Just Shut Down the Entire Planet. Problem Solved?
The pandemic of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus — which is also known as COVID-19 or 2019-nCoV — has already contributed to widespread panic worldwide which has led to the cancellation of hundreds of flights, the closing of hotel and resort properties, companies going out of business, a rush on toilet paper, and the stock market entering bear territory for the first time in eleven years…
Just Shut Down the Entire Planet. Problem Solved?
…and I have not even begun to scratch the surface. To compile a complete and comprehensive list of events, businesses, and institutions worldwide which have been affected by the 2019 Novel Coronavirus is virtually impossible; but I will attempt to have a crack at doing so with this article, which will likely be an unfinished work in progress — including:
- Airlines cancel thousands of flights
- Hotel and resort properties close by the hundreds
- Countries are either closing off or restricting borders
- Cruise ships quarantined
- Shortages of toilet paper and disinfectants are spreading
- Broadway shuts down in New York
- Disneyland will close starting on Saturday, March 14, 2020 for at least 30 days — and all other theme parks worldwide which are operated by the Walt Disney Company will also close
- Universal Studios theme parks in both Hollywood and Orlando will be closed until at least Saturday, March 28, 2020
- Marathons and major events are being cancelled en masse
- Universities, colleges and schools either close or conduct classes via the Internet
- The Dow Jones plunged 9.99 percent today alone in the worst one-day drop since 1987
- Major League Baseball postpones its season by at least two weeks
- National Basketball League suspends the remainder of its season after player tests positive
- National Hockey League pauses its current season
- Major League Soccer suspends season for 30 days
The Hyperbole Continues
Because of irresponsible reporting by members of the media and confusing messages from politicians, citizens and permanent residents of the United States are reportedly now scrambling to get back to the United States before the “ban on travel between the United States and Europe” goes into effect tomorrow, Friday, March 13, 2020 — which is exactly one of the reasons why I demanded that the hyperbole be stopped…
…but hey — what do I know?
Do the Statistics Support the Mayhem?
Updated virtually every day, Information is Beautiful has created a nice visual of statistics which are related to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus, with information compiled from sources such as the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
According to the aforementioned statistics, the 2019 Novel Coronavirus has been mentioned in the media approximately ten times more than SARS, HIV, MERS, Ebola, pneumonia, malaria, measles, tuberculosis, and 14 other diseases combined.
Although deaths caused by the 2019 Novel Coronavirus worldwide per day is expected to significantly exceed 62 per day, at least 16 other diseases cause more deaths per day — including tuberculosis, which causes as many as 3,014 deaths per day.
Of all of the people who suffered from being infected with the 2019 Novel Coronavirus in China, 80.9 percent experienced mild symptoms at worst. Repeat: of all of the people who suffered from being infected with the 2019 Novel Coronavirus in China, 80.9 percent experienced mild symptoms at worst.
Furthermore, your chance of dying from the 2019 Novel Coronavirus is 0.9 percent — not even one percent — if you do not have an existing condition.
As many as 46,000 people may have died in the United States alone during a period of time between Tuesday, October 1, 2019 and Saturday, February 22, 2020 from influenza out of as many as 45 million influenza illnesses, according to preliminary burden estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Violence is the reason why 1.5 million people have lost their lives each year, according to data from the World Health Organization — and greater than 3,700 people die every day on roads around the world.
Cigarette smoking is responsible for greater than 480,000 deaths per year in the United States alone — including greater than 41,000 deaths resulting from exposure to second hand smoke, according to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — which is approximately one in five deaths annually, or the death of 1,300 people every day.
At the time this article was written, at least 4,614 people have died of the minimum of 125,288 confirmed cases in 118 countries and territories worldwide, according to this situation report from the World Health Organization pertaining to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus.
What About Another Existing Epidemic or Pandemic With No Cure?
Did you know that another epidemic — or pandemic, since it has affected people worldwide — which still officially has no cure will be 40 years old next year? It has thought to have already killed greater than 32 million people — perhaps as many as 43.8 million people — and almost 38 million people live with this virus every day.
It is called the human immunodeficiency virus infection, which can result in acquired immune deficiency syndrome — both are also more popularly known as HIV and AIDS.
As many as 1.1 million people are estimated to have died from illnesses related to acquired immune deficiency syndrome, according to this fact sheet of statistics from UNAIDS, whose goal is to lead the global effort to end acquired immune deficiency syndrome as a public health threat by the year 2030.
Yes, a lot more about this virus and infectious disease is known today than when it was first recognized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 1981. Panic ensued back then, too. Gay men and Lesbian women were unfairly vilified with xenophobic hysteria in association with the virus and disease. People were afraid to use toilets because they thought they could catch the disease just by sitting on them, or shake hands with a person, or even be in the same building with a person who had contracted acquired immune deficiency syndrome.
That insanity eventually abated, and treatments are available today which help people with acquired immune deficiency syndrome lead as close to normal lives as possible — plus, the mortality rate of acquired immune deficiency syndrome has decreased by 33 percent since 2010…
…but as of today — even after almost 40 years — no cure exists.
A Review of What You Should Do
You actually do have some control over the spread of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus — even if not everything is known about it yet; and even if your control is limited.
No vaccine exists to prevent contracting the 2019 Novel Coronavirus disease, as the best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus; so if you need only one way to reduce your chances of contracting it, here it is — and it should be of no surprise to you as a reader of The Gate:
I have been espousing this advice repeatedly for years — to the point where some readers of The Gate have ridiculed me about it — but I vehemently believe that had people around the world washed their hands properly, the 2019 Novel Coronavirus would not have spread as much as it has; that it would have been better contained; and that no one would be worrying about it approaching pandemic status.
