From an Italian ski resort hotel to Donald Trump’s reported threats, coronavirus ‘lawfare’ has kicked off. A flood of legal claims is expected around the world as people seek hefty compensation for damage caused by negligence or misinformation.

The high-security virus laboratory which is now facing claims that it was the origin of the coronavirus pandemic (in the city of Wuhan, where the Covid-19 outbreak began last year and home to the China Centre for Virus Culture Collection, the largest virus bank in Asia which preserves more than 1,500 strains) was conducting research into coronaviruses, some derived from bats.

This bio-level 4 laboratory announced it was “impossible” the pathogen could have escaped from the facility. But US diplomats reportedly questioned its poor safety procedures that could have let the virus escape during research into diseased bats. The evidence that it came from a nearby live animal market that doesn’t sell bats remains scarce.

There’s much we don’t know about the origin of Covid-19, and China will do its best to ensure we never know. Wuhan is clearly in the frame and slowly the focus is starting to shift from the wet market to the laboratory. Was it poor biosecurity or something more sinister – and a subsequent Chinese government cover-up? Either way, rich material for a dramatised documentary.

Did anyone watch ‘Chernobyl’? State cover-ups, state lies, state mishandling of everything, to the detriment of hundreds of thousands. Ring any bells? Countries need to be held accountable for such atrocities. But will they? Don’t bank on any answers soon – if ever.

As the world throws up many more questions than answers, we’re just going to have to wait – just like for a vaccine – for quite a long time. Remember what Winston Churchill said after that other battle, El Alamein? “This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”

Where we are now is not the end of the beginning. It’s just the beginning. 

Nora Johnson’s psychological crime thrillers ‘No Safe Place’, ‘Betrayal’, ‘The Girl in the Woods’, ‘The Girl in the Red Dress’, ‘No Way Back’, ‘Landscape of Lies’, ‘Retribution’, ‘Soul Stealer’, ‘The De Clerambault Code’ ( available online as an ebook (€0.99;£0.99), i-book, paperback & audiobook.All profits to Costa del Sol Cudeca cancer charity

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Written by

Nora Johnson

Nora is the author of popular psychological suspense and crime thrillers and a freelance journalist.


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