The virus that is causing this pandemic, the coronavirus or COVID-19, has its name because we have the ability to rapidly sequence the gene and call this virus by its proper name. There is no reason to name it after a town, river, or country. There is no reason to call it “The Chinese Virus.” Call it by its correct, scientific name and perhaps we can all learn a little along the way.
I am a glass half full person but I am not naïve when I realize that a new (novel) virus is now living among us for which none of us has any natural immunity. And contrary to some things I have heard recently, this is not a dead virus. It is very much alive and sneaky. It attacks a person slowly and then only days after setting up shop within a person’s cells does it start to make someone sick.
COVID-19 has been erroneously compared to seasonal flu as if they are the same thing. They are not. According to the World Health Organization COVID-19 is 5-10 times more deadly than seasonal flu for newborns to those 45 years of age. And for people over the age of 85, it is 12-1/2 times more deadly.
This will not be our last pandemic. People like Bill Gates and Dr. Tony Fauci have been warning for years that this day would come. And yet we were unprepared. Kudos go to my Governor Bullock of Montana who moved faster than Federal directives and closed businesses and urged people to engage in social distancing. In spite of the inconveniences and hardships, who knows how many
lives he has saved.
I am confident that we will soon have anti-viral medications that will prove effective against COVID-19. Vaccine trials are already underway. But in the meantime, common sense, social distancing, and respecting the basics of public health must prevail.
I worry that we live in increasingly politically partisan and scientifically illiterate times. We can’t afford to continue being in this kind of bubble if we wish to remain a strong, healthy leader of the free world.
And by the way, The Spanish flu actually originated at an army base in Kansas, not in Spain. It was just because the Spanish press was writing about it at a time when the Allies were actively censoring information that the news got out. And the Spanish were blaming the French! Just proves again, that it doesn’t matter where these infections come from when we are all in this together.