The media can make anything scarier than it really is. Using words like ‘infected with the virus’ and ‘died from the virus’ is technically correct but is making people ashamed to admit they have it. This is dangerous.

I listened to a doctor who is on the front line of COVID-19 care say getting coronavirus is the same as catching a cold. I have to admit, that sounded a little too casual, but his point was coronavirus is the same bad guy that gives us colds, but this coronavirus we’re dealing with today is new and different in many ways. Still, it’s nothing to be ashamed of. You’re catching it in much the same way you catch a cold and all this talk about washing your hands and social distancing would greatly reduce common colds and flus if we took the same measures every cold season.

The hard part about COVID-19 is hearing about the number of people dying. In real numbers it’s a lot of people, but statistically, I’m hearing it’s between 1-3% of those who get the virus. Once a vaccine is developed and approved, we could likely expect COVID-19 deaths to be far fewer when it comes around again.

There’s a mixed bag of response to the people who admit to having COVID-19 and those that don’t. Some people are sitting at home sick as can be refusing to call their doctor or go to the hospital because they don’t want to know if they have it or not. We see some politicians, celebrities, and athletes coming clean with their prognosis and others prefer to remain nameless. Even in death, I’ve read obituaries of famous people where they list COVID-19 as the cause and others just imply it.

The only reason they’re telling folks to keep your ass home is because no one can tell if you have the virus or not until you develop symptoms. Because it’s so contagious, we need to stay away from everyone, as practical as that may be.

Yet, for those who actually have symptoms or know they have COVID-19, they should be forced to wear a neon yellow jumpsuit with fuchsia flashing lights and a siren to warn people of their status.

I’d even go so far as to say this is the time to ignore that HIPAA law (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) everyone keeps bringing up when you look on the county map and know there’s a couple dozen folks in your community that tested positive but they can’t name them because HIPAA says it’s a private medical matter that can’t be shared.

But, there’s some guy who was put on the sexual predator rolls 10-years ago that has done his time and I have no fear is going to rape me if we pass on the sidewalk or are on a city bus together. His name is public record – for my protection. I’m not saying one way or another if there should be such list, but during this coronavirus crisis there are known sick people out here among us potentially spreading the virus and we’re not allowed to know who they are.

Does that make sense?

You can do everything the CDC, WHO, Dr. Fauci, and your grandmother says do to avoid coronavirus and still get it. There’s nothing to be ashamed of because your body isn’t equipped to fight the virus and medical science hasn’t brought us a vaccine or a cure, yet.

Being ashamed you have COVID-19 is equivalent to being an accessory to a crime if you shed the virus to others who didn’t know you were infected. Opps, I used the word infected. I just added to your shame, huh?

If you’ve got COVID-19 or think you do, come out the closet like a gay person. Every story I’ve ever heard about a gay coming out the closet made them happier and relieved.

Don’t hide your virus if you got it. The harsh reality is one of two things are going to happen: you’re going to survive or die. Chances of dying are low. Chances of surviving and having lung disease the rest of your life exist. Chances of getting through this like it’s the common cold or flu is the most likely outcome. Chances of getting hit by a car exists, too.

To pass the virus on to someone else is irresponsible if you have it and are in denial or ashamed. Many more people may have to go through those same outcome scenarios just because they didn’t know you had it.

Scrap HIPAA for COVID-19. That’s what’s on my protest sign.