I’m not one to panic when we have health scares like we see today with the coronavirus. On the surface, it appears we are starting a panic and I’m not quite sure why. I have never seen the USA react in such a way that we have now closed down flights from Europe, canceled sporting events, closing down universities and clearing out Dorms. In fact, due to precautionary measures, I have to work from home for two weeks.
Having said all that I started to do some research, you know the kind where you sit on the couch, browse the web and read anything you can find. Here is some information. The virus is not new and it is linked to many other viruses and has a similar characteristic as SARS or MERS and there a couple of strains. This is more cause for concern but I have yet to hear anybody mention this. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/coronavirus https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/index.htm
ABC News is reporting a Pandemic https://abcnews.go.com/Health/coronavirus-cases-surpass-1000-us-tsa-agents-test/story?id=69525688 However it does mention that the peak may have hit in China and could be trending down for new cases. I was not sure what constitutes a pandemic so I looked it up in the dictionary. A pandemic is occurring over a wide geographic area and affecting an exceptionally high proportion of the population. I do not see this coronavirus in this definition. It is worldwide but an exceptionally low population rate. Sensible precautions will prevent an actual pandemic like the swine flu, we are nowhere that yet, but yet is the keyword.
USNews has this article on the Flu https://www.usnews.com/news/health-news/articles/2020-02-07/theres-a-virus-spreading-in-us-thats-killed-10-000-the-flu This looks more pandemic like but no pandemic declared? Why? 19 million infected 10k in deaths. I looked a bit more and found the following.
The “swine flu” occurred in 2009 with a novel influenza virus, H1N1. According to the CDC, the virus was first detected in the US and spread quickly across the US and the world. Between April 12, 2009, and April 10, 2010, there were 60.8 million cases reported, 274,304 hospitalizations, and 12,469 deaths due to the virus. The CDC estimates 575,400 people died worldwide. https://abc7news.com/5974174/
The H1N1 flu virus still circulates today with the seasonal flu, but it doesn’t sicken as many people as it did when it first emerged. It’s also covered by the flu vaccine – yet another reason to get the vaccine. https://health.usnews.com/conditions/articles/types-of-viral-infections
Coronavirus vs. seasonal flu
How many people a disease infects is only part of what makes it serious. The seasonal flu infects hundreds of millions of people each year and is largely treated as a nuisance because it’s not life-threatening for most people who catch it. Ebola, in contrast, had less than 30,000 reported cases total over a multiyear outbreak, but it was treated as a crisis because of how deadly the disease can be if people do get sick. https://www.mprnews.org/story/2020/03/11/covid19-how-it-compares-with-other-diseases-in-5-charts
Coronavirus is deadlier than the normal flu, but so far hasn’t reached the mortality rates seen in other recent outbreaks.
I think you can never be too cautious, I certainly would not put myself in harm’s way and get on a plane or be in very congested areas unless I had to, but I also would not stop living. I think the message is driving too much panic and not enough reasonable precaution. We do have to consider that presently there is no treatment like there is for the flu, which is deadly but very much at a reduced risk if you get a flu shot which – is pretty easy to do.
After doing a little reading and some research, I am more concerned, which makes it hard to judge if we are going too far and making things worse. We will do what we have to for safety but we will not just put ourselves in a bad situation to see the latest movie or go out to eat. The world will not end and this will pass. Save your money. You do not need 10k rolls of toilet paper, a 10 year supply of soap and disinfectant, or food to feed an army. Be smart, WASH YOUR HANDS!