Corona, should you be worried?
There's a simple and a complicated answer to this question.
The simple answer
If you're under 60 and don't have diabetes or any other serious conditions, there's probably very little need to worry.
Even if you do catch Corona, you'll most likely be sick for a week or two and then get better again, very similar to the flu.
This doesn't mean you shouldn't care!
What can you do to help?
- Wash your hands with soap for 40-60 seconds regularly.
- Try not to touch your face.
- Don't touch people, don't give a hand nor a kiss when greeting someone.
- Cough and sneeze in your elbow or shoulder or use a tissue and dispose of it immediately.
- If you're feeling sick, stay at home and avoid contact with others.
Some extra tips for poker players
- Use some sort of disinfectant gel regularly.
- Be careful not to cough or sneeze in your hands while playing.
- Don't touch your face while playing!
- Wash your hands during breaks and when you stop playing.
The complicated answer
The Coronavirus is a bit more infectious than the flu.
We don't do much to prevent the flu and on a yearly basis, about 500.000 people in Belgium get sick.
If we act the same with Corona, about 850.000 people in Belgium will get sick.
About 117.000 of these people will need to be hospitalized due to severe symptoms.
About 52.000 will need to be hospitalized in an intensive care unit.
In Belgium, we have 30.000 hospital beds, of which about 1400 are suitable for intensive care.
It's not hard to do the math.
The biggest issue here is that the death percentage seriously rises when hospitals get overrun because there is no medical care available.
There's a risk, in Belgium, if we do nothing that about 33.000 people will die directly of the virus and another 17.000 will die of indirect causes because no hospital care is available.
That's 50.000 lives, just in Belgium. Don't tell me that's not worth washing your hands for!
As a reference, only 604 people died because of traffic accidents in Belgium in 2018.
This is why the media and authorities are making a big fuss and taking all these precautions!
How does a coronavirus spread?
Coronaviruses are generally thought to be spread from person-to-person through respiratory droplets.
If someone who has the virus coughs near you, you could breathe these in or even get them in your eyes and get infected that way.
As poker players, if someone who has the virus coughs in their hands and then touches the cards or chips, the virus could easily survive for several hours or even days on those cards or chips. If you then touch those cards or chips and then touch your face, you could get infected through your lips, nose or eyes.
It's easy to prevent this, don't touch your face while playing and wash your hands after playing!