As we all know, the coronavirus is spreading like a wildfire around the world and the country. I’m not going to write a long story on this because stories about it are all over all types of media.

Like others, I encourage everyone to wash your hands, cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze, and if you have to isolate yourself from the public for a little bit in fear that you may spread the virus or get it from someone else, you should do that.

I’m no doctor; this is just an opinion, but I don’t think that means you need to halt your life.

I think we should go on about our lives, try not to worry about it and just be extra cautious. I am thoroughly convinced that it’s real. It’s not nothing; it’s not the flu.

Italy essentially shut down its whole country. All professional and collegiate sports have been either postponed or canceled. I already feel like there is a whole in my life because of those cancellations. I should probably use my increased spare tv watching time to read some books.

I still can’t decide if I think it was necessary to cancel all NCAA Spring sports like baseball and softball. Yet, I understand that the NCAA would rather be blamed for overreacting than for not doing enough and causing unnecessary loss of life.

The state of Michigan (my home state) and Oregon have closed schools altogether for at least three weeks, while most colleges are moving all classes online. That’s not nothing. According to the CDC, in the U.S., we have gone from 89 confirmed cases on March 1, to about 1,710 by Friday morning, March 13. I guess the silver lining, despite the rising number, is that we have much more available testing to find out who has the virus. However, tests still aren’t easy to get. That begs the question, why is the most powerful country in the world behind in testing compared to other countries around the world?

As someone who works in journalism and the overall news business, our job is to keep people informed. I do agree that some in the media are potentially making people more worried then they probably should be.

On the other hand, it’s evident to me that much of the conservative media has been downplaying it way too much.

I also understand as a 26-year-old, even with a preexisting condition (diabetes), I’m less at risk for serious illness from this virus. Unfortunately, certain age groups or people with prior medical illnesses are of higher risk of serious illness or even death.

For all of you who are saying it’s just like the flu: The flu stinks, nobody wants that. If it’s “just like the flu,” are you going to send your kid to school to get the flu? We don’t have a vaccine for this and the unknown is the worst part. We have a new strain of illness that we aren’t close to having a vaccination for, and that’s a problem.

I have no doubt we’ll get past this whether it takes weeks or months, but I can assure you it’s not going to go away once warmer weather hits, it’s not going to “just go away.” I wasn’t good at science in school, but I can promise you that’s not how science works. I’ll sum it up with a quote from Dr. Anthony Fauci, an American immunologist.

“The mortality rate for seasonal flu is 0.1 percent. The mortality rate for this (Coronavirus) is about two and a half percent. It’s probably lower than that; it’s probably closer to one. But even if it’s one, it’s 10 times more lethal than the seasonal flu. You have to make sure that people understand that.” Don’t panic; just please don’t be naïve and ignore what’s happening here and around the world despite what some people in higher office might be saying. After 9/11, we all came together. At this very moment, we need each other more than ever. We need to be close emotionally and not close physically. Stay safe, everyone.

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