As the coronavirus continues to spread, John Oliver dedicated his latest episode of Last Week Tonight on HBO to covering the response. Oliver addressed how concerned the public should be about contracting the virus as the death toll continues to rise and more and more cases are diagnosed in the United States.
“Two percent is a lot when you’re talking about people dying,” Oliver said. “Two percent of people disappearing was literally the premise of The Leftovers. You know, the show whose pilot very much did not consist of Justin Theroux going, ‘Well, that was rough but, to be honest, could’ve been worse,’ and then the show ended.
“How scared should you be? The answer is probably ‘a bit. A bit! I don’t want to be alarmist here, but I also don’t want to minimize what we might be facing. It’s about trying to strike a sensible balance. Basically, if you’re drinking bleach to protect yourself right now, you should probably calm the f— down. If you are, say, licking subway poles because you’re convinced nothing can hurt you, maybe stop that. You want to stay somewhere between those two extremes.”
You can check out the full segment below.
The coronavirus mainly comes from animals and a majority of those who were infected early either worked at or frequently visited the Huanan seafood wholesale market in Wuhan, according to The Guardian. The virus is similar to Severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) and Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome (Mers).
The Wuhan coronavirus is transmitted from person to person through “droplet transmission.” That means an infected person can pass the virus by sneezing or coughing on another person as well as by direct contact.
While a majority of the cases have been detected in China, it has now reached many countries around the world including the United States. It has also been confirmed in Italy, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, and many other eastern countries.