“Every action has an equal and opposite reaction”. This Newton’s third law of motion also holds true to a pandemic. “For every Pandemic, there is an equal and opposite reaction”. The reaction to a pandemic can be grouped into 3 stages;
STAGE 1 - THE MANIC PANIC
Life is slow and steady, we know what to do to avoid problems. We know what foods to eat to stay healthy. We know 1 +1 is equal to 2. We know tax evasion is a criminal offense. We know and we bask in our knowledge until we don’t know anymore.
We don’t know why people are dying. We don’t know how they are getting sick. We don’t know how the sickness is spreading. We don’t know but we can see its effects in the death toll rising by the minute. Because we don’t know we panic.
The manic panic that ensued with the world spread of the Covid-19 does not need rehashing. We all lived it and have now moved on to the next stage.
STAGE 2 – THE FIERY LEARNING
In our manic state, we are plagued not just by a new disease but by ignorance and so we learn. Doctors and scientists begin to study the new disease, in the case of HIV we discovered it’s mostly transmitted sexually. With Covid-19, we are still learning but so far we have learned a lot.
Here is all you need to know about the Corona- Virus
- The Corona Viruses have virus particles that measure approximately 120nm in diameter. Simply put, it is really tiny, like “air” tiny.
- The Corona Virus attacks the respiratory organs.
- It is airborne and highly contagious.
- Most common symptoms of this infection includes;
- Dry cough
Less Common Symptoms includes;
- Sore throat
- Aches & pains
- Loss of taste and smell
- Rash on skin or discoloration of fingers or toes
Severe symptoms include;
- Difficulty in breathing or shortness of breath
- Chest pain or pressure
- Loss of speech or movement
- The virus spreads mainly from person to person. Transmission occurs when droplets or aerosols from infected persons are inhaled by another person within 6 feet. Transmissions also occur when healthy persons touch surfaces infected persons have sneezed or coughed on and touch their eyes or nose. The virus can live on surfaces like plastic and stainless steel for 2 to 3 days.
This transmission can occur from symptomatic, pre-symptomatic and asymptomatic people.
Symptomatic Transmission: This occurs when a person already experiencing the above mentioned symptoms passes it on to another person. Covid-19 is primarily transmitted from symptomatic people because the shedding of the virus is highest in the upper respiratory tract i.e. nose and throat, within the first 3 days of signs and symptoms.
Pre-symptomatic Transmission: The incubation period of the Corona Virus between infection and symptom onset is 5 to 14 days. During this period known as the pre-symptomatic period, persons can still infect healthy people.
Asymptomatic Transmission: This occurs when the virus is transmitted from a person who does not develop symptoms. Although cases of asymptomatic transmission are rare, it does not exclude its possibility.
- The Corona-Virus has no known cure, however, most people infected will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without needing special treatment.
- Older people and persons with underlying medical problems are more likely to develop serious illnesses from the Corona Virus infection.
The learning never stops, clinical trials are ongoing in order to find a cure but as learning occurs we gradually move the last stage.
STAGE 3- LEARNED LIVING
In this stage, we learn new ways of living with the disease. The lockdown was a necessary panic move but it is not sustainable.
Here’s what we know and how we’ve learned to live with that knowledge.
- We know the Corona Virus is transmitted when these very tiny particles are inhaled, so we learned to protect our nose with face masks. The government recommends the use of face masks. Here’s the significant difference between the N95 Mask, Fabric Mask and Surgical Mask.
- Filters at least 95% of airborne particles.
- Reduces exposure to small particles including small particle aerosols and large droplets.
- Tight fitting which minimizes leakage around edges.
- Fluid resistant
- Protects against large droplets, splashes or sprays of bodily fluids.
- Loose fitting
- Does not filter or block very small particles in the air that may be transmitted by cough or sneezes.
The Fabric Face Mask
Study shows that fabric face masks won’t do much to protect you from inhaling particles that carry the virus but they prevent wearers from spreading the virus to others as it offers a barrier when you cough or sneeze. Coughing or sneezing can propel particles to up to 25 or 26 feet.
Why you shouldn’t use N95 and Surgical Masks?
Although the N95 offers the most protection against the Coronavirus, they are specifically made for medical workers that are more likely to be exposed. Individuals using it in their everyday lives reduces the supply to medical workers who need it more in order to save lives.
- We know this virus can travel up to 3 feet from an infected person so we have learned to practice social distancing. Social distancing cannot be over- emphasized. With face masks on and people at least 6 meters apart, chances of inhaling infected particles from another person is highly reduced.
- Also, we know the virus can live for up to 2 to 3 days on surfaces, so we have learned to constantly clean surfaces we come in contact with the most. Your everyday detergent such as antiseptic wipes, disinfectant sprays, can kill the virus.
- We know people get infected when they touch their eyes and nose with infected hands. The face mask prevents you from touching your nose or mouth to an extent, however your eyes are still exposed. So we have learned to constantly wash our hands with soup for up to at least 30 seconds or use alcohol based hand sanitizers.
- We also know that most people infected will experience mild illness and recover provided they don’t have underlying health issues or respiratory challenges. With this knowledge, we have learned to quit smoking or any other habits that may weaken your lungs. Also eat lots of vitamins to boost your immune system.