My thoughts on Coronavirus

A virus is infecting people around the world. The press speculates, doctors try to inform, and the public panics. Some people suggest conspiracy theories about how Governments around the world infected their own citizens and rumours spread about how serious the virus is or isn't. The problem with something like this is no one knows which stories to believe. They all have scientific information and stats, and they can come from reputable places like newspapers. In this case what is the best thing to do? Here are my thoughts on the Coronavirus outbreak and how serious we should take it.

How Coronavirus began

From stories in newspapers and on websites it seems the disease began in a market in Wuhan, China where wild animals were traded illegally. Coronaviruses are known to jump from animals to humans, and it is thought that the people who were the first to contract the disease worked on stalls in the market and would have handled infected animals.

My Thoughts On Coronavirus | Did bats cause the virus?

Illegal animal trading and blame aside, it is not yet known where, or even in which animal, the coronavirus originated. That's why I am not blaming anyone, not the people who worked in the market, not people who travelled from China back home, and not the government, for this outbreak. It is simply something that has happened, and when it does it's usually best to focus on how to deal with the outbreak rather than laying blame.

The spread from China

When the Chinese Government realised how serious the outbreak was they did their best to contain it. They closed their borders, they stopped flights. Unfortunately in this situation it is very easy for someone who has contracted the virus to slip through the containment, especially if they're not showing symptoms.

My Thoughts On Coronavirus | Starting in China, is someone really to blame?

Someone who appears healthy can be a carrier and travel from one place to another, spreading the virus to others, completely unaware. Which is why I think it's irresponsible to publish the identity of these people. 

As of 3rd March 2020 there were 90,870 confirmed cases around the world. It has spread to 72 countries outside of China and continues to spread. 

What can we do about Coronavirus?

In the UK we have 39 confirmed cases but this seems to be increasing all the time. The worry is that schools will be closed, people will be told to stay home from work, and the economy will suffer as a result of this virus.

Right now all we can do to protect ourselves against Coronavirus is wash our hands, and I don't just mean run them under hot water. Wash your hands regularly, when you touch door handles, when you're out and about, even when you're at home.

My Thoughts On Coronavirus | Wash your hands.

As a writer who works at home I don't come into contact with many people, yet I'm still conscious of washing my hands more regularly. My boys go to school every day, and I tell them to wash their hands whenever they get the chance. And my husband goes out to work. While I don't really venture out I would still consider me and my family at risk if Coronavirus reaches Nottingham.

Don't lose your perspective

While this is a serious situation and paying attention to what is going on is smart, panicking and stockpiling medicines and tins of food is probably not the best step to take at the moment. 

I am watching the news and listening to reports. I am paying attention to the Governments advice on the situation and am following instructions. I have yet to stock pile any medicines, or buy tons of tins of food.

Right now my concern is for my family. Lots of people are saying that its okay because you're unlikely to die if you're under 50 years old - which is great if you're young. But wait a minute... what about family members? Like our parents? Our grandparents? Older loved ones. This is one of the things that annoys me about people's reports - that it's okay if you're young and healthy. But if you have family members that are older - or have family members with a compromised immune system - they are at risk. If I'm honest I would really rather not see my family members die as a result of coronavirus - I'm much less concerned for myself, yes, but that doesn't mean I'm less concerned overall.

Add to that the worry about what the outbreak could do to my sons' future. My eldest is 15 years old and due to take his GCSE exams in May. My youngest is almost 11 and taking his SATs and moving up to High School in September. With a virus outbreak spreading through the country and the possibility of schools closing my worry is that it will make a huge difference to my boys. If schools close what will that do to my eldest's future plans like college? How will the Government and schools deal with the impact it will have on not just GCSE exams but A-Levels and University degrees?

Like I said, I am not concerned for my own health but I am concerned about my family's future. All I can do is to keep listening to the advice and hope that the virus is contained.

So instead of blaming Governments around the world, spreading fake news and panicking about imminent death, let's all get some perspective and be vigilant.

Take hygiene seriously. Wash your hands.

Are you worried about Coronavirus?

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