Speak MY Piece: About The Coronavirus

Data plots showing countries with the coronavirus. Credit: World Health Organization.

Speaking of the coronavirus, here’s what President Donald J. Trump tweeted yesterday:  “So last year 37,000 Americans died from the common Flu. It averages between 27,000 and 70,000 per year. Nothing is shut down, life & the economy go on. At this moment there are 546 confirmed cases of CoronaVirus, with 22 deaths. Think about that!”

The president’s effort is to tell us to calm down.

I’ve been reading about this “bug” and found studies that say there is, indeed, a difference between the coronavirus and the flu, namely there is no vaccine for the COVID-19. And while there is work underway, it could take months or years to develop one, but in the interim the virus may mutate or change.

We know the flu kills many people and so does this new virus. Some folks are more in danger than others, including the elderly and individuals with a compromised immune system. But critical to remember is this unknown strain of the cold virus popped up in China last December and now has spread to 100 countries with quarantines everywhere, including the entire country of Italy, that’s another thing.

What to do? Everyone has a suggestion with some preparing like a survivalist by stocking up on oat milk, toilet paper and hand sanitizer. (Can’t find any hand sanitizer, myself.)

No cases in Bucks County, so far, but it has appeared in nearby New York where the state Health department advises people to follow good sanitary practices, as in the flu season,  and avoid mass transit, if you can. In New York, that is a big deal.

Flying may not be as hazardous, however, domestically. The famous Dr. Oz was talking about it Sunday and said the overhead air device in a plane can be used by passengers to clear and refresh the air in their small section of the plane. And I read that airplane air is filtered 20 to 30 times an hour, regardless. Who knew?

Look, I’m in the endangered class and so I’m conscientious about hand shaking (no), being downwind of a sneeze or cough, and washing my hands like someone with OCD. I am leery about going on public transportation and urge those loved ones of mine to refrain from mass transit, too.

Some good, local news: The people who were concerned, last week, about possible exposure to a person who was thought to have been exposed to the coronavirus (not in PA), got the all-clear Monday.

The Bucks County Board of Heath reported no one attending this particular social gathering at a private home within the Central Bucks School District tested positive for the virus, as well as the suspected individual. The district schools re-opened, Monday, after a one-day closure.

And the last word from Dr Ben Carson, a former neurosurgeon and cabinet secretary, who spoke to ABC News, Sunday: “That (corona) virus is like other viruses. It should be treated the same way,” he reiterated in his calm and soothing voice.

Agreed, and we will take the same precautions we take in flu season, but more. I’m neither afraid nor worried, nor looking to Donald Trump to protect me.  We know the drill.