Former NIGHTWISH singer Anette Olzon is the latest musician to stress the importance of international solidarity as we address the effects of the coronavirus COVID-19.
There have been more than 124,000 confirmed cases and more than 4,600 deaths so far, putting public health systems and emergency services under immense pressure.
Officials have made it clear that the elderly — especially those with heart, lung and immunological conditions — are particularly vulnerable to the coronavirus, with at least 25 deaths linked to one nursing home in Washington. In Italy, which has one of the oldest populations in the world, of the first 105 patients who died from the virus, the average age was 81, and many of the deceased had preexisting health conditions.
On Friday (March 13), Olzon took to her Facebook page to share the following message: "It's time for prayers, for really taking the seriousness of corona and understand that we are facing the hardest times since I was born. It's not the time to go to work being ill as many normally do, or send your ill children to school being ill either. Travels and going out to events have to be done when this has passed and we don't know when. Think of the elderly, the ones with underlying diseases and also people in my age who may be more at risk to get pneumonia's and organic failure due to the virus. I've been at home since Tuesday when I suddenly got a fever and a cough and I'm still at home. They don't test us here so the only thing to do is stay at home if we're feeling ill. Be safe, be wise and wash your hands."
There is no known cure yet for the flu-like virus, which originated in China.
In the U.S., the number of known coronavirus cases has reached at least 2,100, with some modeling studies suggesting the U.S. — if its residents don't take preventive measures — will have more than 8,000 cases by next week, 40,000 cases in two weeks, and nearly 150,000 cases by the end of the month.