For the last month, we have seen the world stampede in response to the Coronavirus outbreak in China. Wallstreet crashed over 10% down last week, airlines cut routes, businesses put international travel on hold, and basically the press started a tornado of worst-case scenarios that would and have frightened many people around the world. Last week I was interviewed by the Wallstreet Journal and I said that it is right that we are cautious but wrong for us to become paralyzed. Now we must stop the panic and look logically at what is happening with the virus. How big is it, how bad is it, can it affect me and how can I protect myself, family and friends from it. Below are a few of my personal opinions, ideas, and perspectives I ask you to use to balance all the information coming at you.
You are 6 times more likely to die from Influenza and Pneumonia than Coronavirus in the last 6 weeks –
21,650 people have died from the flu and pneumonia in the last 6 weeks compared to about 3,000 from Coronavirus. This according to the World Health Organization that keeps track of weekly flu statistics. Basically you are 6 times more likely to die from the flu than Coronavirus.
Every single one of us will be affected by Coronavirus –
I think it is more likely to affect our pocketbooks, not our health. This last week we all lost over 3 trillion dollars in the stock market crash. Yours and my 401K retirement plans are now called 401C plans after the Coronavirus. Do not let panic be a self-fulfilling prophecy to pull our economy into a possible recession.
The fatality rate for Influenza is twice the rate of Coronavirus –
Once again the World Health Organization says 7.24% of infected people with pneumonia and the flu have died compared with a 3% rate for Coronavirus during the last 6 weeks.
An estimated 6000 people a year die from being struck by lightning –
Unfortunately, 3000 have died from Coronavirus. I think this one statistic puts this whole issue in perspective. I certainly don’t want to belittle the suffering Coronavirus has brought to many people, however, we must keep things in perspective.
Five simple steps travelers can take to stop the spread of Coronavirus –
I found a simple five-step article that reinforces there are very basic rules of hygiene that can help us prevent the spread of this virus. Maybe the silver lining to come out of this scare is that society will teach and learn the basic rules of personal hygiene to keep us safe and healthy. CLICK HERE to read the five simple steps.
I am an eternal optimist –
The governments of the world are taking this issue very seriously. We will contain it very soon and we will conquer it as well. Most people will have their antennas up and go about their daily lives, of work and travel without panicking. More importantly, we will all learn a big lesson about how panic and overreacting may actually be worse than the virus itself. I am getting on a plane today to fly to Germany. I, for one, will live cautiously but not paralyzed. I invite you to join me.