Ground Zero – Wuhan

Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market, Wuhan China


For some reason I can’t explain other than my own lack of knowledge, I pictured Wuhan, China as some backwards little city that lacked modern conveniences. As I took a look at that city of 11 million people, I discovered that it is not even remotely like what I thought it would be. Wuhan is a modern city and a transportation hub with dozens of railroads connecting it to other areas of China. There are over 350 research institutes in the city.

If it is a modern city with hospitals, research institutes, universities and 11 million people, how in the world did this city become ground zero for this pandemic? Simply stated, it is due to the presence of Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market. This is an open air market with over 1000 vendors. It is, without a doubt, the perfect place for a virus to be spread because of the way the market operates and its’ lack of cleanliness.

According to researchers, 55% of the original cases of COVID-19 are related to the market. In fact, Wei Guizan, a vendor at the market who sold shrimp to her customers has been identified as “Person Zero” in this epidemic. She started feeling ill, went to the doctor or clinic and was treated for flu-like symptoms and returned to the market. Now we know that what she had was Covid-19 and her trip to the clinic is likely to have started the spread of the disease. Doctors had no idea of what her condition really was.

Seafood markets in China and other areas of the world are called “wet-markets”. Live fish are in open tubs and splash water all over the floor. Counters are red with blood as fish are gutted and filleted. Lots of water, blood, fish scales and chicken guts are all over the place. In fact, these open air markets are the perfect place for a virus to spread from animals to humans. The stress of captivity lowers the immune systems of the animals and makes them even more likely to infection. Corona Viruses are known to have the ability to move from animals to humans.


On January 22 of this year, the Chinese Government banned the sale of wild animals in Wuhan. In February trade and consumption of wild animals was banned in China. Obviously these efforts are meant to keep this type of pandemic from happening again but it doesn’t do much to stop the spread of the virus after it leaves the area.

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