Syracuse, N.Y. – All across the country, people are lying about the coronavirus. While the United States is preparing for it’s worst pandemic in 100 years, people are lying about their symptoms for convenience. I understand that the experience that we are all going through is unprecedented, but this is not a time to lie about things. Let me explain.
Some people are lying about the coronavirus in order to be with family. In Rochester, NY, a man lied about his coronavirus symptoms in order to enter the maternity ward where his wife was. When did they find out? Only after his wife started displaying symptoms of COVID-19. Yes, he lied about coronavirus in order to see his wife, just to give it to her. It caused the hospital to change it’s process from an honor system of reporting symptoms to assessing temperatures of people entering the hospital.
Another example is that of a former Biogen employee. According to reports, the employee began exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 while in the United States. But she lied about those symptoms to travel to China. The story includes multiple lies and another example where an individual infects their spouse. The employee had been tested for COVID-19 in early March, but traveled before the results had returned. She is no longer employed by the organization.
In Europe, there are reports where patients are lying about symptoms in order to get a face to face appointment with a doctor. Many European doctors practices have closed to face to face visits, just like in the United States. According to the Doctor interviewed, patients are lying about the severity of their symptoms. This allows them to be seen, rather than sent home. I’m sure similar cases are happening in the United States just like this.
Just as sickening as this side of the story is, the story goes two ways. Reports out of South Carolina talk about a man who lied about having the virus. In this instance, the man had a fake doctors note and was attempting to get out of work for having the coronavirus. His employer was forced to shut down for multiple days for decontamination and cleaning. Now, he is permanently out of work and facing criminal charges.
In Texas, a Department of Public Safety employee lied about a positive test as well. The employee had been tested for COVID-19, but the result was negative. Instead of being fired, the employee is being disciplined. The list could no doubt go on and on.
Either side of this argument is an issue right now. Lying about having the virus, when you do not is causing unnecessary fear and action. I think it’s commendable for the law enforcement of SC to charge the man in his case for lying about having the virus. But even more serious are the ones that have the virus and lie about it.
The Justice Department has already indicated that it could charge anyone who knowingly spreads coronavirus as a terrorist. When I first read that headline last week, I felt it may be extreme. Now as I reflect on what is happening, it may be necessary. There are people that will do this across the country.
Over 80% of the US population is under a stay order by their state. In these instances, people are allowed to leave for basic necessities. Healthcare, food and medicine are all covered as reasons. Yet, these people continue to cause issues that is not helping the spread of the virus. How many others will contract COVID-19 in the hospital from the man who spread it to his wife? How many doctors will contract it from patients who lie just to see them face to face? These exposures and infections are unnecessary.
As Americans are being told to prepare for mounting deaths and a painful two weeks, we have to realize that this virus is a real threat. I have said multiple times that I believe the virus is much worse than the seasonal flu, where many conservatives would try to say otherwise. I believe the death rate will be higher than with the seasonal flu when it’s over (it currently sits at 2% in the US). While the virus is deadly and scary, it will not be the end of the world as some others try to say.
As Americans, we owe it to our neighbors to put aside our selfishness in this situation. We should do our best to comply with the stay orders. If you must be out, then go. But if you are sick, do the smart thing. Do not lie about it. We have to realize it’s ok to ask for help. Maybe you will recover from the virus and have no issues. That may not be the case for the person that you infect through selfish actions.
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