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home : columns : rahn larson
April 10, 2020

2/5/2020 10:23:00 AM
Coronavirus and the USA
Every day,, as we go about our day-to-day routines in Windom, the term "Coronavirus" slips into our conversations.
There is no panic at this point, but it is clearly on our radar. How could it not be? Each night, we see images of Chinese in surgical masks on the evening news.
The obvious question is, how scared should we be of the coronavirus?
I must admit, there are a few reports that are unsettling. For instance, Delta has suspended all flights to and from China as of today (Wednesday).
A major airline does not take that step unless there is a major concern. At this point, it appears 60 million people are already effectively quarantined in China.
Meanwhile, we've learned that in early December some doctors were finding signs of a serious virus forming in the Chinese community of Wuhan. However, the mayor of that community, which is now seen as the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, said nothing was reported because he still needed to wait for authorization before making it public.
One has to wonder how the delay impacted health officials as the community waited for permission to take it public.
That brings us back to the initial question, how scared should we be?
As I talk to local residents, I get the sense everyone is in the wait and see mode. I haven't seen local residents walking around in surgical masks, nor do I feel we are near that point.
However, as we watch from afar, I cannot help but ponder the "what ifs." Our country thrives on commerce and the freedom to travel. We also have a presidential campaign and national election coming up.
On the flip side, Google has reported that Google searches of "Corona beer virus" are on the rise. Presumably, people saw something on Facebook and assumed Corona beer is a concern.
As we ponder the unthinkable, we are constantly reminded, some of our citizens are beyond help.

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