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June 2020
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Coronavirus and seatbelts

One of the simplest views of the precautions necessary for coronavirus/COVID-19 came from podcast guru Tim Ferriss.

Ferriss wrote in a blog that he was treating coronavirus like he does wearing a seatbelt. “How many head-on car accidents have I had? Zero. I nonetheless put on my seatbelt every time that I drive.”

He expands this line of thought to a fire extinguisher in his kitchen. It’s pretty unlikely to have a kitchen fire and he will most likely never need a fire extinguisher in his home. But, he asks, would you get rid of your home/office fire extinguisher permanently for $100? $1,000?

For a thousand, we’d be extinguisher-less. But for $100, no chance, and even at a thousand, we’d realize it was a foolish gamble.

It makes sense to wear a seatbelt, to have a fire extinguisher and to take basic precautions as coronavirus spreads. Health experts say to take the same steps with this virus as you should in the flu/cold season. 

We join the calls for a common sense philosophy for coronavirus response – don’t panic or start wearing a mask everywhere, but don’t hug everyone you see at Ingles either.

There are differences between coronavirus and the seasonal influenza and some key aspects experts don’t fully understand yet. But they know enough to advise precautions, such as handwashing, covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze and to avoid crowds.

Georgia’s governor appointed a state council of health, political and academic leaders to keep an eye on the virus situation and to be ready to jump into action here if necessary. 

Gov. Brian Kemp gave his version of the seat belt advice in announcing the panel, “We’re asking everyone to remain calm. We have no confirmed cases in Georgia, but we want to be prepared for whatever comes our way,” according to the story from Capitol Beat News Service on Friday. By Tuesday we do have confirmed cases and most likely there will be more in Georgia.

On Monday, it was reported that there had been two deaths in Seattle due to the virus (rising to six by Tuesday) and the Centers for Disease Control listed around 100 cases in the U.S. and that number is expected to rise.

President Trump has declared the country ready, “Our country is prepared for any circumstance. We hope it’s not going to be a major circumstance, it’ll be a smaller circumstance. But whatever the circumstances, we’re prepared.”

While it is spreading quickly, it is important to keep the disease in proper proportion. It is something you want to avoid, but it is not a zombie apocalypse. Someone in the travel industry here commented that it’s really just like another virus like the flu. 

And that is true, but it’s also true that this virus appears to have a somewhat higher fatality rate than the flu. Though the counter-argument is also that  a lot more people have had it and passed it on with symptoms so minor they never even knew they had it.

While the worldwide aspect is daunting, it should be comforting that nothing fancy is required – unless you consider hand sanitizer exotic. As a reminder, the best ways to avoid the disease are just like the regular flu/colds. They aren’t fancy or new - wash your hands, avoid crowds, avoid people who are sick, if you are sick stay home.

Please look over our front page article for more tips and continue to follow news from respected sources and be aware there is plenty of misinformation already online.