Happy Friday the 13th! Boy, things can change fast, can’t they? Just three days ago, I was tut-tutting about the unfortunate situation in Italy. As of today, I don’t think the Italians have turned the corner on their coronavirus crisis, but they certainly have been bumped from the front page here in the United States. For weeks, since the word “coronavirus” began popping up almost daily, I scrolled through the popular media online trying to find out exactly what this disease is and why many in the loop seem so concerned. Much of the coverage has been, to put it nicely, shallow. Nevertheless, I have since managed to learn two things that made an impression on me and helped me understand what this is all about. 1) This is a new disease for us. There are hundreds of coronaviruses that can infect birds and mammals, but only seven are known to infect humans, including this new one. It is true a coronavirus causes the common cold and types of flu, but COVID-19, the name given the disease caused by the “novel coronavirus,” is neither. No one has any immunity to this new strain of the virus. We already know some brush it off, but others do die. The ultimate threat really is not known. 2) Health officials are recommending dispersal of people as much as possible to slow the spread of the infection, which practically is impossible to prevent altogether. By slowing the infection, medical facilities will not be overwhelmed, and hopefully the crisis can be better managed. Put another way, they deliberately are extending the initial wave of infections, so the optimum treatment will be there for those who will need it. I may have completely misinterpreted what I think I have learned, but these two points helped me understand why this is a big deal, and up until very recently I did wonder. Will it work, all the cancelling of concerts and political rallies and sporting events? I don’t know, but at least I do know their reasoning. I’m glad I’m a cartoonist who works at home, who doesn’t have to make those decisions. Keep calm and carry on.