Fear over the coronavirus has exploded in recent weeks. As the mainstream media continues to fear monger and snowball healthy concern into hysteria, Americans should view their reporting through a skeptical lens. Keeping a level head and injecting a dose of nuance into the conversation will help to prevent state and local governments from overreacting and sliding into another broad lockdown.
Continuing to fear monger and encourage an “all engines reverse” strategy will cause even more injury to public health. According to a Kaiser Family Foundation survey, nearly 40 percent of adults pin recent harm to mental health on stress related to the pandemic. Meanwhile, the same proportion of Americans say fear over contracting the virus is still keeping them away from doctors’ offices to address other medical concerns. How many cancer cases have gone undiagnosed? How many deaths are attributed to delayed treatments of heart disease, diabetes or kidney disease?
Effectively addressing the coronavirus is a balancing act. But the current strategy is giving too much weight to stopping the spread of the virus at all costs. We initially shutdown society to protect the hospital system. Now we need to keep those restrictions relaxed to soften the shockwaves that are rippling through Main Street and Wall Street alike.
Read the full op-ed on Townhall by Elaine Parker, the President of the Job Creators Network Foundation.