By Lucía Ballester Bellver
Many say it is a stronger flu. Others, the global pandemic that will end part of the population, equating it with the black plague. What is certain is that COVID-19, better known as Coronavirus, divides the population and is beginning not only to expand its influence, but also to foment collective hysteria.
As of March 4th, in Valencia (Spain) the first coronavirus victim had died. Surprisingly, it has been discovered at necropsy and the government is being accused of having hidden that it had coronavirus: more alarm, more chaos, more misinformation. One patient, initially diagnosed with pneumonia, died on February 13 from COVID-19, as reported by the Minister of Health, Ana Barceló. This case known through a retrospective investigation, Barceló explained, was detected after the change of criteria for defining cases made by the Ministry of Health on February 27. This change urged a second analysis of deaths due to pneumonia of unknown origin.
It is increasingly alarming to see the amount of media that led to this widespread panic. A big role was played by deceptive and alarmist headlines that, being read by people not very skilled in health and saturated with information, were seen as apocalyptic warnings.
Mortality outside of China is 0.7% and mainly concerns the elderly, between 67 and 90 years old with previous pathologies. But still, we see young healthy and strong people buy dozens of masks (useless for the majority of cases) and leaving pharmacies devoid of antibacterial gel.
Meanwhile, in Spain, Valencian citizens accuse the government of hiding information, although they have claimed that it was a subsequent investigation of a patient who, in principle, only had pneumonia. On the other hand, it is true that the Ministry of Health was already accused at the time of “not knowing” that 2500 Valencians traveled to Milan during the outbreak of coronavirus.
- Is Spain, like China, acting recklessly and deliberately hiding information, or are people exaggerating?
- Did the Spanish government know this case and hid it out of fear, or has it been an oversight and a failure due to diagnose the patient before?
- Is this virus extremely dangerous, or just a more powerful flu?
- Do you think this virus is a bacteriological weapon to eliminate population, as many lovers of conspiracy theories argue?