The News Editorial: Do not panic, get the facts on coronavirus


March 12, 2020

OK can someone please explain why people are hoarding toilet paper?

It is understandable if you have to be quarantined because of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). You might need some extra as you likely will not be leaving your home to be going out to buy some. But how much do you need. Remember COVID-19 is a respiratory illness, not stomach. You’re not going to be running to the restroom.

Also, if you run low, don’t you have friends that can run to the store for it? And exactly how long do you think you’ll be quarantined that you need that much toilet paper?

How concerned should we be with COVID-19? What is more concerning, the virus or what the virus is doing to the stock market, the economy and the price of oil and the impact that could have to the economy here in Washakie County.

Reasons people do not need to panic is the recovery rate. While there may be anywhere from less than 1% to 3% mortality rate (depending on which figures you use) that means there is a 97% to 99.9% chance of recovering if you fall ill with COVID-19. Those are better odds than playing the lottery.

Another reason is that according to the Wyoming Department of Health, the current risk of transmission in Wyoming is still low.

Also, the WDH recommends steps that can help avoid the spread of any respiratory illness, including COVID-19. The steps are:

•Avoid close contact with sick people.

•While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible.

•Stay home if sick.

•Cover nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing. Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.

•Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs.

•Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub with at least 60 percent alcohol.

What’s sad about this latest worldwide illness is the people who are trying to capitalize on it by creating illegal scams or through false advertising.

The Federal Trade Commission and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have sent warning letters to seven companies allegedly selling unapproved products that may violate federal law by making deceptive or scientifically unsupported claims about their ability to treat coronavirus (COVID-19). The warning letters are the first issued by the agencies alleging unapproved and/or unsupported claims that products can treat or prevent coronavirus.

The agencies sent the letters to the following companies: 1) Vital Silver, 2) Quinessence Aromatherapy Ltd., 3) N-ergetics, 4) GuruNanda, LLC, 5) Vivify Holistic Clinic, 6) Herbal Amy LLC, and 7) The Jim Bakker Show.

The recipients are companies that advertise products—including teas, essential oils, and colloidal silver—as able to treat or prevent coronavirus. According to the FDA, however, there are no approved vaccines, drugs, or investigational products currently available to treat or prevent the virus.

The FTC is also advising residents to be aware that scammers are setting up websites to sell bogus products, and using fake emails, texts, and social media posts as a ruse to take consumers’ money and get their personal information.

It is important that we as a society do not ignore COVID-19, but we also do not want to overhype it (remember that 97% and higher recovery rate).

The world has faced infectious diseases before and we have come through it and we will get through this. It is best yes to be vigilant and cautious, but not to panic. “Be Calm and Wash Your Hands.”

Get your facts from trusted news sources. The best source for COVID-19 information is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at


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