Updated: Nov 24, 2020
There has been soooooo much media attention on the new Coronavirus (COVID-19), and that media coverage seems to be causing a LOT of fear. The intent of this article is to try to provide some perspective, as well as giving some tips for staying healthy. My hope is that some facts will lower the fear levels (which are not helpful in any way) while also empowering prevention and healthy choices. Stress chemicals (such as adrenaline and cortisol) lower immune function significantly. Fear can also make people more prone to a "save yourself" attitude, which leads people to make choices that put the larger community at risk (thus increasing the spread of the virus). In short, panic is the worst approach when faced with a communicable disease.
First, it is quite early in the arc of this virus, so these statistics will change over time. In the big picture, the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) is acting similar to a flu virus. It may spread a little more easily (too early to say, but there are indications that it is possible), and it may be 2-3x more likely to progress to very serious illness or become fatal pneumonia (again too early to make big picture estimates). The level of fatality so far has varied greatly depending on community preparedness and availability of high quality medical care - ranging from 0.7% to 6%.
Here are some basic statistics (true as of 3-3-2020)