Is it Time to Panic About the Coronavirus?
Updated: Mar 23, 2020
For those of you who may not have visited my blog in the past. I am an MD trained in General Preventive Medicine and Public Health. I also have an MSPH (Master of Science in Public Health).
Today cases of Coronavirus are being reported along the west coast.
Is it time to panic? Should you wear a mask to wheel the garbage out to the curb?
Right now, the cases are restricted to towns along the west coast. I sincerely doubt they have occurred because some of the evacuees were held in Travis Air Force Base. More than likely, these cases were the result of people who were exposed to Coronavirus coming from China before the outbreak in China became news. Before the President limited flights from China. Before we knew there was a problem. Remember! China did not alert the world to the problem until thousands of people acquired the virus and a huge number of them were counted among the dead. Although the number of deaths has increased, the number of new infections in China has diminished.
How Can You Protect Yourself?
What should you do to prevent – or at least lower the chances of becoming infected with the Coronavirus (or any virus)? Until we know more it’s essential for each of us to follow cleanliness standards. Here are some basic steps you can take:
1. Wash your hands. Soap and water will remove viruses from your skin.
2. Don’t panic over buying face masks. Experts are saying the common face masks are not adequate to protect against the virus.
3. Keep your hands away from your face.
4. Avoid crowds.
5. Do not use anti-bacterial hand sanitizers. Viruses (and bacteria) have only one task - that is the continuation of the species. They mutate to accommodate that objective. I firmly believe that antibacterial soaps and hand-sanitizers have contributed to the development of MRS, SARS, etc. The bacteria that mutate are the ones that survive the use of the antibacterials.
6. Be vigilant.
Will the Outbreak End When the Weather Warms up?
Will the coming warmer weather eliminate the threat? We don’t know. Usually, ‘flu’ type diseases are greatly diminished during warmer weather. The flu virus survives longer in cold temperatures.
For those of you interested in how the United States deals with situations like the Coronavirus, I've penned a novel, Bioterror: The Essential Threat. I wrote the book using my bioterrorism and bioterrorism response training at the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases. I am also a recognized expert in the international transport of disease. You can find the book on Amazon here.
Yuri Bushinikov, a renowned Russian genetics engineer, has gone missing, along with two vials from the Russian smallpox stockpile. Dr. Anne Damiano has feared this scenario for many years. Her warnings have been ignored by other, more powerful Public Health officials. They adamantly deny the possibility of a bioterror attack. Bushinikov, fueled by his concern for his young family, succumbs to an offer from Al Halbi, the director of the Syrian Institute for Science and International Security. Huge amounts of money and multiple false IDs for the biologist and each member of his family will ensure their dramatic escape from Russia. As directed, Bushinikov delivers the virus to an intermediary in Jakarta. Al Halbi plans to process the virus into a bioterror weapon that will destroy the Great Satan. Anne’s fear is rapidly becoming a reality. Death and mayhem aren’t Anne’s ideas of romance. Yet, when the Director of the CIA teams her up with her long lost love, Connor Quinlan, sparks, as well as bullets, fly. Anne and Connor must collaborate to stop Al Halbi's plan to inflict disease, mass terror, and death. Will they be too late to avert an international disaster?