I am not a virologist, so the behaviour of viruses over time is something that escapes me. However, I do know that novel viruses tend to mutate in the beginning. This would explain differences in how the virus has affected populations differently in different areas until now.
In the weeks that followed, the CFR declined. The WHO reports that “the standard of care has evolved over the course of the outbreak”. The CFR fell to 0.7% for patients with the onset of symptoms after February 1st.
This is inspirational. Results can be improved over time, but the ability to do so requires an extreme approach.
To get to that point of a 'flattened' curve, several step were taken in China that have not yet been taken here in Spain:
1) Wuhan was completely blocked off. People are calling for this to happen in Madrid.
2) Containment facilities were built in one week for milder cases and asymptomatic positives. Several hotels in Madrid have been donated for use in this crisis, and I know that at least one is now functioning with more than 300 rooms. That was done in a matter of 3-4 days.
3) China has the manufacturing power of no other country on Earth. They were able to quickly respond with greater production of medical materials. Here, there are not enough respirators, while doctors and nurses are working with trash bags and homemade surgical masks in some hospitals because they do not have enough PPE for such an event. We don't have the same manufacturing prowess.
4) China does not have the same regard for civil liberties that we have in Western societies, so here politicians have had to get involved, make decisions and pass laws. That has taken time. Meanwhile, there are people that scoff at isolation and citizens want the military to enforce State of Alarm isolation laws.
5) The Chinese say they have 'defeated' the virus, but it is still active. After 3 months, people are still in isolation in their homes, and new infections are now manageable with the new resources and supply chains they have created. Here in Europe, we are a long way from that point.
So, I truly hope that the US and other areas of the world are taking note and getting prepared. Factories need to be converted to manufacture the medical supplies needed. NOW. I am sure many of you have seen Cuomo's speech in which the projected need for respirators is 30,000, yet they only have 5000-6000. That is the kind of calculations that were not made here in time, and that need has still not been met.