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Opinion: why the world hysteria about coronavirus is much more dangerous than the infection itself

In the early 50s of the twentieth century - in the years in which my early childhood fell, the village of Kudinovo near Moscow, where we lived, sometimes panicked. It became known for certain that the war with America was about to begin. And old women lined up in long lines for salt and matches.

Photo: Shutterstock

Now we, who do not know what it is during the years of the recently ended war, the inability to rekindle a stove, a kerosene stove or a stove, or salt a porridge, it’s worthless to laugh at them. Moreover, we now have the opportunity to observe a similar panic that swept the seemingly prosperous world about the coronavirus.

We know about coronavirus, the epidemic of which has spread throughout the globe, that it is more contagious than seasonal flu, but it is easier. Small children do not get sick at all, young people can get COVID-19 without noticing it. Cough and stop. Coronavirus infection is often severe for people over 65, especially weakened by other diseases. And the coronavirus is absolutely dangerous for you if you are over 80 and you are seriously ill, say, undergo chemotherapy. However, even without a virus, it can be difficult for you. According to statistics from Italy, seriously affected by the 2019-nCoV virus, the average age of the dead is 69 years, 62% of the cases are men. This is explained by the unfortunate habit of those who smoke.

Compare with other modern epidemics. 2009 million people were ill with swine flu in the United States in 2010-60,8, 274 304 were hospitalized and 12 469 died. Swine flu was not affected by my family, and I did not remember it. For comparison, 19 people died from COVID-14 on March 60 in the United States. However, the intensity of its coverage in the American press is like the anniversary celebrations of Lenin or the October Revolution of 1917 in the USSR.

How is the coronavirus epidemic in the United States different from that of swine? The new virus has become a public phenomenon. In view of the panic that gripped the society, concert halls, theaters, museums, stadiums, restaurants, schools, kindergartens, and colleges were closed. Stanford, Princeton, Harvard and some other universities have decided to conduct classes until the end of the semester online.

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But is panic justified? Some leading doctors in the country believe that it is not at all justified. So Dr. Drew Pinsky recently commented: “In the United States (this year), we have 24 million cases of flu-like illness, 180 hospitalizations, 000 who died of the flu. We have zero mortality from coronavirus (as of the day this article was written, March 16, 000 were reported). Coronavirus almost does not create problems. There are people walking with the virus who do not even know that they have it, so mild exposure. It can be predicted that the coronavirus will spread widely, but it will be harmless. The mortality rate from him is 17%, and this figure will fall. Why didn't the press freak out about MERS or SARS? The current hysteria is created and inflated by journalists. The problem is under control - President Trump is absolutely right. ”

Dr. Pinski speaks here of Trump's initial assessment of the press response to coronavirus as hysteria. A media attack on the president followed: “Finally, we took it! He failed the fight against coronavirus! ” There was a hope that what could not be achieved with the help of the “Russian trace” and “Ukrainian impeachment” could be achieved with the help of COVID-19. Trump responded to the attack with "decisive measures" - he forbade EU citizens from entering the United States.

This is a curious measure to combat coronavirus - a ban on entry to foreigners. Both EU countries and Russia went to it. Even earlier, Israel introduced such a ban. But from the point of view of formal logic, the percentage of citizens with 2019-nCoV entering and leaving the country, in aggregate, should be the same. The travel ban destroys communication between people, business contacts, kills the tourism industry, but in general should not affect the statistics of the spread of the virus around the world.

Of course, there are countries that are most affected by the coronavirus. But to understand what countries these are is not easy. We thought, why in Italy, a country with a good level of medical care, the mortality rate from coronavirus infection - 41% - is many times higher than in Germany? It was discovered that many deceased - old people over 80 in the last stage of cancer or other equally fatal diseases, infected with a coronavirus, were recorded in Italy as victims of this scourge. Would they live forever without a virus?

The cause of the coronavirus panic in each country is different. Half of the articles on coronavirus in the American press - liberal - about the failure of Trump's response to the epidemic. Rush Limbaugh in his publication asks: why didn’t we notice the severe swine flu epidemic of 2009-2010 mentioned above? Then the president was Obama, the hero of liberal media, and he could not do something wrong. Now the president is the enemy of Trump’s progress, and such an opportunity to deprive him of how to blame him for the epidemic cannot be missed. It’s not a pity that the bloated hysteria brought down the stock market, which has recently lost about a quarter of its value, that the country has become impoverished by hundreds of billions of dollars because of this, and the recession has loomed. But he managed to tarnish the president’s reputation, and now the bruised old man Biden, who is bad and young, and now just poorly oriented in space, has a chance to be promoted to the next president of a great country.

I am afraid that extraneous motives also lead the authorities, who are inflating the coronavirus hysteria in Israel. For a year and a half, the people of the country have not been able to decide which government they want - left, with reliance on Arab parties, or right. And the Netanyahu government, “semi-legally” leading the country, seeks to show how violently it cares about our interests. Already four patients with COVID-19 were in serious condition this morning. The travel routes of six newly ill patients are being published - maybe you came across them somewhere? Economic, social, cultural and religious life freezes. The most important tourism industry for the country is being killed. Easter festivities will be overshadowed by quarantines. All of Israel is in quarantine, and it is not known how long. The coronavirus epidemic can last as long as you like.

So, has the whole world plunged into a frenzy of panic over the coronavirus? Silly handsome Macron, president of France, called on the people of his country not to leave their homes. The disease, which does not exceed the severity of normal seasonal flu, has been elevated to the rank of medieval plague.

Nevertheless, in some places glimpses of rationality can be found in this crazy world. The British recently elected a practical guy Boris Johnson as prime minister. And he decided that the fight against coronavirus is necessary. But quarantine should not be made up of strong people who, if it happens, will overcome the coronavirus, but old and sick. For those allocated hotels and pensions. This is not cheap for the country, but cheaper than quarantining a healthy part of society, as they do in Israel.

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However, how reasonable is it to jeopardize coronavirus in healthy people? The answer to this question is not at all simple. We understand our body a little, we can only guess a lot. Recently, German scientists discovered that the virus of childhood illness - measles - kills cancer cells and helps people escape from this scourge. Other diseases are also known, the developed immunity to which protects against something worse. On the contrary, a completely sterile environment without microbes is extremely dangerous for the body.

And we do not know all the consequences of the influence on us of the coronavirus, which we are so eager to avoid.

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