Research Instead of Hysteria

Image from Smithsonian Magazine

It is easy to pull a fire alarm and cause panic, feet rushing through the halls to the exit. Others stopping to grab valuables on the way. Very few checking to see if there are any wisps of smoke. Right now the sirens are blaring but no one has stopped to question whether this is just a test or perhaps something that a single fire truck can manage. Instead we’ve got the whole crew out there and people are flocking to the scene.

Years from now we will look back and be embarrassed. Arm yourself with information instead of fear. I get it, that takes work. It’s not as easy as running outside when an obnoxious noise is filling the hall. You have to read articles on the Johns Hopkins website or the CDC or the World Health Organization site to get ACTUAL data. It is so much easier to flip on the television or read what pops up in your social feed and unite in fear mongering, but I urge you to stop. We are smarter than this!

Coronavirus is new, which can make it scary. Wash your hands, don’t sneeze on people, cover your mouth when coughing, stay home if you’re sick. Sanitize you’re kitchens and disinfect your bathrooms. These are things we should already be doing. Now employers are actually giving the grace they should have been all along when any of their staff have flu like symptoms. Now is a great time to button up and do these things with more intention, but it’s not new advice.

Cautionary travel notices were released at the end of January, yet only now is there panic when it comes to hopping on an airplane in the U.S. Why? This is not malaria, which caused 405,000 deaths in 2018. This is not ebola, which has a death rate of over 90%. This isn’t even the flu, which caused over 56,000 deaths last year, a statistic, while unfortunate, pales in comparison to the first two. Coronavirus is relatively new, it’s now in the U.S., and instead of telling the whole truth, people are choosing to make money off of that fear.

Choose to arm yourself with knowledge: As of this morning, not quite 128,000 people have this new disease. That’s barely a third of the population of Wichita, Kansas and yet that’s a global statistic. It would be better if zero people had this, of course, but on a global scale, that just isn’t very many people. Fewer than 5,000 have died worldwide, with over 68,000 people recovering! That’s since December. It’s been 4 months already but for some reason now is the start of the panic. I don’t ask you to ignore what’s happening. I’m also not telling you to cuddle up on the sofa with your sick friends sharing the same bowl of chicken noodle soup. I simply ask you to be smart. Ask better questions. This is not the time for panic. Caution? Sure. Good hygiene? Absolutely! Spread the knowledge. Spread the common sense. Heck, dare to spread the joy in the world.

Stats given were pulled from the following websites as of 4:35 pm cst on March 12, 2020:
World Health Organization
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Johns Hopkins Uniersity


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