Maybe you should not panic about the Coronavirus, but you should worry


By Noorhan Abu Samra

The novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) has been top news for over a month now, but what do we really know about it? The lack of information and transparency has led to an ongoing global guessing game. Over 67,000 confirmed cases have been reported globally; however, a vaccine is yet to be developed and the World Health Organization is yet to implement thorough research in response to the prospective pandemic. 

The quick spread of the new virus has accelerated the efforts of international health organizations and experts to research the disease; however, it still seems to be a mystery to the world. Contradicting voice recordings of local doctors around the world have been circulating on WhatsApp groups, some suggesting that the virus is not a threat and others describing it as the “deadliest” virus humanity has ever seen. 
With the lack of knowledge and mild symptoms of the novel virus, how are we expected to tell the difference between having a common cold during flu season or carrying a “deadly” virus? The case mortality rate of the 2019-nCoV currently ranges between two to three percent, allowing the world to underestimate the importance of taking precautions against it. However, the simple act of ignoring the possible danger the virus imposes could be the reason it becomes a deadly pandemic. We seem to only take the necessary prevention measures when we fret, and this is the kind of collective global effort that we need to sedate the spread of a disease we know little about. It is true that misinformation on the current global health situation has contaminated the internet, but that does not mean that we should wait for the virus to peak to start to worry.