Yi Guan of the University of Hong Kong, a veteran virologist who worked on the SARS epidemic, told the Chinese news agency Caixin, “I’ve seen it all: bird flu, SARS, influenza A, swine fever, and the rest. But the Wuhan pneumonia makes me feel extremely powerless. Most of the past epidemics were controllable, but this time, I’m petrified.” I, too, am anxious. It’s hard to look at the new routes built with Chinese aid over Siberia and the Himalayas and as far as Africa without seeing potential routes for disease that could carry contagion to every corner of the world.

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