Pandora’s Pandemic

TV Freak Out

 

Stephen King wrote a popular book awhile back called The Stand about a rapidly spreading virus that started as a common cold and ended up killing almost everyone it infected.  I read  it not once, not twice, but three times due to a weird fascination my teenage brain had then with global pandemics and end of world scenarios.

Same thing with Ken Follet’s, Pillars of the Earth. I devoured that book multiple times, hooked from the start by it’s eery portrayal of life during the Black Plague era. Took me awhile after reading it to stop worrying about any dark spots that appeared on my skin, convinced this was the beginning of a painful end for me.

So now along comes this Coronavirus, the culmination of years of nonsensical fears about death crashing head on with my hypochondriac tendencies, now playing out in real time. Oh, have I mentioned that I’ve come down with a cold?

So while my left side brain calmly cautions me “there is nothing to panic about”, the right side is screaming “get thee to Costco ASAP, we need supplies!!”    What I’m trying to say is that even though I know better, this Coronavirus stuff scares the crap out of me!!

In the interest preserving my sanity (or proving my insanity), I decided to do some research.  Here’s what I found.

According to this very helpful John Hopkins website the latest Coronavirus stats are this: 100,645 confirmed cases worldwide, with 55,753 recovered and 3,411 deaths.  Here in the U.S., we have 234 confirmed cases with 8 recovered and 14 deaths.

The WHO estimates the Coronavirus death rate to be about 3.4%, but this also changes dramatically depending on what area of the world you’re talking about and the age and even sex of the patient.  This table from Worldmeter has a good breakdown on the death rate by age:

cov19deathrate.jpeg

It’s still not that simple because pre-existing conditions play a huge factor too. The Coronavirus is a big threat to those with compromised immune systems and/or respiratory problems, no matter how old.  For healthy individuals with the virus, not so much; they are very likely to experience mild symptoms like having a cold or lite flu.

Here is my own view on all this:

  • While any death from Coronavirus is bad, it’s good to keep in mind that for most people the risk of dying from it is pretty small.
  • Older people are definitely at high risk, which is alarming, but this is the case with regular influenza too
  • The numbers of people diagnosed have sky rocketed in the U.S, but that’s because we are finally testing for it properly.
  • As those numbers of diagnosed cases continue to rise, the death rate will come down
  • Many people already have the Coronavirus and don’t know it because the symptoms can be very mild-if these people were all counted as confirmed cases the death rate would go down dramatically.
  • Warm weather tends to inhibit viruses, which is why our “flu season” happens during colder months.  With spring just around the corner, let’s hope the Coronavirus behaves similarly.
  • The more I stay off social media the better I feel about things

Obviously this is a very fluid situation and things can and will change quickly.  The best we can do is stay informed, practice good hand washing hygiene and make sound decisions and stay hime if you’re sick.

At the same time don’t consume too much “news,” as the media has not been reporting on this responsibly.  And why should they?  Their job is not to inform, it’s all about ratings and eyeballs; the more scared you are, the more apt you will be to watch or read their fear mongering stories.

Many of us will probably get the Coronavirus if we haven’t already and most of us will be fine.  Prepare for the worst, expect the best and go on living your life.

That’s all I know

 

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23 Responses to Pandora’s Pandemic

  1. Al says:

    Well thought out and expressed, Tricia. Like the play on words in the title too.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Stay calm, pray, carry on!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Dennis says:

    No need to worry Tricia. Your too young to get into any serious problem.
    Take precautions as prescribed and live your life as normal.
    I’m not participating in the scare and I’m an old coffin dodger!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tricia says:

      Agreed Dennis. I’m more worried about some older family members. All we can do is keep on keeping on. And turn off the news…

      You made me laugh with coffin dodger!

      Like

  4. Trish, here’s a copy of an Op-Ed posted today by Ben Shapiro. I’m copying here from behind the Daily Wire pay wall so you can see it without subscribing (though they’re worth subscribing to): In Shapiro’s words:

    So, how worried should you be about coronavirus?

    If you follow the news every day, the answer seems obvious: extraordinarily worried. Airline stocks have been dropping precipitously; broken supply chains in China have disrupted world markets; the stock market seems unable to price in uncertainty regarding the extent of coronavirus’s impact.

    But here’s the reality: if you’re under the age of 70, healthy, and living in the United States, your chances of dying from coronavirus are, by nearly all accounts, extraordinarily low.

    Here are some things to consider.

    1. There Are Likely Far More Coronavirus Cases Than Have Been Diagnosed.

    Coronavirus can only be diagnosed through testing. But a huge number of cases are mild, and thus don’t drive people to hospitals for that testing. Furthermore, particularly in the United States, testing has been utterly insufficient. This means that there are probably thousands of cases of undiagnosed coronavirus. But the count of deaths from coronavirus is likely highly accurate – after all, we have corpses. We calculate death rates by dividing the number of deaths by the number of cases diagnosed. This means that if the denominator is being understated, the death rates are overstated.

