Coronavirus – Panic or Pandemic?

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The World Health Organization(WHO) has officially declared the Coronavirus as a “pandemic” and the world is spinning.  Some people are determined to tie the Coronavirus to a political ploy and they’re ready to kiss the world on the lips to prove their theory; while others are on lock-down as if the end of the world has come.   Is it panic or pandemic?  It’s a little bit of both – most of all, it’s time to set the record straight.  
Whether you believe there’s a lot of hype wrapped around the Coronavirus or not, there’s no denying how fast the virus is spreading around the world.  While the nay-sayers are focused primarily on the death toll ratio, they’re missing the biggest risk of all.  On March 11, 2020 Italy recorded 12,462 confirmed cases of the Coronavirus and 827 deaths.  Italy has officially shut down to deal with the crisis.  The quarantine includes the cities of Milan and Venice, as well as the entire northern region of Lombardy, Italy’s financial heart. It affects more than 16 million people in coronavirus hotbed areas and is scheduled to remain in effect until at least April 3.

NOT ENOUGH HELP

Some people gladly whip out the calculator to figure out what percentage 827 is of the overall population of Italy but that’s not the point.  It isn’t that the Coronavirus is as deadly as the plague, the real problem is that it spreads like wildfire, it has a long incubation period, and there aren’t enough doctors, hospitals, ICU’s, or IV bags to keep up with the potential needs.  Italy reported an increase in Coronavirus cases of 30% from one day to the next, and so far, there are 100,000 cases reported over a span of 100 countries.  As much fun as it is for so many people to scream “conspiracy” they’d be singing a different tune if they (or one of their loved ones) needed immediate medical attention and all the beds and hallways were already full.  There is a VERY HIGH probability that the average person would survive the Coronavirus…but many – maybe most – of them will need a little help in the survival process.  The biggest crisis is that we don’t have enough help for the potential number of sick people.  If you consider that to be a “panic” so be it.

ECONOMIC IMPACT

Obviously, the manufacturers of hand-sanitizer, toilet paper, and Lysol are doing well with the Coronavirus scare.  I’m sure they’re seeing record sales worldwide as people scurry to prepare for the storm.  But a whole lot of industries could face bankruptcy before it’s all said and done. In addition to international flights (to and from some countries) coming to a halt, the bottom has fallen out of ticket sales in general.  It’s been decades since you could buy airline tickets for what they’re fetching today.  Major events and festivals have been canceled across the U.S. which equates to millions of dollars in lost revenue.  Cruises are being canceled.  Cruise ships with reported Coronavirus cases on board are docked indefinitely.  There is only so much “sick leave” to be had – when it runs out there will be financial panic from home to home across America. Schools are being shut down and businesses closing down to avoid the risk.  Even public transportation is at an all-time low.

For all the nay-sayers out there, these safety measures…equating to billions of dollars in losses overall… are NOT being taken over an “idle threat” or the common cold.  These measures are being taken because these business people understand what a catastrophe it would be if thousands upon thousands of people become sick “overnight” without the luxury of life-saving measures because the needs are much bigger than our capacity to treat.  If there’s anything that could make America look like a third world country today – fill up the E.R.’s, the ICU’s, the hallways, and let sick people line up on the streets begging to be seen.  THAT’s the real reason for the “panic” over the Pandemic. 

ALARMIST OR IDIOT?

The sky ISN’T falling and this won’t be the end of the world.  However, it IS time to find the balance between being an ALARMIST and being an IDIOT. Not everything is a conspiracy theory and nothing is worth a worldwide panic. It always comes down to balance.

Unless you like the idea of you (or someone you love) in need of treatment to survive the Coronavirus only to be turned down because there isn’t enough room in the inn, I suggest you exercise a little caution and respect the safety measures.

Two quotes come to mind:

“There is nothing new under the sun”  Ecclesiastes 1:9

“This too shall pass”  aka 2 Corinthians 4: 17-18 “For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever. So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.

Do your part.  The Panic AND the Pandemic will be over soon…as long as we’re willing to play it safe and not fighting against the measures being taken to stop the Coronavirus in its tracks.

 

 

 

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