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Did COVID-19 Make Us Forget How We Handled Past Virus Outbreaks?

How miscommunication could have been the reason behind the hysteria and panic.

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Many people have been in panic mode since the announcement of the coronavirus outbreak. During the time that this news was being announced and really blew up, I was finalizing a deal with a new client. We should probably get something clear, I’m a nerd. I’m a proud nerd that loves to keep up on the world news of things such as stock markets, biomedical advancements, space travel, medicine and other things along those lines of news. I read a ton and to treat myself I watch television every now and then. I know, I know, lame right. However, THIS situation was nowhere near lame. It was shocking and if anything, very much delayed in being handled appropriately. We had an epidemic beginning in China that was shrouded in uncertainty and misinformation. The uncertainty of what was truly going on was so cloudy that I don’t believe that anyone truly thought to question it since it hadn’t been announced as being within our borders. This, however, was not good for anyone, anywhere in the world.

What we thought was an epidemic soon became a pandemic across the globe. From China, this disease seemed to have spread rapidly. Next to Africa, then India, Italy, Germany, The United Kingdom, Spain, France, and so forth and so on. Eventually, it made it’s way to our borders and in somewhat of an aggressive manner. Or so it seemed. However, let’s remember, this virus was first placed on the radar of, not just our government, but the World Health Organization (WHO) in December. The question that should be asked, is why it’s just now becoming a major issue in the news over the last few weeks. The process of informing the people of our nation or the citizens of the world was completely botched in my opinion. So we have to be sure to respond accordingly to the chaos of the virus.

So why has the COVID-19 garnered such an insane response as if we haven’t dealt with issues like this before? Why have we forgotten how we’ve dealt with diseases such as SARS, AVIAN (most people don’t even remember), SWINE, MERS (another one most don’t remember), EBOLA, ZIKA, EBOLA (the second round) and now CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)? I simply believe that it is because of the delivery of the message. The delay in the truth of the matter and how the damage of the situation can be minimized. Through all of the above diseases, we have not shut down our country like this in the past ever. So why this one and why now?

Some have their opinion of it, saying it’s because of it being an election year. Others are saying that it’s population control because they believe in a conspiracy to relieve our world of people because the government feels that it is overpopulated. Whatever the belief is, the important thing is for our government and health officials to be clear on what the threat is to the citizens of the world. How to properly minimize the threat that this pandemic is presenting is so key to creating and maintaining calm and peace.

The reliable communication piece that we should be privy to that would bring us comfort and security of getting through this moment in time was not there. From the moment this was presented to us, it was never done in a comforting way. The lack of effective communication provoked the beginning stages of the hysteria that we are witnessing in this moment. Would it be more of a subtle panic had the message been delivered by someone else? Would we have remembered that there was nowhere near the type of chaos, closures and panic when we dealt with SWINE from 2014-2016? Could we have created more calm with a calmer more genuine feeling message? We don’t know in this moment because the world is reacting to what we received and how we received it.

We survived Sars in 2004, Avian in 2008, Swine Flu in 2010, Mers in 2012, and Ebola in 2014. We never shut down our country or the world, the likes in which we are witnessing with COVID-19 in present day. It just seems quite clear that one of the stemming reasons of the hysteria, without discounting the seriousness of the virus, is because of a communication issue. If there is a next time in which something of this magnitude is to happen, hopefully the relaying of the message around what it is and how we can calmly and effectively handle it comes across in a more effective manner.

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