America is currently grappling with an epidemic that many people believe might lead to one of the worst public health crises in a long time. It is the most discussed topic on mainstream media today – aside from the daily ramblings and gaffs of Joe Biden.
Is the coronavirus outbreak as serious as it is claimed to be? Is the panic over the outbreak valid? Let us take a look.
The Origin of Coronavirus
The very first case of coronavirus infection was reported in Wuhan, China. And despite what left-liberal intellectuals and journalists tell you, it is not racist to point out the fact that the virus originated in China.
Scientists speculate that the virus might have been transmitted to humans from bats or pangolins – both of which are consumed in China. Shortly after the first case was reported, the infection spread like wildfire and affected a large number of people in China. This is what they get for fueling the African ivory trade which is terrible for elephants and rhinos.
As of now, nearly 130,000 people have been infected in China out of which nearly 5,000 have died. The actual number could be much higher since many experts believe that the Chinese government is massively underreporting the total number of infections and deaths in the country.
The Outbreak in the US
In the US, the first case of coronavirus infection was reported on the 21st of January. Since then, over 1,000 people have been infected across the country, out of which 38 have died. The states with the highest number of reported cases include Washington, New York, California, and Massachusetts – all states ran by liberals.
The government has implemented a series of measures to contain and control the outbreak – from travel and entry restrictions to distributing coronavirus test kits to healthcare facilities across the country.
Signs of Coronavirus Infection
The most common signs of coronavirus infection include dry cough, fever, sore throat, muscle and joint pain, fatigue, and shortness of breath. A person infected with the virus might start exhibiting the symptoms anywhere from 2 to 14 days after the exposure.
There are two ways in which the virus can be transmitted from one person to another.
Direct Contact with an Infected Person
If you come into contact with an infected person’s respiratory droplets, which are produced when they breathe heavily, talk, sneeze, or cough, you are likely to be infected. Especially, if the virus-filled droplets gain access to your eyes, nose, or mouth, the chances of transmission are extremely high.
Contact with Contaminated Objects
If you touch an object that has been contaminated with the virus and then touch your eyes, nose, or mouth, you can get infected too.
Some scientists also believe that the virus can be transmitted from the fecal matter of an infected person to other people, but it is not the primary source of transmission and the chances of someone getting infected through the fecal-oral route are fairly low.
Is the Panic Over Coronavirus Valid?
This is perhaps the most important question we need to ask ourselves right now, as there is a palpable sense of panic and fear among large sections of the common public in the country.
Every day, you can read news reports which state that people are buying toilet paper, hand sanitizers, canned goods, face masks, and gloves in bulk, so much so that the Surgeon General had to make a public appeal and ask people to stop buying masks, as it can lead to a shortage and put healthcare workers at risk.
There are three important things you need to know about the coronavirus.
1. Mortality Rate
Coronavirus is not nearly as fatal as many people think it is. So far, roughly 3.5% of the infected people have died. Now, this might seem like a high mortality rate when compared to the seasonal flu, which only kills about 0.1% of the infected people.
At the same time, the mortality rate of coronavirus is much lower if you compare it to other, equally deadly viruses like SARS, which killed nearly 10% of the infected people and MERS, which killed nearly 34% of the infected people.
2. Chances of Surviving the Infection
You are very likely to survive a coronavirus infection if you are young and healthy. So far, approximately 80% of the reported cases have been mild infections, from which you can recover within a span of two weeks.
About 15% of the reported cases have been severe infections, from which you can recover within a period of two to six weeks.
Only about 3% to 5% of the reported cases have been critical and fatal. The mortality rate is high among the elderly – aged 60 and above – and people who are suffering from health problems – from respiratory disorders to diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and so on.
3. Viruses – A Naturally Occurring Phenomenon
Virus outbreaks are as natural as volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, floods, and other such natural disasters. Every now and then, a virus tends to emerge out of nowhere, infect and kill a number of people, and then mutate into a less virulent form, at which point we no longer need to worry about it. It happened with SARS, it happened with MERS, and it will happen with coronavirus.
Now, does this mean you should not care about the virus outbreak at all? Of course not! An uncontrolled outbreak can affect a large number of people in the country, put tremendous strain on our healthcare system, and cripple our economy. So, here is what you can do to reduce the risks of coronavirus infection and transmission.
- Stay away from crowded places – malls, beaches, movie theaters, concerts, games, or any other place where you might be in close contact with other people.
- Wash your hands with soap and water after you touch any object or use any facility that has been used by another person.
- Work from home, if you have the option of doing so.
- Stock up on – but do not hoard – essential supplies like canned goods, toiletries, and over-the-counter medications. Buy a face mask only if you have already contracted the virus. Otherwise, you do not need one.
There you have it. Now, you should have a clear idea as to what coronavirus is and what it is not. Stay cautious and stay positive. America has the right person in the office and despite the American haters on the left – America has the food, water, and resources to persist. The virus will go away in April when it warms up more and when Tom Hanks survives the virus that will help alleviate some fears as well.