|Quarantined areas in northern Italy March 8, 2020|
Some people apparently don't understand how viruses work at all. As in, "If you don't intend to meet someone who is affected, you can't get it." A man explained this to me in great detail the other day. His being right would make life a lot easier, unfortunately that's not how diseases work.
A lot of people say it's a cold or a flu. That's not true. Yes, symptoms resemble a flu, but the virus is different. And, it's so new that we don't know a lot about it.
I didn't think that particular misunderstanding would be all that important, until I watched the news during the weekend and the anchor kept talking about the flu vaccine. Her reasoning was that if you take the flu vaccine and still get the flu, you normally get less sick than you would without the vaccine. Thus, the same must be true for Covid 19.
The doctor in the studio kept pointing out that this isn't true at all since the Corona virus isn't a flu and taking a flu vaccine won't affect our immune response to it, but she concluded with "Great, I'll go get the vaccine."
Speaking of vaccines, many seem to think there will be a vaccine any day. Developing a vaccine to something brand new like this will take time. I personally doubt we'll see one in 2020. We - the worldwide community - need to work together to keep this at bay, so the scientists have time to do their thing.
Other comments show both ignorance and a callousness to others' suffering that's plain terrifying.
This leads to an interesting side track: have you ever wondered why the most clueless people are also the most stubborn?
An 1999 article from the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology states, "People who lack the knowledge or wisdom to perform well are often unaware of this fact. We attribute this lack of awareness to a deficit in metacognitive skill. That is, the same incompetence that leads them to make wrong choices also deprives them of the savvy necessary to recognize competence, be it their own or anyone else’s."
Naturally, this has a massive impact on decision making.
I don't know how to remedy this, since it seems hard to get through with actual information, but I guess we'll have to keep trying.
And while we wait to see where all this will go, follow any and all advice from the CDC. We'll be okay, but we need to meet this with clear minds and awareness.