I am not afraid of the Coronavirus

I am not afraid of the Coronavirus; you shouldn't be either. However, when we overreact to epidemics and other perceived risks in our lives, we become less attentive to the different threats that are far more likely to harm us, like the flu.

Fear is like being in a dark room and hearing a noise that frightens us. The way we remove that fear is to turn the light on or, in this case–get the facts.

When we understand the Coronavirus and learn how to protect ourselves and our families and what to do if we have been infected, it is like turning on a light in a dark room.

The Coronavirus is a virus. Dr. Ben Carson, a member of the coronavirus task force, said, "We need to recognize that it is a virus, and it needs to be treated as a virus and like viral infections. As with all viral infections, we need to emphasize to people that you need to do the same things that you would do for any other flu or viral infection."

And yes, it is dangerous. For example, as of March 8th, the Coronavirus has infected nearly 100,000 people worldwide and more than 200 in the United States. But we have dealt with many deadly viruses in our history like (SARS), a severe acute respiratory syndrome brought under control by international cooperation and strict but straightforward public health measures such as isolation, quarantine, and contact tracing.

Common infection signs include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath, and breathing difficulties. An infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure, and even death in more severe cases.

Influenza viruses and coronaviruses have similar symptoms. However, the risk of catching the flu in the United States is far greater than catching the Coronavirus. According to the World Health Organization, it is estimated to kill 290,000 to 650,000 people yearly.

The standard recommendations for preventing infections and viruses are the same as always, and that includes washing your hands with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand rub to kill viruses that may be on your hands.

You should not only cover your mouth and nose with tissue that you dispose of or a bent elbow when coughing and sneezing but also avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness, such as coughing and sneezing.

When someone coughs or sneezes, they spray tiny liquid droplets from their nose or mouth, containing the virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in droplets, including the COVID-19 virus, if the person coughing has the disease.

We need to be like cats. For example, whenever I have a cold and start coughing or sneezing, my cat jumps up and walks away. Cats also have an acute sense of smell and can sniff out a chemical change in the body caused by a disease.

The World Health Organization also advises thoroughly cooking meat, poultry, fish, and eggs, which will kill most types of food poisoning bacteria.

Avoid touching the eyes, nose, and mouth. Remember, you can pick up viruses when you feel many surfaces or shake hands with others. Once your hands are contaminated, you can transfer the virus into your body through your eyes, nose, or mouth. Once there, the virus can make you sick.

I have a friend in church who has dealt with some severe illnesses and only does a "fist bump" when greeting others because she says she doesn't take any chances.

If you or your child has a fever and a cough, stay home and call your doctor. And if also if you are having difficulty breathing, seek medical attention immediately.

If you have been exposed to the flu or the Coronavirus, you may need to quarantine yourself or your family. However, quarantine doesn't mean you can't still live with your family or roommate. While the CDC recommends you keep to your bedroom, wear a face mask around others, and don't share dishes, towels, or bedding, you don't need to move out or be isolated from others.

The most significant lifestyle change in quarantine is the lack of mobility. Therefore, the CDC recommends restricting activities outside your home, except when you need to visit the doctor.

"Do not go to work, school, or public areas," the CDC advises. "Avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis."

Don't let the news frighten you into a panic. These fear-based news stories prey on our anxieties and then hold us, hostage, just like politics.

I watched as Alex Azar, the Department of Health and Human Services secretary, explained what was being done to isolate, treat, and track those infected with the Coronavirus. Unfortunately, the news anchor could not hear what he was clearly saying because he was throwing unanswerable questions as quickly as possible while rolling his eyes. Questions like, "How many people will be infected, and when will this end?"

Fear can mess up our thinking and cause us to stumble in the dark.

Singaporean prime minister Lee Hsein Loong said it best when he was quoted cautioning against panic: "Fear can make us panic, or do things which make matters worse, like circulating rumors online, hoarding face masks or food, or blaming particular groups for the outbreak."

When our children were afraid of the dark at night, we understood. So we helped them overcome their fear by putting a lamp on their nightstand and teaching them how to turn the light on themselves.

That's what accurate information and reasonable solutions do for us. It empowers us to overcome our fears.

Author's Image
Deana Landers
Author for Morningcoffeebeans.com

I have had many roles in life
Pastor’s Wife , Mom/Nana , Nurse/Health Educator, Writer , Christian Speaker
I can't remember a time when I wasn't writing stories, either in my head or in my journal.

[Read full bio]