Morrisons Cove Herald - Putting cows on the front page since 1885.

By Allan J. Bassler
Publisher 

Coronavirus: It's Not About You

OPINION and FACT

 
Series: Coronavirus | Story 5

March 12, 2020



It's impossible to get away from news about the Coronavirus and Covid-19 these days. But strangely enough as we are immersed in information, reliable information is still hard to find.

For example, some information is circulating on social media stating that the virus lives in the throat of an infected human before it moves to the lungs and can therefore be killed by gargling with salt water. I have encountered no medical experts who agree with this and have read several who have stated flatly that the information about salt water is not true. While it won't hurt you to gargle with salt water, it certainly is not going to kill the Coronavirus or relieve your Covid-19 symptoms.

Also, unfortunately and bizarrely, the virus has become politicized and certain groups are pushing information to further a political agenda. This is reprehensible when human health and life are involved.

We here at the Morrisons Cove Herald pledge to provide you only with accurate information. We'll double-check before we post anything at all.

We encourage you to check this website for information about the virus, its spread and its effects, especially the local effects. We will post all virus-related stories outside the paywall, meaning that readers do not have to be a Herald subscriber to access what we post about the coronavirus.

I would like to mention one thing that troubled me about the news of this virus and which I found an answer to. I have assembled this answer from reports I heard on both National Public Radio (NPR) and Reddit.com, which is a social media site. (You can find good information on social media if you're willing to be careful, selective and do your homework.)

This was my question: As a healthy adult male, if I do contract Covid19 from the coronavirus, and my symptoms are likely to be mild or no worse than the seasonal flu, then why all the cancellations and warnings? Why should I be worried about getting this illness if it's unlikely to kill me or even make me unusually sick?

The answer is that it's not about me. And it's not about you, either. It is not about any individual person getting this illness. It is about the virus spreading across the nation and making more-vulnerable people sick or even killing them. We know that the virus can and does kill people who are older, weaker or who have vulnerable immune systems.

So, I could contract this illness and not even know it. I might even be asymptomatic, meaning that I will exhibit no symptoms. But I will still carry it and if I'm out and about, I will definitely spread it. One thing that we do know about this virus is that it spreads easily through the air from person to person.

So, even though I might not get sick, if I'm careless during this time, I could help spread the virus to many others. Inevitably, some of those other people will be older or vulnerable. And the same virus that had no effect on me might kill them or make them very ill. If this happened, it means that I will have been part of the problem, not part of the solution. I will, through disregarding the warnings of experts and through selfishness, helped make others sick or even contributed to their deaths.

That's a terrible thing and something that I do not want to be part of.

So, you see, it's not about me. It's not about you, either. It's about all of us, as a group, as a nation. If we care at all for those in our communities who are more vulnerable, then we will take precautions. We will thoroughly wash our hands often. We will avoid large groups of people. We will get tested for the presence of the virus if tests are available. And we will isolate ourselves and seek medical help if we show any of the symptoms. (Symptoms include fever, dry cough and shortness of breath.)

There's nothing wrong with being careful when our actions can negatively affect others. It's not about being macho or bold or brave by disregarding the warnings. There's nothing brave or honorable about contributing to the spread of an illness. We've been told by experts what could happen. If we disregard those warnings, we're being selfish.

There are people in my life who are older and who I know for a fact have compromised immune systems, meaning that they could suffer from the coronavirus and could even be killed by it. I know how I would feel if one of those people got sick and I suspected that I had anything at all to do with it. In fact, I would feel terrible if I even suspected that I might have contributed to the spread of the disease by disregarding the warnings or even just being careless.

This is not a time to be careless or cavalier. This is a time to be caring and cautious.

Thank you for reading.

PS. You can find a lot of reliable information about the virus here:

http://www.health.pa.gov

 

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