Editor’s note for Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Dear Access member,

Two things to think about:

“Magical thinking — you could call it denial — hampered the ability of even some of the most seasoned infectious diseases experts to recognize the full threat of what was bearing down on the world,” says an article in STAT News. The article looks back on what scientists like Wáng Línfā 王林发, who co-discovered SARS, or Anthony Fauci, who now leads the U.S. coronavirus response, said about COVID-19 in late January and as late as mid-February. It also contains an anecdote about how, at a WHO meeting in Geneva in the second week of February, all the European scientists were in denial, but an unnamed South Korean scientist was “shaky.”

“China’s wet markets are not what some people think they are,” says a recent CNN article. “Most wet markets…are not virus petri-dishes filled with exotic animals ready to be slaughtered.” The Youtube channel Chinese Cooking Demystified also has a virtual tour and explanation of a “real, not-clickbaity, average Chinese wet market.”

Our word of the day is hold negative views or have a negative attitude: 持负面态度 chí fùmiàn tàidù

—Jeremy Goldkorn, Editor-in-Chief