Desktop – Leaderboard

Home » Remain calm, follow sound advice and try to laugh

Posted: March 14, 2020

Remain calm, follow sound advice and try to laugh

Kootenay Crust

By Ian Cobb

Op-Ed Commentary

To quote the great Douglas Adams: “Don’t panic.”

By now you’re likely aware that the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak to be a pandemic.

A day after that announcement, larger gatherings of people (over 250) are being halted in B.C., the sporting and live entertainment world is going dark, travel is banned from Europe to the US and travel within Canada is even being dissuaded. If you go to the US, you have to self-quarantine yourself for two weeks upon returning.

The noose is tightening, globally and locally, and further shutdowns and isolations are taking place by the hour.

The chain reaction of a myriad of impacts is only just starting.

Wall Street and friends are freaking out, though shares in toilet paper must be doing fine.

The wife and I hit the grocery store this morning for our ‘weekly shop.’ As I’ve been seeing on social media and TV news the last few days, there truly is a freaky, panicky run on bum scrub! (See photo above).

The spacious shelves were empty – apocalypse style.

It was fascinating what was missing from the shelves, while others were relatively untouched.

Potatoes… gone… frozen vegetables – gone… perogies and similar things – gone. Canned foods like vegetables, tuna, beans – picked through, leaving shelves looking like this…

In the meat section, ground meats (beef, pork etc.) – gone. Chicken, aside from relatively good priced wings, gone. Steak and roasts, again with decent prices for these days, quite well stocked. Bacon with some fairer prices, stocked. Bizarre.

So what exactly is it that has humanity acting like such squirrels?

The WHO says, “Coronaviruses are zoonotic, meaning they are transmitted between animals and people. Detailed investigations found that SARS-CoV was transmitted from civet cats to humans and MERS-CoV from dromedary camels to humans. Several known coronaviruses are circulating in animals that have not yet infected humans.

“Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.

“Standard recommendations to prevent infection spread include regular hand washing, covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, thoroughly cooking meat and eggs. Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.”

Hence the keeping people away from one another tactic, such as what they’re doing big time in Italy where 60 million people are being told to stay home.

It is possible such a tactic could be employed here and if it does happen, we’re officially heading down a ‘never been there before road.’ The possible impacts to our economy and to the common working person are disturbing to consider.

Somehow, our societies need to remain calm but this ongoing run on butt scrub makes me think chaos is a just a few brain spasms away.

So remember that you live in the East Kootenay – a place wonderfully removed from the hustle and bustle of the major cities but nicely set up to withstand whatever mother nature throws at us.

If we stick together, but at least four feet apart, and if we work together and follow the sound advice that is being given by government agencies and the WHO etc., this pandemic will be beaten.

A team of Canadian researchers has isolated this novel coronavirus and that is huge news. Go Canada go! It’s amazing what we can accomplish when we interrupt our hockey obsessions!

Seriously, we must remain patient, neighbourly, civil and aware of the enormous pressures on our frontline workers – medical and emergency – who face challenging days at the best of times, as they fight for all of us once again.

If you think you’ve got it rough, with only 88 rolls of double ply stacked in your basement, think about those folks are contending with.

The best way we can help them is by LISTENING TO THEM and, more importantly, actually follow their advice.

It may seem like over-reaction but lessons were learned following the Spanish Flu – and lesson one is to try and shut down the spread of the virus. The sooner that happens, the quicker we can return to our normal lives. The longer it takes for ‘the machine’ to get back to full speed, the greater the chance for ugly chaos.

Tomorrow will bring more global panic as travellers continue to scramble back to their homelands before international travel is shutdown; a likely next step if the spread of COVID-19 continues.

All that said, please remember that this is not the bubonic plague or small pox. It’s a bad flu. If you get it, the odds are good you’ll kick its ass. And if you feel poorly, stay home and away from everyone else. So … say it with me… DON’T PANIC!

It seems fitting I should leave you with another dose of Douglas Adams, because humour is, after all, the best medicine.


“So this is it,” said Arthur, “We are going to die.”
“Yes,” said Ford, “except… no! Wait a minute!” He suddenly lunged across the chamber at something behind Arthur’s line of vision. “What’s this switch?” he cried.
“What? Where?” cried Arthur, twisting round.
“No, I was only fooling,” said Ford, “we are going to die after all.”

– Ian Cobb is editor/owner of e-KNOW and by his estimation this is the 10th time the world has been gripped by doom and gloom scenarios in his lifetime.

Article Share