Keeping Calm is the Key Against COVID-19
“Let me give you a good investment idea,” my friend said with a cheeky smile, “you put in some money into the face mask business right now and you are gonna profit off it.”
I shook my head.
COVID-19’s spread is a tense situation, and even though my friend was only joking about it, I feel that the price hike on the face masks is really unfortunate.
COVID-19 is not airborne. So, surgical masks and N-95 respirators should only be used by patients, people taking care of patients, and frontline healthcare workers. The rest of the population should focus on practicing social isolation and good hand hygiene. If one finds themselves in a situation where social distancing is difficult, like grocery shopping, CDC recommends that one uses a home-sewn face mask, which can be made cheaply and be used multiple times, or a simple covering of cloth over the face.
The fact that face masks are being sold in black, at hiked prices, is not a reflection of scientific thinking, but a reflection of panic seeped in the public’s mindset.
All across social media, messages with an undertone of panic are bubbling up. No wonder the public is trying to hoard things!
COVID-19 only has a 2-3% mortality rate and is only serious, in most cases, in the elderly and in people with respiratory issues. Most people recover with supportive care. The danger of COVID-19 is its extremely high transmission rate and this can be tackled with effective quarantine.
Even if you start coughing or feel ill, stay calm and self-isolate. In most cases, you will just have seasonal flu and even if it’s COVID-19, you only need medical attention if you start to have difficulty in breathing. Self-isolation is important.
Some panic-based or ill-informed decisions are:
• Hoarding face masks, hand sanitizers or toilet paper
• Spreading panic-inducing messages over social media and WhatsApp
• Going out into the streets regardless of the lockdown
• Advocating unproven solutions like garlic or ayurveda
• Fearing pets or poultry; there is no proven relation between COVID-19’s spread and pets
Well-informed decision-making leads to:
• Keeping calm and inspiring your loved ones to do so too
• Maintaining good hygiene, like frequent washing of hands using soap for a minimum of 20 seconds, refraining from touching the face unless the hands are clean, etc.
• Keeping social distance and complying with the lockdown
• Checking on the latest news via trusted sources only
I didn’t put money into the face mask business after all. This situation will pass and I encourage everyone to spread information, not panic.
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information.