Don’t know if that news on COVID-19 is fake? Checkout snopes.com “the oldest and largest fact-checking site online, widely regarded by journalists, folklorists, and readers as an invaluable research companion.”
Does anyone reading know why people are buying toilet paper all of a sudden? If so, please comment. This article from livescience.com called 13 Coronavirus myths busted by science, might help calm your nerves regarding the threat of the virus. This article states that coronavirus has a contagion factor – R0 – – of 2.2. This means on average, one person who has the virus will transmit it to 2.2 people. This article by The Atlantic explains the R0 factor of coronavirus and compares other common viruses.
The previously mentioned article from Live Science also states the following regarding the mortality rate of the coronavirus:
“About 81% of people who are infected with the coronavirus have mild cases of COVID-19, according to a study published Feb. 18 by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention. About 13.8% report severe illness, meaning they have shortness of breath, or require supplemental oxygen, and about 4.7% are critical, meaning they face respiratory failure, multi-organ failure or septic shock. The data thus far suggests that only around 2.3% of people infected with COVID-19 die from the virus.”
The worldometers.info website states there is more than 7.7 billion people in the world. Even if everyone eventually caught the coronavirus (which I suspect is highly unlikely) according the mortality rate of 2.3% listed above, about 162 million people would die, leaving around 7.54 billion still alive. It’s not like the appearance of the coronavirus is the end of humanity.
I think the greatest threats of this virus are what could happen to the the world economy, starvation, and possibly social chaos and anarchy. The stock market has plunged in the last week or so. We rely on a functioning economy for modern agriculture to work and to supply us with the food we need. Agriculture practices have changed drastically over the last 100 years. In fact, Norman Borlaug is responsible for the green evolution in agriculture, and is credited by saving one billion from starving to death. The agriculture practices of the past could never feed all the mouths today.
Chaos has broken out in prisons in Italy, where the whole country is now in quarantine. It’s actually not surprising that would be where the chaos would start, in prisons, where it is estimated up to 70% of the inmates meet the criteria of anti-social personality disorder (aka psychopath). From movies I have watched, these scenes of chaos and anarchy seem to be what Hollywood wants to depict in times of great crisis. Who would want to watch a movie of some disaster where everybody is sane, calm, and standing in line?
In reality, this kind of chaos and anarchy does take hold in times of disaster, like after Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, or gangs raping women in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake there. Yet, I am not convinced it is guaranteed to happen and be widespread. I was a victim of the 2013 flood in High River Alberta and saw firsthand how calm and orderly people were, and how patient the emergency workers were. I was astounded by how patient drivers in Fort McMurray to wait during the 2016 Wildfire there, while red embers were falling around them and on their vehicles, as this video shows (probably one of the most astonishing real-life videos I have ever seen). I also read back then, that helicopter pilots saw drivers obeying the traffic lights during the one-day evacuation of the Northern Alberta city of Fort McMurray, a population of 80,000 with only two roads out – one north and one south.
My best laid plan is to continue doing what I am doing. I have no place to grow crops or raise livestock like my grandparents did on the Canadian prairies during the dirty thirties. And I don’t know how to do this anyways. If there were electricity and a functioning internet in the worst-case scenario, maybe I could figure it out online, eh? I don’t see much point in stocking canned goods since those won’t last long. I suspect the best prepared in my end of the world are Mormons, who are instructed to store food for such disasters. I don’t think stealing masks from a hospital is going to help me much, in addition to it being against my values.
My father passed away around 6 years ago, a weekend afternoon in June in hospital, surrounded by me and about 8 other family members and relatives. He died peacefully and with grace. I have never seen a dead body, let alone witnessed someone die. He had his eyes closed for the last week or more, and hadn’t said anything for longer than that. He was lying in bed, breathing, often with his mouth open. I worry if he had kept his faith in God up until the very end, but by the peaceful feeling I felt after he was gone, I strongly suspect he had.
If I am going to face homelessness, being victimized by social chaos, starvation or whatever, I hope I keep trying to follow the Baha’i laws and practice the attributes of a true seeker up until the very end, no matter how it may be. I hope I can die with grace like my father. Because in the end, I have no idea what the future will bring, or what tomorrow will bring. In fact, I have never known, but it has taken me a long time to figure that out.
“They who dwell within the tabernacle of God, and are established upon the seats of everlasting glory, will refuse, though they be dying of hunger, to stretch their hands and seize unlawfully the property of their neighbor, however vile and worthless he may be.” (Baha’u’llah)
“He should forgive the sinful, and never despise his low estate, for none knoweth what his own end shall be. How often hath a sinner attained, at the hour of death, to the essence of faith, and, quaffing the immortal draught, hath taken his flight unto the Concourse on high! And how often hath a devout believer, at the hour of his soul’s ascension, been so changed as to fall into the nethermost fire!” (Baha’u’llah)
The Baha’i Teachings on the Purpose of Life: