We hear over and over that we should listen to the medical professionals – and not the politicians and reporters. That is good advice. Unfortunately, the media and much of the public seem to be ignoring the doctors and listening to the panderings of public panic.
The-world-is-coming-to-an-end crowd seems to come in two varieties. There are the socially paranoid scaredy cats Those are the folks who are hyper antiseptic when there are minimal public health risks – living in their self-created virtual bubble-suit environment.
They are the ones who will not flush a toilet in a public bathroom, will wipe off chairs in a restaurant and pass on the hummus if they see Uncle George “double dipping.” They are the folks who have emptied the grocery shelves of hand sanitizer, toilet paper, face masks and sedatives.
Pointing that out, I know I will get a lot of pushback. They will say that what they do is just common sense. I can only say that their sense of things is not as common as they would like to think – but of course, that is why they do it.
The second category are the politically motivated. Democrats and their media cronies have weaponized the Coronavirus to attack the actions and policies of the Trump administration. According to them, the disease is rampant because the White House has not done enough to adequately respond. The fact that the Coronavirus has been slow to take root in the United States compared to other major nations with highly mobile public is a fact ignored in favor of their partisan political narrative.
If you filter out the political – non-medical – chatter on the news networks, you may be able to deal with the outbreak in a calm and rational manner. I say that as a person in what is called the “vulnerable” or “high risk” category. I am approximately the same age as Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden — and have coronary heart disease and diabetes.
Based on the medical statistics, there are at least 100 million people in America that fit into that described category. The news REPORTERS have used those numbers a lot. Pretty scary. I emphasize “reporters” for a reason – to juxtapose those reports from the actual information and advice from medical professionals.
During a recent press briefing by the White House task force dealing with the Coronavirus, a reporter noted that a huge number of people are vulnerable – like me. In response, immunologist Dr. Anthony Fauci pointed out something that I have known intuitively and anecdotally. He noted that there is a BIG difference between people who may be older and have one or more of the chronic illnesses and a very old person with critical late-stage health issues.
In other words, the people at the highest risk are those who – by virtue of ADVANCED age and SERIOUS debility – are already not long-distance runners in the game of life. That is why the death rate was extraordinarily high when the Coronavirus hit the final care facility in Seattle.
The reporters would really scare people like me – if we do not put things into perspective. Yes, I am old(er). And yes, I have a couple of those chronic diseases that put me into the official high-risk category – BUT at the very low end of that at-risk category. I maintain a fully active life. I work (writing) every day because I want to. I play tennis a few times a week and bowl every Wednesday. I dine out frequently and have virtually no diet restriction (except sugar). In the past year, I jumped out of an airplane at 14,000 feet for the first time. My point? I do not feel especially vulnerable and I am not going to act like I am. Even better, Dr. A Fauci did not seem to consider me in that dangerous high-risk category.
I listen when the DOCTORS say that I do not live in a community where the virus is spreading. That the chance of contracting Coronavirus is very small. That 80 percent of those who do will have mild to no symptoms and will not require medical intervention. And of those who get a more serious case, the death toll is low and impacts mostly only the very old and the very ill.
For reasons unknown, Coronavirus does commonly strike children. People under 60 without any major diseases the death rate is statistically zero. I know there have been cases, but only a handful – and even those are believed to have had undiagnosed underlying issues.
Based on what the DOCTORS say, the vast majority of us can stop the public hysteria and panic and go about our lives as usual. That is what I intend to do. And by the way, I think our folks in Washington and around the country are doing a pretty damn good job addressing the problem.
Ergo, I will be out and about. No mask. No hand sanitizer. And more than willing to shake hands or accept a hug.
So, there ‘tis.
FOOTNOTE: I should note that my attitude toward the Coronavirus is also due to where I live – an area of Florida in which there have been no reported cases as of yet. Were I older, more medically compromised, caring for a person with the Coronavirus or living in what they call a “hot zone,” I would most certainly assume a more protective lifestyle – because that is exactly what the DOCTORS advise.