Opinion: Experts speculated that the People’s Republic would be best place to handle a crisis like this, as opposed to Western countries, which were thought to be ill-prepared both practically and mentally

Medical teams wear protective gear for dealing with coronavirus patients in Wuhan, China
Medical teams wear protective gear for dealing with coronavirus patients in Wuhan, China

More than two months have passed since the coronavirus outbreak began in the city of Wuhan, located in China’s Hubei province. But due to the apparent recent triumph of Asian countries over the virus, the rising concern today is focused on the West.

Somehow this was to be expected. For years experts have speculated that China would be among those best suited to dealing with a crisis in the vein of the coronavirus. Unlike Western countries, which were thought to be ill-prepared, both practically and mentally.

This is an existential war for both our lives and our economy, but the good news is that the coronavirus has at least proven to be beatable.

In Asia the rate of infection has decreased dramatically, so much so that many people have returned to their normal daily routine,, proving that beating the pathogen is not a matter of if, but of when.

And while life in China has pretty much returned to normal in the space of two months, the West is expected to take far longer to recover.

חיטוי וניקוי אוטובוסים סין
Disinfecting public spaces to counter coronavirus in China (Photo: AP)


To illustrate this point, one can draw compare Israel and China. For while China is a massive communist country with vast economical capabilities and almost absolute control over everything that goes on inside its borders, Israel is a small democratic country with looser control over its population and with far more limited economic abilities.

Ultimately, making important governmental decisions could take longer in Israel due to the democratic nature of the country, as opposed to countries such as China, which are dictatorships in nature. In a crisis such as the spread of coronavirus, time is a critical factor.

So how can Israel close the gap caused by the “problem” of democracy? The answer lays with the people.

If the people of Israel act responsibly and heed the government’s strict instructions regarding quarantine, hygiene, and crowds, the crisis will be over soon.

Yet the main reason for the halt of the virus’ spread in China has more to do with actions taken by the people rather than government policy.

A great example is the personal face mask. While it’s true that the protection it offers from the virus is minimal, and as such wasn’t a precaution mandated by the Chinese government, it did serve as a psychological reminder to always protect yourself. Those who wear masks are more likely to always wash their hands, avoid dirt or come in physical contact with others.

ווהאן סין נגיף קורונה וירוס
Laborers wearing masks against coronavirus in Wuhan, China


Does fighting the coronavirus really necessitate the closure of the entire economy and educational system? In China, with the exception of businesses and industries deemed vital by the government, everything was shut down. This includes restaurants, malls, companies, banks and the educational system.

Everything was shut down for two months, with the market only recently returning to regular activity.

Who paid the price? Small and independent business paid the heaviest price, while the big business who were hit hardest are the ones who were already struggling financially prior to the coronavirus crisis.

מרכזי קניות ריקים
The Dizengoff Center in Tel Aviv is deserted due to coronavirus measures (Photo: Reuters)


The precautions taken by Israel on its way to an all-out quarantine require people to adjust, be patient and be kind.

While retail stores have closed, online business and deliveries have gained huge momentum, proving that if there is an Israeli trait we can count on as an advantage, it’s our creativity.

And while many are sure to be financially hurt by the crisis, its end will bring renewal to the economy along, as well as offering a valuable lesson on 21st century economics, ultimately bringing us together by making us stronger as a whole.

As reported by Ynetnews