Though I believe the risk is small when comparing the number of people who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and have recovered with the number who have died, fear may be the greater threat.
Some of a certain age may recall the fears promoted during the Cold War. There were newspaper stories and TV documentaries about how long survivors of a nuclear war would have to stay inside reinforced shelters until the fallout dissipated to a point it was safe to go out.
Then, it was Geiger counters that would determine the level of radioactivity. Today's Geiger counters are temperature gauges held to our foreheads. Symptoms, such as coughing, sneezing and fever, as well as high-risk factors, such as age and underlying health conditions, are also part of the diagnostic equation.
We are told to frequently wash our hands, not touch our faces, don't shake hands with anyone, practice social distancing -- we can recite these from memory -- but then we are also told to stay inside and only go out for "necessities," such as food and prescriptions.
Grocery stores where I shop require masks when entering and one-way traffic aisles. A hard plastic "wall" separates me from the cashier, who is also wearing a mask. Hand sanitizers and wipes are available at the entrance and exit where cart handles are wiped down after each use.
If these practices are almost as good as staying home, why can't businesses employing these practices, including restaurants and bars, be opened so people can make a living and not rely on government, whose debt now exceeds levels that will never be reduced without spending cuts (and likely tax increases if
Restaurants can place tables six feet apart. Those operating in warmer climates could add outside tables, benches and chairs. For the fearful, takeout orders could be ramped up.
Last Sunday, my wife and I went to a local restaurant. Tables had been removed. We wore masks as did staff behind the counter. We purchased our food, left the place and ate outside without masks where tables and benches were available. There were others there, not all of whom were six feet apart. People engaged in social interaction, which is what humans do and need to do. No one seemed fearful.
As experts have noted, it could be months and possibly longer before a vaccine is created. Dr.
Writing on his Facebook page, rock musician