Jack Simpson


As you no doubt have noticed, we cannot seem to avoid hearing or reading something about the coronavirus on a daily basis.

We hear about quarantine in China and on cruise ships. Vacations disrupted and more people wearing face masks, hotel bookings dropping or cancelled. Death rates are rising, travel bans are put into effect and scientists are trying to come up with a vaccine to protect against this dangerous virus.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is monitoring this respiratory virus, which first appeared in Wuhan, China, and has been reported elsewhere in the world now. Premature deaths have been reported in many countries, including one here in the United States, as of this writing.

No doubt that coronavirus is an imminent threat and not to be regarded lightly. The uncertainty of the virus has caused an increase in medical teams trying to come up with a response sooner rather than later. It may take months of human trials before an effective vaccine is developed. Maybe by next year, a safe and effective vaccine can be marketed that protects public health.

Meanwhile, everyone is watchful, washing hands more often and wearing face masks, hoping to avoid contact with the coronavirus and others who have it. So expect to read and hear more, and don’t think this topic will disappear from the news any time soon.

How to prevent a major epidemic is the question of the day because over 76,000 confirmed cases have been reported worldwide with over 1,776 deaths in China, and the numbers are constantly changing.

British professor Neil Ferguson says this is the virus he fears most, and it isn’t absurd to predict 400,000 UK infections.

Everyone has a right to be alarmed. Be alert and be careful.

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Jack Simpson is a former educator, a veteran, an author and a law enforcement officer. His column appears each week in the weekend edition of this newspaper.

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