Understanding the exceptional pre-vaccination Era East Asian COVID-19 outcomes


During the first year of the pandemic, East Asian countries have reported fewer infections, hospitalizations, and deaths from COVID-19 disease than most countries in Europe and the Americas. Our goal in this paper is to generate and evaluate hypothesis that may explain this striking fact. We consider five possible explanations: (1) population age structure (younger people tend to have less severe COVID-19 disease upon infection than older people); (2) the early adoption of lockdown strategies to control disease spread; (3) genetic differences between East Asian population and European and American populations that confer protection against COVID-19 disease; (4) seasonal and climactic contributors to COVID-19 spread; and (5) immunological differences between East Asian countries and the rest of the world. The evidence suggests that the first four hypotheses are unlikely to be important in explaining East Asian COVID-19 exceptionalism. Lockdowns, in particular, fail as an explanation because East Asian countries experienced similarly good infection outcomes despite vast differences in lockdown policies adopted by different countries to control the COVID-19 epidemic. The evidence to date is consistent with our fifth hypothesis – pre-existing immunity unique to East Asia – but there are still essential parts of this story left for scientists to check.


The Ethical Skeptic has been saying this for a long time and also claims that China suppressed information that covid was circulating in China much earlier than Fall of 2019. A speculative line of thought leading from this and other evidence is that China inoculated its own population in 2017-18 with a mild covid variant in preparation for releasing the covid bioweapon on the world—and particularly USA—in late 2019. See this for more on this topic: Military thought experiment Part 4: Did China already do it? ABN

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