Why do Americans have to polarize everything? I have seen some of the most appalling avoidance of actually digesting relevant information about the, now pandemic, new strain of coronavirus.
-government conspiracy: a textbook from 70’s mentioning coronavirus means that this isn’t a new virus. Yo. It’s a new strain of coronavirus, which is why it has the fancy name of COVID-19. Coronavirus is a family of separate (but similar) viruses.
-people saying to stop making it political when other people bring up the barriers to diagnosing and tracking the virus in this country caused by our healthcare system: Citing relevant information isn’t making anything political. Lamenting the actual political actions which are creating even more barriers (like gutting the federal program that was equipped to properly handle a pandemic) isn’t even really “making it political”. Facts are non-partisan.
Here’s the worst…
American exceptionalism sucks and is what will kill a lot of folks in this country.
Viruses don’t give a fuck.
Viruses mutate and grow stronger, really rather quickly, when left to reproduce.
Yes. It is a flu-like virus; and we all know how much people hate getting flu shots because they’ve never gotten a bad case. Bad cases aside, we still have a vaccine for the flu (variable efficacy) and some responsible percentage of people in this country *get* the vaccine.
That slows the spread of the flu and its unabated ability to reproduce.
We have medicines that are built to help fight the flu and lower its mortality rate.
We don’t have any of that for coronavirus.
Now, am i saying we should all freak out because everyone is going to die now?
But there are a lot of factors that are truly concerning here.
*This virus has been shown to survive *on surfaces* up to 2 WEEKS. Reference point: the flu survives on surfaces for 24 hours.
*There is at least one known case of re-infection. A person tested positive, was treated, recovered, was exposed again to the virus and re-contracted it. It seemingly wasn’t a (much) weaker response either. So, the antibodies we create to fight the virus may not be protective against future exposure.
*Now that we have cases that aren’t related to the original outbreak, we don’t have the capacity to contain its spread. Or effectively track it.
*other countries are shutting down schools and churches for weeks/more than a month in an attempt to slow down the virus’s spread.
There are countries reporting roughly 1 in 50 mortality rate in confirmed cases. (No, this isn’t directly representative of deaths/cases. Especially since there is evidence that the *known* and *suspected* cases are not the *only* cases. But this is true for numbers on anything…like the flu).
*Ecosystems tend to evolve and “intervene” when a population is threatening the balance in an ecosystem. They like to evolve viruses to this end. The notion that any new virus going pandemic *is not* an issue is absolutely ignorant.
Knowing all that…And watching American exceptionalism growing stronger is concerning.
All the healthy young adults brushing it off entirely because “so what? It’s like the flu..”.
Healthy young adults who have no concept what a pandemic actually is because we have things like vaccines, treatments, and government programs dedicated to preventing and managing outbreaks of communicable diseases.*
All those healthy young adults heading towards spring break and muchos, um, close contact and lax hygiene. (Y’all wash your hands after that keg-stand, bros?).
So, should we all panic? No, but we also shouldn’t ignore the real risk to the point of doing nothing to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus. And please don’t dismiss relevant, factual information because your experience says that your healthy young adult body shouldn’t worry about something “like the flu”. Healthy young adults have children. They have parents. They have friends and colleagues with autoimmune disorders or in treatment for cancer. And viruses can grow strong enough to kill healthy young adults in the absence of treatment and preventative measures.
Focus less on how sick *you* might get and more on what you can do to limit the virus’s ability to spread through our communities.
Wash your hands, cover your cough, be excellent to each other.