Some images of China's muscular approach to combating the coronavirus outbreak stand out. Busy JCBs building a hospital in just one week in the stricken city of Wuhan.
President Xi Jinping, who kept a low profile in the outbreak's early days, suddenly emerging on state media visiting health research facilities and offering advice. Enforcers wearing red armbands smashing up illicit, potentially infectious mahjong games. Officials welding people into their apartments for enforced quarantine.
In China, 'Big Data' is watching you. The ruling Communist Party has imposed massive lockdowns and used its formidable network of electronic surveillance to enforce them. The most comprehensive lockdown was in virus epicentre Wuhan and nearby cities in Hubei province. A whopping 50 million people are under mandatory quarantine.
According to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Covid-19 Global Cases map, 81,000 of the world's 102,000 confirmed cases are in China, most in Hubei. More than 3,000 of the 3,500 dead are in Hubei.
Bruce Aylward, a Canadian epidemiologist with the World Health Organisation (WHO) who led a recent international delegation to affected regions, said: "Hundreds of thousands of people in China did not get Covid-19 because of this aggressive response."
The WHO has been criticised for following China's lead too closely during the outbreak, but official data shows the number of new cases is falling in China, and indicates the epidemic peaked in China in late January. On the face of it, China's response has been a success.
But many feel China's ruling Communist Party exacted too high a price for controlling the virus.
Webizens (a citizen of the 'web') in China were outraged and grieving at the death of Li Wenliang, the doctor who issued an early warning about the outbreak. The 34-year-old's death sparked unprecedented calls for freedom of speech on social media.
A brief, rare flurry of dissenting views set social media alight.
Since then, China's powerful state propaganda machine has gone into overdrive. The party has turned the fight against the coronavirus into a "people's war" and taken aim at critics of its leadership.
"There has been a lot of admiration of China's authoritarian model of handling the disease. The problem is we do not know whether it is effective or not, as there are a lot of doubts about the official reports of daily increase in cases. And there are many anecdotal reports showing the lockdown approach is not as effective as it was advertised," said Ho-fung Hung, a professor in political economy at Johns Hopkins University in the US.
"Borders of cities and provinces on lockdown seem to be leaky. If there is any specific contribution of the 'China model' to the unfolding of the disease, it is the initial cover-up that delayed an aggressive response for at least a month.
"Since the virus first emerged in at least late December the Chinese government has been busying stifling information about the disease rather than dealing with it," Mr Hung said in an interview.
He argued that if Beijing had been transparent and had there been freedom of press, the whole disease would have been contained locally in the beginning and the crisis would not have happened.
China's tough crackdown contrasts with a less rigorous response elsewhere, including Ireland. Rugby fans from Europe's worst affected country, Italy, travelled to Ireland anyway, despite the cancellation of the Six Nations match at the Aviva.
Italy has more than 4,600 confirmed cases of coronavirus, just behind Iran. Doctors have criticised the decision to go ahead with the St Patrick's Festival.
There have been demands for a travel ban from heavily affected areas and calls for European countries to take similar steps to China to control the virus.
But it's not that straightforward. As a democracy, with a fiercely independent streak, Irish authorities cannot adopt the same kind of tough approach without getting broad consensus support.
As Jörg Wuttke, a long-time China resident and president of the European Chamber of Commerce in China, said: "They have a toolbox that only seems to have a hammer."
Ireland would probably be better off looking at Singapore, Taiwan and Hong Kong - smaller territories with more comparable systems - for models in containing the virus. Self-ruled Taiwan, with 23 million people, around one million of whom work in mainland China, has had just 45 cases of coronavirus so far.
The island is just 130km off the coast of China, its bitter rival.
"(In Taiwan) there has been a similar degree of rigour and discipline but applied in a much less draconian manner," Jeremy Konyndyk, a senior policy fellow at the Centre for Global Development, told 'Science' magazine.
Taiwan got proactive. It began checking flights arriving from Wuhan in early December and cut off flights from China early on.
All over Taipei there are hand sanitisers and anyone entering schools must submit to a fever check. Facemask buying has been rationed to stop panic buying.
The island's Centres for Disease Control, set up after the Sars epidemic in 2003, have been notably transparent in public dealings. School holidays were extended after the Chinese New Year holiday but only by two weeks.
Taiwan relies heavily on tourists from the mainland, and tourism has dried up.
The government introduced a €1.8bn stimulus package to help companies affected.
The WHO has also praised Singapore, which has a population of 5.6 million. It has kept infections to 130 and has yet to register any deaths.
Singapore has successfully identified clusters. It isolated one cluster at a dinner party last month. Singapore has also isolated two Church-related clusters of the virus - a disproportionate number of cases globally have been in Church congregations, such as the Shincheonji Church of Jesus in South Korea.
The island-state has introduced new fast-track swab kits for sick people with recent travel history to hotspots such as Iran, northern Italy, Japan and South Korea.
The Infectious Diseases Act requires residents to inform health officials about their health, and anyone not complying could face jail or a hefty fine. An infected couple from Wuhan were last month charged with lying to officials probing whether they had passed the illness to others.
A biotech hub, Singapore has also done interesting research showing bedrooms and toilets are especially prone to infection. The good news is regular cleaning with household disinfectant killed the virus.
Hong Kong, a special administrative region of China with 7.5 million people, has also kept the number of infections to just over 100.
Its ties to China are complex and deep and it has taken very strict measures - not surprising as Hong Kong borders Guangdong province, which has 1,350 confirmed cases, second only to Hubei.
Schools are closed, as are many businesses. Border crossings to mainland China are extremely limited, with all train, bus and ferry services suspended.
With its economy reeling from the effects of the outbreak, there are calls for a return to business as usual.
Productivity quotas are being introduced in some places, and local governments report capacity is nearly back to normal.
It seems premature to imagine what a post-coronavirus world looks like.
We appear to be some way off defining what 'normal' even means now.