It is well true that this, our website, is a humble existence, but that should not prevent us from laying out the facts. This is what I have learned from reviewing scientific medical websites just today.

These are the facts regarding COVID-19:

1. Worldwide, excluding the unreliable areas of China and Iran, which have both done a pitiful job of initial medical response, the death toll is about 2,000 over three months of disease.

2. People who are under age 50, and in good initial health before contracting COVID-19, will have a recovery rate of about 99.8%. The normal influenza virus has a recovery rate in the same population of about 99.9%. About 85% of the people in this category who contract COVID-19 will experience two weeks of mild to no symptoms, and will require nothing but the normal bed rest people enact when they contract the flu. It is absolutely wise for anyone who suspects they have contracted COVID-19 to self-quarantine at their homes. The key thing is that at anytime someone suspects their symptoms are migrating toward respiratory issues consistent with pneumonia, that they immediately seek emergency medical care so that any actual pneumonia can be treated early. Those in this age group who do die will most likely do so because they developed pneumonia, and delayed treatment.

3. Children contracting COVID-19 are essentially 100% likely to recover from it. This makes COVID-19 entirely unlike the H1N1 (Swine Flu) which was more deadly to children than to adults.

4. Those age 70 with preexisting upper respiratory ailments can expect a 95% recovery rate. Those that old without such preexisting conditions can expect a much higher recovery rate.

5. Those age 80 or older, with preexisting upper respiratory ailments, have the worst prognosis, with expected recovery rates of 85%.

6. The elderly should therefore self-quarantine as a precaution against infection.

7.. All people should make disciplined use of sanitizers, and wash hands frequently. Only those who suspect they are infected should wear masks as they are effective only as an barrier outside the mask, and not as a filter of the outside air in -- that is an important point for people to keep in mind before making panic runs on buying up masks in stores.

8. There is no point whatsoever to panic and start binge purchasing of isolated store items. The current mindless runs on basics, such as toilet paper of all things, is utterly illogical. We are the United States of America, for God's sake -- we aren't going to perpetually run out of things! Don't cause acute short term shortages by acting impulsively. We've actually had fights break out in stores between people.

9. Finally, and most important of all -- knock of the panic mode! We have the best health care system in the world. Italy, by their own doctors' admission, is 20 to 30 years behind American in medical technology, which is a big reason why they and the rest of continental Europe saw the virus break out more rapidly than has happened in the US. One can also thank the early travel bans in late January, which the President received significant and emotional criticism over.

Many medical experts believe it is entirely possible, if not likely, that the COVID-19 virus will burn itself out by tearing through its initial infected populations and seeing people self-immunize through their own body's immune system doing its own work. Likewise, the onset of warmer temperatures with the approach of spring normally works to kill off viruses like this.

Closing schools may be a smart move as primary schools are proven to be the most acute means of infection spread. Doing that, combined with adults self-imposing quarantine on themselves and their children if suspected of being infected, will go a long way to staving off the more severe impacts.

The American media needs to control itself, and I sincerely hope that the panic they have sown through society recently helps convince more people that the media is largely a self-serving collection of hypocrites and money and power obsessed mongers. For a brief time I worked in the media, before I remained convinced that my professional future was in the US Air Force and not the media, and boy did I choose wisely! Bottom line, the COVID-19 virus is very much like influenza, certainly more potent than the average flu virus, but most similar in how it spreads, infects, and develops symptoms.

Ken