On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization announced that COVID-19, the coronavirus, is classified as a pandemic. Boiled down, all this means is there are enough countries and enough people affected that WHO can claim it is a worldwide disease outbreak. It doesn’t talk to the severity of the disease. The last time WHO called a disease a pandemic was in 2009 when H1N1, swine flu, was spreading. Interestingly, H1N1 had an Ro (rate of transmission, or how many people on person infects on average, of about 1.73. All indications are COVID-19 has an Ro of about 3.
In the US, the President announced some measures on March 11, 2020, that are designed to help slow the disease in the country. On Friday, March 13, 2020, at 11:59pm, air travel from Europe will be restricted. Congress is working on a package to help the country through the pandemic including financial aid to those who cannot work because of it.
Unfortunately, none of this will have any effect on slowing the rate at which the disease is already moving in the United States of America.
If you read my last post, you know that the projected numbers are being hit and sometimes surpassed, daily. I have concluded that the only way to ‘beat’ this, slow the virus, is for people to take personal responsibility. Adults are going to need to act like adults.
There is a lot of talk about something called ‘social distancing.’ This is a fancy term for staying away from others. I really wish people wouldn’t try to find special terms to use for simple things as it just helps to confuse. What we hear is, if you are sick or think you have been exposed, stay home. I think we may need to take this a bit further. I think that at some point we all just need to stay home for a couple of weeks. If we all did that at the same time, the disease would probably die out in the US.
I am not saying it will be easy. If you live paycheck-to-paycheck, it may very well be, or at least feel, impossible. Many people will need to go out and get food because they did not or could not stock up, this is especially true for things like fresh vegetables. Essential services will still need to run. People who operate the grocery stores and truckers may have to work.
For those who are not in an essential service, what will you do if your business is told to shut down for a period of time? You need to think it through now. How will you handle going to the grocery store? What are you going to do if your schools close and the kids have to stay home? It’s time to adult. Think these things through now, before they happen.
I don’t want the statistics in my previous post to happen. WE CAN PREVENT THEM. The only way to do that is to consciously NOT infect others. You may catch COVID-19 and it be very mild, that still makes you contagious and it can kill someone else. Being an adult means thinking about that and taking responsibility for it.
There are still people out there who believe that the coronavirus is just like a cold or the flu. I’d like all of you that believe that to remember, neither of those has a mortality rate of three percent or higher. The coronavirus is thirty (30) times more lethal than the flu.
It’s time to be a grownup now.