Prudence and Pandemic: Considerations on Coronavirus

This week, as I watch the issue of the COVID-19 coronavirus dominate the online conversation, sparking arguments left and right about what should be done, whether we should be concerned or totally unfazed, and so on, I find myself thinking about an anecdote from popular author and speaker Simon Sinek (whom I’ve referenced here before):

Now, there are probably a number of lessons we could take from this story, but I’d like to focus on just one for the moment.

The epidemiological knowledge we have today is vastly different from what we had a century or two ago. The study of microbiology and the recognition that the simple act of washing your hands can destroy microorganisms that might otherwise prove fatal is still, in the span of history, a remarkably novel concept. As the coronavirus pandemic worsens, we are being reminded of the exact same point that Oliver Wendell Holmes made to those doctors so many years ago: there are certain reasonable, prudent measures that can be taken easily that will have a salutary effect in saving lives.

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