In December last year, public health officials from China informed the World Health Organization that they had a problem --- an unknown, new virus was causing pneumonia-like illness in the city of Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province. They quickly determined that it was a coronavirus, later named as COVID-19. Within a short period of time the virus was spreading within and outside Wuhan. Till date the coronavirus has infected people in over 170 countries. Hence, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the novel coronavirus spread a pandemic. The virus has reached Bangladesh as well. On 8 March 2020, Institute of Epidemiology, Diseases Control and Research (IEDCR) confirmed that three Bangladeshis were infected with COVID-19. However the number of infected people is increasing with every passing day. Under such circumstances the whole nation is panicking. Non-stop rumors and lack of authentic information have made the situation more chaotic. In reality, there are many reasons for not to get panicked rather proper knowledge and information can prepare us to fight the spread of this virus.
1. Recovery rate is higher than the death rate
The number of the coronavirus-affected victims and the ‘life-threatening’ tag of the virus have made the common people more terrified and put them in a strenuous condition. But different statistics show that the death rate of coronavirus is less than pneumonia. A statistic provided by international survey agency Worldometers.info reveals that 1,83,112 are being infected around the globe, among them 7,175 people, about 3.92%, died (till filing of this report). However, it is a matter of great relief that 79,904 people have already recovered.
2. Not only senior citizens, but everyone should take precautionary measures
A perception has been developed that the senior citizens are the most vulnerable group to be infected, thus many young people are leading a careless life which may turn out to be dangerous as people of all ages can be infected by the coronavirus, if they do not follow the precautionary measures. The World Health Organization mentioned that people of all ages can be infected by the new coronavirus, but the older people and people with pre-existing medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes and heart disease are more vulnerable. Therefore, instead of relaxing or panicking it is high time that everyone became more conscious and careful.
3. Don’t panic, rather maintain hygiene
Excess fear has resulted in a situation when everyone is rushing towards the pharmacies to buy face masks. But the truth is that wearing a face mask is certainly not the guarantee that one would not get sick, rather it is effective in capturing droplets which ultimately increases the possibility of the disease being passed on from someone already infected. Instead, frequent hand washing for 20 seconds with soap and water is the most effective way to avoid contagion. Most importantly, avoid touching your face: mouth, nose and eye, when you are outside.
4. Even if you are infected, remember that it’s treatable
Even if you get affected somehow, you do not need to panic at all unless you have any other pre-existing medical condition. Elizabeth Schneider, a US citizen who recovered from the novel coronavirus infection very recently, said, “The message is don't panic. If you think that you have it, you should probably get tested. If your symptoms aren't life-threatening, simply stay at home, medicate with over-the-counter medicines, drink lots of water, get a lot of rest and check out the shows you want to binge-watch.”
Well, there is no denying that coronavirus is now a pressing issue. However unnecessary panicking will yield nothing positive, rather we have to be more careful and maintain hygiene. To protect our loved ones, we must be aware of the facts and follow the safety directives issued by the concerned authorities and the World Health Organization.