We’re in the midst of a pandemic as the latest iteration of the coronavirus (aka “coronavirus disease 2019,” “Covid-19” for short) has spread to humans on every continent except, so far, Antarctica.

SARS, MERS, and Covid-19: Comparing Coronavirus Mortality Rates

By March 11, Covid-19 had infected 126,000 people and resulted in the deaths of 4,615 for a mortality rate of around 3.4%, according to the World Health Organization.

This compares to a mortality rate of 9.6% for the SARS outbreak of 2003, and a mortality rate of no less than 34% for the MERS epidemic of 2012. As is the case for Covid-19, there is so far no innoculation against MERS.

But the biggest difference between these three types of coronavirus — and the reason Covid-19 is so dangerous — is that the new version is much easier to catch. Roughly, it’s as communicable as most airborne influenzas.

What You Can Do, First and Foremost, to Slow the Spread of Covid-19

We’ll provide more information on Covid-19 shortly. First though, let’s talk about ways you can help clients, colleagues, family and the wider community — including the Chalice community — in the face of widening public-health crisis.

The first thing you can do for others is stay safe yourself. You can do that by:

  • Taking it seriously. Whether or not you’re in an at-risk category (over age 60, have chronic respiratory or “immunocompromised” conditions), the more you can do to slow the spread of the coronavirus, which will help save lives, lighten the healthcare burden, and get things back to normal faster.

  • Limiting person-to-person contact as much as possible. Although the degree of vigilance may be informed by how many cases have been reported in your area, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

  • Keeping surfaces under your control clean, especially your hands clean. Handrails, light switches, computer mouses, keyboards. Don’t fixate on hard-to-find alcohol hand sanitizer. The Center for Disease Control says soap and water is more effective against many germs, including viruses, than jelly-bound isopropyl.

  • Coughing into the crook of your arm where tissues aren’t available (rather than your bare hand). Kindergarteners have been getting this wholesome advice since the eighties.

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