Thank You, Captain Taiwan
March 12, 2020 7:08 PM   Subscribe

Rapper Dwagie/大支's ode to the front-line workers fighting COVID-19 in Taiwan. More on how Taiwan's kept the number of cases so low (only 47 despite close proximity to China) from a public health perspective and what Taiwan can teach the world about fighting the coronavirus.
posted by storytam (13 comments total) 27 users marked this as a favorite
Taiwan's response has been commendable, but just yesterday a friend here in Taipei had a conversation with a (former) public health official who remarked on the sheer good luck that travel to Taiwan from the Mainland had already been restricted prior to the outbreak. This, she said, both reduced the number of potential carriers coming into Taiwan and made it easier to identify them and trace their movements since most visitors from China could only come as part of tour groups. Given the usual amount of travel between the two, she thought, for all the effective containment, it could have been far worse.
posted by tavegyl at 7:54 PM on March 12 [10 favorites]

That's really great, thank you for posting it.
posted by LobsterMitten at 8:01 PM on March 12 [1 favorite]

This is amazing; Canada has been patting ourselves on the back so vigorously that we're in danger of dislocating an elbow, so it's good to see what an actual proactive national approach looks like.

Although the Trudeaus are apparently modeling appropriate testing behavior.
posted by jrochest at 8:15 PM on March 12

We were freaking out with worry over elderly relatives in Taiwan when this first started to hit. We were begging grandma to come to the States and ride this out over here. God, so glad she didn't listen!!
posted by potrzebie at 9:31 PM on March 12 [9 favorites]

[One comment deleted - thomcatspike, sorry, this post is specifically about Taiwan's response and the rap. There are a lot of other coronavirus posts going right now; might be better to add general US-related links and comments to this one instead. There's also a thread for personal check-ins from affected Mefites in Metatalk.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 11:26 PM on March 12

That's great, I have a ton of friends who work in medicine and not a one of them has expressed the slightest reservation about going to work. They're gonna love this.

And stop buying masks y'all. Health care workers need them more.
posted by fshgrl at 12:45 AM on March 13

When the Taiwanese presidential elections were on, the current president showed her mettle. Nothing like having a competent woman running things.
posted by Barbara Spitzer at 1:55 AM on March 13 [8 favorites]

The travel network may not actually be that 'close'. The transmission path in 1918 was along shipping lanes today it's via airline hubs and high interest tourist locations. Russia, Mongolia and Kazakhstan that boarder China may not big tourist destinations, Venice on the other hand may have had more travelers from Wuhan that the thee countries combined. (hand wavy but, well...)
posted by sammyo at 5:29 AM on March 13

So far, so good. But Covid-19 has spread more widely in China outside of the 3 previously identified hot spots so continued success of this strategy will depend on more general travel restrictions from China to Taiwan, not just on travelers from specific areas. Further, cases in China have reportedly plateaued but reliability of these reports is unclear. It remains to be seen if the currently active coronavirus strain will fade away like SARS and MERS, develop a more seasonal pattern, or intensify as restrictions in China are loosened.

In other countries like Iran, Italy, and the US, local transmission of the infection is well-established. Programs like that in Taiwan which focus imported cases will be much less effective, if at all.
posted by sudogeek at 8:12 AM on March 13 [1 favorite]

It also bears mentioning that Taiwan has universal health care.
posted by Borborygmus at 11:35 AM on March 13 [8 favorites]

A few things from the rap video.
Yilan Distillery is producing rubbing alcohol instead of drinking alcohol on their main production line.
When the FDA wouldn't allow the export of remdesivir which may help with covid-19, taiwanese scientists synthesized it locally.
They built 60 new production lines for face masks in a single month, which they are giving to front line medical workers, and selling to consumers in limited quantities, at an 80% discount to the normal price, and they are still ramping up production.
posted by gryftir at 3:36 PM on March 13 [5 favorites]

Tomas Pueyo's remarkable article "Coronavirus: Why You Must Act Now" aimed at leaders - a lucid essay on what works - points to this JAMA paper on how Taiwan did it. He also gives several other nations high scores. A masterpiece.

"Containment is making sure all the cases are identified, controlled, and isolated. It’s what Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan or Taiwan are doing so well: They very quickly limit people coming in, identify the sick, immediately isolate them, use heavy protective gear to protect their health workers, track all their contacts, quarantine them…"
posted by Twang at 7:38 PM on March 13 [3 favorites]

I live in Taiwan, and the response here is indeed a model that could have been followed by any nation in the world with the will to implement it. Consider this: Taiwan has a GDP roughly equivalent to the US state of Georgia but with 2.25 times as many people. Yet Taiwan has the world's highest-ranked healthcare system and have to date protected their citizens and residents and tourists from this pandemic.

There may yet be an outbreak here of CoVid19. If there is, I am confident that cunning plans laid well in advance by the government of Taiwan will protect me and my family and my friends as best as possible. That security and confidence are literally priceless in these times, and I feel a degree of guilt that the rest of the world will face this trial with such greater anxiety than I will.
posted by Enkidude at 1:31 AM on March 15 [1 favorite]

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