There is a lot of confusion and uncertainty permeating every corner of our society over the widespread coronavirus outbreak — especially because most people remain ignorant of how far the underlying disease, COVID-19, will strike. The truth is that this disease is far deadlier than the seasonal flu, and it puts people in the hospital in much larger quantities. It’s also far more contagious than anything we’re accustomed to seeing.

That’s why there’s reason to be concerned. 

But much of the panic we’re noticing in bigger communities can be dampened with information. First of all, know how to effectively social distance. Stay away from people as best you can. Wash your hands often. Shower whenever you venture outside. That said, you can venture outside. In fact, nature is one of the best remedies for the depression that many of us feel when social distancing or self-isolating. 

The novel coronavirus responsible for causing this outbreak has a reproduction rate of 2 to 3. That means each individual is expected to infect at least two or three more people before they’re no longer contagious. For comparison, seasonal flu has a value of R1.3 and the Spanish flu had a value of R1.8. In other words, this virus is far more contagious than people realize. It’s the ease of spread that will result in higher casualties and overwhelmed hospitals — not necessarily the percentage of people who statistically succumb to the disease.

Because so many people are already feeling the economic impact of the new outbreak, we’ve been bombarded with questions. Two of the most popular: Can I sue someone for infecting me? And can someone sue me for infecting them?

The answer to both is technically yes.

But a successful personal injury case requires a lawyer to actually take it on — and because it can be so very difficult to prove that someone purposely infected you with the coronavirus or did so through gross negligence, you’re not likely to find a qualified lawyer who will want to argue in court. Anaheim is currently not accepting coronavirus-related cases. That doesn’t mean we won’t be at some point in the future. For now, though, the answer is no.

To avoid the possibility of lawsuit, continue to keep your distance from friends and loved ones. We understand that not everyone understands the importance of doing so — and in fact thousands of people are continuing to interact normally — but upholding CDC guidelines regarding viral outbreaks can help you avoid legal, financial, or even personal headaches and heartaches later in the year.

Take care of yourselves!