The Coronavirus: What is it? Should we be worried?

Ok the beer jokes are overplayed now. People have cancelled vacations and business trips. For countries that depend on tourism this is really hitting hard and not just in the stock market. The Stock Market overall has been consistently losing points while companies that rely on users staying indoors like Roku, Amazon, and Netflix have been doing even better.

In Tokyo people have been scrambling for masks as cases around the world have been increasing. It has not stopped with masks. Toilet paper, water, cleaning products, hand soap, food, etc have been running out as stores impose a one item per family policy for certain in demand items.

The number of infected cases is currently 381 confirmed cases with six deaths. The government in Japan is asking people to limit travel, to sanitize properly, and many companies are encouraging remote work.

What this this virus and how did it come about?

There are two things that we need to understand before moving forward and that’s disease vs virus. A disease is when the body or part of the body’s function is not functioning as it should due to molecules which change the make up of its cells. These molecules are able to multiply only within other living cells, thus changing the make up of the cells and causing disease.

There are two names that should be understood:


coronavirus disease



severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2


But wait, does tat mean it's a version of SARS?

Yes, it is genetically related, but it’s different as well. Corona viruses have been known to cause respiratory diseases, which can be as common as a cold or more severe to the likes of MERS SARS and now COVID-19.

So where did the name come from and should we be concerned?

This new virus was discovered in Wuhan, China in December 2019. It's origins were from a wild animal market, but it started spreading to person to person. The virus is currently spreading by means of "community spread" or through people who have been infected in a certain area as defined by the Center for Disease Control. Cases have been reported worldwide. While mortality rates are low overall from a global perspective, it should still be taken seriously.

Unfortunately the people who are over the age of 50, especially with pre-existing health conditions such as heart, lung or health problems are susceptible to catching the disease. The mortality rates increase drastically for octogenarians. Since 1 in 5 people who catch the virus require medical care. There is currently no vaccine, which is what makes this disease scary. There is no cure. There are not many cases in respect to worldwide population, but people living in affected countries should still be careful.

At the very least it's important to wash one's hands thoroughly. That means you bathroom people who make eye contact with people at the sink and leave or the people who fondle the water stream as if a ‘Rocket Power’ handshake with the faucet water will be clean enough.

All of this information can be found on The World Health Organization, the Center for Disease Control, and the World Meters websites.

Getting enough sleep, eating healthy, and washing correctly should be what we strive for at all times, but more so when there’s a global disease restricting travel due to new cases popping up daily. Stay safe and keep your immune system strong peeps.