Well, I was wrong, we will not get a handle on coronavirus before it becomes a pandemic. The US has confirmed its first case of the novel coronavirus where the person was exposed while in traveling out of the country or by coming in contact with someone that had been in China in December and January. This means the person was most likely exposed in public. This was the domino we didn’t want to fall.
This means our quarantine procedures have failed. This means it doesn’t matter in what part of the US you live in, you should be prepared because we don’t know enough about novel coronavirus to know some important things; how long does it live on surfaces? We aren’t even sure Clorox Wipes or Lysol spray will kill it. They worked on SARs, but they were less effective against MERs. There are 7 types of known human coronavirus including novel… but they haven’t been tested on Novel Coronavirus and until they are, we won’t know for sure if disinfecting wipes will kill it. And disinfecting wipes have become a staple in all cleaning closets in the US.
And so the pandemic gets closer to home and with it comes panic. I often think it isn’t the crisis we should prepare for but the panic that accompanies it. The Dow fell after it was announced that South America had its first confirmed case of novel coronavirus. Travel warnings are increasing. And with the employee shortages in China, we will soon be facing economic problems on a global scale that have nothing to do with stock markets, we’re talking about a shortage of physical goods, because nearly everyone buys a ton of their products from China. Thankfully, my favorite yarns are made in the US, so I should be okay on yarn as long as we don’t reach the infection rate that China has.
A company has developed a medication to battle novel coronavirus and is ready to start human trials. This is good. If we can’t prevent it, perhaps we can bring down the mortality rate. Even that is a step in the right direction. However, if we can’t pull that off, we are looking at the types of situations we haven’t seen in over a hundred years. Before the drought that caused the Dust Bowl, before the economic crash that caused the stock market collapse, there was the Spanish Influenza pandemic and every continent experienced food shortages the second year of the pandemic because of the mortality rate… 28% of those infected with Spanish Flu in the US died. Novel coronavirus’s mortality rate isn’t that high; it’s only 3% or so at the moment, but the mortality rate of Spanish Flu increased the longer the pandemic went on. Hopefully, the novel coronavirus will not be as communicable as Spanish Flu, but until we understand it more, we can’t be sure of that. As I said before, we aren’t even sure how long it can live on surfaces or in the air.
However, you can take precautions. Cough into your elbow, avoid places that are overly crowded, see the doctor for illnesses (having an infection puts you at higher risk of catching other infections), wash hands with soap and water. Do not reuse disposable grocery bags (this surprises people but bacteria and viruses live quite well on plastic bags and reusing them can increase your risk of catching something off them… especially if someone else bags your groceries) and since we know Clorox Wipes and Lysol spray kills SARS and the majority of coronaviruses use them until we know for sure they don’t. This may not be the year to kick-out the artificial chemicals for cleaning… some all-natural cleaners do kill viruses and bacteria, but some do not or do not do a good job, so perhaps keeping your antibacterial dish soap and bleach based cleaners in 2020 is a good idea.