That's my guess. And I have two theories:
1. The virus escaped from the Lab
2. They released it intentionally to controll their population. Less old people to take care of.
I don't know if we will ever know the truth...
As a European who actually spent a lot of years in China with a very well developed sense of critical thinking I’d like to reply to this one. Except I hardly know where to start...
First of all, very few nations respect their elders as much as the Chinese. Northern Europeans certainly don’t. Chinese don’t just send their elders off to live in an institution - they stay with family. While this pattern is changing it’s not considered a burden.
Second of all, the One Child Policy (which can be viewed as either genius population control or a massive human rights violation or both) has led to China having 400 million less people than it would have without the policy. And it was just lifted fully a few years back as it has served its purpose.
China controls media and dissent more than most nations but If you’re committing mass killings that shit tends to be found out. Anywhere in the world. The Chinese are not lemmings. They are not an ignorant people. They are, possibly a tad desensitized to politics but I absolutely promise you that there has been massive outcries internally over the initial slow response and plenty of whistleblowers so no, a state - not even an authoritarian one - can kill its people without word getting out.
I’m honestly shocked I even have to write a reply like this.
Epidemiologists and virologists have been waiting for a “big one” for decades. The odds were more on a killer flu but many of them are not that surprised that we have this instead. It happens, it’s kinda natural. That’s a fact.
What’s also a fact is that scientists tend to think and find proof before they share their findings with the rest of us. And most often they don’t even spend energy on countering senseless conspiracy theories. It can take months, years, decades to firmly track down the origin of a new disease and in that “vacuum” conspiracies flourish. Anyone with a YouTube channel, a website, a social media account or a forum membership is a publisher now and many don’t have the patience to wait for facts.
 Deleted a snide remark that I had here despite my better judgement - sorry about that.
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