Column: COVID-19, a new trend?

Am I the only one who doesn’t think that COVID-19 deserves all this panic?

Yes, preventions are necessary but to what extent can we say that our decisions are becoming irrational?

School campuses are closing, mass gatherings and large events are canceled, cities around the world have declared a total lockdown, sea cruises have stopped their operation and even the happiest place on Earth, Disneyland, has been deserted.

While these areas are being abandoned, places like airports and supermarkets are crowded with throngs of people.

If we are to put these two pictures side by side, it makes me question if COVID-19 is really that dangerous or if there was a slight misconception of how we’re looking at this pandemic.

Let’s try to put things into perspective.

This notorious virus has a transmission rate of 1.5 to 3.5% and a fatality rate of 0.7 to 3.4% with an average of 70 deaths per day, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Based on a study from the confirmed cases in Mainland China, most of the people who were affected are the elderly from ages 60 and older with poor lung health and high smoking rate.

The lungs are the main target of COVID-19, and most people who did not recover are the ones who already had an underlying chronic health issue, according to Harvard Medical School.

This is not the first time in history that panic has happened due to an outbreak.

In the 1800s, people in New England suspected that if a person died of Tuberculosis, he would come back as a vampire to infect the rest of the family. These “vampire panics” urged people to dig up the suspected vampire grave and perform a ritual.

What a coincidence! COVID-19 was first heard to be coming from a bat soup.

On March 24, 1882, Robert Koch proved that TB is an infectious disease and eventually ended the speculations regarding the virus. A century later, March 24 was declared a World TB Day.

In the early 19th Century, TB had killed one out of seven people that have ever lived, according to a documentary by PBS.

Today, TB remains a top killer with an average of 3,014 deaths per day worldwide, according to CDC.

Unlike COVID-19, World Health Organization studies proved that TB puts all age groups at risk no matter how healthy you are.

Now, why is everyone else not panicking about this deadlier infectious airborne disease? 

Why aren’t schools shutting down when this has been with us for more than two centuries?

Well, it’s old news, and it’s not going to sell.

“The panic must stop,” said celebrity physician Dr. Drew Pinsky in an interview at CBS News. “And the press, they really somehow need to be held accountable because they are hurting people.” 

Pinsky said the media exaggerated the issue and provoked fear to the public.

A statistic by Total Google News shows that there had been 2.1 billion mentions of Coronavirus in the media. 

HIV has 69.5 million, and SARS has 66.3 million.

Despite the absence of tests and having zero cases in any of its campuses, Los Angeles Community College District seemed to have followed the trend by announcing on Wednesday that all in-person classes will switch to online starting March 30.