In order to assess the risk associated with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus responsible for COVID-19, we follow the quantitative microbial risk assessment process.
There are two major drivers of perceived risks. The first one is dreadfulness. Seeing images of coffins in Italy, Spain and the U.S., overwhelmed hospital wards, people we know and famous people with severe health issues all send messages of dreadfulness This increases the perceived risks. The second major driver is fear of the unknown. This is an emerging disease, there is no treatment and no vaccine, and very little is known about what happens to people who survive if they are infected again.