Coronavirus serves as a cautionary tale of human fragility. Humanity fancies itself impervious to unforeseen whims of nature. So certain our lofty tower is made of stone, we dismiss sudden onset of unprecedented hairline fractures as media hype. COVID-19 began as an outbreak in Wuhan, China. In medical terms outbreak is defined as disease infecting a lot of people in one area in a short amount of time. Next, outbreak became epidemic. Epidemic is when cases of illness in a community or region clearly exceed normal expectancy. Today the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic. Epidemic passes into pandemic territory when illness spreads to other countries and continents affecting a large number of people. Infected persons returning from travel to known epidemic regions don’t factor in pandemic consideration. Pandemic waits for widespread community transmission, local transmission of infection without connection to travel.
Hindsight doesn’t care what we should or could have done to stop hairline fracture outbreak before epidemic cracks formed pandemic fissures. Who knows, maybe next time we’ll recognize imperatives to act responsibly at outbreak. That said, today we have a pandemic so lets get it over with. Close borders, ground planes, cancel public gatherings, legislate global forgiveness of debt/living expenses for a month, restrict commerce to essential services, stay home from work and school and designate billions toward social assistance. Stop messing around, let’s get this over with.