In my last article I explained what a virus is and how they can affect and express inside a human body. To take this to the next step and assuming you have read the above linked article, let us discuss and explain the current facts and information on COVID-19.
Let me start this article by saying that I'm simply going to state the clear facts and information that is present regarding COVID19 so far. This will not be an article on the various conspiracy theories out there regarding COVID19. The internet is full of those, so if that’s what you’re searching for, feel free to Google away on that.
Regardless of what you believe, I must say that COVID19 has been extremely disruptive to families and societies globally. I’ve had friends, relatives and colleagues who have lost loved ones or are currently fighting COVID19 themselves. My heart goes out to those who have suffered and those who are currently battling this virus in order to survive. We always tend to throw numbers at large scale issues and typically forget that behind these numbers are people. People like us who were simply living their lives before COVID19 started to spread.
So, with that in mind, let's look at the actual facts based on what we know so far about COVID19. Here is a simple to digest breakdown :
One important item to mention here is that face masks are very important to limit the spread of COVID19. However, masks should only be used if you yourself feel you may have a cold, flu-like symptoms or COVID19 . Wearing a mask prevents you from spreading most colds, flus and COVID19. The majority of masks provide very little protection against COVID19 unless you’re using an N95 particle filter or above rating mask and wear it consistently.
This new virus and disease were unknown before the outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. COVID-19 is now a pandemic affecting many countries globally .
Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing hospital treatment. Around 1 out of every 5 people who gets COVID-19 becomes seriously ill and develops difficulty breathing. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart and lung problems, diabetes, or cancer, are at higher risk of developing serious illness. However, anyone can catch COVID-19 and become seriously ill. People of all ages who experience fever and/or cough associated with difficulty breathing/shortness of breath, chest pain/pressure, or loss of speech or movement should seek medical attention immediately. If possible, it is recommended to call the health care provider or facility first, so the patient can be directed to the right clinic .
Research indicates that children and adolescents are just as likely to become infected as any other age group and can spread the disease. Evidence to date suggests that children and young adults are less likely to get severe disease, but severe cases can still happen in these age groups. Children and adults should follow the same guidance on self-quarantine and self-isolation if there is a risk they have been exposed or are showing symptoms. It is particularly important that children avoid contact with older people and others who are at risk of more severe disease .
COVID19 can survive temperatures higher than 25C. You can catch it no matter how sunny and warm it is. So, whatever the weather you should follow the official advice to protect yourself from the virus. Getting out into the sunshine, if you can, is still a good idea as this helps your body produce vitamin D which is important for your immune system .
You shouldn't use strong disinfectants to clean your body. Washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water or rubbing an alcohol-based sanitizer on them will stop the virus spreading. Using stronger chemicals on your skin can be dangerous. Never drink disinfectant or hand sanitizer as this can do serious damage .
In terms of the numbers of those infected, recovered and those that have unfortunately passed on from COVID19 are approximately the following at the time of writing this article :
Comparing the number of those that have passed away to those that have been infected gives a 6.72% fatality rate. This number may seem high to those reading this article, and yes 311k number of deaths is high, especially in my opinion if those in power in the Western world could have handled and been a lot smarter in tackling the spread of COVID19.
But, without sounding too insensitive to the number of deaths as that is not my intention, i’m simply stating facts that i’ve researched online, let's compare COVID19 to other commonly known diseases and pathogens that we have seen in the past and their fatality rates :
We can see that the fatality rate is more severe for past pathogens when compared to COVID19. Of course we don’t know the full fatality rate of COVID19. The R rate of infection, the average length of recovery or if asymptomatic people can pass on the virus is all yet to be verified and proved. We will know in time as with most new viruses and pathogens.
To keep the number of deaths in context, approximately 4000 people a day are dying from COVID19 as the latest statistics show. These statistics do not show the percentage of those daily deaths that had underlying medical conditions in addition to COVID19. To place this into context, here is a breakdown of daily deaths of many other diseases :
When looking at these numbers above, COVID19 is near the bottom of this list as it currently stands with the data we have present. In conclusion to this article, I would suggest that staying alert and being sensible in what you do outdoors, especially if you’re a person who has serious underlying health conditions or are classified as elderly or live with those that have underlying health conditions.
Stay safe, be sensible, practice clean hygiene and if you do feel unwell, for now isolate at home and call your local health centre.