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Dear Editor:

I would like to comment on the recent media hysteria about the coronavirus, which originated in China. As usual, the media (but not The  Rockaway Times, of course) exaggerates a threat in order to, as William Randolph Hearst said, sell "newspapers." Remember the avian flu, among other "dire" threats? The coronavirus is less deadly, and less contagious, than influenza. It is passed from person to person much like the flu, or common cold, is. You can contract it by inhaling aerosolized droplets that an infected person coughs into the air. To put this in perspective, on average, 80,000 people die of the flu and its complications in this country every year. There have not been, and probably won't be, any deaths from corona in this country, unless someone drinks too much Corona beer. There is no need to worry about this most recent "threat," nor is there any reason to wear a surgical mask while reporting in front of a camera. Wearing the mask just gives the report a false air of urgency to the viewer.

Dr. Peter Galvin




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