The coronavirus outbreak has people all over the world concerned and fearing for their life. I am not one of them.
Much is still unknown about the virus but by all accounts, I am not in the high-risk group identified by health officials in Canada and the U.S. There have been accounts of relatively healthy people in my demographic who have contracted it in the U.S. but I am not losing sleep over getting it myself.
In recent years, the world has gone through several health scares such as SARS and H1N1 and, quite honestly, I don’t remember much about them (aside from their names). True, serious illness and the loss of life isn’t anything to disregard but the words “panic” and “precautions” come to mind. Take precautions and don’t panic.
As much as people jeered Pres. Trump for telling his public to wash their hands and “not touch every railing,” I really don’t plan on doing anything different in my day-to-day life. Still going to wash my hands, still going to use basic sanitary common sense. Will others? I have never relied on them to do so.
People are dying from coronavirus just as they are the flu. People die from a lot of things, it just doesn’t always get international headlines.
It isn’t uncommon to be on an airplane or at a concert and have someone sneezing and coughing right next to you. It’s gross, sure, but you deal with it and if you get sick a few days later, so be it. At least you knew how you became ill.
At the risk of downplaying the seriousness of coronavirus, I don’t know that we should go around suspecting a cougher or a sneezer of being a carrier. While there was localized hysteria with the other health outbreaks, the reality is that most people went about their daily business and remained just fine.
That is my plan as this coronavirus thing plays out. And I use the word “thing” because we don’t know exactly the type of crisis it is or will become.
Am I stocking up on hand sanitizer and surgical masks, and replacing handshakes with fist bumps as was previously suggested by “experts” on TV? No. Am I putting myself at risk by not doing so? Honestly, it depends on who you ask.
Until someone with some credibility waves the emergency flag and tells me to get into a bunker, it is life as usual for me.