. Chinese whiskey is evidently a cure for all known ailments. I have another hot toddy in the evening.
Day 5 – Friday, November 29:
I’m over my cold. It really wasn’t anything.
Day 7 – Sunday, December 1:
I spoke too soon. I feel dreadful. This is no longer just a cold. I ache all over, my head is thumping, my eyes are burning, my throat is constricted. The cold has traveled down to my chest and I have a hacking cough. This is flu, and it’s going to take more than a mug of hot honey, with or without the magic whiskey ingredient, to make me feel better.
The symptoms hit me this afternoon like a train and, unless there’s an overnight miracle, I will not be going to work tomorrow. It’s not just that I feel so ill — I really don’t want to give this flu to any of my colleagues.
Day 8 – Monday, December 2, 2019:
I won’t be at work today. I’ve warned them I’ll probably be off all week. Even my bones are aching. It’s hard to imagine I’m going to get over this soon.
Even getting out of bed hurts. I am propped up on pillows, watching TV and trying not to cough too much because it is painful.
Day 9 – Tuesday, December 3, 2019:
Even the kitten hanging around my apartment seems to be feeling under the weather. It isn’t its usual lively self, and when I put down food it doesn’t want to eat. I don’t blame it – I’ve lost my appetite too.
Day 10 – Wednesday, December 4, 2019:
I’m still running a temperature. I’ve finished the quarter-bottle of whiskey, and I don’t feel well enough to go out and get any more. It doesn’t matter: I don’t think hot toddies were making much difference.
Day 11 – Thursday, December 5, 2019:
Suddenly, I’m feeling better, physically at least. The flu has lifted. But the poor kitten has died. I don’t know whether it had what I’ve got, or whether cats can even get human flu. I feel miserable.
Conner Reed relapse
Day 12 – Friday, December 6, 2019:
I’ve had a relapse. Just as I thought the flu was getting better, it has come back with a vengeance. My breathing is labored. Just getting up and going to the bathroom leaves me panting and exhausted. I’m sweating, burning up, dizzy and shivering. The television is on but I can’t make sense of it. This is a nightmare.
By the afternoon, I feel like I am suffocating. I have never been this ill in my life. I can’t take more than sips of air and, when I breathe out, my lungs sound like a paper bag being crumpled up. This isn’t right. I need to see a doctor. But if I call the emergency services, I’ll have to pay for the ambulance call-out myself.
That’s going to cost a fortune. I’m ill, but I don’t think I’m dying — am I?
Surely I can survive a taxi journey. I decide to go to Zhongnan University Hospital because there are plenty of foreign doctors there, studying. It isn’t rational but, in my feverish state, I want to see a British doctor. My Mandarin is pretty good, so I have no language problem when I call the taxi. It’s a 20-minute ride. As soon as I get there, a doctor diagnoses pneumonia. So that’s why my lungs are making that noise. I am sent for a battery of tests lasting six hours.
Day 13 – Saturday, December 7, 2019:
I arrived back at my apartment late yesterday evening. The doctor prescribed antibiotics for pneumonia but I’m reluctant to take them — I’m worried that my body will become resistant to the drugs and, if I ever get really ill and need them, they won’t work. I prefer to beat this with traditional remedies if I can.
It helps, simply knowing that this is pneumonia. I’m only 25 and generally healthy: I tell myself there’s no reason for alarm. I have some Tiger Balm. It’s like Vick’s vapor rub on steroids. I pour some into a bowl of hot water and sit with a towel over my head, inhaling the fumes. I’m going ‘old school’. And I’ve still got the antibiotics in reserve if I need them.
Day 14 – Sunday, December 8, 2019:
Boil a kettle. Add Tiger Balm. Towel overhead. Breathe for an hour. Repeat.
Day 15 – Monday, December 9, 2019:
All the days are now blurring into one.
Day 16 – Tuesday, December 10, 2019:
I phone my mother in Australia. There was no point in calling her before now — she’d only worry and try to jump on a plane. That wouldn’t work: it takes an age to get a visitor’s visa to China. I’m glad to hear her voice, even if I can’t do much more than croak, ‘Mum, I feel so ill.’
Day 17 – Wednesday, December 11, 2019:
I am feeling slightly better, but I don’t want to get my hopes up yet. I’ve been here before.
Day 18 – Thursday, December 12, 2019:
My lungs no longer sound like bundles of broken twigs.
Day 19 – Friday, December 13, 2019:
I am well enough to stagger out of doors to get more Tiger Balm. My nose has cleared enough to smell what my neighbors are cooking, and I think I might have an appetite for the first time in nearly two weeks.
Day 22 – Sunday, December 22, 2019:
I was hoping to be back at work today but no such luck. The pneumonia has gone — but now I ache as if I’ve been run over by a steamroller. My sinuses are agony, and my eardrums feel ready to pop. I know I shouldn’t but I’m massaging my inner ear with cotton buds, trying to take the pain away.
Day 24 – Tuesday 24, 2019 (Christmas Eve):
Hallelujah! I think I’m better. Who knew flu could be as horrible as that, though?
Connor Reed: Wuhan begins to shut down
Day 36 – Sunday, January 5, 2020:
A tip-off from a friend sends me hurrying to the shops. Apparently, the Chinese officials are concerned about a new virus that is taking hold in the city. There are rumors about a curfew or travel restrictions. I know what this will mean — panic buying in the shops.
I need to stock up on essentials before everyone else does.
Day 37 – Monday, January 6, 2020:
The rumors were right. Everyone is being told to stay indoors. From what I’ve heard, the virus is like a nasty dose of flu that can cause pneumonia. Well, that sounds familiar.
Day 52 – Tuesday, January 21, 2020:
A notification from the hospital informs me that I was infected with the Wuhan coronavirus. I suppose I should be pleased that I can’t catch it again — I’m immune now. However, I must still wear my face mask like everyone else if I leave the apartment or risk arrest. The Chinese authorities are being very thorough about trying to contain the virus.
The world China Virus pandemic begins
Day 67 – Tuesday, February 5, 2020:
The whole world has now heard about coronavirus. I’ve told a few friends about it, via Facebook, and somehow the news got out to the media. My local newspaper, back in Llandudno, North Wales, has been in touch with me. Maybe I caught the coronavirus at the fish market.
It’s a great place to get food on a budget, a part of the real Wuhan that ordinary Chinese people use every day, and I regularly do my shopping there. Since the outbreak became international news, I’ve seen hysterical reports (especially in the U.S. media) that exotic meats such as bat and even koala are on sale at the fish market. I’ve never seen that. The only slightly weird sight I’ve seen is the whole pig and lamb carcasses for sale, with their heads on.
Day 72 — Tuesday, February 4:
It seems the newspapers think it’s terrific that I tried to cure myself with hot toddies. I attempt to explain that I had no idea at the time what was wrong with me — but that isn’t what they want to hear.
The headline in the New York Post says, ‘UK teacher claims he beat coronavirus with hot whiskey and honey.’
I wish it had been that easy.