Let’s do a quick summary.
MERS and SARS were members of the same family of viruses
(CORONA/ Crown virus), both were NOT highly transmissible but had very high mortality rates.
COVID-19 or SARS-2 is more infectious, but about the same as influenza and is a little! more lethal, though statistics will probably even that out over time.
That said, it is nothing like Ebola and like Influenza is most dangerous in high-risk people: the elderly, heart disease sufferers, diabetics etc.
We have Corona in Cape Town just not COVID-19, and with winter on its way differentiating Corona from Rhino/Enterovirus; Influenza; Parainfluenza will be challenging.
There is NO vaccine and NO specific treatment, unlike Influenza and the best means of protection, is (and most particularly if a high-risk individual) to minimise travel; wash hands; avoid large crowds and seek medical advice if respiratory symptoms occur AND get the Tetravalent flu vaccine as soon as it becomes available in South Africa!
Is the virus “child sparing”?, well early data does suggest children have a lower incidence of severe disease and overall a lower mortality, but I see no reason as to why this should be and time will give us better statistics.
Corona epidemic is scary and real, but a little overdramatized by social media, keep safe and sensible as per usual and be healthy through good eating and regular exercise.