Do Not Panic

The Coronavirus infection which started in China at the beginning of this year then spread worldwide to be labelled as a Pandemic by WHO has created terrible panic in the public — both lay public and more so in the educated. Coronavirus infection is likely to kill thousands of people directly but will kill lakhs of people indirectly because of the panic situation we have created for ourselves.

We have had these viral pandemics especially so by the Influenza virus every 5-20 years. These pandemics were there for thousands of years, but people did not know how to identify the virus and monitor the spread in yesteryears. With advances in medicine, we are now able to identify the virus with great ease in the last 40-50 years by a test known as Molecular PCR.

We have been having cyclones from millions of years. They used to come unnoticed once or many times a year, killing an unknown number of humans and animals, because there was no monitoring. In this satellite era, cyclones in the last few decades are given exotic names – Fani, Hudhud, Titli or Phethai, they are traced from their origin till they hit the coast. The satellite data can roughly predict where and when the damage will occur. In the same way, we were having viral pandemics once in 5-20 years (e.g. Influenza pandemic – 1918, 1958, 1968, 2009) for thousands of years. These pandemics will continue to come once in 5-20 years.

In our lifetime every person would have had 2-3 coronavirus infections, 5-10 influenza infections & umpteen rhinovirus infections. We usually recover from them. If you get influenza or coronavirus infection, you will not get reinfected with the same stereotype. In order for the virus to survive in nature, it makes every attempt to change its genetic structure. If there is a minor change in the genetic structure (drift, people can be reinfected with mild symptoms & very low mortality (a small fraction of 1%). If the virus is lucky to get a major change in genetic structure, symptoms are likely to be more severe & mortality higher (a little more than 1%). In the second situation, nearly all people in the community will be affected over some time because they do not have the antibodies against the new virus.

In the news, we hear that for every 100 coronavirus tested positive cases, 2-3 people are dying. But in reality, there will be another 10-100 coronavirus cases for everyone tested positive cases, which are not tested because they are mild. Most of the deaths are from the aged group or having underlying diseases (diabetes, immunodeficiency, hypertension, etc). We should not look at coronavirus infection as a nuclear bomb killing everyone infected with it.

Whenever a new (stereotype) influenza or coronavirus infection starts in this world, nearly every human being will be infected sometime or the other. This COVID-19 is a new stereotype, we all have to get infected with it over some time. But mind you, most of us will recover & survive to get a new corona or influenza virus infection after some years again.

If everyone is going to get infected with coronavirus infection, why this lockdown?   If there is no lockdown, the coronavirus infection will spread like wildfire. The health infrastructure will not be able to cater to the needs of thousands of serious cases at a point in time.

With lockdown, the spread will be contained.

Who knows in the meanwhile we may find an efficient drug or vaccine.

People around the globe went panicky, causing –                                           

  • Stock markets collapse
  • Real estate collapse
  • Projects coming to a standstill
  • Expansions cancelled
  • Olympics postponed

We might also come across –

  • Job losses
  • Companies going bankrupt
  • Suicides & depression, etc

So, a humble request is to stop panicking (single most important point), follow lockdown by staying back at home, maintain social distancing, follow cough etiquette, hand hygiene & general hygiene.

We strongly believe – Nothing is permanent, even bad days.

Disclaimer: The information (including figures and statistics) stated in this article, is secondary information. Although it has been drawn from reliable sources, OMNI Hospitals does not certify the validity of the information and will not take any responsibility for any action of the reader based on this article. You are advised to also carry out independent research to know further.