I had an encouraging experience yesterday. A correspondent wrote that her daughter, then in NYC, came down with classic symptoms of covid-19, self-sequestered for 14 days and is now clear of all. She survived. In fact, the VAST majority of folks who contract this virus do! We forget that, in all the hysteria and drama of those who are most adversely affected. The disease is a death sentence .. for those who die (obviously!), but that isn't the most common outcome! Not even close. Don't Panic! Don't cooperate with the hysteria.

For those of us in the most vulnerable categories, it is STILL eminently prudent to follow all the precautions. That's why discontinuing social distancing and appropriate hygiene is totally wrong. Continuing both are essential for ALL of us, the well as well as the sick!

There are two reasons for both. One is to protect the individual from exposure and infection. But the other is to prevent further spread of the infection to others! We ALL have a huma'ne (accent on the second syllable) duty and responsibility to do everything possible to halt the spread of the infection whether or not we're actually infected.

Epidemic is like a chain reaction. If every single person were to transmit the virus to more than just one other person, the contagion will spread. Stopping the transmission to others is the principal reason that the self-distancing and hygiene has worked - in China, Taiwan and Hong Kong - to throttle the advance of their epidemics. So far, it's the ONLY way that's proven to work.

Whatever fools decide, in service of their own personal agendas and objectives, it's essential that the rest of us do all we can to throttle the spread, each of us, where we are right now and until it's done.

Be well, be safe and prudent, and help others to remain so, too.

John Cooper,


Chris Brady is managing editor at The Standard-Journal and can be reached at

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