Dr. Friedman’s Health Blog

Coronavirus: Fear vs. Facts

By: Dr. David Friedman

People are in a panic mode over the coronavirus! Toilet paper and water is vanishing off the grocery store shelves and hand sanitizer and Lysol is sold out!  Face masks are back-ordered so people are buying diapers instead and wrapping them around their faces to keep from getting infected. Movie theaters and schools are closing across the nation and malls look like ghost towns! So many people have asked my opinion on the coronavirus so I decided to share some of my thoughts.   

First let's address the elephant in the room, the media!  They are scaring the crap out of everyone! This explains why there's such a shortage of toilet paper. But that's the media's job, to scare you. They know doom and gloom is what brings in higher ratings, which means more money from their sponsors.  While they continue to use fear tactics by sharing all the increasing coronavirus stats, there are some stats the media is purposely not sharing with you. 

Coronavirus: As of March 12, 2020, there were 130,900 cases of coronavirus worldwide (1,209 of these are in the United States.)  There have been 4,700 total deaths (36 of these occurred in the United States.)   

Common Flu:  Estimated 1 Billion cases worldwide;  45 million cases in the United States per year and an annual death count of 62,000. 

[Source: World Health Organization]

When comparing these numbers you can see, the common flu is by far  a much worse health concern,  yet after only 4.7K worldwide deaths from the coronavirus, it’s been officially  declared a “pandemic!”


Let's look at a few other annual stats from 2019:  

* 4.9 million  died from air pollution (inside/outside.)

* 2.56 million died from pneumonia.

* 1.1 million died from second-hand smoke.

* 1.03 million died from unsafe sex.

[Source: IHMCE, Global Burden of Disease


As of today, my state of North Carolina has had  SEVEN people test positive for the coronavirus and no one has died.  That’s 7 people out of 10.5 million residents,  yet all Universities of North Carolina have canceled classes and are moving to online courses. They also announced they are considering shutting down elementary schools. I find this rather puzzling considering, according to the CDC,  children are the least likely to get infected by the coronavirus.  Malls are empty, people are afraid to eat out at restaurants, go to a movie theater, see a concert, etc. A few weeks ago,  our economy was at an all-time high!  This viral panic (pun intended) will end up causing billions of dollars in lost revenue for businesses.  It’s not the VIRUS that will destroy our economy, it’s FEAR! 

Is the coronavirus deadly? Absolutely. Unfortunately, many will die after being exposed to it. But there's something else the media isn't sharing with you: 98% of those that test positive for the coronavirus will get better in a few weeks.  If you are elderly or have a compromised immune system, you are at a greater risk for the common flu and the coronavirus.  I have an autoimmune disease, so I fall into that category.  I’m not concerned because I wash my hands regularly and eat immune boosting foods. 

What else can you do to stay safe? Just like cold and flu season, wash your hands and avoid touching your face. Wearing a face mask won’t offer much protection because the virus can transmit through the eyes and tiny viral particles, known as aerosols, can penetrate face masks. However, these masks can be effective at capturing larger droplets, which is a main transmission route of the coronavirus. So if you are among the  0.00001% of the world’s population that ends up with the coronavirus, wearing a mask can help keep you from infecting others. Hand sanitizers aren't much help either and can actually lower your immune system and make you more vulnerable to getting a virus. Read my article on hand sanitizers to learn more.  And, most importantly, try to remain calm and not panic! Stress lowers the body's immune system.  Don't hoard toilet paper or food leaving those in need without.  I recently read that someone purchased 18,000 rolls of toilet paper and is selling them for $10 a roll!  

We will survive the coronavirus just like we survived  SARS (2004,) BIRD FLU (2005,)  SWINE FLU (2009,) EBOLA (2014,) and the ZIKA Virus (2016.)  The media scared us back then into believing all of these deadly diseases would destroy the human race.  It’s the same fear campaign, just a different year.

About the Author

Dr. David Friedman is the author of the award-winning, #1 national best-selling book Food Sanity, How to Eat in a World of Fads and Fiction. He's a  Doctor of Naturopathy, Chiropractic Neurologist, Clinical Nutritionist, Board Certified Alternative Medical Practitioner, and Board Certified in Integrative Medicine.  Dr. Friedman is a syndicated television health expert and host of To Your Good Health Radio, which has changed the face of talk radio by incorporating entertainment, shock value, and solutions to everyday health and wellness issues.

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