The coronavirus might make things seem really scary right now, but I promise the world’s not going to end.
When I woke up this morning, I was immediately hit with university campuses closing, Dark Mofo being cancelled, and world leaders diagnosed with the virus. It looks like it could be part of an opening to an apocalypse movie, but all of these precautions and guidelines are just keeping us safe.
But It’s So Bad In China!
Just looking at the statistics and news from China, where the virus was first diagnosed, things seem pretty good. Worldometers, a statistics site owned by independent company Dadax and trusted by the United Nations, shows that of the closed cases, 95% of people recovered and were discharged.
There’s currently 17,505 patients that are infected, and 73% only have a mild case of COVID-19. Not only that, but the number of new cases has been declining significantly since the 12th of February.
CNBC reported overnight that the last of the 14 makeshift hospitals in Wuhan have closed after discharging their last patient.
— Xu Zeyu (@XuZeyu_Philip) March 9, 2020
Let’s Look At Italy
A a researcher in the Department of Infectious Diseases at the Italian National Institute of Health told TIME magazine that he thinks the virus might have been in Italy before the first diagnosis on the 20th of February. They were in the middle of their flu season and there were an strangely high number of pneumonia cases. While people thought it was just the flu, it might have been something more, meaning there was plenty of time for transmissions.
So now, there’s a big scary lockdown to ensure that people don’t mess around and spread the virus even further.
And the high death toll? Italy has one of the world’s oldest populations, with the average age of coronavirus patients who’ve died sitting at 81.
The coronavirus is taking a disproportionate toll on the elderly in Italy, which has the oldest population in Europe, and the second-oldest in the world after Japan https://t.co/1vddtEldV0
— The New York Times (@nytimes) March 5, 2020
So Why Is Everything So Scary?
Large gatherings cancelled and strict quarantines are being put in place to reduce the spread of the infection. Authorities are worried about people who are at risk of developing more severe symptoms, like people who are immunosuppressed, have lung issues, or the elderly.
Reducing the spread of infection also lets the health system get a bit of a handle on things to ensure everyone gets the best treatment they can.
I know the government can seem a little bit useless at times, and the media doesn’t help with the way they’re phrasing things, but when you look at trusted sources and listen to healthcare professionals, we’re doing the right things.
So wash your hands, disinfect your phone and Opal card, and stay informed. We’ll be okay.
Image Sources: Twitter, GIPHY, NBC