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Edited by Aideen Devine, Sunday, 15 Mar 2020, 08:56

I was at a birthday party yesterday in our local Playstations, apparently, they had 5 cancellations just this weekend for parties. The panic is ongoing and when we were talking about it afterwards I realised, I don't even know anyone with the virus.

According to the news, there are 20 cases in Northern Ireland. But no one knows who or where they are so if you feel the panic rising, just ask yourself that question, do you actually know anyone with the virus or who has died from the virus? Deaths have been announced on the news but they are always lacking detail, there are no names or identifying details or grieving relatives, it's just something like 'an elderly person with an underlying heath condition'.

Northern Ireland isn't a very big place and when something major happens there is usually someone who knows who was involved, where they live etc. and have it up on Facebook. But not a word on this one, apart from one GAA footballer.

The other thing about it is, what if the coronavirus is present in a certain percentage of the population all the time anyway, like meningitis, and having it is not necessarily something to worry about.  M Scott Peck in his book, The Road Less Travelled makes a point about meningitis - Ask any physician, what causes meningococcal meningitis and the instant response will be, "Why, the meningococcus, of course." However, If this winter I were to make daily cultures of this bacterium from the throats of the inhabitants of the small village in which I make my home, I would discover it living there at some point in approximately nine out of ten people. Yet no one in my little village has suffered from meningococcal meningitis for many years, nor is likely to do so this winter. -

This came to mind yesterday when I was looking at a few videos online and there was one with a girl who had tested positive for the virus but was fine and had no fever or other symptoms. Now, I'm not a doctor or a virologist so I don't know the full facts about the virus but until I actually know someone with it, I will carry on as usual.

They other thing about it is, being highly skeptical of everything we are being told in the world of fake news, wars and terrrorist attacks, I'm wondering what is going on behind the scenes while we are all being distracted with coronavirus? Maybe nothing but....keep your eyes, ears and mind open just in case.

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