The coronavirus outbreak is literally saturating all the news outlets, and for good reason, with more than 50 people now tested positive in the UK, this virus will impact everyone, at all levels and all walks of life.
The Health secretary declared that the status is "increasingly serious", Matt Hancock explained to MP's that the virus was "becoming more likely that we will see widespread transmission here in this country".
I have been listening to the news, and the attitudes of the public when the presenters stop them in the street to ask their feedback about the situation, to be honest, these responses range from calm and stable, to absolute horror and terror, I think our response should be somewhere in the middle.
Which way the virus will swing will depend on how much investment the government will make in creating awareness about coronavirus, and advising the public how to avoid it, and what to do if they think they may have contracted it.
The Chinese government has ploughed unlimited funds into battling the spread of the virus, the data that is coming back in terms of the numbers, is indicating that they may be winning the battle, my question is, how many other countries have the financial resources, the complete control on the country and its people, and the army of general population who are willing to join the fight as a commitment to the government.
It's incredible how attitudes can vary, in Ipswich, nothing seems to have changed, but something happened yesterday that makes me think that this might alter quite rapidly. I met someone that I had not seen for a few weeks, I went to shake their hand, and they flatly refused to accept my offer of welcome, and instead offered a fist bump.
If I am honest, I thought to begin with, this person was joking, but he was not, he was deadly serious, telling me that we all need to be careful because of coronavirus!
This experience might just be the tip of the iceberg, as the virus continues to take victims across the UK, its only time before the first cases of coronavirus will be felt in our region, and in our home cities, towns and villages, it will be then that the populous will begin to think about every action and reaction, based on prevention.
It is insane to think that our schools will need to close, businesses will be affected, not only in terms of income, but actually not letting their employees travel to work. And then there are all the areas of life we take for granted, going to restaurants, the cinema, or spending time playing sport.
I was thinking about this the other day, and what would happen if the coronavirus grabbed hold in my home town of Ipswich, the first thing that came to mind was my grandchildren, we have a number of children in our family under 9 years old, this is an age group that falls into the vulnerable bracket, then my second thought was the tennis players I coach, they would need to stay away from the club, where large numbers all meet to socialise and play sport, this would all come to a grinding halt. All this seems insane, but unfortunately it may be a reality that we may all have to deal with, if the government can not employ the strategy needed to control, halt, and beat the war against this deadly virus.
A friend of mine sent me an image of a book called The Eyes of Darkness, written by the New York Times , best selling author, Dean Koontz, he had taken some images of the pages and circled some of the text, what I read, was absolutely jaw dropping, considering that the book was published in 1981!
"In around 2020 a severe pneumonia-like illness will spread throughout the globe, attacking the lungs and the bronchial tubes and resisting all known treatments. Almost more baffling than the illness itself will be the fact that it will suddenly vanish as quickly as it attacked, and then disappear completely."
This sent a chill running down my spine, the fact that Dean Koontz could so accurately predict exactly what was going to happen almost 40 years in the future, its quite incredible. I hope and pray that what he has predicted "Almost more baffling than the illness itself will be the fact that it will suddenly vanish as quickly as it attacked, and then disappear completely", is correct, for the sake of our nation, and the population of the world!