Wednesday morning when I went for blood tests, all the staff were wearing face shields and I was asked if I had travelled recently or had contact with someone infected with the Covid-19 virus. Are these just normal precautions or local evidence of a worldwide epidemic of unreasoning panic? So far here have been no deaths from this virus in Canada and not a single case identified in Saskatchewan.
To put this panic in perspective, in an average year 3,500 people die in Canada from the seasonal flu. The worldwide death toll from this new virus is still somewhat less than that. 80% of those infected with this virus will have very minor symptoms, or none at all. The death rate is between 3% and 4%, mostly elderly people with existing health problems. Children appear to be mostly unaffected.
The best preventive measures are to wash your hands frequently and avoid touching your face. Surgical masks are not really helpful and may be more of a danger than a help as they cause you to touch your face frequently to adjust the mask.