Letter: Coronavirus must be taken seriously

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To the editor:

I woke up today to check the news. Everyone does it these days, first thing. There was a fantastic article from CNN.com titled "Coronavirus is about to change your life." Even if you think all of this coronavirus business is overblown," even if you think it's just "mass hysteria," even if you think it cannot possibly be as bad as they say and that most people recover anyway, because it's not so bad for young and healthy people, please think of how you can spread it to someone whose immune system might not work as well as yours. You could spread this to Grandma or Grandpa, mom or dad. A family member or friend with diabetes or multiple sclerosis.

We are a very individualistic society and we tend to think in terms of how things affect each one of us as individual people or individual groups. We are, in fact, a society, and every individual in our society matters, same as our loved ones, same as ourselves. Whether or not you take this seriously, whether or not you think this is a political conspiracy, it is already happening. It's not going to stop despite your irritation, your skepticism, your rolling eyes, your scoffing, your anger. It doesn't care that you're inconvenienced. And it clearly doesn't care about the health of older adults and those with compromised immune systems.

This is not about Democrats vs. Republicans or a bungling government response. This not about an evil conspiracy by China and the stigma now placed upon all people of Asian descent. This is not about how it got here. We're well past that. Right now we have to move forward because we have no choice.

Understand this: if one of your own becomes a part of that mortality statistic, you will not be so blas about this virus and you certainly will not appreciate the comments of those who are. Please take heed. Now.

Elizabeth Williams,

Pittsfield

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