It is not the end of the world

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As I am writing this on March 7, according to worldometers.info/coronavirus, there are over 100,000 reported cases of the coronavirus in the world, with over 3,500 deaths and over 58,000 recoveries. Since being declared a “public health emergency of international concern” by the World Health Organization at the end of January, people have been in a frenzy for what seems to be the end of the world.

It’s really not that serious, though.

I don’t want to come off as insensitive to the deaths that have occurred from the virus, and I am very grateful that my family and I have remained healthy, along with everyone I know, but I would like to shed a little light on the overreactions that are occurring.

First and foremost, COVID-19 is not much worse than the flu. The coronavirus death rate is 2.9%, and it is much less widespread. COVID-19, only present in 91 countries, is less ubiquitous than the flu’s 134. That’s 43 more countries than the coronavirus effects, which means millions of more people are at risk of contracting the flu than COVID-19. Since more people are at risk of catching the flu, why are we more worried about this disease outbreak?

The symptoms of the common cold also seem worse than the coronavirus.

While the main symptoms of COVID-19 only include fever, cough, and shortness of breath, the cold includes all of those symptoms and more. With a common cold, you can expect body aches, fatigue, sneezing, and genuine, long-lasting discomfort. COVID-19 is not as bad compared to the cold.

 

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Another concern with COVID-19 is that people with weak immune systems are at risk of dying. However, this is also the case with a cold.

Anyone with a weakened immune system, like an elder, child or chronically ill person is at greater risk of catching any disease and dying from it in extreme cases. This is not limited to COVID-19.

And why is it that ways to be protected against COVID-19 are the same as the flu and the cold if the virus is worth worrying about more? “Wash your hands, stay away from everyone in general who is acting like they’re sick or say they don’t feel well, and avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.” Sound familiar?

That’s what all of us are told to do to avoid contracting any disease, whether it be a stomach virus or the coronavirus. Standard precautions can be taken to reduce the risk of COVID-19, so it is not totally unstoppable. We can protect ourselves, guys.

The vibe I get from media outlets about the virus is “It’s the end of the world because the coronavirus can kill you!” News flash: we aren’t indestructible. The cold and flu can kill you too, along with being totally sedentary, drinking 6 liters of water, drinking 120 cups of coffee, consuming too many energy drinks, eating 48 teaspoons of salt or 22 apples in one sitting.

I like to think of myself as a fairly healthy person, so I’m not worried about contracting the coronavirus. I used to get sick all the time when I was younger, but that was because I ate three bags of Doritos, a chocolate bar, some airheads and a few scoops of ice cream every day. However, as I got older, I traded my Doritos for fruits, chocolate bars for fun-sized dark chocolate bars, airheads for vegetables and ice cream for granola bars, and guess what? I stopped getting sick all the time. So, I’ve developed the attitude that it’s very easy to avoid getting sick at all if people just take care of themselves.

Even those who are at a higher risk of getting any virus due to their age have many different ways to protect themselves by using the standard, “Here’s how to avoid getting the cold!” protocol. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t take care to avoid getting sick, I’m just saying it’s not much different than other seemingly minor things, and it’s definitely not the end of the world.

 

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