Editor’s note: This column first appeared in the Washington Times.
The coronavirus issue is obviously important for many reasons. None of us want to get sick with any illness, let alone a respiratory virus that disrupts our lives and can even pose a threat to our lives.
But after weeks of watching this chaos unfold out of China, perspective is still almost as much in short supply as face masks. Naturally, we fear the unknown and the uncertainty it brings. But there is plenty we do know about the coronavirus, at least enough to realize this is not the End of Days virus that some have imagined.
Reports continue to unfold around the world that this new virus was spreading possibly longer than initially believed and that many more individuals have been infected without even knowing. Doctors in various countries have noted that some of the known cases are severe, but many mild cases exist and even symptomless cases are likely to be found.
DRS. AMESH ADALJA AND JENNIFER NUZZO: END CORONAVIRUS HEALTH CARE WORKER QUARANTINES
Yet we still see headlines like this from The New York Times, “The virus is deadlier than the seasonal flu but may not transmit as easily, the WHO says.” That death rate is 3.4 percent of “reported” coronavirus cases, according to the World Health Organization, but only later in that same story does The Times informs us, “but the figure came loaded with caveats. Experts, including those at the WHO, say that once more is known about the epidemic the death rate will be considerably lower.”