Coronavirus – Quit the Panic. Quit the Downplaying. Quit Blaming the Media for Reporting It.
As much as I love social media and the great things about it, it becomes a love/hate relationship during events like this. I debated writing this for the last week or so for a couple of reasons.
1 – There are very few things I am timely about, meaning I don’t write them immediately as they are happening. I don’t like to be reactionary in my blog. We get enough of that.
2 – I am going to insult people in this. It may apply to you. For the record, that is my intention.
3 – I didn’t want to write about something I am quite honestly sick of hearing about.
But fuck it. Here I am talking about Coronavirus.
I want to start with the people downplaying the pandemic, which I can now call it that officially.
I keep seeing posts spreading like wildfire saying thing like…
X amount of people die from murder each year
X amount of people die from suicide each year
X amount of veterans die each year
“We need to stop panicking over the 31 deaths from Coronavirus.”
Let’s start with the fundamental problem of comparing the total deaths to each other. It would be like comparing the total number of black people killed by police officers to white people. Meanwhile, black people make up 12% of the population as opposed to whites who make up 60%.
If you do that, I can only assume your head whistles in a crosswind.
First off, this strain of Coronavirus is new. So, no the death toll won’t be an incredibly large number like the things mentioned above. Let’s take a look at the death rates of those things in the US.
If you’re going off the confirmed cases, the mortality rate of confirmed Coronavirus cases is around 2.8% in the US. However, you have to account for others who have not been confirmed that caught it from someone else. Let’s assume that 1,000 is more like 4,000 cases. That mortality rate is still .0078.
Murder Rate in the US – .00005
Suicide Rate in the US – .0001
Veteran Death Rate in US – .0001
Remind me again why those things are more likely to kill you.
That being said, are you going to die from Coronavirus? Probably not unless you are older (60+) or have underlying medical conditions. So chill.
It is similar to the flu in that regard. That brings up another conversation of people screaming how much more deadly the flu is.
The CDC estimates the US has between 9 million to 45 million cases of the flu and between 12,000 to 61,000 deaths annually since 2010. If you take the low number of cases and figure out the death rate using the high number of deaths, that death rate still only equates to .0068.
Even when I skew the statistics to try and make the case that the flu is deadlier, I can’t. And on the other side…
This is what happens when we start talking about death, there are people who panic. They’re raiding stores and medical centers for supplies like hand-sanitizer, masks and toilet paper.
There was a falsehood being spread on social media regarding beards and that the CDC suggested shaving them because you’re more likely to catch COVID-19 if you have facial hair. People of course shared it without fact checking.
It is all part of the mass hysteria.
One of the preventive measures being taken to prevent further spreading is the cancellation of events. One of the biggest post Mardi Gras weekends in New Orleans is St. Patty’s Day weekend. We have parades and events all throughout the city. Some of those events are being cancelled as a result of us seeing some of our first cases of the Coronavirus.
On one hand, I get it. Maybe it is a little too premature. On the other hand, there are plenty of other things I would rather pick on the city of New Orleans for. I have seen this message be shared by more than one person…
“Everyone needs to chill. We live in New Orleans. We wear just caught dirty crap from China from strangers for two weeks straight while not sleeping and sustaining on a diet consisting of alcohol, king cake and Popeyes. We spend two weeks at the end of April dancing in horse poop. We live in cancer alley. Cruise ships dock here almost daily spilling out infected throngs of tourists from God knows where. We eat moon pies off the ground and communal crawfish boils repeatedly. We have the strongest damn immune systems in the country. When the rest of those germophobes fall, we will raise a glass and have a festival to complain about our allergies. Seriously. I was back here in a month after Katrina in toxic sludge and I’m still standing…this crappy ass virus named after cheap Mexican beer is not what is going to take me out.”
First off, the tone regarding New Orleans’ supremacy for life is off base to whoever wrote this. The life expectancy of New Orleans residents is 66 years, 12 years below the national average. So take your strong immune systems and shove it up your ass. You’re wrong.
Second, I get it. You love your city and you have FOMO for the events. That being said, it was first identified in December and in a few months it has spread across the globe. The first case was reported in the US 5 days ago? It is now confirmed in 38 states. There is some course for concern because of that in addition to it being a new strain.
Do I necessarily agree with the cancellation of events? Not really. It feels a little premature as I said. But I also don’t agree with people going out in public while they are sick. But people do that anyway. Quite frankly, I wouldn’t trust anyone not to.
The part I hate is people saying “it won’t take me out.” You’re right. It probably won’t if you’re healthy and young. But what happens if you spread that someone who is more likely to die from it? That is the point here. Protecting those who it could be deadly for.
Ironically enough, some of the people I have seen posting bullshit like that also are strong vaccination supporters. It’s amazing how little you care about protecting others when it comes to catching lettuce and other shit while getting blitzed. But hey, at least you’re going after the anti-vaxxers. You’re doing one thing right.
The last side that is pissing me off is the people going after the media for constantly reporting about it.
- Is it factual?
- Is it newsworthy?
- Is it timely?
- Is it important?
Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. No matter which question you ask, the media has an obligation to keep informing people on COVID-19 as more information keeps hitting their desks. If the CDC or WHO reports something, the media is and should be reporting that information.
While I am not denying that there is fear mongering in some columns or reports, know it when you see it though (like this one – USA TODAY). That column took what the CDC said about it being an pandemic out of context.
Every time there is an update (literally saw one earlier), read the comment sections and posts from people about the virus.
hErE ThEy Go AgAiN!!
It’s a fucking report on the latest case for where it is Karen. What the hell do you want them to do? Meh. We will just ignore this and let it spread without preventative measures.
To close this? Is COVID-19 something we should educate ourselves on and keep an eye on? Yes.
Is it something we should panic about right now? No. At least not most of us.
Shut your mouths. Wash your hands. Stay the hell out of the public if you’re sick. Thanks for coming to my TED talk.
For the record, 23 more people died from Coronavirus in the 40 minutes it took me to write this.