People are reacting to the coronavirus pandemic in different ways  — just as they do to any form of adversity.

That includes everything from panicking to not taking it seriously. (What part of possibly winding up dead don’t they understand?)

Some younger people apparently have been seduced into a false sense of security by reports that they are at less risk of serious complications than people who are older or have underlying health conditions.

Dr. Bruce Aylward, senior adviser to the director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO), told TIME magazine that “One of the things that terrifies me now is, as this is spread in the West is, there’s this sense of invulnerability among millennials. This is one of the most serious diseases you will face in your lifetime, and recognize that and respect it.

College students who gathered en masse on spring break have tested positive for coronavirus. And some millennials are referring to coronavirus as “Boomer remover,” a lamentable reference to Baby Boomers — the generation born after World War II.

Forgive us if we say there are too many rear ends and not enough feet with which to kick them. 

But it’s not confined to the younger set ... who may grow in wisdom if they live long enough. 

The New York Times reported that about 50 people met earlier this month at a home in Connecticut to celebrate the hostess’ 40th birthday. Then they parted company, and more than half of them are now infected with coronavirus.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and some other governors are displaying more leadership than what we’re getting from Washington.

Appearing on CNN, Hogan said “We’ve encouraged and suggested that everybody that doesn’t need to go out, that isn’t an essential business, that they do stay home. We’re very strictly enforcing the limitations on social distancing, of no groups of 10 or more, and we’ve closed more businesses — anything that’s not essential. It has the same effect.

“I want the people of Maryland to continue to pay as much attention as possible. We want them to listen to us, and we’ve been very strongly telling them that unless you have an essential reason for leaving your home, we want you to stay in your home.

“We think it’s absolutely critical that everyone be a part of this breaking the back of this virus so we don’t infect hundreds of thousands more people in our state and we don’t have thousands of deaths.

“This is not over by any stretch of the imagination, and we need everybody at the federal, state and local level of government, the private sector and every individual to help us fight this battle,” he said.

In other words: Uncle Larry wants YOU. And his advice is sound.

It’s not like we’re quarantined. Go for a walk with your family and your dog. Go to the market, the drug store, the liquor store or the gas station. Get drive-through or carryout food. Just avoid being around groups of people, and stay at least six feet away from other folks.

Many wonder how long this shutdown will last. It will take time to determine just how effective it has been in reducing the rate of infection. This is complicated by the fact that symptoms and serious illness can take as much as two weeks to develop.

Public health officials say a coronavirus vaccine won’t be available for at least a year to 18 months. It must be developed and tested to see if it works and is safe. The virus may also be seasonal, but it could persist and possibly worsen.

Satisfactory answers are in short supply.

We have received a number of letters and commentaries on this subject and are printing some today. They include suggestions as to what people can do while they’re cooped up at home and questions about what to expect and even whom to trust.

With the exception of Hogan and a few other governors, we don’t trust the politicians nearly as much as we do the health care professionals, who are not chasing votes or assailing a political rival.

Two letters we received actually were retracted before we could run them. The writers said they sent them in anger or a state of fear or frustration and later had second thoughts. People have every reason to be angry, fearful and frustrated.

The Maryland and West Virginia departments of health have good, informative websites at https://coronavirus.maryland.gov and https://dhhr.wv.gov/COVID-19, respectively.

You can trust them, and you can trust us.

Go to our website at https://www.times-news.com and click on “CORONAVIRUS: The latest news” for new developments, the current number of cases in Maryland and other useful information, such as closings and cancellations.

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