China Defeated COVID-19: How Did They Do It?

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A quick glance at the COVID-19 news from China revealed an amazing statistic—there was only one new case of coronavirus infection reported from the Wuhan epicenter of the epidemic. No, that is not a misprint.

One new case.

No vaccine.

One new case.

Which means that the Chinese have, for all intents and purposes, completely turned the tide on COVID-19.

This leads to the obvious question, which is how did they do it? What brought about this turnaround in the center of the storm, a turnaround that even the World Health Organization has acknowledged?

What has been reported in the Western media is the Chinese use of draconian isolation techniques, lockdowns of huge numbers of people, shutdowns of vast swaths of society, images of masks and hazmat suits everywhere.

What has not been so well reported in the non-Chinese media is the widespread use of Chinese herbal medicine to both prevent and resolve the viruses. Statistical analyses by the Chinese on the effectiveness of the herbal formulas in combating COVID-19 infection have shown a 90% or greater effectiveness rate in resolving the illness. Upon seeing these positive results,  the Chinese regional and central government health authorities ordered their hospitals to begin using Chinese herbal medicine formulas with all infected patients.

The result: China is now boasting that their factories are already back to 90% capacity, the malls are beginning to teem with shoppers, and the new infection cases have dropped dramatically. COVID-19 patients are becoming happy former patients so rapidly that the Chinese have begun the process of dismantling the temporary hospitals which were constructed at the height of the epidemic.

When I explained this to my patients recently they all shared the same reaction—outrage. Again and again I heard the same refrain, “Why isn’t this being reported in the media?” or “Why haven’t I read about this anywhere?”

This was invariably followed by the next obvious question—if the Chinese have basically defeated COVID-19, why aren’t the governments and medical authorities here in Israel, or the West in general, looking into what the Chinese did, and why aren’t they adopting the successful Chinese strategies? I must say that I agree with my patients’ sentiments.

To be fair, much of the information about how the Chinese have dealt with the epidemic is in Chinese, a language which is not so widely known in the West. Nonetheless, the materials are easily translatable, and there are sufficient bilingual people around the world who can participate in translational needs. With a will there is a way.

In spite of the obvious success by the Chinese in overcoming the epidemic, the Western world seems bent on ignoring what’s already worked, attempting instead to approach the problem through either pursuit of an elusive and time-consuming vaccine, or fast-tracking experimental antivirals in the hope that something will work.

In the meantime the virus is spreading rapidly. At the moment, it has infected over 180,000 people worldwide, with over 7,000 reported deaths. Yes, it’s true that according to current statistics 95% of those infected will be fine. Many will have no symptoms, many will have mild flu symptoms, and some will have more severe flu symptoms.

Be that as it may, governments and people are freaking out. In some places the medical system has become completely overwhelmed, and much of the world economy is spiralling downward as quarantines, layoffs, and lockdowns become evermore commonplace. The economic and emotional toll on people is staggering.

So the question needs to be asked—why is this the path the Western nations’ health ministries are taking? Why not turn to those who have already solved the problem, ask them how they did it, and ask them to send their experts to help set up treatment centers in places that are being hard hit by the viral pandemic? Many countries in the West already have a sizeable population of skilled Chinese Medicine practitioners who would be more than happy to work hand in hand with the expert physicians from China, doctors who already have invaluable experience treating COVID-19. I certainly would. Many of my colleagues would. And I’m sure that others would be happy to translate for those Chinese Medicine Doctors who are not fluent in Chinese.

Technology could be used to quickly train Chinese Medicine Doctors around the world in the proper differentiation of the illness. The Chinese medicine experts have published their findings in treating the epidemic in China, how they differentiated and categorized the various manifestations and stages of the illness, and how each stage called for a different herbal formula. It has been very impressive to see how the Chinese experts would publish their findings, then update these findings with more refined approaches to treatment as they observed outcomes.

Local Chinese medicine practitioners could easily be guided by the experienced experts, even at a distance, through the use of technology. Raw herbal materials could be rapidly imported from China and prepared for patient use relatively easily.

At the very least, while governments consider moving forward on this plan, hospitals and clinics treating those who are ill with COVID-19 could institute the use of high-dose IV Vitamin C, something the Chinese also made successful use of in various hospital settings. Again, where there is a will there is a way.

It is my hope that the Western governmental health agencies come to their senses and begin asking the Chinese experts for help in resolving the current pandemic.

Egos must be put aside, cultural hurdles must be quickly and creatively surmounted.

Lives are at stake.

About the Author
Noach Bittelman, L.Ac. is a direct disciple of Master Wei Chieh Young, who is a direct lineage disciple of Master Tung Ching-Ch'ang and the foremost authority in the world on Master Tung Acupuncture. Noach studied Chinese Medicine in Taiwan and has run a practice in California and Israel for over 30 years. He is fluent in Chinese, Hebrew, Spanish and English and teaches in Israel and throughout the world.
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