Corona virus 2: readers question the comparison with ‘scares of the past’ and stress the need for reassurance and compassion
Responses from Wimbledon, Stroud, Stourport, Dorset, Paganhill, Oxford, Balsall Heath, Bournville, Warrington and Solihull
AW: Thanks a lot for this one, I’ve just forwarded it, having corrected a couple of typos and send a link to a Ecohustler article on coronavirus that has gone viral and been read over 200,000 times – 5 ways coronavirus could help humanity survive the ecological crisis.
RC: I watched the Boris Johnson piece to camera a few days ago, live, (which I thought was a good intro) followed by 2 people (chief medic and chief scientist) who gave the details on a factual, knowledgeable and calm basis. I believe they gave their best advice, which may change as the disease unfolds . . . NASA’s satellites show reduced air pollution over China and fewer planes are flying; it’s not all bad.
RH: Have always had huge respect for SJ – not on the left, but one of the few genuinely free, sanest thinkers we have left in public life. The extent of distress, fear and mental health issues being generated by this panic-mongering is criminal.
LD: Nice one! Dorset seems to be pretty calm. no masks, no empty supermarket shelves, people just quietly getting on with life. The way the politicians and media are acting, more people will die of fear and stress and will be far more vulnerable to any virus, including this one.
IF: Many, many thanks for this.
CF: Many thanks for this sensible and interesting clip. We have sent it on to lots of others.
PA: Thank you. This sums up more or less what I’d been thinking, apart from wondering if coronavirus is Nature’s Revenge for us messing up the planet.
JN: I read about Simon Jenkins who is a journalist. He does not seem to have any qualifications in public health, at all. I am unsure about all this. People need to reassure each other and be brave, but not to start or circulate conspiracy theories of any kind. Public health officials are sincere in what they are proposing around the world. We shall see. I just hugged a woman who works in the shop and she was very happy, since she mustn’t touch the customers for the foreseeable future, while she must wipe down everything they have touched and that is frightening. How to be reassuring without sounding complacent. It is all going to be a challenge.
BI: I don’t think this disease should be underestimated it’s your life and the life of others around you that matters and people of our age especially the ones with underlying conditions are most at risk.
HM: This is the first time in my lifetime that a disease has been labelled a pandemic by the WHO. It genuinely is something on a very different scale from the various other scares which, fortunately, were brought under control. Our GP daughter-in-law would love this to peter out fast, but she is truly scared that it is on course to be a real pandemic
TR: Simon is right we need to be wary of hysteria but I think he is wrong to liken it to some of those scares of the past, by this time next year I’m afraid deaths in the UK from this will have surpassed all those put together. The good news is most young people should come through unscathed but for us (and especially those affected by OPs) these could be difficult times. Stay safe.
Ed: on returning home I heard that a young family nearby is confined to the house with the symptoms listed. Their neighbour had been trying to bring in basic food supplies but found only bare shelves in the shops.