Parkland Press

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Another View

Thursday, March 26, 2020 by The Press in Opinion

‘We’re all in this together’

My last Another View opinion piece was published Feb. 5 and 6 in The Press newspapers.

The headline — “Coronavirus is not what you should be worried about in U.S.”

I was wrong. I never thought our country would see the troubles it currently is having.

The actions being taken to combat COVID-19 are disrupting every part of American lives — work, education, places of worship, hospitals, businesses for leisurely activities, family and friend gatherings and more.

For our family, we have had to make several changes and adjustments. Our son’s day care is closed, and virtual learning will be starting soon.

Our dog cannot get her monthly grooming. Both my husband and I are working from home. The sports program our son plays in — Soccer Shots — is postponed.

Story times at our local libraries are canceled. Easter egg hunts are canceled. We couldn’t go out anywhere or have a big party for our son who turned 3 on March 21.

Life is different — and I hope it’s not for long.

It’s also affecting the stock available on shelves in grocery stores. Last week, I went to a local store to get cold medicine for our son. There was none

As a parent, I want to be able to provide help to my child when in need, and I couldn’t do that. Diapers, wipes and formula are other baby and toddler essentials that are flying off the shelves.

A few days ago when I was changing our son’s diaper, I put on a new brand because the usual ones we used I couldn’t find anymore in the store.

Our I-don’t-like-change normal toddler was confused and asked why. I told him because people are acting silly right now (to put it less complicated for him) and buying everything up. His response is appropriate.

“That’s not right, Mommy. People need to share.”

I think some people need to take the advice of a 3-year-old.

In an effort to combat stockpiling, stores are limiting the number of certain products you can purchase. Also, for the first hour of business, some businesses are allowing only the elderly and immune compromised in to shop.

Times have changed — and quickly. Although I wasn’t worried about the new strain of coronavirus before our travel to Walt Disney World, today, it would be a different story.

Both Disneyland Park and Disney World aren’t even open. The California park closed March 14, and the Florida park closed March 16. As of right now, reopening dates are set for April 1 — but I don’t see that happening.

I also don’t see Pennsylvania students returning to school buildings March 30.

In a March 20 NPR article titled “How the novel coronavirus and the flu are alike and different,” NPR states, “Data from China shows that each coronavirus case seems to infect around 2 to 2.5 additional people. That’s higher than flu. The average patient spreads the flu virus to about 1.3 others.”

The article continues: “An influential modeling analysis released March 16 from Imperial College of London predicted a worse-case scenario in which 81 percent of the U.S. population could get infected over the next few months, if no actions were taken to slow or contain the spread of the virus. Predictions from models like this appear to have spurred U.S. officials to implement social distancing measures to combat the virus’ spread.”

That is why it is important to heed to our federal, state and local governments’ mandates.

“Eighty percent of coronavirus cases are mild to moderate, which ranges from having a fever and a cough to low-grade pneumonia. It might still be miserable, but you can heal up on your couch at home,” the article states.

Eighty percent is a high number, which sounds promising. However, this new coronavirus is much deadlier than the flu.

“Initial data shows that coronavirus is deadlier.

In the U.S., seasonal flu kills one in 1,000 people (0.1 percent) who get sick from it. By contrast, COVID-19 is currently estimated to kill at least 10 people per 1,000 infect (1 percent).

Luckily, what we all have and can cling to is warm weather coming soon — to get out in the backyard and play — and the Internet. This great resource provides several outlets to use to virtually learn and socialize.

Our son will continue learning by using Zoom. Our family uses FaceTime and Facebook Messenger to video chat family and friends. The Internet and our companies’ access allow us to continue working from home.

Our son has enjoyed live performances by Two of a Kind and Laurie Berkner Band, two popular children’s bands.

Here at The Press, many of us are working from home, conducting phone interviews, writing, designing and editing.

We are continuing, to the best of our ability, to bring you information on the coronavirus, municipality news, feature stories and school updates.

Our mission is the same — “to inform and entertain our readers, preserve the history of our local community and service the needs of local businesses and individuals with diverse media solutions.”

As the popular lyrics go, “We’re all in this together.”

Stay smart and stay strong.

Stacey Koch

editorial assistant

Whitehall-Coplay Press

Northampton Press

Catasauqua Press