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How to bring about sanity and take control of Coronavirus?

To maintain some form of sanity during the period of Coronavirus pandemic we have a “duty of care” first for ourselves and then for our community, no matter how big or small this virus affects each of our lives.

by Victor Cherubim

Is there anything called control of our lives during a pandemic called Coronavirus?

The straight answer is yes. Of course, life as we know is rapidly changing beyond expectation. Our work patterns, daily routines and social lives look very different. Our shopping, eating habits, our exercise habits, more so our thought process, has been affected. But do we have some freedom of action?

We seem to be caught up in a “tsunami of fear and anxiety”. We are nervous, scared, angry, weird and worried. That is how we might be feeling? Social Scientists maintain, this is quite normal, as we are living not in normal times, and as such there is absolutely no normal way to feel.

It is important that we do not panic but try to follow common sense advice to keep ourselves and our families as healthy as possible. This can be a huge challenge for our country. But we must take responsibility and support each other as we work together to get through this virus, which comes as some say, in a hundred years or more. The Coronavirus could be treated as a blessing in disguise, as common sense has prevailed delaying our General Election, bringing our leaders together, our racial, religious, divide closer together.

The Coronavirus has created a new word in our vocabulary. We talked of those born at the turn of the Century as “The Millennial Generation”. Now we can think of those born in the time of this virus as “The Coronial Generation”. They will have a history of their own in time to come.

Community Spread

We are instructed by the best medical advice to isolate ourselves. The best way to prevent “Community Spread” is to spread out the community. That means “Coronial Spread,” keeping people apart. No more handshakes or hugs, no schools open, no sporting “Royal-Thomian” style events, no unnecessary travel, even for shopping, or crowding in buses or trains, except perhaps, for morning exercise on the beach.

To maintain some form of sanity during the period of Coronavirus pandemic we have a “duty of care” first for ourselves and then for our community, no matter how big or small this virus affects each of our lives.

How to care for ourselves?

When we think of ourselves, we are told that the virus can be most severe for the vulnerable, for those with a pre-conditioned heath risk or condition and especially for people over the age of 70 and those with underlying health conditions. Vulnerable groups of people and people over the age of 70 have been encouraged to stay at home.

For the young, the Coronavirus has sacred the daylights of smoking causing lung disease, as well as care of what they eat or drink, particularly, unhygienic food and contaminated water source.

In the UK the 70-year olds have been encouraged to stay at home for the next 12 weeks to avoid the peak of the coronavirus outbreak, as well as “social distancing “for 12 months. A 26-year-old has been arrested in Isle of Man, after failing to comply with the rules to self-isolate. New emergency powers have become law overnight.

In Sri Lanka and some other countries, there is more stringent restrictions, including curfew, shutdown and closure of airports. In France, people cannot leave their home or travel without a Government Permit which is downloaded on the internet and checked by some 100,000 military forces on the streets. In Italy, the restrictions are unbearable. You cannot see, let alone visit people who are in Intensive Care Units (ICU) or even bid farewell to dying relatives or even arranging for burials, funerals.

We have a “duty of care” of ourselves. This was there but hardly enforced.

As the Coronavirus is said to be a respiratory infection resulting in lung collapse after pneumonia, the most common-sense care is practising “breathing exercises”.

The way we inhale, and exhale has come into focus. Psychiatrists advice to take longer to “breathe out” more than to “breathe in” and continue these exercises regularly to replenish the lungs. This it seems, is the best we can do?

Feeling helpless is no answer?

We all know that we are now losing work, money, routines, losing our freedom, even losing our sanity? In times like this we feel we are losing control of our own lives, as our own health can be at risk.

To take some control of our lives, the first thing to do is not denial but “acceptance” of the new situation as the normal and doing something within our power to mitigate it.

We need to focus our attention and get back to our primeval instinct of survival, our sense of self, our security and meditate in the “Buddhist way,” not on “what you cannot control, but on what you can control ”.

How can you take back control of your life?

We must accept that normal lifestyle is temporarily in crisis. We need to be creative in everything we do. I do not refer here to “elbow bumping,” or “knuckle bump”. We need to research how the coronavirus will die out?

We need to try something new at home. The ways of coping with loneliness is one.

If you have on average 1000 daily interactions, say, mobile internet browsing, public transport, the office, shops, the Bank, cinema, exercise, yoga, etc- then reducing that to 500 interactions will have a material effect on your chances of contracting the coronavirus and on the speed of transmission.

Another is “Herd immunity” threshold is the proportion of a population that need to be immune for an infectious disease to become stable in that community. The resistance to invasion and spread of an infectious agent in a community, is based on the resistance to infection of a high proportion of individuals. Thus, the probability that individuals will encounter an infected person is less. This helps the virus to die out, and to die out as seen in Wuhan within a stipulated period.

Is it as simple as that?

This sounds simple, but the above concepts throw up multiple practical follow up questions, to which the answers are often unclear.

Prof. Tom Jefferson, a British epidemiologist with the Research Group Cochrane in reducing the spread of a respiratory virus says, “there is no certainty in science. Uncertainty is the engine of Science”.

If this is the scenario, we can assume that complete isolation has its drawbacks for our health, particularly, over a lengthy period. How about the “Spacemen on the Moon”?
How about the Carmelite Order of Nuns?

There is the question of isolation permanently over time. It weakens the immune system.

Man is a social animal?

Another consideration is if you put draconian measures too long in place, people lose their trust. Asking people to act responsibly and use their judgment is without doubt, an incredibly useful public health tool.

A further hazard is the use of time in isolation. We saw in Wuhan, that some young people became addicted to excessive screen time, perhaps, bingeing on Netfix Box.
Can anyone control “free-time”?

Of course, could Coronavirus have its side effects, such gaming addiction, anxiety syndrome, and other “unknown unknowns”? No one knows?

How about some good news?

-China has closed down its last coronavirus hospital. Not enough new cases to support them.

- Doctors in India have been successful in treating Coronavirus. Combination of drugs used: Lopinavir, Retonovir, Oseltamivir along with Chlorphenamine. They are going to suggest same medicine, globally.

- Researchers of the Erasmus Medical Center claim to have found an antibody against coronavirus.

- A 103-year-old Chinese grandmother has made a full recovery from COVID-19 after being treated for 6 days in Wuhan, China.

- Apple reopens all 42 china stores,

- Cleveland Clinic developed a COVID-19 test that gives results in hours, not days.

- Good news from South Korea, where the number of new cases is declining.

- Italy is hit hard, experts say, only because they have the oldest population in Europe.

- Scientists in Israel likely to announce the development of a coronavirus vaccine.

- 3 Maryland coronavirus patients fully recovered; able to return to everyday life.

- A network of Canadian scientists are making excellent progress in Covid-19 research.

- A San Diego biotech company is developing a Covid-19 vaccine in collaboration with Duke University and National University of Singapore.

- Tulsa County's first positive COVID-19 case has recovered. This individual has had two negative tests, which is the indicator of recovery.

- All 7 patients who were getting treated for at Safdarjung hospital in New Delhi have recovered.

- Plasma from newly recovered patients from Covid -19 can treat others infected by Covid-19.

So it's not all bad news. Let's care for each other and stay focused on safety of those most vulnerable.

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