Seems the shared experience of COVID -19 both unites and divides. Whilst we’re all in this together distance between us is growing by consensus. With so much to feed on, I’m finding the need to filter and ignore hyperbole, best guesses and bluster. To that end, as a reminder for myself and to signpost something I found useful here’s a piece I thought was pretty grounded and worth the time spent reading…
Perspective matters – influenza compared to COVID-19 helps us understand more about the statistics.
While COVID-19 has taken the world by storm this year, it’s important to understand everything we can about this specific strand of coronavirus in regards to other diseases in order to stop the spread of panic and fear.
Coronavirus has 7 other strains that commonly infect millions of people each year. COVID-19 is a new strain that used to solely infect animals but has now been transmitted to humans (CDC estimates that 3 out of every 4 emerging infectious diseases around the world are Zoonotic diseases, meaning they occurred first in animals and then were transmitted to humans).
The Johns Hopkins map shows 184,407 confirmed cases worldwide (as of March 17, 2020) with 7,154 total deaths. While these numbers seem daunting, it’s important to note other factors as well – 79,433 people have fully recovered from the virus, and the CDC has issued a statement explaining that elderly people ages 80+ are at the highest risk.
Compare these numbers with the influenza statistics released by the CDC: In the U.S alone, the flu has caused an estimated 350,000 illnesses and over 20,000 deaths this flu season alone. Researchers have suggested the new panic around coronavirus stems mainly from the fact that while we have studied the flu for years, this strand is new to humans, therefore many people consider it more dangerous.
Stop contributing to societal panic – stay vigilant but remain calm.
Another key factor in pandemics is that the population’s ability to remain calm and react logically to the situation at hand becomes blurred and unfocused.
Instead of taking the recommended precautions set forth by reputable places such as the CDC, people are panic-buying weeks worth of groceries and spreading information online that hasn’t been verified. This only leads to more panic and hysteria.
At times like this, it’s human instinct to be anxious, to feel fear and to worry about what the outcome of this fast-spreading virus could be. However, take a moment to consider the consequences of panic buying or spreading misinformation without fact-checking. There are real-world consequences, such as a lack of product for those who need them.
Stay calm, be vigilant, take care and most importantly, stay logical.