Truths May Be Larger Than They Appear
A few days ago I saw a post being shared across Facebook that said something along the lines of, “If it weren’t for all of the hype made by the media about the Coronavirus, would you have noticed anything different about this flu season?” I’m not one to share “viral” posts. I am also not the type of person who spouts comments in outrage if I disagree with what is being shared. However, when I saw this particular post, I came very close to pointing out the flaws within that question. Instead, I decided to write a blog post about it, because I firmly believe that the so-called hype is the reason some people may not have noticed a difference in this flu season. I firmly believe that if it weren’t for the closures and shelter-in-place orders enacted by many states, the numbers of individuals diagnosed with the Coronavirus would have been incredibly higher.
This idea brings to mind a Facebook post I saw in mid-to-late March, back when the idea of quarantine was just becoming a reality. The post said something like, “If we get through this quarantine without much coming of it, that’s the point.” That's the point! Basically, whoever started that first post about the "hype" doesn’t recognize the benefits that have come from quarantine during this pandemic. There are a lot of people who haven’t been personally touched or affected by the Coronavirus, and that’s great to know. But, there are so many others who have been affected by it personally. Those people who think that the “big deal” made about COVID-19 is unnecessary need to recognize that if it wasn’t for the media “hype,” as they call it, and the increased measures of protection like wearing face masks and staying home whenever possible, those affected could have been drastically more than the numbers we are currently seeing.
Unfortunately, numbers in Iowa have not consistently dwindled yet. Over the past two weeks, May 6 – 19th, Iowa has had an increase of 5,246 new positive cases reported to the Iowa Department of Public Health. Do you know that in the two weeks prior to that, April 22nd to May 5th, there were only 2,801 new cases reported? Yes, I’ve been watching the numbers closely because I’m hoping to see a dramatic decline in daily new cases. Iowa’s governor never ordered its residents to shelter-in-place. Though many businesses in Iowa were closed for a period of time, they've started to gradually reopen since early May. I haven’t been watching other states very closely, so I really couldn’t say whether or not the shelter-in-place orders have affected numbers any differently. But I do know that this “being controlled” argument is an issue that’s being blown out of proportion.
Yesterday, I saw a Facebook post being passed around that I did choose to share. It said, “What if we stopped thinking about masks as a sign of being controlled by the government and simply wore them to protect cashiers and others in high risk jobs as an act of kindness?” Thank you from the bottom of my heart to whoever started this post. Sadly, many people only see what directly affects them as the only truth that exists. The actual truth is that people can have the virus with little to no symptoms showing. Those same people can unknowingly spread the Coronavirus to individuals who might be at high risk who may develop severe symptoms, and who possibly won’t be able to recover. So, with that, I ask people to just be kind. Make the choice to be kind and wear a mask to protect those around you.