It is fair to say that there is great concern about the deadly nature of this new virus. The photo below, showing the streets of Wuhan, China on February 3, 2020, indicates just how much those at the epicenter of this new viral outbreak have been trying to avoid exposure. The picture is from The Atlantic, and if you click this link you can see even more photographs that demonstrate just how afraid of human contact people in Wuhan, China have become.
On February 8, 2020, The New York Times ran a story that discussed how this new coronavirus might spread, and outlined six different factors that will be important with respect to our ability to prevent a worldwide epidemic. The upshot is that human contact, one on one, can lead to the very rapid dissemination of new pathogens, like this new coronavirus. The process is commonly described by the phrase "going viral," but that phrase is now also used in non-medical contexts, for instance, to talk about how fast a "meme," like one showing our president having a bad hair day, will sweep through the Internet.
I teach a class at the University of California, Santa Cruz called "Privacy, Technology, And Freedom," and we definitely discuss the "going viral" phenomenon in the non-medical context. Class discussion focuses often how social media can make various kinds of information (and misinformation) "go viral," and what the social, economic, and political conseequences of that phenomenon can be. Any reader of this blog who is not familiar with the phenomenon, or with Zeynep Tufekci, might enjoy watching Tufekci's TED Talk called, "How the internet has made social change easy to organize, hard to win."
(2) - https://www.theatlantic.com/photo/2020/02/photos-empty-streets-china-amid-coronavirus-outbreak/606064/