Chinese citizens pay respects at a shrine to Dr. Len Wenliang.

YANG | Hear the People Sing

Chinese people have become conditioned to speak almost exclusively in euphemisms when discussing politics, especially on public platforms. Being straightforward would only lead to getting one’s post deleted, one’s account deactivated, or worse, being “invited” to “have tea” with law enforcement.

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YANG | Fool Me Twice, Shame on Me: On the Wuhan Coronavirus Outbreak

As I was packing up on Friday, preparing myself for an unusually tiresome journey back to Ithaca totaling about three days on the road with three layovers, my phone buzzed: the U.S. Center for Disease Control announced that it would begin screening passengers arriving from Wuhan, China at Los Angeles, New York City, and San Francisco airports. Given my first layover in L.A.— lasting an unbelievably long twelve hours and giving me an excuse to visit Santa Monica for a bit— I was quite worried. For one, though I did not visit Wuhan this winter break, I was reminded of the panic after the West Africa Ebola epidemic back in 2013, when an overreaction caused a public health crisis in the United States, putting many African passengers under duress. Given the tense political climate between the U.S. and China, who knows there won’t be a repeat? A second, perhaps more foreboding concern, underlies my thoughts: Is the outbreak really this bad?