May 19, 2024
It does our society and institutions no good to be driven by panic and manipulated by fearmongers.
The biggest danger in my mind at this point is the continued fear and hysteria.
The biggest danger in my mind at this point is the continued fear and hysteria.

I am a practicing physician (a dermatologist). I was a medical student when HIV was discovered. As a dermatology resident, I dealt extensively with AIDS patients, because AIDS — as with most infectious diseases — often presents with skin lesions, so I’ve lived through a new infectious disease before. I remember the confusion and the unknowns that brought, and how we did some things well and other things not so well. With coronavirus I have a responsibility to my patients and staff to act, not overreact, appropriately with the best information available and adjust decisions from time to time as better information becomes available.

Crises bring out the best and the worst in people. For those with agendas, it’s an opportunity; for those filled with hate, it’s a time to assign blame and fuel anger; for the fearful, it’s time to hoard, withdraw, and encourage others to be scared; for true leaders, it’s a time to step up and comfort, protect, and provide guidance. Unfortunately a large part of our media (with their desire for sensationalism, wanting to be “first,” and having agendas that blur sound judgment) have chosen to feed our fears and fuel our problems.

For those with a short attention span, I’ll steal a line from Inigo Montoya (Princess Bride). “Let me explain… no there is too much… let me sum up.” COVID-19 needs to be taken seriously, especially by the elderly, immunocompromised, and heart/lung patients. However, for the rest of the world it poses very little threat compared to so many things we face every day. Yes we should wash our hands, yes we should avoid contact with those at risk, yes we should self-isolate if we are symptomatic or have a positive test, but beyond that there’s more hype than science. We do need to comply with our government’s guidelines (even the ones that may be overkill), but we don’t need to be scared. We should be planning on how we’re going to rebuild and looking for the inevitable opportunities that always follow a crisis.

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See Also:

(1) More People Died From Suicide Than Coronavirus In Tennessee This Week

(2) $2 Trillion Coronabailout Proves Crony Capitalism Knows No Bounds

(3) The Limits of Optimism

(4) A Working Hypothesis: COVID-19 as pandemic bioterrorism

(5) What The Media Isn’t Telling You About The United States’ Coronavirus Case Numbers