Don’t panic over coronavirus, but pay attention

Published 7:10 pm Monday, March 2, 2020

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As of this writing, six people in the United States have died from the coronavirus.

Unfortunately, it’s likely the number of cases will soon hit the hundreds in the United States as cases begin to spread. The closest presumptive case to Georgia at this moment is in Florida, where two people tested positive over the weekend. President Donald Trump spoke Saturday, saying that additional cases in the United States are likely, but he asked the public not to panic. We agree with him, as panic won’t serve anyone well.

“Additional cases in the US are likely,” Trump said, “but healthy individuals should be able to fully recover.” Obviously, it’s terrifying that a national pandemic is underway and reading the various national news articles only incites more fear. But rather than worrying ourselves to death, we recommend making smart, health-wise decisions while coronavirus continues to spread.

As one person posted on social media this morning, “Just a heads up, it’s a good idea to wash your hands regularly, even when the coronavirus isn’t going around.”

Avoiding the coronavirus is a lot like avoiding the flu — wash your hands regularly, avoid touching your face and stay home when you’re sick. Maybe we should’ve written the last part in capital letters.

No one likes missing work, but right now it’s extremely important to stay home to stop the spread of germs, even if you don’t have coronavirus. It’s also really important to go to the doctor to get seen.  The flu is also still going around and has very similar symptoms. Coronavirus’ symptoms are fever, cough and shortness of breath and can appear two to 14 days after exposure. There are now close to 90,000 cases worldwide and around 3,000 people have died.

In the coming days, we plan to check in with local officials about our community’s preparedness for the coronavirus. Hopefully, the virus doesn’t affect anyone locally, but cases are expected to continue to climb in the United States in the days ahead as the virus is no longer completely contained via quarantined patients.

It’s right to be concerned and to be paying attention as cases continue to spread, but the best way to avoid catching coronavirus is by washing your hands and being smart about your health.

Don’t panic, but be aware as the virus continues to spread in the United States.