By now, everyone knows about the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. It’s spreading rapidly and it has killed more than 3,800 people worldwide as of this writing.
It appears to have a mortality rate in excess of 2%. To put that in context, the 1918 “Spanish” (it wasn’t) flu pandemic had a mortality rate of 2%, and it killed 20 million people worldwide.
That’s more than died in World War I.
This is a serious thing, and we need to treat it seriously. You can follow the progress of the virus at the Johns Hopkins University dashboard here.
So please: do as public health officials ask that you will do. If that means staying at home and avoiding gatherings, do that. Wash your hands a lot. If you feel cold or flu-like symptoms, avoid contact with others. If you have a dry cough and a fever, call your doctor and get tested.
I write this because I’m concerned about you. I’m concerned about all of us but I feel a particular kinship and connection with this community, and I want for us to be well.
It’s hard to take a pandemic seriously until people all around are ill or dying. We’re skeptical that way. But this is the real thing. It is going to cause significant economic dislocation and it is killing people.
So again: please do the right thing. Take care of yourself and others. Remember Atheopagan Principle #9: Social responsibility. We’re here for one another and not just ourselves.
Thank you, be well, and good luck.