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Take a breath, wash your hands

lance goosen cartoon

(Cartoon by Lance Goosen)

There’s been a single word striking fear in the minds of many Canadians these days: coronavirus.

The coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, has been making the rounds lately, with cases in Canada, the United States, Italy, Iran, and more. It originally began in China, where the entire City of Wuhan in the Hubei province was shut down by the Chinese government in response.

As of the time this was written there have been 34 confirmed cases of the virus in Ontario, which has a population of 14.57 million. That amounts to 0.0001 per cent.

Recently, Durham Region’s medical officer of health cautioned against panic over the virus while speaking with The Oshawa Express.

He said while he has heightened interest in the coronavirus, there is no need for panic.

So, those who have been swarming their local Costco and buying up all of the toilet paper, or those who are afraid to leave their houses, relax and listen to the public safety announcements.

The best way to fight the virus is to wash your hands with soap and water – something most of us have been doing since we were children anyway.

Those who should be concerned are the same who are more than likely already concerned about the flu such as people with an already compromised immune system and the elderly.

Most cases resulting in death have been in those two demographics.

While some media outlets may be using trigger words such as “pandemic” or “epidemic” to describe the disease, remember, there have been just about 4,000 deaths worldwide.

For a comparison, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates there were between 20,000 and 53,000 deaths from the flu between Oct. 1, 2019 and Feb. 29, 2020.

For those who are currently feeling the stress of the coronavirus, remind yourselves the virus is still the most prevalent in China, not Canada. So take a breath, and if you’re still feeling stressed, go wash your hands.