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Don’t Be Misled-Coronavirus Is Not Like the Flu-Prepare

by Tabatha Hibbs

I keep seeing Facebook posts dismissing the coronavirus as no worse than the flu and it’s no big deal. For many people, COVID-19 will be nothing more than the nuisance of a cold. BUT, and this is a very big BUT—there are many people in our communities for whom the coronavirus could be a death sentence.

Let’s consider the following:

1. COVID-19 is dangerous for people with lung problems, heart problems, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease. This isn’t limited to the elderly. A young person with diabetes is at an increased risk for a severe coronavirus infection just as an elderly person is. https://www.nationalgeographic.com

2. Also at risk at those with compromised immune systems, such as people with lupus, chemo patients, arthritis, possibly fibromyalgia

3. While 80% of those infected will have only a mild case, which leaves 20% who will have a severe case. This means that if you know 100 people who have the coronavirus, then twenty of those people will have a severe case. If those 20 people are elderly, then 2-3 of them have a high probability of dying because of the virus.

4. This brings us to mortality rates. The World Health Organization has established the death rate of COVID-19 at an average of 3.4% for people in the 60-69 age bracket. However, that rate jumps to 8% for the 70-79% age bracket and then to 14.8% for those over 80. By contrast, the flu has a 0.1% mortality rate across all age brackets. So this virus is more deadly than the flu.

Does this mean we need to panic? Of course not. Panic never solves anything. However, we need to educate ourselves, and we need to start taking seriously the fact that for some in our communities, this virus can be a death sentence.

You may think you are clever when you post statements from random doctors who say they are more scared of bed bugs and chain saws than the coronavirus. In reality, you are sending a message to those of us at a higher risk that you do not take seriously our health and safety. If you are healthy and don’t have any risk factors for complications from the coronavirus, then be grateful for your youth and/or good health. But do not in the arrogance of that youth and/or good health dismiss the coronavirus as unimportant.

COVID-19 kills, and when it becomes severe, it kills quickly and without mercy. Consider those in your life who are elderly or have high blood pressure or asthma. Do you want to lose those people? Are you ready to bury grandparents and great-grandparents because they succumbed to COVID-19? How about your 20-year-old cousin who has asthma?

Of course, we need to wash our hands, avoid touching our faces, and stay home when we feel ill. This is true every flu season. But we also need to listen to the CDC, WHO, and the NIH when they say that COVID-19 is serious and that social isolation and even quarantining may be necessary to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Even if you aren’t very ill with COVID-19, you could be the source of an infection that makes someone else gravely ill. This is about much more than you and your mild cold-like symptoms. This is about community health and protecting those more vulnerable than you—even if you are somewhat inconvenienced by the process.

COVID-19 is serious. It’s time we all played a role in taking care of each other. Let’s start by dumping the misleading and dismissive memes that claim the coronavirus is nothing more than the flu. If nothing else, those of us at the greatest risk from COVID-19 will feel like maybe we matter just a bit.

In case you missed it: Coronavirus: Clueless Trump Says It Will Be Gone By Spring

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Posted by on March 11, 2020. Filed under COMMENTARY/OPINION. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry
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22 Responses to Don’t Be Misled-Coronavirus Is Not Like the Flu-Prepare

  1. Michael John Scott Reply

    March 11, 2020 at 10:24 am

    This is valuable information and I thank Tabatha Hibbs for helping us prepare for this threatening storm. Also, welcome to the MadMikesAmerica community.

    • Tabatha Hibbs Reply

      March 15, 2020 at 9:46 am

      Thanks for giving me a platform to share my thoughts and concerns, as well as to share important information that people may not realize.

  2. Rachael Reply

    March 11, 2020 at 10:46 am

    I’ve read a lot of those crazy facebookers comparing it to the flu, and calling government measures “hysterical’ and that worries me because they are only listening to FOX News and Trump. This was a good article and thanks for writing it. Everyone needs to be informed.

    • Tabatha Hibbs Reply

      March 15, 2020 at 9:48 am

      I am glad you found the article informative. What you stated in your post is exactly why I wrote the article. I’m frustrated by how dismissive so many people have been about this virus.

    • Tabatha Hibbs Reply

      March 15, 2020 at 9:50 am

      What you said in your comment is exactly why I wrote this article. I’ve frustrated that many are not taking the situation seriously. That nonchalant attitude seems to be improving, but we still have more educating to do.

