Corona Virus being a biology blog and all leads me to conclude I should at least say something about this current pandemic and all the fear-mongering going on.
My Governor has declared a state of emergency. I’ll have you know, many of us declared a state of emergency years ago when he was first elected. Like oh crap, with him in charge we are all going to die……I’m telling you, a giant asteroid, a worldwide pandemic, or a massive radiological event, are nothing compared to that horror of our state government. Some of us are now totally immune to other kinds of fear.
By the way, that “massive radiological event” actually happened recently, as in somebody (probably) hacked into the emergency broadcast system alerting us to the fact that we are all going to soon die of radiation poisoning. It was a somewhat amusing error, but it did get me thinking, why accurately are they alerting us anyway? Am I supposed to buy some toilet paper and bottled water? Start cooking rice and beans?
Like seriously, we’re all pretty much at ground zero! The very fact that I am alive to read the emergency broadcast indicates there has probably been no massive radiological event.
I’m walking a really fine line here between snark and truth. I want absolutely everyone to keep washing their hands, frequently, to keep them away from their face, and to cover your mouth when you cough. But we should all be doing that anyway! This is just like, basic hygiene, good manners. Wash your hand people, early and often. Always.
That said, many variations of the common cold are just a coronavirus, and yes people do die from the common cold, too. It can morph into dehydration and pneumonia, especially in people with health problems and the elderly. That doesn’t mean we run around in a panic and start 24/7 cable news coverage of the “deadly common cold.”
If you read your sanitizers or your cleaning wipes, on the back label, they will often say, kills 99% of bacteria and coronaviruses. We’ve had these kinds of bugs in our environment since at least 1960, probably much longer, but we discovered and labelled them decades ago. It is not a new and scary alien form of germ warfare that will now wipe people off the face of the earth.
I want everyone just to calm the heck down, this instant. Take some deep breaths, turn off cable news, and if your Governor is an idiot like mine, ignore him. I’m not the least bit concerned about the coronavirus, but I am growing a bit worried about being trampled to death in a bottled water and toilet paper stamped.
One of the problems with this current pandemic, (besides the fact that we keep using scary words like, “pandemic,”) is that for many people this particular coronavirus can have no symptoms at all, or signs so mild people don’t even know they have it! It doesn’t make everyone deathly ill. The vast majority don’t even seem to need treatment.
As far as viruses go, the death rate on this one is pretty low. It’s still unfortunate, and I don’t want anyone to die. Something like this going through a nursing home or a hospital is just heartbreaking because your immune system has to be able to fight it off and people who are sick or elderly sometimes have weakened systems.
I am not afraid of the coronavirus at all. I am however a wee bit apprehensive about incompetent public officials, and the power of the 24/7 news cycle to fear monger and create hysteria.
Kind of interesting, I’ve been on the ground trying to reassure people all will be well, and meeting a whole lot of hostility. A few dark gallows humour here, but some people are excited about the thought of martial law and hoping to become heroes of their drama, their disaster movie. Then there are the introverts who are just happy about a possible mandate to shelter in the home, away from all others. Sorry, can’t do people right now I’m an introvert in…..my own version of paradise? Then some are joyfully avoiding all their problems, by trying to distract themselves with something even scarier.
And of course, let’s not forget our politicians and their motivations, never let a good crisis go to waste.