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Prince Charles may help us keep calm and stay home

Prince Charles has tested positive for the novel coronavirus and is now self-isolating in Scotland. "He has been displaying mild symptoms, but otherwise remains in good health," according to a statement from his office.

Posted: Mar 25, 2020 9:30 AM
Updated: Mar 26, 2020 3:00 PM


On Wednesday, the morning of the UK's second day under lockdown after a stay-at-home order issued by Boris Johnson, the news broke that Prince Charles, Queen Elizabeth's eldest son and heir to the British throne, has tested positive for coronavirus. He's currently self-isolating with mild symptoms in Balmoral, Scotland. His wife Camilla, who tested negative for the virus, is self-isolating in a separate part of the estate. His 93-year-old mother the Queen is isolating at Windsor Castle, alongside her husband Prince Philip, who is 98. Many will be able to relate to the experience of separation from their loved ones during the current outbreak. At least, the royals have provided a conspicuous example of how seriously everyone should treat the coronavirus.

As is always the case with breaking news about the royals, it spread like wildfire, immediately prompting questions like 'how many servants serve his breakfast?' 'why did he get a test when my grandma didn't?' and, of course, 'when did he last see his mum?' (March 12, by the way, and a royal source told CNN that Charles had been advised he was contagious from March 13.)

It is unlikely that much of the population will remain unaware of the Prince's status for long. And in a country which -- like the US -- has seen some of its older and more at-risk inhabitants hesitate to treat the coronavirus as a serious threat to their own health, this might prove to be a much-needed injection of public awareness about the urgent risks involved in not heeding the orders to stay home.

There have been troubling reports from both sides of the pond about people failing to comply with government guidelines to stay isolated to stem the tide of the coronavirus. Many of those reports have focused thus far on spring breakers and St Patrick's Day partiers -- but there have also been conspicuous instances of older people who appear reluctant to take public health messaging to heart.

Earlier this week, a 75-year-old caller to BBC Radio Solent said that people in her age bracket didn't care whether they caught the virus, as they'd 'had their lives,' and that if people are 'going to get it,' they're 'going to get it anyway.' Last week, Woman's Hour, a popular BBC Radio show with a broad listenership, featured a caller in her 80s who -- in the presenter's words -- was 'incandescent' with rage at what she felt had been patronizing government advice intended to see her left alone in her house 'to die.'

I have many friends who report their own frustrations with older parents who remain unconvinced that they should give up socializing, keeping regular appointments, or visiting family -- despite the clear evidence that such behavior contributes directly to the coronavirus' spread, and puts them at huge personal risk. It's clearly a common problem -- and much advice in the lifestyle sections of various news sites has been aimed at millennials attempting to convince their elderly relatives that continuing as normal is dangerous.

It's understandable why this has been a hard pill to swallow for some. The beloved 'Keep Calm and Carry On'-style rhetoric of World War II is emblematic of a feeling among many that wavering in the face of any threat is a sign of weakness or giving up. Rhetoric suggesting that younger people are overreacting to the coronavirus -- or that the elderly will easily weather it -- features regular references to the war, and the no-fuss personalities it apparently forged.

The 84-year-old writer of a piece titled 'I survived rationing, I'm not scared of the coronavirus,' published in the The Sunday Times last week, mentioned that he'd spoken to others his age who were also sick of 'ageist propaganda,' and scoffed at thirty-something 'scaredy-cats.' Misapplied references to 'Blitz spirit' often create a sense of continuing on without allowing normal life to be impeded, rather than acknowledging that the history in question involved a huge sacrifice of personal freedoms.

The sense that a lockdown marks the banishment of hard-won liberties -- as opposed to a necessary public safety intervention -- has even been reflected by royals' favorite newspaper. On Tuesday, the first day of the UK lockdown, The Telegraph, whose average reader as of 2018 was 61-years-old according to its own data -- the oldest audience for a British news brand, according to marketing site The Drum -- led with the front page splash: 'The End Of Freedom.' On the same day, the paper ran a column titled 'The self-pitying 'woke' generation needed a war. In the coronavirus, they've got one.' The heavy implication is that anyone who has lived through greater privations than millennials need not bother themselves with new disasters, for they already have the necessary coping mechanisms to weather them.

Considering that so much media messaging has been confused, it is no wonder that many feel they don't need to make concessions to the coronavirus -- either because they have already paid their dues, or because it is simply an overblown fuss. But the seriousness with which Clarence House has dealt with Prince Charles' diagnosis -- despite his apparently mild symptoms -- sends a clear message to that isolation isn't just for one's own sake. It could prompt a rethink among those who have so far assumed that the advice to self-isolate doesn't apply to them.

For many, it probably seems antithetical that the heroic thing to do in this moment is totally at odds with ideas of heroism many have had their whole lives. But as Prince Charles has demonstrated, the best thing to do right now is to keep calm, and stay inside.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 59881

Reported Deaths: 1693
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds5176106
DeSoto321527
Madison227253
Rankin211128
Harrison206732
Jackson187434
Jones174057
Forrest161551
Washington145732
Lauderdale132188
Lee119430
Neshoba119087
Lamar110512
Oktibbeha104434
Warren96425
Lowndes95830
Scott95117
Bolivar93332
Copiah90323
Sunflower90322
Panola89611
Lafayette8619
Holmes83546
Leflore82759
Pike81932
Grenada80520
Yazoo76411
Leake76225
Lincoln73539
Wayne73121
Pontotoc7167
Simpson70726
Monroe68750
Coahoma64810
Tate63822
Marion59418
Adams57825
Covington57611
Winston56615
Marshall5568
George5395
Newton51411
Union51313
Attala49524
Pearl River48036
Tallahatchie44610
Walthall43918
Chickasaw42719
Noxubee41410
Claiborne39913
Smith37413
Calhoun3738
Jasper3738
Clay36414
Alcorn3494
Prentiss3316
Hancock32414
Yalobusha31210
Lawrence3075
Itawamba30610
Tishomingo3063
Clarke29725
Tippah29412
Montgomery2913
Humphreys26511
Tunica2526
Carroll24511
Greene22611
Kemper22315
Quitman2201
Perry2137
Amite2045
Jefferson Davis1966
Webster19512
Jefferson1916
Wilkinson18312
Sharkey1801
Stone1463
Choctaw1254
Benton1240
Franklin1112
Issaquena211
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 85278

Reported Deaths: 1531
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson11465225
Mobile8466188
Montgomery6093141
Madison481725
Tuscaloosa385161
Baldwin309521
Shelby295431
Marshall287830
Unassigned256950
Lee245540
Morgan215614
Etowah188424
DeKalb165011
Elmore156237
Walker145063
Calhoun14389
Houston127512
Dallas126523
Russell11851
St. Clair116911
Franklin116520
Limestone115512
Cullman109011
Colbert105011
Lauderdale102812
Autauga98820
Escambia95215
Talladega86213
Chambers80738
Tallapoosa80178
Jackson7833
Dale76318
Butler74335
Blount7043
Coffee6955
Covington68420
Chilton6735
Pike6447
Barbour5545
Lowndes54524
Marion52824
Marengo50614
Clarke4799
Hale44825
Bullock43611
Winston42610
Perry4193
Wilcox4009
Randolph38610
Monroe3853
Conecuh36310
Sumter36118
Bibb3602
Pickens3599
Macon30412
Washington30411
Lawrence2980
Crenshaw2793
Choctaw27112
Greene23911
Henry2383
Cherokee2227
Geneva2160
Clay2005
Lamar1912
Fayette1675
Cleburne1121
Coosa892
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