How we’re dealing with coronavirus: Smart preparation or senseless panic?

Today may be a turning point in how the general American public thinks about the Coronavirus – COVID-19. At least I hope so.

For the previous couple of weeks I’ve seen two very strong diametrically opposed opinions about how the spread of the virus is being handled. One side believing that the social distancing efforts are smart preventative tactics.  Others scoffing at the idea, calling it a hysterical over-reaction.

What I hope, is that as more and more information becomes available, those claiming hysteria will have some empathy for those on the other side of the argument. Many factors can impact legitimate concern, most of which are invisible.

The cancellations, requirements to work from home, closing of schools, restrictions on travel and more – are sure to impact almost everyone and make life very challenging. But nothing is gained by minimizing the genuine concern others may have. Calling it all ridiculous is unnecessary and unhelpful. Believe that if you must, but have compassion for those who may have more at stake than you believe you do.

If the US is fortunate enough to have very few fatal cases of coronavirus COVID-19, those who called the preventive measures hysteria will be able to say they were right.  But it’s also true, that if the US escapes the enormous toll that other countries are experiencing, that it will be because social distancing worked.

This is a case when – if we get lucky – both sides can claim that they were right. In the meantime, let’s just get along and get through this thing.


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