Wash your hands before you touch your face, prepare food or eat, and wash after visiting the bathroom or touching anything that might be contaminated.
Self-quarantine when you are sick. Keep your distance from others who may be sick.
These are all good advice for us at any time. Cold and flu season — or visiting doctors’ offices and hospitals where one may come into contact with folks with many kinds of diseases — are times we would do well to remember this kind of good advice.
Other good advice comes as warnings. Warning you away from unseen/unrecognized dangers such as flooded roads, dangerous curves, blind intersections, shark-infested waters, mud slides and avalanches, to name a few. Warnings are there to protect us from these dangerous conditions/places.
Where do we draw the line between honest warnings and fear-mongering? Honest warnings protect the public from real and present dangers.
Fear-mongering — to instigate fear among the public, creating a panic for the purpose of manipulation and control, so that you will act out in fear without thinking of the ultimate outcome — differs in both motivation and outcome.
The toilet paper panic of 2020 is a good example of fear-mongering. Our population numbers have not changed in any significant way.
This coronavirus is primarily a respiratory problem, not a diarrhea trouble. So, no significant change in our daily need for toilet paper.
The paper companies have been providing sufficient supplies of toilet paper without anyone, in this country, having to do without for at least the past 50 years.
None of the paper companies have told us they were going to quit, or reduce their production of toilet paper. So, no interruption was planned in the supply.
And, yet, the media just mentions that there are some empty toilet paper shelves in some far-away store and panic takes hold, and store shelves throughout the country are empty.
Because of panic-buying, you have created the shortage you feared: You have created the shortage, just by everyone trying to buy more than their need, more than your usual buying habits.
You, the public, are acting out in fear, not thinking! So the stores have to do our thinking for us, and limit our purchases to one per customer.
As we stop panic-buying, you will see the shelves return to the pre-panic plenty they have always held.
How did we get into this panic mode?
If you remember several weeks back, the head man at the National Institute of Health’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), Dr. Anthony Fauci, told us that this coronavirus would kill millions of people right here in the United States, that our hospitals would be overrun, and other scary and fearful things.
Millions dying — that might be you! “I don’t want to die,” you say.
Millions, what a number to start a panic. But let’s not panic. We had the right man on top of it, right?
Warnings of millions of people dying. Warnings coming from doctors in high office, with lots of years of experience, placed in the position of trust. Warnings that can’t be ignored.
So there Fauci was, standing with President Donald Trump, as they explained to the nation the dangers that lay ahead of us.
Remember what we were told? We needed to close schools and businesses, and isolate at home, to flatten the curve. All those millions of people dying would need hospitals and doctors.
Millions of patients, all in need of medical care. Too many all at once, and there is simply not enough hospital beds or doctors to tend to all. Flatten the curve, fewer patients in need, over a longer period of time.
Fauci, head man at the NIAID, should know. If anyone could be trusted to warn us, Fauci was he.
So we and Trump believed Fauci’s warnings, and we closed up shop and went home so the millions of dying patients would have hospital space.
And at home, we contemplated the dangers of those warnings. And fear has taken hold of us. And panic has taken root within our nation.
But wait a minute — think! We have had some extra time now. We now have real life numbers. We don’t need to speculate on what corona might do. We can now look at what corona has done.
There are not millions of people dying from this coronavirus — not in this country, and not the total for the entire world.
You have seen our previous columns: There are more people dying from the seasonal flu (and a whole lot of other things) than from corona.
Are we going to “lock down” America for every flu season, especially when the numbers just don’t warrant it? We have no need to “flatten the curve” when there are so few people in need.
Remember 2009 with the H1N1 virus? And at the NIH, Dr. Fauci. Did he tell us that we need to “lock down,” flatten the curve, disrupt the economy? No.
H1N1 sent more people to the hospitals and killed more people than what this coronavirus is doing now. Did the Obama Administration put out Fauci’s guidelines on self-isolation and social distancing? No.
More people dying, yet no organized disruption, for a Democratic administration. Now with less people dying, under a Republican administration, major disruption.
I don’t mean to trivialize it. The death of anyone is a tragedy. But when there are enough hospital beds for those who need them, why should the whole nation be jailed at home? What does it gain when the “curve” does not need to be flattened?
The numbers are just not there. And when you listen to what else they have told us, the official numbers given are for confirmed cases of coronavirus and the overwhelming majority of fatalities had other co-morbidities.
But many people have gotten this coronavirus, had no symptoms, shared it with others, many of those also with little or no symptoms, and their bodies have made the antibodies.
These people have made full recoveries without ever being “confirmed” to have had this coronavirus.
If we would count these cases with the confirmed cases, you would find that this coronavirus — though a very serious threat for the elderly and those with underlying medical conditions — is not nearly as dangerous to the population as a whole as the seasonal flu.
This does not hold up for the case of continuing to fear it. The seasonal flu is more dangerous for most, so don’t give in to the fear-mongering over this coronavirus.
Fauci would have us jailed at home for the rest of the year, ’til all signs of this “dangerous” coronavirus are gone, or until “Big Pharma” has time to concoct some new and high-priced patented treatment.
Can this be anything other than fear-mongering when the virus is just not all that dangerous?
TO BE continued next week.
PAUL FROWNFELTER of Henry County is a member of the local Volunteers for Freedom Tea Party. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.