CORONA VIRUS PANDEMIC: FACTS AND FICTIONS

Knowledge is power to those who can apply it. It can either be used to build or to destroy”- Anon

It is no longer new to see people running away from anyone who sneezes or coughs rather than the conventional courtesy of saying “bless you.” In recent days, weird and clown-like costumes can be seen on international televisions and social media platforms. “Some of these people have more funny looking dresses than the legendary Mr. Bean,” a student once humorously said. What has made the gentle man lose his courtesy? What has made people suddenly start to dress like surface astronauts? Alas! The newest virus in town.

In the world of menacing global threats and dangerous diseases, there appears to be a new mayor in town— the severe acute respiratory— Corona Virus-2. That sure is a heck of a name.  The virus discovered around December 2019, has become a household parlance in and outside the world of health. At present, every Tom, Dick and Harry has heard about this virus through one means or the other.  However, despite the apparent recognition it has gained, there seem to be many myths about it. As it stands there have been various claims by quacks and crafty swindlers about its cure, some of which may lead to future complications. This write-up is specifically aimed at bringing out the truth about it and letting it (the truth) set every reader free from the shackles of ignorance.

Corona: Sign of the Apocalypse?

Religious organizations around the world— particularly major ones in Nigeria— have at one point or the other predicted the disastrous end of the world (the Apocalypse). Some Naturalists argue that the disease is as a result of nature taking its course trying to take the world back to its original state of natural utopia. Coincidentally, many global activities are currently on hold as a result of this pandemic. A highlight of some of the many negative impacts it has had would drive home this point:

1. Sharp fall in stock market prices, such has never occurred since 1987.

2. Temporary suspension of major sporting activities throughout the globe as some key figures in these sports have gone down with the virus.

3. Great loss of profit for business moguls as foreign exchange market is under serious clamp down.

4. Travel bans in major countries across the globe in order to prevent the spread of the virus.

However, rather than accepting or arguing against Naturalist beliefs and apocalyptic theories, it is expedient that one know and act cautiously against being infected.

New But not New Virus

Technically, and as against the general convention, Corona virus is not a new development. It is very important at this point that we know that Corona virus is a general name given to a particular set of viruses that affect animals (specifically bats and camels) and sometimes— humans. Corona viruses have been in existence since way back, SARS Corona Virus 1 particularly-the initial strain-has been discovered since 2002. However the type of Corona virus that has been causing ruckus is a new strain discovered in 2019—the severe acute respiratory Corona Virus-2— in the Wuhan city of China. 

How does one get the virus?

As at now, the only means of getting the Corona virus is either through direct contact with an infected person, his or her body fluid or contact with an infected object. As opposed to the belief that it spreads through mosquito bites, no discovery of the virus being carried by insects has been made yet. Also, there is no evidence of getting Corona through sexual intercourse, however body touches is a very potent medium of transmitting the virus

Are Africans immune to the virus?

This is a straight No! Every living human in the world is susceptible to being infected with the disease. Some have argued that the virus probably can’t survive in the body Africans or Africa (as a continent). However, there are currently reports of infected Africans. The relatively low number of infection is arguably due to luck and early response of the government. It is however necessary to be informed about the higher susceptibility of people with generally weak immune systems for instance: elderly people and people with underlying health conditions.

How do I know if my friend is infected?

Just like many infections, a patient of Corona virus is likely to show symptoms. Though regular checkups are important for people exposed to possible infection due to the long incubation period the virus has (1 to 14days).Infected individual shows the listed symptoms:

1. Fever

2. Cough

3. Difficulty breathing

4. Muscle pain

5. Tiredness

Though, these are the general symptoms of normal influenza, caution dictates they are not treated as such. Therefore, if Titi, Ngozi, Amina discovers she has been coughing, instead of discarding it as normal influenza or as some would  call it “normal allergic reaction”, immediate  medical attention and most likely quarantine is the next logical course of action, not just for herself but for anybody who has come in contact with her

Is there a cure for Corona Virus?

No! As at the day of writing this, no discovery of any cure has been made for Corona Virus yet. It is important that everyone ignores the attempt by some quacks to make profit of out of the situation. Also importantly, no vaccine has been discovered yet .The drugs being peddled may have dangerous side effects. Any individual caught peddling drugs with the claim of curing Corona should be reported to the appropriate authorities.

Does that mean it is a death sentence?

Fortunately for the world, there has been cases of individuals who have recovered from the viral infection. As it stands now, the mortality rate of the virus is 4% (as recorded by the European centre for disease prevention and control). It takes proper treatment and care in a standard hospital for recovery. Therefore, in the event of infection, there is really no need for hysteria and grave talks.

How do I prevent getting infected?

As opposed to spiritual advice from religious fanatics, it is necessary that proper steps are taken to prevent being infected. Note this well, COVID can’t be prevented by prayer and fasting.  Generally, humans tend to touch themselves at openings in their body. However hard it may sound, frequent direct contact with the major openings in the body should be avoided. Coupled with this, proper personal hygiene especially washing of hands should be imbibed as a culture. Sanitizers and alcohol based gels are effective measures not for consumption but for cleaning of the hands.  Most importantly, at least a metre distance should be maintained from whoever shows symptoms of infection.

Conclusion.

The existence of the virus (for whatever reason) has been established and just like any other global pandemic, the world would surely find a solution. However, before then, it is important that we prevent ourselves from unnecessary deaths due to infection. In the case of infection, however and as said earlier, it is not a death sentence. Proper medical attention and care would surely prevent the infected from death. Now you have known the truth, as students, we can carry out a civil duty of educating others in our country. God bless Nigeria!

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