You can’t help but have heard the news about the most recent healthcare issue that is having an impact on lives all over the world. The coronavirus, often referred to as COVID-19, has received a ton of attention as far as media coverage goes. There are two extreme ways of looking at the disease, both of which are probably not quite accurate. The first view states that this is a deadly disease and that we all need to prepare for it because our lives depend upon it. The second takes the opposite approach and says that the media has blown this way out of proportion and there’s really nothing to worry about. Both of these are wrong–instead we should be taking a middle ground approach.
The odds of getting the virus do not seem all that high at this point in time, although that could change in the future. As of today, there are just over 200 confirmed cases in the United States, and 14 reported deaths. For the 300 million plus people that live in the U.S., this is a microscopically small percentage. The biggest problem that we are likely to face is disruptions to daily living. Stores and public buildings may close in order to help prevent the spread of the disease. It may take longer to do the things that we are used to doing because of this.
But when you take into account the senior population, it is a different story. The reality is that things like the coronavirus have a bigger impact upon the elderly. Seniors are far more likely to have issues with this disease and the mortality rate for the elderly is going to be higher than it will be in younger populations. Those with lung issues are at an exceptionally high risk. Smokers and those with breathing problems tend to not fare as well with the disease than others
So, now to answer the question posed in the title of this article. Should we worry about the coronavirus? Yes, but not to the point of panic. There are things that we can do right now to protect ourselves and the elderly people in our lives. Wash your hands regularly. Don’t go out if you’re sick, unless it’s to the doctor or an emergency. Stay away from crowds and public gatherings if you can avoid it. For some this is easy, while it is virtually impossible for others. Do what you can to take care of yourself.
And don’t forget that the decisions that you make influence those around you. For example, if you go out and get sick, then don’t take care of yourself, you are likely going to spread that sickness around. That’s the nature of most sicknesses, not just the coronavirus. If you are going to be around the elderly, ensure that you are taking every precaution that you can to not spread your sickness. Even if you do not feel too bad with a cold, the health impact could be devastating for an older individual.