I intend to write a revised article pertaining to washing your hands properly and effectively, as I have not suffered from a virus of any kind in years — and no, you do not need to be obsessive or compulsive about constantly washing your hands either for a better chance to stay healthy.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
- CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
- Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
In addition to the three videos pertaining to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus which have been released, the World Health Organization has a similar list of basic recommendations pertaining to protecting yourself from contracting the 2019 Novel Coronavirus — including:
- Clean your hands properly, regularly and thoroughly with soap and water — or use an alcohol-based hand rub when soap and water are not immediately available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth unless you have just thoroughly washed your hands. Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus has a better chance of entering your body than at other areas of your body and can make you sick.
- Maintain social distancing: stay at least one metre or three feet of distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing. When someone coughs or sneezes, he or she sprays small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain a virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets — including the COVID-19 virus — if the person coughing has the disease.
- Practice responsible respiratory hygiene by ensuring that you — as well as the people around you — follow good respiratory hygiene because droplets spread viruses. By following good respiratory hygiene, you protect the people around you from viruses such as cold, flu, and the COVID-19 virus. Cover your mouth and nose with your bent elbow; or use a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Once used, dispose of the tissue immediately in a proper receptacle.
- Stay home if you do not feel well. If you have a fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention as soon as possible and call in advance. Follow the directions of your local health authority. National and local authorities will have the most up to date information on the situation in your area. Calling in advance will allow your health care provider to quickly direct you to the right health facility. This will also protect you and help prevent spread of viruses and other infections.
The Little Trick I Employed Which Seems to Work For Me
Proper washing of hands has been known to reduce the chances of contracting a virus; but that alone was not enough if I wanted to further improve reducing my chances of contracting a virus. I had to somehow train my brain — and myself — to not touch my face under any circumstances except after I had properly washed my hands and I was confident that they were clean.
I am not sure how to better explain this; but whenever I touched something or someone with my hand, I considered that hand contaminated — and I had to somehow turn a switch on in my brain not to use that hand on my face until it was properly washed.
If you just handled something which was incredibly disgusting — like sticking your hand into a toilet in a public washroom which had not been flushed after it had been used, for example — would you eat something with that hand afterwards without cleaning it? Would you rub your eye with that hand afterwards without cleaning it?
Training and conditioning my brain to adopt this technique did not happen immediately; but my brain now applies the technique subconsciously and automatically as part of what now feels like an innate habit…
…and as a result, I have not contracted a virus in years — despite shaking the hands of people who were clearly ill; and despite having people cough, sneeze, and yawn on me without covering their mouths in enclosed crowded spaces such as aboard an airplane or subway car.
I have said all along that we need to be concerned about the 2019 Novel Coronavirus. This situation is not to be taken lightly — it never should have been taken lightly — but we need to implement smart measures that strike the balance between safety and ridiculousness.
That is not happening, unfortunately. Panic has taken over — largely because of irresponsible reporting by members of the media and illogical direction by most leaders who have no idea what they are doing. Insanity has prevailed over thoughtful solutions and rational thinking. No one seems to be listening. No one seems to be leading. No one seems to be thinking.
We are needlessly creating our own dystopian future, which will substantially affect us more than the 2019 Novel Coronavirus itself — many people who test positive for the virus experience mild symptoms at worst and recover rather than die — and the chaos which has been ensuing must stop now before more damage is done.
As for shutting down the planet, which seems to already be happening: not only is it too little too late, as this situation is already out of control; but I am still not convinced that the 2019 Novel Coronavirus ever warranted such drastic measures in the first place based on the aforementioned data and statistics…
…but again: what do I know?
This article is the latest in a series pertaining to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus in an effort to get the facts out with information derived from reliable sources.
Other articles at The Gate which pertain to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus include:
- Stop the Hyperbole: Travel is NOT Banned Between the United States and Europe…
- Travel From Europe to the United States Suspended for Most Foreign Nationals For 30 Days
- My Unproven Secret to Not Contracting a Virus in Years
- Pandemic of 2019 Novel Coronavirus Declared by World Health Organization
- Official Warning Issued Against Travel by Cruise Ship Due to 2019 Novel Coronavirus by the Department of State of the United States
- Now the Entire Country of Italy is Under Quarantine
- 16 Million People Quarantined in Northern Italy
- Are Masks Effective Against 2019 Novel Coronavirus That People are Stealing Them?
- As Many as 46,000 People May Have Died in the United States Alone From…
- Lodging Companies Issue Travel Waivers and Elite Status Extensions 2020 Due to 2019 Novel Coronavirus
- Update: More Airlines Suspended Change and Cancellation Fees 2020 Due To Coronavirus
- Airlines Which Suspended Change and Cancellation Fees 2020 Due To Coronavirus
- Should You Be Concerned About Coronavirus?
- Travel Alert February 2020: Italy Now Affected by 2019 Novel Coronavirus
- Travel Alert February 2020: Northern Italy Now Affected by 2019 Novel Coronavirus
- Travel Alert February 2020: South Korea Now Affected by 2019 Novel Coronavirus
- A Deal to Antarctica Because of 2019 Novel Coronavirus — But Hurry
- Update: Do Not Travel to China Due to 2019 Novel Coronavirus, Says United States Department of State
- Travel Alert January 2020: Hong Kong Now Affected by 2019 Novel Coronavirus
- Update January 2020: Additional Airlines Issue Travel Waivers for 2019 Novel Coronavirus
- Travel Alert January 2020: 2019 Novel Coronavirus Affecting Air Travel
All photographs ©2009, ©2014 and ©2018 by Brian Cohen.