The simple prescription to beating #COVID-19 -Social Distancing

The simple prescription to beating #COVID-19 -Social Distancing

Pandemonium. From panic buying to end of the world conspiracies. The internet is full of conjectures about the Coronavirus. While some downplay it by saying ‘it is a regular flu’ to some predicting the ‘death of millions’ and calling it a ‘plague’. There is just too much misinformation floating around. It is rightly being called an ‘infodemic one is bound to feel easily overwhelmed.

At the very outset, let’s make one thing clear. While it would be irresponsible to say that the Coronavirus is a regular flu.  But it isn’t a death sentence either. The World Health Organisation (WHO) and multiple other health organizations have tried to persuade everyone to not panic, but it has done little to calm the mass.

What is a pandemic? Does Pandemic mean deathly?

NO. Pandemic means the sustained and continuous transmission of the disease, simultaneously in more than three different geographical regions. Pandemic does not refer to the lethality of a virus but to its transmissibility and geographical extension.

Why should one not panic?

The recovery rate is promising: So far, the world has seen 246,760 cases of COVID-19, out of which the death toll has been 10,062. While the total number of recoveries seen, add up to 88,488.  Other diseases like Smallpox, Influenza, Cholera, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), and Plague have had a much higher death count than that of COVID-19. The point is not to underplay the severity, but to explain that if controlled in time, we could very well stop the spread of the virus.

The solution is simple: While there is no vaccination right now, doctors and scientists are working tirelessly to ensure we find a cure. But in the meantime, there is a simple solution. To keep away from people who might be sick. The constant reminder by the medical professionals and health institutes is to self-quarantine and practice social distancing. The need of the hour is to understand that it can happen to anybody, and the only way to keep ourselves safe is by seclusion.

Prepare, not panic. That’s the mantra. We can all go about our daily lives once this is over. The good news is that we know what COVID-19 is and how it presents. The recovery rate is about 80% or even higher. In fact, most patients show mild or no symptoms. A 14-21 day quarantine is all that’s needed.

Stay by yourself: In an age of high-speed internet, it has never been simpler to keep in touch with family and friends than now. Do not panic. If you are getting anxious you can always call your family no matter where you are.

The virus spreads through contact with the eyes, nose, and mouth: A huge reason why the spread of the virus will be contained is that people have started practicing right-hand hygiene habits. From washing hands for 20 seconds to coughing and sneezing into their elbows and not touching their faces. These habits will go a long way in combating the virus.

The virus dies very easily: Just Soap. That’s all. Regular soap is sufficient to kill the Coronavirus. Washing your hands thoroughly and frequently especially before eating food or touching your face is all that’s needed.

One thing that has become amply clear is that the onus of containing the virus is on each of us. So being truthful is an absolute must. If there is one thing that will help healthcare professionals working everywhere, round the clock, will be complete honesty from patients. Being honest about one’s health, travel history and symptoms is the need of the hour. Thinking about the community and society will minimize the risk of others getting infected. Especially those who have compromised immune systems like cancer patients, children or the elderly.

There are reasons to be optimistic, as there are ways to contain the virus and lessons to learn for the future. Prevention, preparedness, and people can help assuage fears. We are in this together and we can do the right things with calm and protect ourselves.

 Do not worry, if you have any symptoms, track them, if they do not subside contact a doctor. Based on your travel history, potential contact with someone who has tested positive COVID-19 and on the severity of your symptoms. The doctor should be able to guide you to the right channels.

Do not take any drastic measures and do not fall for rumors and false information. To stay informed and prepared is very important.

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