I suspect we are both over- and underreacting to the coronavirus. People fleeing air travel, and not just to hot spots, but to everywhere, seems entirely unwarranted. I’ve followed the coronavirus news pretty closely, and I don’t recall reading about any case where anyone has been suspected of getting it by taking an ordinary domestic flight somewhere. On the other hand, we are probably underreacting in terms of the medical system in areas affected by the outbreak. The Chinese reworked their medical system on the fly, doing more online medicine to keep people out of doctor’s offices, fashioning special fever clinics for people thought to possibly have the virus, doing rapid CT scans and testing, holding people in the clinic until their test results were known (about four hours later) so they wouldn’t be out in the community if possibly infected, and then isolating or hospitalizing them if they were positive. I’m obviously not an expert in any of this, but some more rigorous effort along these lines in affected areas would seem advisable if we are going to squelch the virus before it causes major disruptions.
Regarding such disruptions, this ominous Scott Gottlieb thread suggests they are on the way:
THREAD: On #Coronavirus, we may be entering a period of accelerating cases. The country could look very different over next two weeks. We’ll get through this, but need to take steps now to limit the scope and impact of virus. There are things we can do now to help ourselves. 1/n
— Scott Gottlieb, MD (@ScottGottliebMD) March 8, 2020