Courtesy of NIAID
“It’s not even as deadly as the flu!”
If I have to hear one more person recite a fact they heard from a headline they read or a sentence they zoned in on while listening to the radio, I’m gonna have to crack a corona open- but wash my hands first, of course.
These seemingly solid facts seem to make people think the virus – which started back in January and has now spread to every continent except Antarctica – is nothing less than the flu.
First, let’s debunk that false statement with data collected by Live Science. The report discusses the way in which scientists calculate how fast a virus can spread. They measure it using “basic reproduction number,” also known as R0.
“Currently, the R0 for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the disease COVID-19, is estimated at about 2.2, meaning a single infected person will infect about 2.2 others, on average,” according to the report. “By comparison, the flu has an R0 of 1.3.”
I want to put this in words that hopefully people will understand. The worry is not necessarily on the death toll, though measures are being taken to stop it from rising. The real problem is if the virus spreads.
More so, if people think it’s acceptable to go about their day, they might end up getting affected by the disease and having to get tested. If they test positive for the virus, that means they’ll need treatment.
MSNBC discusses how we have a fixed capacity in our healthcare system. If we were to cross that line due to negligent people disregarding safety measures, we won’t have enough supplies to take care of all those affected – especially those who are more susceptible to the virus.
Have you ever seen “The Amazing World of Gumball?” It’s a cartoon show so it should be easy to follow. Please bear with me.
One of the episodes centers around a personified virus looking to kill off the main characters. However, it’s continuously ignored by the protagonists because they simply believe it has no way of infecting them. Sound familiar?
As the episode continues, the virus finds new ways of attacking through its ability to mutate. One character even mentions how viruses are able to evolve to adapt to any situation.
The coronavirus was actually able to infect humans through mutation in the first place. The virus is believed to have come from inside an animal. According to Nature, scientists believe the virus mutated from snakes, allowing it to infect and spread between people.
The whole reason people are making a big deal about the virus is because it’ll eventually adapt if it continues to spread. By shrugging it off we’re allowing it to find new ways to mutate. If it can find a way to infect us, it has the potential to find a way to kill us.
Even President Donald Trump went live on television to address the matter- a topic he now contradicts himself on because he also downplayed the issue.
Watch closely how he addresses the camera. No hesitation, no stuttering, no sign of any Trump-style antics. You can even see his eyes as he reads the teleprompter in front of him. This was scripted, nothing was off the cuff. This leads me to believe someone told the president not to improvise or stray away from the words given to him. And he listened – that’s how serious this is. Even Trump knew when to stop calling it a hoax. Now it’s time you did, too.
I’m sorry you’ve been losing money in the stock market. I’m sorry your school is forcing you to take online classes and stay at home. I’m sorry the measures being taken are inconvenient to your everyday life. But no one should have to apologize for trying to save people’s lives –your life.
This is not a time to panic, nor a time to be ignorant. This is the time to act.