The spread of the coronavirus COVID-19 is certainly on everyone’s mind, as it should be. It’s a serious health crisis that’s spanning the globe, with new cases being identified daily, as well as a troubling rise in deaths associated with the illness.

Health officials anticipate that the virus will inevitably spread far more widely.

It reminds us of the chaos theory, specifically the butterfly effect, a scenario concocted to illustrate chaos by suggesting that the flap of a butterfly’s wing in China could cause a hurricane in Texas.

That’s an outlandishly hyperbolic leap that points to the idea that a seemingly inconsequential event can have unanticipated repercussions.

We’re discovering how interconnected the world has become, not only through the transmission of the coronavirus by the movement of people, but how reaction in the financial markets in one part of the world affect those on the other side of the globe.

The situation may well get worse before it gets better. However, panic is not a wise strategy. The Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta has extensive guidelines available to help the public put practices in place to reduce the possibility of infection.

Much of it is common sense: Wash your hands frequently; keep your hands away from your face; maintain a safe distance from other people, particularly those who may seem ill.

Imagine if everyone adopted the CDC’s suggested practices and washed their hands diligently. Might that become the chaos theory’s flap of the wing that finally arrests the spread of COVID-19?

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