Our View | Striking a Balance in Paranoia vs. Foolishness

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By The Signal Editorial Board

There’s paranoia. There’s panic. And on the opposite end of the spectrum, there’s foolhardiness.

NBA player Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz was fulfilling his media obligation after a shootaround on Monday,  and did so at a podium packed with microphones and recorders, because the NBA had already decided to keep media out of locker rooms due to the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

Gobert, attempting to demonstrate his view that people were being too paranoid about the virus, proceeded to touch every microphone and recorder on the podium as he exited the press conference. Two days later, he was diagnosed with COVID-19, and his diagnosis became a triggering event in what was probably already inevitable: the suspension of the NBA season and, in turn, the suspensions of virtually all major U.S. professional and college sports.

Somewhere between paranoia and foolhardiness is good sense.

We have been advocating from the start of the COVID-19 scare that people should not panic, should not over-react, but should not under-react, either. Yes, you should prepare for the possibility that you might have to self-quarantine at home for a couple of weeks. Yes, you should practice all of the preventive hygiene, hand-washing and social distancing safety tips that are readily available to all.

But panic, no.

We are doing our level best to represent that correct measure of concern in our news coverage, without sensationalizing, spreading unconfirmed rumors, or stirring disproportionate fear. We strive to keep you apprised of all the latest developments, including cancellations of events, transitions of educational institutions to online learning, and the vital information emanating from the L.A. County Public Health Department, the city of Santa Clarita, the state and other government sources.

We pledge to continue doing so for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic, in a measured, responsible way. 

Meanwhile, we advocate for all: Don’t panic. Don’t be paranoid. But don’t be foolhardy, either. 

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