Opinion

The sky isnít falling with the coronavirus

Friday, July 24, 2020

The sky is falling.

Much like Chicken Little in the folk story, there are many who think the sky is falling because of the coronavirus. In the last week, I have heard numerous different statements that cause me to wonder if we are seeing two different things.

Iíve heard someone say that we should shut the state down for six months and more than one say that people are going to die because the Jaycees arenít canceling the rodeo. Iíve even heard someone say they should cancel the state baseball tournament in Charleston because ďvirus cases are surging.Ē As of Thursday afternoon, there were seven active cases in Mississippi County. Is that the new definition of surging?

Yes, the coronavirus is a real thing and we all should be cautious. And, yes, the reality is that people are going to, unfortunately, die from the virus. We all hate it, but it is true. But people die for many, many reasons, not just the coronavirus.

But when you put the numbers into context, I still wonder why people are reacting like the end of the world is here. For example, at the time I am writing this, the death of 13 people has been attributed to the coronavirus in Scott County. In a county with a population of 38,000, only 13 deaths have been attributed to the coronavirus. But how many people have died from other ailments? How many people have died from suicide, drug overdoses, shootings, or heart ailments or cancer?

As I write this, 280 residents of Scott County have tested positive for the virus since mid-March. Think about that for a second. In a county of 38,000, only 280 have tested positive in four months.

There has been one death in New Madrid County related to the virus, yet six people have died in car accidents in New Madrid County. But, nobody is saying we should stay home and not drive.

Cape Girardeau County has seen an increase in cases and the health department there issued a mask order. Mask orders have become the new norm, but I fail to see how they have made things better. Just ask California who put a mask order in place weeks ago, yet now is a hot spot and being faced to close bars and restaurants.

Like many, I donít like wearing a mask. I believe in social distancing and unless you are a close friend or family, if you are within six feet of me, you are too close. And I canít stress that enough.

Still, while I donít necessarily believe masks are the answer, I will wear one if a store requires it or if it is a situation where social distancing wonít work. Youíll be able to recognize me as the one with the foggy glasses.

I know that the long-term effects of the virus arenít known and that nobody wants to infect another person with a virus that will potentially kill them. We should all be cautious and use good, common sense. But to just crawl into a hole and wait for the end of the world seems worse to me than getting the virus. The sky isnít falling. At least not yet.

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