It's hardly surprising, the Chinese aren't happy with our border closure. I would imagine they're not happy with the WHO calling it an international emergency either. I doubt they're happy about any of this.

And in the reaction and how we act going forward, goes our ongoing relationship with our biggest trading partner.

There are now two very distinct bits to this virus. One is medical, one is economic.

The two, of course, merge. But the economic reaction can also be split into two distinct bits as well. The economic damage of the actual virus, the actual number of people who are ill or die, versus the fear, the contagion of fear, and what that does to people's attitudes and spending habits.

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At the moment the fear is far outweighing the facts.

We also have the race aspect of it. The fact this all started in an illegal wet market doesn't help China's cause when it comes to trust. Does the world do something about it ultimately? How do you go about addressing cultural or lifestyle issues with a place like China, without looking or sounding like you're seeking potential trouble?

China's Ambassador Li Song at the World Health Organization (WHO) headquarters in Geneva. Photo / AP
China's Ambassador Li Song at the World Health Organization (WHO) headquarters in Geneva. Photo / AP

And it's not like this wasn't forecast. Bill Gates, in a documentary on Netflix last year, predicted the world wasn't ready for this sort of outbreak, and when the outbreak came it would come from a wet market, most likely in China.

The "real politics" is at play here. The same way we dismiss unrest of disease in certain parts of the world because we don't care. We now have to face the reality that in this case we have to care, and care big time.

China is our lifeline. You could argue it shouldn't be that way, eggs in baskets and all that stuff. But we sell a shed load to them, and they funnel billions our way. And not just that, there is every expectation that it's going to grow, and is an ongoing, long term, and prosperous relationship.

Which ultimately it will be. SARS, MERS, Bird Flu, they come and go. But this is a lesson in being intertwined both as a planet, and as a couple of countries with one heavily dependant on the other.

As we sit here right now, I can't help but think we have gone slightly overboard. We don't even have a case, but we hold press conferences to tell us that the one person we did test didn't have it.

Carrie Lam says Hong Kong will shut almost all land and sea border control points to the mainland to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus from China. Photo / AP
Carrie Lam says Hong Kong will shut almost all land and sea border control points to the mainland to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus from China. Photo / AP

As Barack Obama's former Chief Health Advisor said over the weekend, take a breath, slow down, and stop overreacting.

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Right now, the facts don't warrant the noise, coverage, or the worry. Don't even get me started on face masks.