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What You Need to Know About CoVid-19 aka Corona Virus

Ok. Let’s all take a deep breath, shall we?! I’m going to take some time away from my usual topics of women’s health, diet and aging to look a little closer at CoVid 19 AKA Corona Virus.

CoVid 19 in the News

The media has done a great job of stoking the flames of fear about CoVid-19 AKA Corona Virus as evidenced by the run on hand sanitizer & toilet paper, the market sell-off/crash, events being canceled and other such actions.

I’m not saying we should completely ignore Corona Virus. I’m not saying CoVid-19 is a hoax. And I’m not saying it’s not an issue for some. But let’s take a closer look:

In China & Elsewhere:

In Wuhan, China (population 11 million)and the epi-center for CoVid-19 AKA Corona Virus.  About 79,000 people had been infected as of March 4th. (Earlier, as in last week, it was easier to find stats for Wuhan alone. Thus, I’m using those stats.) This represents an infection rate of 7 per 100,000 people; 81% of whom had only minor symptoms. Does 7 people in 100,000 sound like an epidemic?

In China, as a whole, as of today (March 11), there have been about 81,000 cases and 3,158 deaths; an infection rate (according to WHO) of 56.1 per million. Again, the question; does this constitute an epidemic?

Italy currently has the highest rate of infection, based on population at 206.1 per million.

Our Response:

Now, I think ANY deaths are worth talking about & taking precautions for. But what IS an appropriate response?

We know that the death rate is significantly higher for those who are older & have mitigating health issues, so certainly we should all do what we can to help them minimize exposure.

We know that likelihood of dying of the infection if you get it and are under 60 is significantly less than 1% and only a fraction of that if you have no other health issues.

Use Good Judgement

So, it seems to me that those who are older or have other health conditions should take precautions and not unduly expose themselves to the public-at-large. It also seems to me that those of us who have relationships with them should do a couple of things (1) make sure older folks have the things they need, including shopping for them if they feel that’s necessary (2) be extra careful to NOT visit with them if we have ANY suspicion we could have been exposed; even if we’re not symptomatic.

As a population, in general, we should all do a few things to help mitigate the possibility of getting sick.

  1. Good hand-washing technique. Soap and water, though sometimes less convenient, is still superior to hand sanitizers.
  2. Be extra cautious of the things we touch in public: consider bringing your own containers & bags to the store & filling them yourself, for example. (Better for the environment as well)
  3. Eat more fresh fruits & vegetables: They help us make many of the compounds that are important in boosting our immunity.
  4. Shy away from animal foods: Although CoVid 19 is now thought to be transmitted within the community, its original source was from an animal. Many of the people in Wuhan, China who were likely originally exposed to the disease had been at seafood markets.
  5. Most importantly, if you’re sick; even if it’s ‘only a cold,’ STAY HOME!

In closing, I will reiterate that the media & the feeding frenzy are blowing things out of proportion right now. I think it’s always good to be knowledgeable and prudent but fear and downright panic do little good.


  • Bob Gayle

    I completely agree with your article, Leslie. Good article. We all need to take a deep breath and realize the best defense is common sense and good health habits.

    • Leslie Kasanoff

      Thanks Bob. I agree; all in favor of taking reasonable precautions without panic.

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