Let’s Not Panic, We Will Get Through This

March 23, 2020

Mike Wilcox
Mike’s Musings Columnist

My head is filled with coronavirus thoughts. I have tried to read and watch as many stories on the dreadful virus as possible, and unfortunately I still can’t determine what the best courses of action are for the country, state and region.

Many experts have agreed we may be overreacting by shutting down most of our public facilities and events. I couldn’t agree more. But those same officials claim it is better to overreact than to not do enough. Again I wholeheartedly agree.

If we use the South Korean example- they basically shut down everything, and tested nearly 20,000 people a day, the virus will run its course fairly quickly and everyone will be back to a normal life. The country had four private manufacturers producing test kits, and quickly setup several drive-thru locations where people were able to get tested quickly and efficiently. As a result their Covid-19 death rate is 0.9, or less than 1 in 100.

The United States has struggled to produce test kits, and then get results back in a timely manner. Asof Sunday only 33,000 people in the entire country had been tested. It boggles my mind that supposedly, the most advanced country in the world health-wise, can’t produce test kits at the speed of South Korea, or even China. Additionally some people are waiting days or weeks to get results, when they should have them within hours or even instantaneously.

Therefore the great majority of Americans who are concerned that they might have Covid-19, are in a quandary. They can’t get tested, yet they don’t want to stop visiting grandma and grandpa. If tests were readily available they would have their answer.

After all it is the elderly and those with underlying conditions that are most at risk. Many of us could be carrying Covid-19 and not even know it. Others might spike a fever or have a cough. But those of us with underlying health issues, or are over 70- we gotta avoid exposure.

Most importantly we have to remain calm, and not overreact to the situation. I don’t understand the need to stock up on toilet paper, and other so-called essentials. This is not a hurricane, where we might be hunkered down for days. Suppliers have assured us the shelves will be refilled on a regular basis, and if we can’t get to a store, there are delivery people or services that will bring it to our homes.

We will persevere. We always do. This is not the zombie apocalypse. We aren’t all going to die, even though one national news outlet called it the “perfect killing machine.” Many experts would like to debunk the comparison between flu and Covid-19, claiming the latter is much more deadly, but in many cases that isn’t true.

At the top of this piece I wrote, South Korea was experiencing a 0.9 percent death rate attributed to Covid-19. China’s death rate for Covid-19 is pegged at 1.5 percent. Flu in 2018, had a death rate of 2 percent and is typically around 0.9. So when news outlets call it a “killing machine” they are flat out lying.

Phrases like “killing machine” only serve to create hysteria. We all should take the virus very seriously. I don’t always agree with government experts, but in this case, what I hope are proved to be overreactions, are probably the right courses of action for right now.

So sit tight, pray that our leaders know what they are doing, and remember better days are ahead.





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