The virus gone viral

Finnley Plaster

Circulation Manager

Since early January, the coronavirus has been making headlines worldwide. It seems to be the news story that doesn’t stop giving, whether it’s what country or state has the latest reported case or how much money companies are losing because of it.

I think that as bad as the virus is, it is being severely overhyped and overpublicized.

I am certainly not saying that the coronavirus isn’t a terrible tragedy. I certainly sympathize with much of China and east Asia who are struggling to contain the outbreak, but I do also believe that the virus is not nearly as catastrophic as the media proclaim it to be.

On Monday, the World Health Organization released a report that there are almost 89,000 confirmed cases globally and over 3,000 deaths. These seem like radically high numbers, but compared to those of the common flu going around right now, they pale in comparison.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that in conservative estimates that in this flu season, 32 million people became infected with influenza. This resulted in 310,000 hospitalizations and 18,000 deaths.

While influenza may not be as deadly as the coronavirus by percentages, it certainly is a great cause for concern. I believe influenza is a much greater cause for concern than the coronavirus, merely by virtue of its infectivity.

There are global health crises going on around us all the time, and I don’t believe it does justice to focus so heavily on just the one.

There are lots of preventative measures to ensure you don’t fall ill this year. Washing your hands often, not touching your face, and getting plenty of sleep are all fantastic ways to help your immune system in the battle against microscopic foes.

Although they don’t always stop you from becoming infected, vaccines definitely help too. If not to prevent, then they certainly reduce the severity.

I do believe that the sensationalism of the coronavirus only serves to cause anxiety in those who only see the headlines and act as the great clickbait of the month.

If the allocation of attention and resources put into publicizing about the coronavirus were put into other areas such as sexual, mental and drug-related health, the stigma around those areas could be broken down and progress could be made in those areas too.

The coronavirus is a very important worldwide issue being exploited by the media for clicks while they ignore other equally deadly epidemics because they are viewed as too mundane or too taboo to publicize.

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