I was there during sars and nobody seemed to worry too much. But the hospitals were very crowded especially the children's hospitals. When you have a one child policy kids mean a lot so they are well looked after. I went to a trade fair there and it was nearly deserted. I did wear a cloth mask but that was mainly for show. Not many people wore them.
They would survive, all the food is brought into the city twice a day from the surrounding farms, so they would get food. Water is another story, in places parts of the city run out of water quiet regularly and they bring in water in water tankers. So they are used to moving water. They had infrared heat cameras on the main roads plus going into the trade fair and train stations. Churches were all closed. Schools were still open.
One problem is petrol, the city sometimes runs out of petrol and the cars just block up the roads leading into the gas stations, so you cant get past. So they brought in the army and they moved the cars so the traffic would keep moving. All they did was put cones up so you could only enter the gas station from the side road and leave on the main road. it worked. Most people respect the army and the police so they do what they are told. Doctors and people who worked in the hospitals had to report to work or they would lose their job and pension and anything else that went with it. The support staff like cleaners all ran away.
In my view nothing seemed to change. There are usually guards everywhere, and then they could stop you if you looked sick or started coughing or brought too much fever medicine. Once one of the heat sensor light went bright red and they stopped this guy until the ambulance got there. It was quite entertaining, everybody just stopped and watched. This guy realized he wasn't going anywhere so they gave him a seat and he waited. At that time there was no fear in the air, people were just not worried. They just carried on normal.
Hong Kong came totally unglued but that is normal, there you had to wear a mask. That is the difference between controlled TV and what we have got which is --who has the worst news wins basically. In China on the news there was nothing to incite the people, the news was the same, so the people were not wound up. It might be different now with instant communication. In my humble opinion China would cope better than the western world.
There standard of hospital care is nowhere near what we have, but you will be looked after. Actually your relatives can look after you while you are in hospital. When you go into a hospital waiting room, there are people sitting in the waiting room with IV bottles stuck in their arms. I got very ill at one stage and they took me to the street clinic, they took a blood test to see if i had a virus or a bacteria then they stuck an IV in my arm hooked some bottles up and forgot about me for a couple of hours. I was OK in a couple of days.
China thinks differently and the way the people interact is very different. Family is the key so you will always help your family and that extends to distant relatives. Most people have a high opinion of the army and the police so they will have some control. If the government asks for volunteers to help in the hospitals I would say people will help. And the other thing they are used to - is moving masses of people, so they can do things.
For more gloomy stories about what we could expect very soon check out. http://www.animalsdinosaursandbugs.com/Weakest-Link2.htm Thank you for your time Peter Legrove The suburban survivalist