Letter: Get ready for the coronavirus
Epidemiologists have tough jobs. They’re medical detectives who strive to understand the spread of diseases, up and down a chain of connections. They ask where is it going and where did it come from — back to an initial contagion source.
If they have any imagination of what can go wrong with various scenarios, I don’t know how they can sleep at night, imagining untold horrors.
The world’s epidemiologists are now tracking a new boogieman, the coronavirus. It emerged in December in China and has spread to every continent.
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On a limited basis, it is here in the United States, where there is both good news and bad news.
The good news is there are only 60-some cases as of Thursday.
The bad news is that a case has cropped up that can’t be connected to anyone from China or anyone who is a known carrier or patient. The unknown is what is scary. Where did the infection come from? From whom? Where and under what circumstances?
There’s more good and bad news in America. The good news is that at city, county and state levels, there are very good medical and public health professionals at work to protect you and your family.
Now for a whole, heaping pile of bad news.
The Trump Administration has managed to place toadies and partisans throughout the federal government, eschewing professionalism, expertise, facts and science. Budgets have been cut and key personnel cut where it is most relevant.
And now VP Pence has been put in charge of the federal coronavirus campaign. This could go sideways, big-time. Trump is hoping that the country doesn’t get enveloped in a pandemic, to avoid negative impacts on his reelection. By putting Pence in charge, Trump has a fall-guy if things go very bad.
There’s no guarantee how this coronavirus is going to work out. Odds are, it could sweep through the country, infecting millions and killing thousands. Or it could mimic a minor flu season. We just don’t know.
What we do know is that Trump/Pence are politicizing this gig, and that does not bode well for a happy ending.
Meanwhile, wash your hands, cough into your elbow, avoid shaking hands, eat healthy, exercise and start thinking about what you will do at home, work or your community if this thing gets real.
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