I know there is a lot of concern, not only in our country, but around the world right now due to the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). I wanted to take the time to shed some light on this matter. There is a lot of misinformation being shared across news media outlets, Internet and social media. I know this is a time of panic for a lot of you, but now is the time to stay positive and calm because there is always a light at the end of the tunnel.
When I was a child, I would develop many fears over what I read in newspapers and watched on television. I specifically remember the Summer of ’74, my family and I were vacationing down at the Jersey Shore. Suddenly, news broke out that a man attending a conference for Legionnaires in Philadelphia had died mysteriously. The cause of this mans death later turned out to be Legionnaire’s Disease. Once people found out, they rushed from the shore in panic not knowing if they would catch this disease. The largest fear to me at that time was the fear of the unknown.
Throughout history, we have seen many forms of viruses. For example, in Africa, Ebola killed thousands of people. SARS, which originated in China (2002), killed with devastating effects. Much like the current coronavirus, it took the lives of the elderly and immune compromised. SARS was deadly and contagious, but only for some. Back in 2009, we witnessed the Swine Flu epidemic work its way across the globe.
Today, we know that the FLU kills thousands of people, but it comes with little global panic. With social media, the Internet and news media outlets the information we receive can be misinterpreted. The misinformation can be spread easily through word-of-mouth. One thing leads to another, and everyone is panicking. Panicking only causes stress and we want to make sure everyone is staying safe and healthy and following the pre-cautionary measures.
According to WHO (World Health Organization) in order to reduce the spread of the virus, we must be doing the following:
- 1. Regularly wash your hands with anti-bacterial soap for about 20 seconds. Clean your hands with alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- 2. Maintain a 6 feet distance between one another, especially ones who sneeze or cough around you.
- 3. Refrain from touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- 4. Stay home, if you feel unwell.
Majority of states have issued their own rules regarding the spread of COVID-19. Make sure to check out your local/state government websites for more information.
In conclusion, I would like to reiterate that panicking can only cause more stress and stress is not good for your health. When looking up information regarding this Pandemic, please rely on credible sources. Many people tend to share false information without fact checking. We hope that everyone is practicing safe social–distancing. Stay safe and stay healthy. I wish you and your families well during this difficult time.