State of emergency, pandemic and global crisis, are all necessary terms that submit the unintended effect of mass panic. In actuality, their primary objectives are to encourage medical prevention and civilian precaution.
In the midst of layoffs and rising hospitalization statistics, debilitating Coronavirus anxiety is gaining more and more coverage in the media.
Just this weekend, a new survey published by StudyFinds identified the extent of hysteria erupting within the US.
Ten percent of Americans believe they are currently carrying the novel Coronavirus (one in five Millennials feel this way), 20% are “extremely concerned” about contracting it, and an additional 7% are confident that the world will never be the same again, even after Covid-19 is no longer an imminent threat.
It’s hard to gauge the validity of these concerns because the narrative is still developing fairly quickly. We can, however, refer to the worst-case scenarios publicized by medical professionals.
Last month, officials at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and epidemic experts from several different universities around the world came together to draft figures in the event that the novel Coronavirus continues to spread at its current transmission rate in the U.S for the remainder of the year.
The team estimates that anywhere between 2.4 million and 21 million Americans could require hospitalization over the next couple of months, though less than a tenth of these cases will likely develop into critical condition. However, as many as 200,000 to 1.7 million people could die.
It should also be noted that this projection and many like it are calculated without the consideration of specific intervention methods. All of the figures posited above could be drastically reduced depending on the speed and effectiveness of the federal reaction.
“When people change their behavior,” Lauren Gardner, an associate professor at the Johns Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering who models epidemics, commented in a media release “those model parameters are no longer applicable,” so short-term forecasts are likely to be more accurate. There is a lot of room for improvement if we act appropriately.”
The prognosis will look a lot more optimistic once testing for the virus becomes readily available, surveillance tactics improve, and when telework and social distancing increases nationally.
On this front, The CDC implores citizens to consider requesting two-week supplies of prescriptions and over the counter medications, food, and other essentials. Privilege having food delivered if possible, establish ways to communicate with others (e.g., family, friends, co-workers) and establish plans to telework, manage childcare needs, and cancel any high-risk social events.
The last few weeks have already highlighted remarkable instances of economic patriotism, employee engagement, and epidemiological advances.
The language used by officials has to air on the dramatic side to keep people from becoming sanguine before the crisis is fully understood.
“We’re being very, very careful to make sure we have scientifically valid modeling that’s drawing properly on the epidemic and what’s known about the virus,” he said, warning that simple calculations could be misleading or even dangerous. “You can’t win. If you overdo it, you panic everybody. If you underdo it, they get complacent. You have to be careful.”
Studyfinds reports that nearly half of the Americans surveyed aren’t too panicked to leave their homes to retrieve important provisions, though age influenced this figure further.