Is there any good news about the coronavirus pandemic?

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Within the midst of the worry, fear, and uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, every day appears to convey information that’s worse than the day earlier than.

The trigger for concern is justified. However, as in most main disasters, tragedies, and public well being threats, there are causes for hope, and even optimism. They could be onerous to see, even should you’re a “cup-half-full” or “it may at all times be worse” kind of particular person. However they’re there. Listed below are a couple of.

The excellent news concerning the coronavirus pandemic

  • Most individuals with COVID-19 recuperate. Estimates now recommend that 99% of individuals contaminated with the virus that causes COVID-19 will recuperate. Some folks don’t have any signs in any respect. And whereas hundreds of individuals have died, the general loss of life price is about 1% (or even perhaps decrease), far lower than MERS (about 34%), SARS (about 11%), or Ebola (90%), although greater than the common seasonal flu (0.1%).

    The lack of life associated to this sickness is horrible and way more instances are anticipated, however based mostly on the fatality charges alone, it might be far worse.

  • Youngsters appear to be contaminated much less usually and have milder illness.In line with the CDC, the overwhelming majority of infections up to now have bothered adults. And when youngsters are contaminated, they have a tendency to have milder illness. For teenagers and their mother and father, that’s excellent news. Nevertheless, it’s vital to notice that kids can develop an infection. A latest research from China early within the outbreak demonstrated {that a} small variety of youngsters, particularly infants and toddlers, can develop critical an infection. As is true usually, it’s doubtless that children can unfold an infection within the absence of signs, although how usually this occurs is unclear. It’s perplexing, although lucky, that this new coronavirus doesn’t behave the best way so many different diseases do, through which the aged and the younger are significantly weak.
  • The variety of new instances is falling the place the outbreak started. Throughout his speech declaring the brand new coronavirus outbreak a pandemic, the director-general of the WHO identified that “China and the Republic of Korea have considerably declining epidemics.” The truth is, Wuhan province (web site of the very first instances) has simply reported no new native instances for the primary time because the outbreak started. The one new instances have been “imported” from vacationers arriving there. Whereas precise numbers are onerous to confirm, and the strategies these international locations used to comprise an infection, corresponding to aggressive diagnostic testing and strict isolation measures, are unlikely to be sensible or acceptable all over the place, if the variety of new instances in China is really declining, that’s an excellent factor and means that efforts to comprise the unfold of this an infection may be profitable.
  • The web exists. We at present have methods to follow social distancing that protect a minimum of some social and medical connections. Folks in isolation or quarantine can ask for assist, go to associates, “see” household and docs just about, and supply updates on their situation.
  • Our response to future pandemics ought to enhance. The COVID-19 pandemic has uncovered shortcomings in healthcare programs all through the world that present a possibility to enhance them. For instance, a sooner international response, higher and faster distribution of testing kits, and extra coordinated and coherent public messaging ought to be anticipated the following time round. (No ensures, in fact.)
  • Many individuals and organizations have stepped as much as enhance the state of affairs. Within the US, for instance:
    • Some main well being insurers have promised to cowl care and testing associated to COVID-19.
    • A variety of celebrities {and professional} athletes have donated important sources to assist these taking a monetary hit by the pandemic, corresponding to the employees on the stadiums the place athletes play.
    • Newly authorized laws supplies paid sick go away and paid household and medical go away for some American staff, free testing for folks with out insurance coverage, and added funding to states for Medicaid.
    • There are innumerable tales of individuals serving to one another out — right here’s one I significantly like.

The underside line

Make no mistake: the brand new coronavirus epidemic is an enormous drawback that’s anticipated to grow to be greater within the weeks and months to come back. For many who are contaminated in addition to these making an attempt to keep away from an infection, these are attempting instances. However amid all of the doom and gloom, there are some optimistic tales, optimistic messages and causes to stay hopeful.

At a time when the citizenry of this nation is so politically divided, we will additionally hope that this risk brings us collectively in ways in which assist us to raised acknowledge commonalities: we’re all human, we get sick, and we fear about family members. As social creatures, we attempt to assist each other when dangerous issues occur. If that occurs, it could be excellent news that would not have been foreseen earlier than the pandemic.

Comply with me on Twitter @RobShmerling

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