We will survive this threat and be stronger for it

Published 6:54 am Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Every few years, we are faced with a situation that makes us aware of how insignificant we are in this world.

As humans, we tend to think of ourselves as the superior form of life on this planet we call earth, but every once in awhile nature slaps us across the face with something we can’t control and makes us realize we’re not as superior we think.

Whether it’s a massive storm like Katrina, Harvey, Maria or Sandy, or one of the smallest things in the world like a cell carrying a disease like Ebola, the Marburg virus, or one of the various plagues that have appeared over the centuries, we are reminded of our mortality and realize we are just as weak and helpless as the animals we disdain.

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The coronavirus, or COVID-19, is the latest reminder. It has brought countries to their collective knees, caused widespread panic and the usual examples of misinformation, disinformation and ignorance.

There are a few things I do feel comfortable about mentioning when it comes to the newest illness.

It is not some Democratic or “deep state” conspiracy to throw the president out of office, and no, it is not some pestilence set on the world by God to punish the wicked and force us to turn from our sinful ways.

COVID-19 is a virus, not some punishment from above. At the present time, it is spreading rapidly and has our medical establishment scrambling, just as it has at the start of any new virus like SARS or swine flu to find the answers to contain and cure it.

And despite the efforts of many to spread misinformation or downplay the virus’ seriousness, officials with the Centers for Disease Control, National Institute of Health and the World Health Organization are trying to learn more about COVID-19 and use that information to get it under control and find the right combination of meds to cure it.

In the meantime, local, state and federal officials are taking precautions to stop or curtail the spread of the virus. Some of them are extreme and I feel an overreaction, but they’re being done in an effort to keep us safe.

As for me, I plan to carry on as I always have. I’m not taking a cavalier approach to the virus, especially since I’m a member of that risk group of over 65 and I have high blood pressure, and I’m prone to upper respiratory illnesses. In fact, my annual duel with the stuffy head, congested chest and turbulent cough is way overdue.

I’ve made up my mind not to panic and go to extremes of fear.

I will, however, be taking care to avoid large groups. I will get plenty of sleep, try to eat a healthy diet and take my medications. If I get sick, I will inform the office and stay home.

I will not rely on Facebook for my information about the virus, because social media is unreliable and full of distortions, rumor and misinformation. I will be listening to the experts and rely on their information.

We (my family and me) may get the virus or we may not, but we will get through this as we have with so many other crisis situations we have encountered, and be stronger for it.


John Surratt is a staff writer for The Vicksburg Post. He can be reached at john.surratt@vicksburgpost.com.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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