Coronavirus: Changes in what we know

Wisdom for our times

What we know:

  1. The coronavirus becomes a serious threat when it attacks the lungs.
  2. Symptoms that are restricted to the head (runny nose, headache, watery eyes, sore throat) can be indicative of a variety of things (cold or flu for example) but are relatively unlikely to suggest this virus.
  3. “According to information from the World Health Organization (WHO), three of the most common symptoms [indicative of the coronavirus] are a fever, coughing, and some difficulty breathing.” This coughing is in the chest, not the throat.

What’s changed:

  1. Physicians thought that loss of appetite and diarrhea were not symptoms of the virus. However, analysis of data from 200 coronavirus patients for who data is available shows that both loss of appetite and diarrhea are common among those with the disease.(1) Some 48.5% of these patients had digestive issues. However, digestive symptoms don’t distinguish the coronavirus from other diseases. For that, see #3 above.

What’s new:

  1. Life insurers are starting to impose a two-week waiting period for new applications. For now, the waiting period is for people who have traveled outside the US recently. However, that may be changed.
  2. There is some talk in the insurance industry about placing a hold on writing any new life insurance policies. As the coronavirus ramps up, it is reasonable to expect this to occur, and also see the cost of these policies increase.
  3. If you think you don’t need insurance, please remember the following:
    1. The cost of treatment of the virus can range from $11,000 to $21,000 with standard employer health insurance. That’s the bill you get after the insurance pays. Without insurance, the total cost may be upwards of $35,000.
    2. Your family inherits nothing until your outstanding debts are paid. If there’s nothing left, they get nothing. If they are listed as beneficiaries of your life insurance, they at least get that.

If you need insurance, time may be of the essence.

Old rumors:

  1. Finally, there are additional researchers working to dispell the notion that the coronavirus was somehow man-made. A team at the Scripps Research Institute conducted an analysis of the genome sequence of the virus and made a determination that the virus was the result of natural evolution.

We have enough to worry about without the nonsense rumors.



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