Fr. Dwight Longenecker: Coronovirus Plague and Apocalyptic Panic

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By Fr. Dwight Longenecker, March 6th, 2020

My article over at The Stream today outlines the good news we have about the coronavirus. Although there is a good bit of uncertainty, the predominant trend is that the virus is not the killer plague so many are worried about. The Center for Disease Control has issued a simple fact sheet here.

What we do know about the virus is that the vast majority of people who get the virus will suffer only minor symptoms. Furthermore, 98% of people who contract the virus will survive it. Most fatalities are among people with underlying health issues, and the authorities have had time to put containment and treatment programs in place. Countries with good infrastructure and health care systems will cope.

Despite the scary headlines, there is plenty of information out there to indicate that the coronavirus is not going to be the Black Death of our times. So why all the panic? One of my colleagues has a friend who works as an airline steward and she said the flight from New York to London had 60 people on a plane that normally seats 300. Stories circulate about panic buying of water, bleach, toilet paper, hand sanitizer, soap and there are stupid rumors going around that to prevent getting sick and dying you should gargle with bleach.  ….

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