COVID-19: Before You Panic, Here Are Some Facts From WHO And CDC
After weeks of being dormant (or latent), the COVID-19 has resurfaced again in the Philippines, breaking the calm that was upon us in the midst of this outbreak. While other countries were panic buying, Filipinos managed to keep calm and carry on. Now that we’re on our 52nd case, does this mean we have to take drastic measures to combat the virus?
Realistically speaking, the word “drastic” is over the top, here’s why!
Don’t wear a mask unless….
While overprotection is better than not doing anything at all, it has proven to be detrimental to the supply, especially for the people who need it the most – healthcare professionals and vulnerable people.
WHO has made it clear that wearing a face mask cannot protect you against coronavirus alone. It must be worn together with frequent hand-cleaning practices, using soap and water or alcohol-based rubbing alcohol.
When is it recommended to use a face mask? Only during these specific cases:
- You exhibit symptoms like coughing, fever, and difficulty breathing.
- You are taking care of a person with suspected COVID-19 infection
- You’re vulnerable and/or immuno-compromised
[Source: WHO, CDC]
Should you be stockpiling on supplies?
The straight answer will depend on whether you are infected by the virus or not. The Center for Disease and Control (CDC) only requires those who are confirmed to have coronavirus and those who came in contact with the carriers to be quarantined. If you are none of the two, you have no business draining the swamp in your local grocery store.
So here’s a low down:
YES – Get enough supplies you need for a 14-day quarantine.
NO – No need to stockpile.
Unlike other countries, Filipinos aren’t panic buying and draining the supply of toilet papers in grocery stores… at least not yet, and pretty sure it won’t be toilet paper. Either way, let’s hope that we don’t get there, because..
- It may lead to a price hike like what happened to face masks. Until now, the price for face masks are soaring, opportunistic vendors are driving the prices up due to the short supply and increase in demand.
- It can disrupt the supply chain leading to less supply to the people who need it more.
A spree of panic-buying can cause more problems than it solves.
[Source: CDC via USA today]
You need these, not toilet paper….
While the psychology behind the panic buying and stockpiling boils down to the uncertainty and fear of missing out (FOMO) according to some psychologists, it is also obviously irrational and simply a clear manifestation of herd mentality whipped up by news coverage and social media.
- Some vitamin C
- Hand sanitizer or rubbing alcohol (70%).
- Face mask if you are sick. If not, forget it.
- Some fruits and vegetables to boost your immune system.
- Water – got to keep your self hydrated.
Why should you NOT worry?
Even on the worst day, if you’re healthy, chances are you only get flu-like symptoms and eventually recover just like the rest of 56 percent of the COVID-19 positive patients who have fully recovered. Unless you’re extremely ill or old that your immune system can no longer fight off the illness normally.
With a fully functioning immune system and proper hygiene, you will definitely survive COVID-19 if and when you get infected. It’s like a bad bout of flu, but with no known vaccine yet. And in truth, you don’t need that to recover from the flu either.
Why should you worry?
If you’re healthy overall – you have a functioning immune system and proper hygiene – getting sick from the virus would be the least of your concern. Your concern should be focused on not becoming a carrier and be a vessel for local transmission.
Vulnerable hosts like elderly people and immunocompromised individuals (like HIV patients) are the ones who are at risk of developing a severe and even fatal symptom. Even children don’t experience severe symptoms from the virus and there has been no reported death so far.
If you’re healthy, your only concern is avoiding transmission if (God forbid) you get infected. No, you won’t be at risk of dying. Instead, the vulnerable targets will be.
Keeping things in perspective
Whether or not you choose to worry despite the precautions and information disseminated by the local government, the WHO, and the CDC, these are the facts about the disease that we know so far. And from the looks of it, this is far from developing into a full-blown zombie apocalypse or World War Z.
While we are in no position to tell you what the real deal is, what we do know is that the situation isn’t as grim as you may think.
- DOH now has the capability to detect the virus and get the results in a few days.
- FDA just approved test kits developed by Filipino Scientists from UP.
- As of writing, 62,053 out of the 110,146 people infected worldwide have already recovered, that’s 56 percent of the total cases. Meanwhile, deaths are only 3.4 percent.
- 80 percent of the cases are mild.
- Vaccines are being developed and might soon see the light of the day.
- Anti-virals are also being developed – these are the actual cure, not preventive medications like vaccines.
- The virus can be easily eliminated with rubbing alcohol (70%) or soap and water. No rocket science needed.
- If you’re healthy, you will recover from the virus naturally.
If you want to help and be part of the collective effort to combat this illness, all you need to do is wash your hands and load some vitamin C into your system – nothing exciting, only as mundane as that. In other words, stay healthy and hygienic, like you always do every day. You’re not only doing yourself a favor but also everybody else in the world.
And in case for some reason, you’re too stressed out with this whole COVID-19 situation, here’s what the WHO advises you to do!
Keep the virus at bay, stay healthy, hygienic, and informed.