Think about the health of others right now


Well, that escalated quickly.

The COVID-19 virus, known as Cononavirus, has pretty much shut everything down. Schools, museums, state parks – you name it, it is probably closed. I am here to say that is a good thing. The World Health Organization has said this is a pandemic, and we certainly don’t want to mess around with a pandemic.

Some people, of course, scoff at all of this as being at best overly cautious and at worst some kind of plot orchestrated by “the media,” politicians and George Soros. Actually, it is a virus that can kill people, and it has killed people and it will continue to kill people. This is not the flu – it is much deadlier, especially for older folks.

It is simplistic to say this, but it is better to be safe than sorry. And by sorry, I mean dead. 

The Center’s for Disease Control is recommending that gatherings of 50 or more people should be cancelled, and it seems that most people are taking this advice. And we should take this advice. This is science, not guesswork. And forgive me if I trust science more than the bluster of some ranting dude on Facebook.

Ah, Facebook. Social media is often a breeding ground for misinformation and a race toward the bottom of a seemingly bottomless cesspool of stupidity. But the misguided minions of social media are really outdoing themselves during the Coronavirus outbreak.

Depending on who you believe, this is a plot orchestrated by Republicans, or Democrats, or China, or the aforementioned George Soros or even the toilet paper industry. It amazes me how many stupid people are actually out walking around. And while they are locked in during this outbreak, I fear they are actually reproducing.

I agree that some measures taken by public officials can seem a little extreme, but these people are elected to make tough decisions. And I think erring on the side of caution is the way to go here, angry keyboard warriors be damned.

There are certainly concerns about what to do with children out of school and, of course, lost revenue from area business owners. That is a key concern to many, and I am one of those. No, I don’t own a business, but small businesses are the backbone of many communities. Lost revenue from those businesses can be felt throughout a community and region.

And please, don’t forget area non-profits. They do so much to help people in our region, and this virus is clearly going to hurt fundraising events. Make sure to support the non-profits that do so much to support all of us.

I do not expect this shutdown to last for too long. We need to suck it up and ride this out as long as is necessary. If people only think of themselves, this could last much longer. So please, think about the community as a whole.

Not that I have much faith in people not just thinking about themselves. I only have to look at the toilet paper hording to see the evidence that people are focused just on themselves. I mean, toilet paper? If you are that concerned about a growing health threat, is toilet paper your go-to item to binge on?

I think I would be more focused on food. I need that and water to live, but I can go without toilet paper if I have to.

Don’t worry, though. This won’t last long enough that we have to go without toilet paper. Things will be back to normal soon, and many of you will have months and months where you won’t have to buy toilet paper at all.

Brad Jennings is Editor of The Ogle County Life. 

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