Well this virus has certainly caused a furore around the world. The global stock markets have dropped significantly, but market investors are notoriously nervous types who panic easily. It is astonishing that the sale of hand sanitisers is being rationed when all the advice is to wash your hands more thoroughly and more often.
The problem is that people don’t really understand risk. The current virus is certainly much more infectious than seasonal influenza and ten times more lethal. A word of caution on these figures. They are based on those who have presented themselves at healthcare centres or hospitals, or have been in confined spaces such as the cruise liner. What we or anyone else doesn’t know is the numbers of people have been infected, had a mild illness and recovered. This New Scientist article states that 80% of those infected have mild symptons.
How not to give a message on hygiene!
There is an interesting piece by David Speigelhalter from The Winton Centre for Risk and Evidence Communication.
So for us here in Yorkshire, we are being more careful – washing hands more thoroughly and often after being out and about and simply not panicking.