Here's a good rule of thumb. When Anderson Cooper and Governor Andrew "Infanticide" Cuomo tell you to freak out over something, it's probably time to turn off the TV and reach for a good book.
We're all going to die of something but for the vast majority of us, it won't be the coronavirus. If the mainstream media would only stop weaponizing this, lives will be saved, the economy won't crash, Trump will crush Biden and, believe it or not, the world won't end.
God willing, we might even live long enough to get our flu shot next year (if you're into that sort of thing, and I'm not).
So here's what we know, culled from an article that appeared in the Guardian over the weekend, which observes that although this virus is obviously a massive challenge, "the world has never had better tools to fight it, and that if we are infected, we are unlikely to die from it."
According to Ignacio Lopez-Goni, a professor of microbiology and virology at the University of Navarra in Spain, we also know this:
- Doctors know what the Coronavirus is.
- They can test for it.
- They know it can be contained.
- Catching it is not that easy (if we are careful) and we can kill it quite easily (provided we try).
- In most cases, symptoms are mild, and young people are at very low risk. According to a study of 45,000 confirmed infections in China, 81% of cases caused only minor illness, 14% of patients had symptoms described as “severe”, and just 5% were considered “critical”, with about half of those resulting in death.
- People are recovering from it. As the daily count maintained by the Johns Hopkins CSSE shows, thousands of people around the world are making confirmed recoveries from the coronavirus every day.
- Hundreds of scientific articles have already been written about it.
- Vaccine prototypes exist. Commercial pharmaceutical and biotechnology labs such as Moderna, Inovio, Sanofi and Novavax, as well as academic groups such as one at the University of Queensland in Australia – many of which were already working on vaccines for similar Sars-related viruses – have preventive vaccine prototypes in development, some of which will soon be ready for human testing.
- Dozens of treatments are already being tested.
- Spring is here. Flu viruses struggle to survive in warm weather.
Forgive me, but I like those odds. I'm not a scientist, but I have lived through enough of these global health scares and Y2K moments of hysteria to know that reckless talking heads on TV are far more of a threat to the common good than the actual crisis de jour.
These guys are supposed to be preventing panic. Remember? So ask yourself this: Why aren’t they? Why are so many of them inciting it? Is it because panic is good for ratings and, in an election year, it can be weaponized in a nanosecond? Oh, I think so!
So let's do this: First let's breathe; then let's take the normal precautions recommended during any flu season; and, finally, let's watch a little vintage television--because this is magnificently appropriate.
It's called The Shelter and it's about a media-generated public panic that leads a doctor to lock himself and his family into his shelter. His friends and neighbors become hysterical and want to occupy the shelter. All of the previous cordiality seen earlier in the episode is immediately replaced with soaring desperation; pent-up hostility, searing rage, and other suppressed emotions boiling to the surface.
This from back in 1961 nails it: While we need to be sensible—and charitable, by the way (don't hoard masks you don't need!)—at a time like this, the reality is that the panic-stricken mob poses a far greater threat to us all than the evil thing from which we’re supposedly running for our lives:
Long story short, we need to be the adults in the room (just like our parents used to be); don't be manipulated, stay calm and help others to do the same. God's in charge, and this too will pass.