By now we are all deep into lockdown from the current pandemic in the world. However, this is not the first time parts of the world have closed public places to prevent the spread of a disease. It is also not the only time in our history where humans have had to endure a killer pandemic. I would also surmise that it won’t be our last.
The most important question that we face is – Can we, and will we learn from the past pandemics?
First up, what is the name of this current pandemic we are facing?
The Disease: coronavirus (COVID-19)
The Virus: severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)
I won’t go into the finer details of why there are two names. If you are interested, check out the World Health Organization Website. For short we have the virus (SARS-CoV-2) and the disease it causes (COVID-19).
What we do know so far
New developments are still being made about the virus and things can change from time to time. The information below is for general purposes only. One should always seek professional medical advice if they are concerned.
Following the recommended information might not prevent you from getting the coronavirus. Though it is likely to mitigate the effects and give you a higher chance of fighting off the disease..
Testing for the virus is mainly done on people showing severe signs of symptoms, the true spread is unknown. There is a possibility of a large number of asymptomatic people out there.
For a resource on confirmed global cases visit John Hopkins University COVID-19 map.
How long it stays on surfaces
|Steel||3 – 5 Days|
|Cardboard||1 – 5 Days|
|Plastic||1 – 5 Days|
|In the Air||3 Hours|
What can effect these time-frames
- Cool Temperature – lingers longer in cooler climates
- Amount on surface – larger amounts take longer to break down
- High temperature – may reduce transmission with 40% – 60% humidity
What can break it down
- Soap foam and water break apart fats/oils and makes things slippery
- Hand sanitiser is okay, though soap and water is better
- Maximise the airflow – it breaks up viral droplets, enabling major reductions in transmission risk
- As copper can break it down quicker, you can utilise copper tape on surfaces
Any masks can be effective
- Ski mask
- Make your own
What we can do for ourselves
- Strengthen your immune system
- eat a healthy nutritional diet
- get in some movement (exercise, Pilates, Tai Chi, etc.)
- practice mindfulness (Meditation, Breathing)
- Keep up with your Vitamin D
- Get proper sleep
- Ask your doctor about medications
- Paracetomol, Acetaminophen, Tylenol may be safer
- Ibuprofen, Advil, Nurofen, aspirin may not be suitable to treat symptons
- Use a Pulse Oximeter
- test if someone needs breathing assistance (Oxygen levels below 93% danger zone)
- Don’t touch surfaces
- Practice social distancing
- to protect people with compromised immune systems
Future outlook and concerns
Catching SARS-CoV-2 is not the only concern during this global pandemic. We also have to consider the hardships that come with an ‘Economic Slowdown’ and the emotions that follow ‘Isolation’. Both occurrences can lead to anxiety and depression in some people. Check-in with people and lend a helping ear wherever you can.
The situation has put some pressure on food supplies. From panic buying and stocking up to the logistics of getting supplies to the shops. A long term focus on a lack of labour for planting and harvesting.
There have been reports of bird flu and swine flu wiping out local livestock. And in some cases locusts destroying crops.
What can we do about it? If you have the opportunity, you can grow some of your own food.
Taking it all in
Isolation and Social Distancing is not what we want to be doing, it’s detrimental for our mental wellbeing. What we really need is Connection and Physical Distancing, this doesn’t mean we all get out and spread the virus. It’s staying connected through video chatting, and when we are outside, respect personal spaces.
With no way of knowing when restrictions will ease, or when lockdown will end, we have to ride it out and do whatever we can to stay safe. Use this time to reflect or to motivate yourself into starting a project.
How are you reflecting on the life ahead during this global crisis?