To the Editor:
Without downplaying the threat COVID-19 poses to the health and safety of our communities, or being insensitive to those affected, I believe there is a lot of unnecessary panic about this virus.
As of March 13, the CDC reported there are a total of 41 deaths and 1,629 cases in the United States related to COVID-19. As awful as that is, it is a fraction of other illnesses. In comparison, the CDC estimates there have been between 22,000 and 55,000 flu deaths this season. Thus, COVID-19 has killed less than 1% of the number of people in the United States who have died of the flu.
Therefore, I don't believe there is a need to panic to the level we are seeing throughout our communities. Major events are being canceled like there is a terrorist threat. Colleges and universities are transitioning to online learning only. Public schools are closed. And, people are stocking up on food and household supplies like we are going into armageddon.
What will happen if an actual catastrophic event, such as a tornado or earthquake, occurs in the midst of this? People won't be able to go to the store to replenish their supply of groceries and common household items.
We must be more community minded during these trying times. Rather than acting in fear, we should stay informed of the truth. We should be helping each other, and encouraging each other. This is how we will make it through this “pandemic.”