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 10:30 AM
Updated: Mar 26, 2020 4:00 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.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 578494

Reported Deaths: 9202
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion798821282
Lake43601664
Allen31380537
Hamilton27675303
St. Joseph26409369
Elkhart23873336
Vanderburgh18192211
Tippecanoe16999116
Porter14183158
Johnson14120277
Hendricks13560236
Madison10312209
Vigo10297171
Clark9952128
Monroe8933105
Delaware8638129
LaPorte8589153
Kosciusko777375
Howard7712136
Warrick624990
Hancock621995
Bartholomew616094
Floyd5971105
Wayne5811155
Grant5716108
Dubois533570
Boone523167
Morgan501485
Marshall487084
Henry483262
Cass464959
Noble453956
Dearborn443343
Jackson410145
Shelby394376
Lawrence374172
Clinton359838
Gibson348556
DeKalb333063
Montgomery329150
Knox323339
Harrison317242
Miami305043
Steuben300740
Adams291635
Ripley287145
Wabash286345
Whitley286324
Huntington278757
Putnam278046
Jasper274933
White262038
Daviess255671
Jefferson242738
Fayette239248
Decatur237382
Greene229259
Posey225626
Wells225146
LaGrange222061
Scott212837
Clay212432
Randolph204940
Jennings188635
Sullivan185831
Spencer176917
Fountain175125
Washington170216
Starke169241
Jay160521
Fulton156829
Owen155536
Carroll150115
Orange146333
Rush145618
Vermillion141633
Perry141327
Franklin139333
Parke12718
Tipton126232
Pike111325
Blackford105122
Pulaski93636
Newton87820
Brown84428
Benton83010
Crawford7229
Martin68013
Warren6427
Switzerland6035
Union6033
Ohio4547
Unassigned0372

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 807293

Reported Deaths: 9990
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin95508704
Cuyahoga80262964
Hamilton59783436
Montgomery40858396
Summit32488697
Lucas29495575
Butler29100225
Stark24048388
Warren18471135
Lorain17563207
Mahoning16430334
Lake14941134
Clermont14703103
Delaware1349574
Licking12353132
Trumbull12096297
Fairfield1184280
Greene11338132
Medina10815164
Clark10334261
Wood9742153
Allen9355126
Miami867373
Portage8628104
Richland8604111
Marion7231112
Tuscarawas6987172
Columbiana6922124
Pickaway689050
Wayne6599162
Muskingum648939
Erie5729117
Hancock529088
Ross518287
Scioto508753
Geauga469955
Darke450589
Ashtabula431467
Union422327
Mercer419485
Lawrence417051
Sandusky413262
Auglaize407059
Shelby404621
Seneca404354
Huron399738
Jefferson391565
Belmont378140
Putnam359370
Washington357039
Athens35469
Madison331128
Knox329022
Ashland322538
Fulton319043
Defiance311476
Crawford306769
Preble306434
Brown289617
Logan284828
Ottawa275534
Clinton272741
Williams265757
Highland255618
Jackson250743
Guernsey234625
Champaign233727
Fayette218929
Morrow21754
Holmes215562
Perry215317
Henry206147
Hardin200932
Coshocton194517
Van Wert193744
Wyandot186948
Gallia186226
Adams160815
Pike160116
Hocking157423
Carroll143216
Paulding137521
Noble116138
Meigs99021
Monroe93827
Harrison8428
Morgan75826
Vinton64013
Unassigned00
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