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  • Writer's pictureTara Lundrigan

Coronavirus and Chill

March 10th I made a little YouTube rant about the Coronavirus.

3 days later Trump declared a national emergency.

1 day later I got sent home from work due to having a nasty cough.

Now I am in quarantine. Bored, and scrolling through Facebook I saw a crazy amount of misinformation and bullshit floating around. So many status claiming this is a "hoax" that the media is "fear mongering" and I actually saw some anti-vaxxers in the wild. Crazy.

Imagine thinking that countries would close their borders and tank their own economies just to scare the general population into what exactly? Buying toilet paper?

Come on people, not everything is a government conspiracy.

I'm not a scientist, so I don't pretend to have all the answers. However, I do spend an unhealthy amount of time reading about stuff like this. I have always been fascinated by viruses and how they spread. So I am going to pile all of the information I have found into one little blog and maybe it will help other people understand this a little bit better.

It's just a flu bro/It only kills the elderly.

First of all, no it is not the flu. Influenza and Coronavirus/SARS-CoV-2 are 2 different things. The most important distinction we should be making here is that we do not have herd immunity or a vaccination for SARS-CoV-2 and because of that it is a far deadlier disease. If you look at the graph on the right, you can see an how much more extreme the numbers are, and this virus has only been circulating for about 3-4 months.

Yes, the elderly are extremely high risk, but they are not the only people at risk. High blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, compromised immune systems, and previous respiratory issues are all things that put you into a higher risk category.

This is what starts to make this scary, and why I think the USA should be taking this a lot more seriously. We do not have the healthiest population. Almost half of the adults in this country have high blood pressure, and around 10% of the population has diabetes. Factor in that our health care system is already over worked, with only 2.8 beds per 1000 citizens, and about 45,000-64,000 ICU beds country wide - that's pretty fucking scary. In a moderate outbreak, about 200,000 Americans would need one.

It's just a hoax/The media is just fear mongering.

This is next level crazy to me. Do you actually think that governments around the world, along with the corporations and the wealthy would ruin their own economies and shut the borders of the countries for no reason at all?? Who benefits from that? I have heard some wild things. Like it is a bio-weapon made by the Chinese to take down Trump or that the virus came from someone eating bat soup. Both are easily proven false, making claims like this is dangerous and has caused attacks and discrimination against Chinese nationals. How about the one where Bill Gates teamed with the World Economic Forum and the John Hopkins Center for Health Security to start the epidemic so he could sell the vaccines? Hilarious.

The media reporting on the events taking place around the world during a global pandemic is not fear mongering. People should be scared. A little bit of fear goes a long way. Fear keeps people inside. Fear helps with the social distancing we need to flatten the curve, and not overwhelm our health care system. Trying to brush this under the rug is how we end up like Italy, instead of South Korea. It's to late to be like South Korea anyways. The reason why they fared so well during this is because they shut down their schools in December, encouraged more social distancing in a culture that has already dealt with viral outbreaks and takes them seriously. They also tested more people than any other country.

It's important to remember we can manage this if we don't allow our hospitals to become overwhelmed. Epidemiologists encourage social distancing to reduce close contact between people that could accelerate the spread of disease. That means everything from keeping a distance of at least 6 feet from other people in public to avoiding crowded gatherings like concerts or sports games. Research indicates that aggressively implement social distancing rules historically have slowed the transmission of the flu among their residents and saved lives in the process. “Globally, about 3.4% of reported COVID-19 cases have died. By comparison, seasonal flu generally kills around 0.1%-0.8% of those infected.” This number will go down as more people get tested, but it is still undeniably more severe than the seasonal flu.

Stop going out to bars. Stop going to parties. Stop getting on planes and going on cruises. Wash your hands. Stay home. The virus probably wont go away "in april" according to the W.H.O "From the evidence so far, the COVID-19 virus can be transmitted in ALL AREAS, including areas with hot and humid weather. Regardless of climate, adopt protective measures if you live in, or travel to an area reporting COVID-19."

I hope in the near future we see a more consistent message from the administration. People are losing hours, their jobs, and the money they need to pay their bills. Thank you Judge Beryl Howell for blocking that disgusting bill the administration tried to get passed to take 700k people off of food stamps on April 1st.

I hope we come out on the other side of this with a better understanding of how important social safety nets are, and how preparing for situations like this is better than ending up in them with no preparation at all.

Stay safe out there people!

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