A surprisingly large number of people in Southwest Michigan think the coronavirus is a hoax or over exaggerated.

As of Wednesday, March 11th the World Health Organization has classified Covid-19 a.k.a. the coronavirus a pandemic.  According to the WHO,

A pandemic is declared when a new disease for which people do not have immunity spreads around the world beyond expectations.

On that same day, Michigan State University and Western Michigan University both suspended in-person classes due to the coronavirus concerns.

Here are some of the facebook comments to the MSU story,

Unbelievable. This is being blown way out of proportion.

Cassie Banks responded to  Amy Lemacks

Unless you are old or immunocompromised.

Laura Arlt is concerned about special needs schools,

The fact that Universities are closing before special needs school is sort of confusing to me. I live 50 miles from Lansing and my daughter is immune compromised but the schools are still going with no talks so far of closing down!?

The fact is, we don't have accurate numbers for how many people are infected with Covid-19 which leads to not having an accurate death rate for the disease.  The U.S. has simply not tested enough people.  As of March 11th, 2020 the state of Michigan has only tested 120 people for the virus.  Indiana has only tested 64 people.  If fact, sciencealert.com points out that the seasonal flu kills about .1% of patients.  The coronavirus is estimate to have a death rate 20 times higher,

"There is still considerable uncertainty around the fatality rates of COVID-19 and it likely varies depending on the quality of local healthcare," said Francois Balloux, Professor of Computational Systems Biology at University College London.  "That said, it is around two percent on average, which is about 20 times higher than for the seasonal flu lineages currently in circulation."

Another fact that separates Covid-19 (coronavirus) and the flu is contagiousness.  The reproduction rate of Covid-19 is twice as high as the seasonal flu.


Jeffie Hunt seemed to think this was a political move not one of precaution and safety,

Seems the state of emergency should have been declared for the roads first. Boy does she look to the limelight instead of her constituents

State of emergency? Let’s first cause a panic by stating that instead of exercise common sense and caution... ‍♀️

Myself? I'm not fearful of the Coronavirus.... My 74yr old aunt who has congestive heart failure, COPD, and Afib?....yeah I'm a little scared for her. Stop complaining... Whitmer would be damned if she did or didn't in your eyes.

Dale George explained to the Free Press what the benefits are to declaring a state of emergency,

Dale George, spokesman for the state emergency operations center, said the state of emergency essentially allows state agencies to respond appropriately and get resources where they are needed. It doesn’t mean, for example, that schools are automatically closed or that work is canceled, although individual employers or schools might decide to do just that based on government or health recommendations.

The state of emergency also gets the state of Michigan federal money for emergency response funding.  The money will be allocated to departments for preparedness and response activities and could may include monitoring, laboratory testing, contact tracing, infection control and continuation of critical state government functions according to freep.com.

Not taking this pandemic seriously by comparing Covid-19 to the flu is simply careless and not based in fact.  The second biggest argument against taking precautions is that this is political.  The entire country of Italy is currently on lock down.  Italy is not worried about U.S. politics.  Not to mention, the NBA is losing way too much money to suspend their season for something that is not a real threat to the public.

In summary, taking action to reduce to spread of this virus is a must.  Please wash your hands, clean all surfaces in your home and work place and please check on your friends and family who are over 60 years of age or older or people that have autoimmune diseases as they are at a high risk.

Get steps to protect yourself from Covid-19 from the CDC by clicking here.

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