The biggest news of the week remains coronavirus. The governor is fully engaged with the CDC and all 49 state governors. So far, all the cases of COVID-19 in Iowa are easily traceable to a source. We have no cases as of March 12 with an unknown source. However, chances for containment ended when China did not shut down travel over a month ago. There is very little danger to children, although they can be carriers. If you have a fever or cough, it is suggested that you use telehealth sources first before going to the emergency room or doctor’s office. One thing to remember is that according to the current statistics, COVID-19 is about half as lethal as H1N1 (swine flu).
Another type of virus I am concerned about is ransomware. Ransomware is a computer virus that threatens to publish the victim’s data or perpetually block access to it unless a ransom is paid. It can totally shutdown computer systems. Several towns around the country have been hit with ransomware. In. Texas, 23 towns were hit in one attack. Too many times, when government officials are hit with ransomware, they are so embarrassed that they pay the ransom and don’t even report it to the authorities. This just emboldens the perpetrators to continue. Even worse, many of these attacks come from foreign entities that use the money generated to do harm to the United States. Senate File 2391 prohibits state and local governments from expending any public money for ransoms of a computer system.