Though anticipated, the news last weekend of the arrival of the coronavirus in Knox County nonetheless came as a shock, as if, somehow, we’d be spared from exposure to it.
We had gone for so long without a reported case of COVID-19 that we became a tad too complacent, our thoughts going out to those living in areas where the virus was most prevalent while we went about pretty much business as usual here.
We were whistling in the dark.
A couple of weeks ago, when we first started following the statistics from the Indiana State Department of Health, the ratio of those being tested to those testing positive for COVID-19 was better than 8 to 1.
Today, that ratio is closer to 5 to 1.
Two weeks ago, the ratio of those tested positive to those ultimately dying was better than 50 to 1.
Today, it’s less than 40 to 1.
There are still counties that have yet to report a case of COVID-19 among their populations, including neighboring Daviess and Pike counties.
But remember, a week ago Knox County was on that list, and now there are four cases here — and four in Gibson County, and three each in Greene and Sullivan counties, which were also COVID-19 free at the time.
Likely as not there are positive cases in Daviess and Pike counties, just as there likely as not are more than just four cases in Knox County.
That is what is so damned concerning about this virus, it’s awful insidiousness — that by the time a COVID-19 case is positively identified the damage can already be done to a large group whose members have had close contact with the patient.
At least when you are bitten by a zombie you know it right off — and those around you can see it and take appropriate measures, such as putting some distance between themselves and you.
Social distancing, then, works against both zombies and the coronavirus.
So, for the next couple of weeks, why not imagine you’re in an episode of “The Walking Dead” and put some distance between yourself and the “zombies” out there, by staying at home; and, if you do have to go out, by keeping a safe distance between yourself and the “walkers” nearby.
A zombie needs to get close to take a bite and pass along whatever it is that would then cause one to become a fellow zombie.
The coronavirus is more sinister in its taking of a victim(s); the droplets that carry the coronavirus can spray out into about a 6-foot area, infecting any number of unsuspecting victims.
So keep a safe distance — at least 6 feet — from everyone on the outside.
We don’t know enough about “The Walking Dead” (or either of its spin-offs) to tell what happens in that show, nor can we predict with any confidence what will happen with the coronavirus over the course of the next few weeks.
What we can say with confidence is that the best strategy is for all of us to stay at home as much as possible — and to keep washing those hands!