Coronavirus isn’t going away, but it doesn’t mean we should all lose our minds.

Here’s perhaps the scariest aspect of COVID-19, which is the illness caused by the new coronavirus: According to, COVID-19 is believed to be spread in the same manner as the flu — through droplets in the air from an infected person coughing, sneezing or talking — but doctors and experts “don’t yet know for sure.”

There’s where the word “panic” enters the picture.

The word “pandemic” has entered the scene, too, because of how many countries are now affected.

When death is a potential result of any disease, that disease is naturally frightening.

China has had the most deaths — more than 3,000 — and Italy’s coronavirus death toll jumped from 366 to 631.

In the United States, there are now 30-plus deaths reported, which, yes, pales in comparison to the flu’s fatal impact. However, COVID-19 is new, and it’s spreading, and it’s serious.

All that said, panic is not necessary. Panic gets us nowhere.

Is there any scenario in life in which panic is a productive response? No.

So, what should be the response?

Common sense.

Let’s exercise common sense while experts and doctors do the rest. (Yes, that means we are not experts.)

Good common-sense practices to apply in the coming days:

• Don’t cough on others

• Don’t sneeze on others

• Don’t “close-talk” others — keep some distance between your face and his or her face

And, please, please, please, wash your hands (with soap).

Flocking to Walmart (or your store of choice) and stocking up on hand sanitizer, soap and toilet paper like you’re hunkering down in a bunker for a Cold War-like duration doesn’t do much good.

As the Los Angeles Times pointed out in a recent well-penned editorial, don’t buy into “miracle cures,” either. No cure has been discovered yet.

There may be certain events canceled. We must respect those decisions made by leaders of organizations and those in positions of authority at places hosting sporting events, concerts and the like.

In Kentucky, it’s hard to imagine a March without basketball. (Heck, the entire country falls in love with March Madness.) And perhaps the hoops season will go on. However, it may not be basketball as we know it. The stands may be virtually empty due to precautionary measures.

As for the Sweet Sixteen, Russell’s girls are representing the area this week and Ashland’s undefeated boys will do so next week. It’d be a shame if fans can’t witness the rest of the season unfold in person. But, again, we can have our opinions yet we must respect decision-makers whose duties include making these tough choices.

Perhaps Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson did say it best. Perhaps we should all “know your role, and shut your mouth.” Or, at least cover it when you cough.

But let’s not lose our minds.

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