why didn’t the local officials act immediately and decisively? We have to remember that, like the alien invasion in the movie, this was a sudden and unexpected situation. At that point, the existence of this new virus had not even been confirmed yet, nor did anyone know the true level of danger to the public. What they did know, however, was that taking steps to limit travel and crowd gatherings in a city of 11 million people at the beginning of the holiday season (when millions of those residents would be leaving for their hometowns soon) would be unimaginably difficult and hugely unpopular. Those officials needed clear, verified evidence before making such an announcement.