Home NEWS Local Scene 24/680 Residents Have Mixed Reaction To Coronavirus Fears

24/680 Residents Have Mixed Reaction To Coronavirus Fears


Disrupted travel plans. Cautionary “wash, don’t touch” admonitions in local schools. Self-isolation. Informational web sites popping up. And media blaming. Lots of media blaming.

It’s apparent local residents have given the possibility of an epidemic in the homeland – and our respective valleys – some thought, some more than others.

While many have adopted a “this too, shall pass” approach to a lethal virus which has closed schools, borders and transportation hubs in many of the 47 countries now affected, others say not enough has been done – evincing a clear distrust of any concerted government effort designed to protect them.

“It’s pretty clear to me the government doesn’t care about saving lives, it cares about protecting its institutions and markets,” offered Rick Ottinger, who declined to say where he lived but committed to: “in the area.”

“I’ve never had much faith in the federal system and even less so now,” he said. “I believe we’ll have to act on our own to protect our lives and the lives of family.”

Ottinger and others we’ve talked with at local stores say they are stocking up on prescriptions, cold and flu medication, canned goods, toiletries and household necessities they believe they’ll need in the event of full-blown quarantine.

“It’s not like we didn’t know this was coming,” said Brad Takeoka, from Washington state but staying with friends in Walnut Creek. “Some people have been warning about an outbreak and a failed government response to it for years.”

While he and his friends are not hardcore “Preppers,” Takeoka said he knows several people who have sealed off rooms in their homes in order to isolate infected family members, set up disinfecting protocols down to cleansing, anti-bacterial shoe trays and plastic-lined “clean rooms.”

“I know, it seems like a lot – maybe a little crazy,” he said. “Until the day comes when it’s not.”

Many, including posters on our Facebook page this morning, say they are going on with their lives, justifying their lack of concern for potential infection with the well-known adage that there are other – equally lethal – factors in life just as likely, if not more likely, to claim us prematurely than coronavirus.

Still others looked to a by-now familiar perpetrator of “outright lies and misinformation” as the reason for the spread of global fears about the virus – the media.

“This is manufactured hysteria over hypothetical scenarios,” one reader posted to our Facebook page this morning. So far, there’s been no response to our question asking who might be behind such an effort.


  1. Caution and common sense – yes. Overblown hysteria – please. One doctor said we should be more concerned with the flu. I totally agree.

    This reminds me of the AIDS scare. I remember telling myself I wasn’t having sex with gay men or receiving bloods transfusions. Life goes on…

      • AIDS was an epidemic if you’re having male-to-male sexually activity, sharing needles or receiving blood transfusions. The rest of us – we’re not HIV positive, nor are we dying from AIDS.

        Unless you recently traveled to China, I believe you having a better chance of getting hit by a bus or winning the lottery. Just take the same necessary precautions you would take to keep from contacting other diseases.

          • Even for someone who contacts HIV through heterosexual contact, there’s a good chance she got it from a bisexual man or a drug addict sharing needles – which I mentioned above. I dealt with this PROFESSIONALLY. The saddest cases were women involved with bisexual men (and didn’t know they were bisexual) or women who had boyfriends who shot up drugs, and they didn’t know it. This was in Los Angeles.

  2. I do know a few people who are going batshit nuts about this. I’m wondering how much of it is prepper mentality and how much is a public wish for a breakdown of structure. I don’t know where this is going but I’m watching it.

  3. If I had a billion dollars and wanted to be president, I think I would be wearing a white lab coat by now and handing out free N95s, made in Korea. Some people have no imagination.

  4. OK, there are how many cases in Russia? None?
    Build the wall. Put on your gloves and mask and apply the anti-microbials. Fear your neighbor, especially the ones who don’t look and talk like you. Apply vodka liberally. It sounds like a Tom Clancy novel to me (or maybe Coen brothers). And a darn good one. I fear the humans! They are messed up! Incoherent. Illogical. High-functioning lemmings as oxymoronic as that sounds.

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