After outbreaks of SARS, MERS, ebola, swine flue and other infectious diseases that were spreading around the world in recent years, it was only a matter of time before a disease that would be spreading faster and more easily than those previous ones appears. That’s exactly why THERE IS NO EXCUSE for neglecting the emergency plans at all levels!
Rescue and armed forces, national and local politicians, corporate managers, hospital and social care facilities managers, teachers, etc. paid significant attention to “civil protection” during the times of Cold War when there was a threat that an enemy uses a nuclear, chemical or a biological(!) weapon. Every municipality had a place where protective equipment for civilians was stored, shelter where citizens would hide at the time of emergency and detailed emergency plans. It may look funny but it started at kindergartens where even infant children were probing gas masks and protective suits, see https://youtu.be/f-Kj0lniSR0?t=160 I actually remember that at primary schools, one Friday every half a year was devoted to civil defense education including testing all the gas masks and protective equipment, recognizing emergency signals, simulating emergency transfers to an anti-atomic shelter, etc
I understand that the peace times the need for such detailed regular emergency plans and training of all the civilians is not necessary, yet at least the rescue forces, armed forces, hospitals, social care facilities, and other critical organizations should have been prepared for operating at the situation of emergency where supply chains and other regular processes stop working. There is no excuse for their flippancy.
BTW, I’m strongly convinced that if people had had all the protective equipment (of coursed not as outdated as during the Cold war but using latest technologies including masks and overalls produced with nano-fibers), the world wouldn’t have been forced to stop and the economic damages would have been minimal (and German finance ministers would not have been forced to commit suicide having seen the economic damage ) . Simply because this protective equipment was designed for their wearers to live even in much harsher conditions!