Curb Your Virus Concerns

Nothing scares people more than something they don’t understand. Such is the case with the coronavirus. We are freaking out about some disease that 99.9 percent of people hadn’t heard of before January this year. And I don’t know anyone who understands what the virus is or why it’s dangerous. I won’t doubt that it the situation is serious, because I don’t know a thing about medicine, disease, or the coronavirus, but the fear around the outbreak has reached weird levels. 

I’m glad that we are taking the health risks seriously, of course. But we have 24 hour breaking news and CNN updates about the virus, when less than half of Americans have the flu vaccine, according to the Center for Disease Control. I dare you to guess which disease we are more likely to contract here in the U.S.

Dickinson suspended the Dickinson in China program, which is understandable. The threat there is pandemic. And the Chinese get that – they’ve shut down whole cities. China built a whole hospital for people with the coronavirus in just one week. That’s impressive crisis management. You can’t get that sort of government action in the United States. 

That effective management comes at a cost, though. The New York Times reported that China silenced a doctor who warned the public of the coronavirus. He was required to sign a statement that said his warning was and illegal rumor. He died of the coronavirus a few weeks later. With Authoritarian power comes authoritarian responsibility. 

The panic we are facing over the coronavirus is unfortunate. But the fact that we have can have a fearmongering press is a blessing in disguise. We should take each dose of news with caution, but it is important to appreciate the privilege we have in America. In a free society our regulation is self-control.