The coronavirus epidemic reminds me of the panic about the enterovirus in 2014. It was a nasty bug that severely harmed a number of children, but it was basically a summer cold. The coronavirus is serious, but it is important to have perspective: Most common colds are caused by coronaviruses. Most people have been infected with a coronavirus at some point in their lives. What makes this unique is that COVID-19 is a “novel coronavirus” which we have not seen in humans before.
The virus still causes mild to moderate symptoms in most people. One of the reasons it is difficult to get an accurate count is there are most likely a lot of people who got it and recovered quickly without realizing they had that particular virus. Those most at risk are not young and healthy people, but people over 60 and with compromised immune systems. Those who have pointed this out are not trying to dismiss the severity of it for those people, but to try to calm the rest of the population and work against a panic.
Regarding the name: While some have said it is “racist,” I think “Wuhan Virus” is actually a good name for it. The Chinese government’s irresponsible behavior (including silencing those trying to warn about it) allowed it to spread out of control. Had the Communist regime acted responsibly, we would likely not be seeing a global pandemic now. Pointing out these facts is not racist against Chinese people. It is an indictment of a brutally oppressive Communist regime. If anyone is racist, it is those who use Political Correctness to protect a Communist regime that is oppressing the Chinese people.
Closer to home, now is the time for Donald Trump to stop acting like a caller to a radio talk show and stop mouthing off on Twitter. Now is the time to be a steady, calming force. Trump needs to be presidential! His closest advisers, especially Mike Pence, need to be blunt with him about this and the moral responsibility he has to tone down his rhetoric. This is uncharted territory and we cannot have a chaotic mess in the White House. The economy is tanking and people are panicking. Trump will lose the election over this, unless he calms down.
Of course, the MAGA contingent says “Trump will be Trump” and argue it does not matter. In general, I do think that was a correct analysis before this outbreak hit, but this changes the entire political landscape. When Joe Biden is President a year from now, I do not want to hear any MAGA types whine about it after Trump flushed a winnable election down the toilet because he cannot keep his mouth shut. This is not me being anti-Trump. This is me being pro-Trump. I want to see him win, which is why I want him to stop shooting himself in the foot with a rocket propelled grenade.
For everyone else, just use common sense. Stop panic buying and hoarding, and allow others to get supplies they need. Wash your hands with soap and water for twenty seconds. Cover your mouth when you cough. Use basic protocols to limit the spread of disease. The real danger we face is not the virus itself, but our sinful nature and the prospect of a panic. Chill out.