The toilet paper is human psychology at its finest.
*Brain notices a resource being taken by others*
*Brain wants it out of fear of being left out*
I swear we're still monkeys on the primal level.
Right. I am honestly a little worried about Covid-19. Maybe I'm a bit of a doom thinker though. Make your own judgement. I live in the Netherlands, so for context; The confirmed count passed 1000 today, but our health service guesses the true number is around 6000 (in a 17 million country fyi). 20% of patients need hospital care. 5% need breathing apparatus on intensive care. This is in line with patients in other countries. Death count is 1.5% of patients, mostly elderly due to underlying conditions. But young people can also need intensive care (our youngest patient on a breathing machine is 16 years old). Patients that do sometimes need weeks of assisted breathing as they get a lung infection.
The death count is in line with a flu virus for now. So people here are just brushing it off (note: a corona virus is different from a flu virus). But I've been watching a bit what will happen next. Italy is 2 weeks ahead of us in the infection curve. Here in the Netherlands we are doing the whole 'work from home' thing, wash your hands, stop hoarding toilet paper you idiot, etc. If you have even the slightest symptom you can call in sick, no questions asked (and we all have paid sick leave here, thankfully, so no one is 'forced' to come to make ends meet). Gatherings over 100 people are now illegal. But our beloved government doesn't want to close the schools, blathering about kids not being very susceptible to the virus. This is true, they will not show many symptoms. They will spread it though. Schools with 1000+ kids in tight confined spaces? A virus' wet dream. The reason for not closing the schools is likely economical I think. In our country it is the norm for both parents to work to afford the rent. Kids at home means at least one parent at home. Often this is the mom (far more women work part-time jobs then men). The mom often works in healthcare, cleaning, general services. This would take away staff from taking care of people. Problem. Government chickens out.
Anyhow, everyone who does some research thinks that we're heading for widespread national infection. The virus is all over our (admittedly small) country. Our government is gradually letting everyone know the virus can no longer be contained. Isolation and shutting down the country is looming. But it's too late. Let me explain why.
Remember that 1.5% mortality rate? And the 5% intensive care need? Yeah... Italy was surprised by the exponential infection rate and found out they did not have enough medical resources to treat all the patients once it exceeded a certain number. The virus gains momentum at a high rate and patients flood the hospitals. But some go untreated because of the lack of resources. Doctors have to triage, like in the war. Those with the highest chance of survival get treated. The mortality rate goes up dramatically (7% currently over there) as the untreated patients are effectively condemned to die. It's a literal nightmare over there. Doctors are crying and despairing. And I'm pretty sure the Netherlands is awaiting the same. Our hospitals are lean machines, tuned to maximize efficiency. There is very little space for a disaster on this scale. It cannot take an influx of thousands of patients requiring intense treatment.
And this is what worries me. I think that if I were to get the virus, I would survive (my chance is about 99%). I'm healthy and in my thirties. Even if my health goes to the 5% intense treatment requirement, I would likely get preferential triage treatment over the weak and elderly if I need intensive care. Let's not talk about the psychological hit it would take on me to be in a hospital bed knowing that people are dying instead of me. Let's talk economy.
I work from home for a week now. We all got sent home at our company. I work IT, it's doable. But I know humans and psychology a bit. I know a lot of my colleagues are not productive. Some can't work effectively at home. Others don't even try. The company is suffering. It will likely survive. We're big enough to get aid from banks and government. But I'm guessing we'll have the third 'reorganization' in as many years no matter what's going to happen. A lot of other companies won't be able to survive the country shutting down. But signs point at this going to happen, the country will probably shut down for months just like Italy has to. The economy will take a staggering blow. We have great social security in this country, so we won't have American dystopian terror looming over us, but it's not going to be nice the coming years. So no matter what happens, everyone in the country is going to feel it. It's a disaster, first in human tragedy, then in economical backlash, that we will likely need a decade to overcome.
And I truly feel sorry for people in countries who do not have good/affordable healthcare, or paid sick leave. Even if a large part of Europe goes in lockdown and takes an economic blow, we'll scratch up again. But if the United States takes a blow, with its unaffordable health care and lack of paid sick leave making the spread many times worse, there will be another economical blow here as the world economy takes yet another hit as the US economy takes a blow (after the China one). I worry that Covid-19 will bankrupt a lot more people then it kills.
So all in all, yes, a bit worried about Covid-19. Wash your hands all. No need to hoard, there's plenty of food and toilet paper. Don't go to the doctor's office, call instead. Limit physical contact with others. Stay away from the elderly and ask them to isolate themselves. Just sit this out of you can. Even if you are young. You may survive, but that's no reason to give a platform for the virus to spread on.