    According to Snopes.com, “[vaccine expert Robert] Offit likens the situation to the swine flu epidemic of 2009. At one point, he said, the mortality rate was thought to be much higher than the 0.01 to 0.03% it turned out to be. He thinks the mortality rate for coronavirus will similarly plummet and the ‘false notion that it is more likely to kill you than influenza’ will disappear.” And as Gary Kobinger, director of the Infectious Disease Research Center at Laval University in Quebec, stated, “There are mild cases that are undetected. This is why it’s spreading. Otherwise it would not be spreading because we would know where those cases are and they would be contained and that would be the end of it.” The New England Journal of Medicine suggested that “the overall clinical consequences of Covid-19 may ultimately be more akin to those of a severe seasonal influenza.”

    2. The Diamond Princess Data Suggests The Death Rates Are Exaggerated.
    Dr. Jeremy Faust of Harvard Medical School recently wrote in Slate that the impact of coronavirus is being exaggerated due to lack of widespread knowledge about the cohort most affected by coronavirus. Faust explained: “This is where the Diamond Princess data provides important insight. Of the 3,711 people on board, at least 705 have tested positive for the virus (which, considering the confines, conditions, and how contagious this virus appears to be, is surprisingly low). Of those, more than half are asymptomatic, while very few asymptomatic people were detected in China. This alone suggests a halving of the virus’s true fatality rate.”

    3. Those Who Have Died Are Disproportionately Elderly Or Already Infirm.
    What’s more, deaths from coronavirus are heavily slanted toward those who have pre-existing serious health conditions and/or who are elderly. On the Diamond Princess, as Faust points out, “six deaths have occurred among the passengers, constituting a case fatality rate of 0.85 percent…. Not a single Diamond Princess patient under age 70 has died. If the numbers from reports out of China had held, the expected number of deaths in those under 70 should have been around four.” NBC News recently reported that the Diamond Princess isn’t an exception: “Very few children have been diagnosed with it. And of those who have, most have had mild cases….Worldwide, there have been no deaths reported so far in young children.” Coronavirus hasn’t affected newborns in China: “Even newborns seem to be tolerating the virus fairly well: One study found that in China, only nine infants were hospitalized with it between Dec. 8 and Feb. 6. None had severe complications or required intensive care.” This is at wide variance with the Spanish flu, which killed predominantly young and healthy people.

    So, what does this mean? What everyone already thinks it means: you should take whatever precautions are available, including hand-washing and staying home if you’re sick. But the amount of sheer panic that seems to be roiling the public is overstated based on the available information.

    – Jeff

    Liked by 2 people

  5. George Orwell says:

    If the media keeps you scared and emotional, you don’t think.
    They did a trial run on this last year, Plus Bill Gates has told us that population control is done thru vaccines.
    Problem. Reaction. Solution. Same thing governments have been doing since the beginning of time to control the masses.
    The vaccine IS the poison! Do not get!
    So what tribe controls the media and the morally repugnant women abusing Weinstein Hollywood?
    Don’t be Bernie Sanders retarded, white males are NOT the problem, it is the trash controlling the media!

    Like

  6. I know I shouldn’t laugh, really, but oh boy. You went all in with the Corona. All we can do is keep hygienic and keep our immune up. And TrUsT that God’s got this.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I watched “the Stand,” too. We’re kind of like those kids who’s parent’s told them not to watch that scary movie and now we’re damaged for life and afraid of clowns. It fascinates me how easily influenced we are, how we really are what we eat. So the Bible tells us to be careful about what we eat, instead to focus on “…whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any praise, think on these things.”

    So my one daughter is a nurse and the other one is a biologist. They aren’t worried. A bit amusing, but they have some memes going around, nurses with their feet up all relaxed about this virus, but in walks Bed Bugs and everybody’s stressed out, running around, and putting on hazmat suits.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Salvageable says:

    Someone loaned the “The Stand” to read in spring 1985, the very time in which the story was set. It was an odd experience to read it then. Haven’t seen it since. But the Corona Virus is not bubonic plague or the Spanish flu. We will get through this too, and all the more easily if we can keep from panicking. J.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tricia says:

      I think that’s when I read it too Salvageabel, the first time anyway. 😉

      I’m more concerned with the effects of panic right now than being harmed personally by Coronavirus. That being said am very concerned about the elderly, especially those like my mom with underlying health issues. The death rate for them is very high and the contagiousness of this virus also is much higher than typical flu. Too many moving parts right now to predict anything with certainty.

      Like

  9. E. Williams says:

    I agree. Turning off the news is the best preventative. I check in for a few minutes each day just to see what’s going on and that’s it. More music, games, etc. Quite the change from the usual news junkie I am. And I don’t miss it!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. sandomina says:

    I hope you are doing well and looking after the needy, in these exceptionally difficult and trying times.

    Like

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