Dear 100 Hour Board,
Some of my family members believe that the Coronavirus is affecting a lot more people than the media is portraying it to be (with a lot more fatalities as well). They practically believe it's the equivalent of a zombie apocalypse. Should I be concerned and avoid all outside human interaction?
Oh brother... No. You should be more scared of getting the common flu than getting the Coronavirus (big C. The name is misleading.)
Wash your hands, take your vitamins, eat your veggies and vaccinate your freaking self & kids. You're going to be fine.
Dear Big G,
My initial reaction when I saw your question was, "Oh gosh, I'm so sick of the hype over the Coronavirus." Personally I'm on the opposite side of the spectrum as your family members, where I believe that the media is overreporting on it and adding to unnecessary panic. To put it into perspective, 14,000 people have died of the flu this flu season alone. So far about 1,700 people have died of the Wuhan Coronavirus. Over ten thousand more people have died of the flu this year, yet you don't see people running around saying the flu could be the next plague or that this will be the end of normal life on earth as we know it. In fact, you can get flu shots for free and people still don't get them! Obviously any death is a tragedy, and I don't mean to minimize the deaths that have been caused by the Coronavirus, but I think people are overreacting when they think that it's some huge new supervirus. I will admit that it's scary because it's new and people don't know what the normal scope of this virus is yet (for example, we know when you're most at risk of getting the flu, and there's a vaccine for it, but we don't have any of that knowledge for the Coronavirus yet). But we do know that the vast majority of Coronavirus deaths have been in people with compromised immune systems (mostly either very young or very old), and that most people who have contracted it are ultimately fine (they've started being released from hospitals and are totally recovered). So I think for the most part people need to calm down.
Obviously my answer to this is also tempered by the fact that only a handful of confirmed cases have occurred in the US, so the chances of your average American getting it are slim to none. For people living in the Hubei province of China (where Wuhan is located) it would be much scarier to see so many people getting sick. Or if you're reading this from the Diamond Princess Cruise Ship docked off the coast of Japan, with 454 confirmed cases of Coronavirus so far, I'd understand your concern because you're trapped in a relatively small space with a lot of sick people. But again, most people who get the Coronavirus don't die, so while it certainly wouldn't be pleasant to have it, it's by no means a death sentence.