With all possible caveats: early signs do indicated the coronavirus is slowly retreating in China. That might reverse, as workers are slowly returning to work, and quarantine measure are partly revoked. Meanwhile, the rest of the world, notably South-Korean, Japan, Iran and Italy are fighting their own hot spots of the coronavirus and the fears of a global pandemic outbreak are all but over. 
When you follow our social media feeds at Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn, you might notice that our China news – not related to the coronavirus – is growing since the weekend, and that is a good sign too. But still, we do not expect the event industry to pick up before May, and much might depend not only on China and the success of its quarantine measure, but also how the virus is developing in the rest of the world.

The national fight against the coronavirus has also triggered off help in temples, churches and mosques, writes author Ian Johnson of The Souls of China: The Return of Religion After Mao in the New York Times, but not all help has been appreciated. Religious groups have been donating large amounts of money, a feature hard to imagine even ten years ago, he writes.

The ongoing coronavirus crisis has triggered off much racist behavior outside China and the qualification “Yellow Peril” raised its ugly head. Journalist Zhang Lijia, author of Lotus, a novel, on prostitution in China, dives into the history of Western racism towards China and the Chinese for the South China Morning Post.

While messages from the coronavirus are mixed, to put it mildly, the current economic crash course might only be over by April/May, in the most optimistic scenario. Numbers of infected people and deaths by COVID-19 still vary to much to support any scenario at this stage, while it is also unclear whether the rest of the world can contain the virus.

Footage from metro subways still show empty carriages, as the central government tries to encouraged migrant workers to return to their workplaces, local governments – including the big cities –  advise returning migrants to put themselves in a social quarantine for two weeks to be sure they do not carry the virus. The dilemma is obvious: different government make different choices when it come to prevent major economic damage or keeping their cities save from the virus. 

Fighting the Covid-19 virus and saving the economy might not go very well together, says political analyst Victor Shih in Al Jazeera. While there is very little international supply chains can do at this stage, as Chinese governments make decisions, says Victor Shih, the message for the long run is: diversify.

Economic damage to China and the global economy has been limited up to now as two weeks in the Coronavirus crisis were anyway a holiday, and a week extension was doable. Apart from the consumption industries who go a firm hit during lunar festival, expectations were high most of the manufacturing and services would resume on February 10, although our event industry was expected to see longer delays as international flights, traffic and other operations need likely months to recover.

China is not yet one week back from lunar holidays, and the fallout of the coronavirus is not yet clear. We have seen major events being relocated, delayed or even cancelled, speakers being stuck inside or outside China, and potential audiences unable to move around. Meanwhile we are exploring an alternative option, that might help some event organizators: follow the lead from China, and get your speaker online.

Even when the virus might reduce its destructive path over the next two weeks, resuming events might be affected till the end of April, early May. Those are – with June – our most busy months in helping event organizers to get the right speakers in place, before the traditional summer break kicks in.

China’ struggle against the coronavirus has been on the front pages worldwide on the past weeks. Western CEO’s of companies with operations in China have been calling for calm and try to convince their audiences all is well for those operations. The question is whether that is more than wishful thinking.

China has been into lunar festival mode over the past weeks and all offices and factories would have been closed anyway. Damage might have been obvious in the consumer industry as even outside Wuhan many inhabitants kept off the streets. But the major question is now, as the lunar festival holidays end, whether China’s massive work force returns to their workplaces.

Beijing-based Journalist Ian Johnson describes the governmental corona-action in Beijing and explains why it has more to do with lack of trust in the government than health, in the New York Times. “Considering the underlying distrust, it’s hard for the government to say what many epidemiologists are saying: This outbreak is serious but not catastrophic.”