The big news at present involves the spread of the novel coronavirus, also known as the Wuhan virus because of its origins in central China. It's certainly an epidemic in China with more and more cases being reported around the world. People walking the streets in masks have become quite the common sight given general fears of contagion.
Locally we haven't had any official cases diagnosed, but of course, this information is constrained by the fact that thus far we've been sending our samples all the way to Australia for testing as the test kits for the virus only arrived recently. All other countries in the region have reported cases but our record remains clean despite the prevalence of Chinese nationals in our country, more so in recent years.
It's a scary situation. There's a lot of confusing reports going around the media about the nature of the virus, whether or not it has easily identified symptoms and of course the many different ways governments are supposedly responding to things. With flights getting canceled and borders being closed, it really is feeling like a game of Plague, Inc. or something.
For now, we can only do our best to follow recommended best practices including regular handwashing the use of masks in public spaces. And overall be aware of people showing flu-like symptoms and steer clear.
Hopefully, this won't be all that bad. Maybe we're all just being overly cautious. But when it comes to epidemics and other public health crises of a similar nature, I guess one can never be too careful.