Kevin Seraaj, journalist, Orlando Advocate
Kevin Seraaj
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CoronaVirus Death Toll: 39,014 Total.  601,362 active cases.  162,937 people recovered.

I have a couple of conspiracy theorist friends who are still resisting the seriousness of the CoronaVirus (COVID-19) pandemic.  To them, the increasing number of people wearing masks is a all part of a plot to dethrone President Trump.

As a matter of fact, Trump poster boy Sean Hannity has been publicly vocal about his belief that  the pandemic was a “deep state” plot to hurt the American economy.  This influencer of millions has actually claimed that liberals were “scaring people unnecessarily” about the virus in just to “bludgeon” Trump with what he has actually said is a new hoax.”   Yeah, a new hoax.  According to Hannity, Democrats are “weaponizing” the disease to defeat Trump’s bid to win the presidency again.

When I hear my conspiracy theorist friends saying the CoronaVirus is no more dangerous than the regular flu, I hear Hannity– and pure ignorance– speaking.  Last I looked, Hannity doesn’t have a medical degree.  And neither do they.

Because they pooh-pooh the threat, conspiracy theorists are most likely not practicing the prescribed safety measures like washing their hands, using hand sanitizer when soap and water is not available, staying away from other people (or respecting the suggested safe distance when out in public).  I’ve let my conspiracy theorist friends know, as kindly as I could, that they should not stop by my home.  Should they show up anyway, I’ll be a bit more direct.

The disease is spreading rapidly.  Florida, which last week had only 1,100 cases is now up to more than 6,300, according to the state Department of Health.  Nearly 800 of these people are in the hospital and 77 people have died.  The only way to be sure you’re not a death statistic is to not get the disease.  That means getting serious about protecting yourself.

We have heard repeatedly that the 60-plus age group is especially vulnerable.  Of the 77 deaths in Florida so far, 49, or 64 percent of the dead have come from this group.  If you’re in the younger age groups and you’re not staying at home (as Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings has ordered, for example), do your parents or grandparents a favor, respect their vulnerability to this disease and stay away from them for a while.