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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 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.

Confirmed Cases: 52685

Reported Deaths: 2775
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion12192697
Lake5764251
Elkhart372061
Allen2988135
St. Joseph223570
Hamilton1779101
Cass16519
Hendricks1482100
Johnson1366118
Porter86738
Vanderburgh8586
Tippecanoe79510
Clark72844
Madison68564
LaPorte63928
Howard61758
Bartholomew60945
Kosciusko5874
Marshall57412
Noble52628
Boone49744
LaGrange49110
Delaware48452
Jackson4813
Hancock47236
Shelby46225
Floyd42544
Monroe37528
Dubois3447
Morgan34431
Grant33426
Henry30618
Montgomery29720
Clinton2913
White28110
Warrick27929
Dearborn27723
Vigo2638
Decatur25732
Lawrence25325
Harrison22022
Greene20032
Miami1972
Jennings18012
Putnam1758
DeKalb1714
Scott1669
Wayne1656
Perry16010
Daviess15117
Jasper1422
Orange14023
Steuben1403
Ripley1357
Gibson1332
Franklin1288
Wabash1203
Carroll1142
Starke1103
Fayette1087
Whitley1086
Newton10110
Huntington932
Jefferson932
Wells841
Randolph814
Fulton791
Knox730
Jay720
Posey680
Washington681
Pulaski661
Clay655
Rush633
Spencer621
Owen541
Sullivan541
Benton510
Adams491
Brown461
Blackford412
Fountain382
Tipton361
Crawford350
Switzerland320
Parke280
Martin260
Ohio230
Vermillion200
Warren161
Pike150
Union150
Unassigned0193

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 67995

Reported Deaths: 3069
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin12574449
Cuyahoga9509400
Hamilton7179208
Lucas3110306
Marion275739
Montgomery264737
Summit2420209
Pickaway223542
Mahoning1996239
Butler194247
Columbiana140560
Stark1252116
Lorain120870
Trumbull107178
Warren106827
Clark83210
Delaware78415
Fairfield75117
Lake64322
Tuscarawas62811
Licking61913
Medina61432
Belmont57224
Clermont5327
Miami52031
Wood51551
Portage50760
Ashtabula45244
Geauga43643
Richland3926
Allen39141
Greene3809
Wayne37856
Erie30822
Mercer30410
Holmes2645
Huron2643
Darke26126
Madison2309
Ottawa21924
Athens2011
Sandusky18015
Coshocton1554
Ross1543
Washington14920
Putnam14615
Crawford1405
Jefferson1322
Morrow1291
Hardin12512
Union1191
Auglaize1124
Muskingum1061
Preble961
Lawrence930
Clinton922
Hancock921
Monroe8917
Hocking848
Guernsey834
Scioto800
Ashland782
Shelby784
Williams772
Logan731
Carroll713
Fulton710
Wyandot665
Brown621
Champaign601
Knox591
Fayette580
Highland581
Defiance563
Perry501
Van Wert501
Seneca432
Henry380
Paulding350
Jackson320
Pike290
Adams282
Vinton232
Gallia211
Noble140
Harrison131
Meigs130
Morgan130
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
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Angola
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Huntington
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Decatur
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Van Wert
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