A few thoughts on the Coronavirus situation

Image copied from a Guardian post

There’s a lot of posts getting around trying to discount the effect of the Coronavirus by comparing the number of deaths it has caused with the number of deaths from other causes like car accidents.

Please be wary of these posts. What they don’t show is the rapid growth in the number of cases of infection and death. That is what is scary, how quickly this number grows.

Also, try to remember that the numbers on key sites (especially those that have counters) are not ‘live’ but are usually the products of algorithms working from historical data that very often comes from insurance companies.

It is the rate of spread that is scary and should be of concern. That is what ‘going viral’ really means, though it is a term that has been reduced to a cliche now.

Yes, there are huge numbers of folks who have recovered and that’s a great thing but it doesn’t mean the virus is any less of a threat to the most vulnerable.

Yes, too, a lot of folks who died were older people and people with pre existing conditions. That’s exactly how these things work. The sickest and oldest are always the first, if not the worst affected. All illnesses tend to work that way and it’s no reason to discount their deaths.

Please don’t use numbers to hide the truth. People are dying and the rate of the virus spreading is very high and we are still in the early days of all of this.

I would suggest viewing the number of cases reported as being the absolute minimum number. Most of the folks who follow my stuff on social media are, relatively comfortable and in developed nations where it is easier to self isolate and access testing, if not treatment.

Don’t forget those who are not in our situation. Even in the US and the UK there are people who can’t afford to self isolate, there are folks who get paid day by day and have never had the chance to stockpile even a little.

There are friends in remote and rural areas of some countries who will never see a face mask, let alone get tested. Many of them will die unrecorded.

This threat is a virus, a tiny machine made of DNA and RNA that is programmed to infect and replicate over and over and to spread through the most efficient means possible. In this particular case, that means is person to person contact.

That is why the horribly termed ‘social distancing’ is so important. We are the best way to stop the virus from spreading. A reasonably small change in our behaviour can keep the global numbers of deaths lower than those caused by things like heart disease and car accidents.

Yes, changing our behaviour is confronting and inconvenient. In the present situation, it means changing (hopefully temporarily) some of the key behaviours and habits that allow us to express ourselves as social creatures and that allow us to constantly reinforce our connections to others.

I grew up and have lived believing in the value of a firm handshake or a big hug. Kisses are very nice too and I hope that we can get back to a way that we can share them around with relative impunity.

One Comment on “A few thoughts on the Coronavirus situation

  1. I guess your motivation for this post is having seen or heard a lot of virus deniers (or less dramatically, simply puzzled individuals)? I haven’t come across many myself …. On the other hand, I have come across hysteria, which is also unhelpful.


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