  3. Timmy Mahoney Reply

    March 11, 2020 at 11:37 am

    Just talked to an old friend, and I mean old literally, who has a lot of health issues but he thinks the CV response is hysterical and he’s going about business as usual which entails being around a lot of people. I tried to talk him into self-quarantine but he refuses it. He did agree to read your article so that’s something. Thanks

    • Tabatha Hibbs Reply

      March 15, 2020 at 9:53 am

      If this article doesn’t motivate your friend to self-quarantine, I hope something will (and I hope it’s not getting sick!). I understand the general distrust of the government, but when respected agencies outside of the government, such as the World Health Organization, say this is serious, I listen. I hope that your friend will come to the same conclusion.

  4. jess Reply

    March 11, 2020 at 11:59 am

    I am staying home for the most part. BF and I are even giving up our weekend partying temporarily on his weekends off, not wanting to be in crowds. I am way more than certain we can find way better things to do at home anyway 🙂

    • Michael John Scott Reply

      March 11, 2020 at 12:52 pm

      I’ve no doubt you are doing the right thing by finding those ‘way better’ things to do at home while self-quarantined 🙂

      • jess Reply

        March 11, 2020 at 1:16 pm

        Both our houses need good deep cleans and we did his house this past weekend after we got back from his bday trip 🙂 My house cleaner will do mine this weekend, WHAT, I offered to pay for his to be cleaned but he likes to do his himself. I am all about giving him what he wants but I am NO WAY cleaning my fucking house by myself, it is way too big 🙂 I will stay at his house this weekend while he works and my cleaner can clean mine, it’s a win win for everyone.

    • Tabatha Hibbs Reply

      March 15, 2020 at 9:58 am

      There’s been a meme going around that introverts like myself have been preparing for this situation our whole lives! There are all kinds of better things to do at home, but since I’d rather go to the dentist than be in a crowd, I may not be the best meter for what those “better things” are. Good luck with your social isolation, and I hope you and your BF stay well through this mess.

  5. Debbie Reply

    March 11, 2020 at 12:43 pm

    Well said and very easy to understand. Being in the older group I appreciate you getting this information out. Thanks and I know you your mom has to be very very proud of the extremely smart lady you are today and forever.

    • Tabatha Hibbs Reply

      March 15, 2020 at 10:01 am

      I’m glad you found the article easy to understand. My goal was to make the information as straightforward as possible. It’s hard to think of you and mom as being in the “older group”–although I know you are. Of course, in my head, I’m still 35! You’ll always be my extra mom, so stay safe and take care of yourself.

  6. Linda L Hibbs Reply

    March 11, 2020 at 2:10 pm

    You are right, Debbie. I am extremely proud of her. And I appreciate her caring and desire to offer intelligent and common sense information about this virus that has and will continue to impact thousands of people.

    • Tabatha Hibbs Reply

      March 15, 2020 at 10:03 am

      You won’t post on Facebook, but you’ll post on Mad Mike’s? Really?
      By the way, you should read some more of Mad Mike’s website. You’ll really like it.

  7. Martin Helo Reply

    March 11, 2020 at 7:47 pm

    There is an element of hysteria surrounding this crisis. Americans haven’t seen anything quite like it.

    • Tabatha Hibbs Reply

      March 15, 2020 at 10:08 am

      I’ve not encountered any hysteria myself. In fact, I’ve encountered a lot of people who are not taking this seriously enough. You’re correct that today’s population hasn’t seen anything like it–It’s been over a century since the Spanish Flu pandemic killed 3-5% of Americans, and since Americans seem to be allergic to learning history, they have no context by which to understand this new pandemic.
      Educating the public about the dangers of this virus and encouraging people to self-isolate is not hysterical. It’s absolutely necessary to slow the spread of the disease and to prevent our health care system from being over-whelmed.

  8. Barry Reply

    March 11, 2020 at 8:06 pm

    A good article and it makes me take this mess more serious.

    • Tabatha Hibbs Reply

      March 15, 2020 at 10:14 am

      I’m glad that you found the information helpful. By you and many others taking this situation seriously, people like myself who fall into the 20% have a higher chance of getting through this without getting sick. Thank you for having our backs!

  9. Timmy Mahoney Reply

    March 12, 2020 at 4:29 pm

    I learned a lot. Thanks for taking the time to put it together for us, and always nice to see new writers at Mike’s place.

    • Tabatha Hibbs Reply

      March 16, 2020 at 10:43 pm

      I learned a lot when writing the article. It’s made me even more committed to combating the ignorance and indifference that so many people are showing in this situation. Right now I am arguing with people I work with who are pissed because the JUCO baseball season has been cancelled. I’m trying to point out this has been done to mitigate the spread of the virus and to protect people. The response is “They aren’t afraid; why am I?” It’s frustrating trying to educate people who are determined to be ignorant.
      I’m glad that Mike has given me a chance to write for his website. I’ve been reading it for years and have often hoped for a chance to join in.

  10. Anonymous Reply

    March 12, 2020 at 8:00 pm

    Very informative indeed. Thank you.

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