Coronavirus disease is an unprecedented biological threat that affects our survival and has put an unanticipated amount of stress on the socioeconomic institutions throughout the globe.
WHO and country relevant agencies have been issuing advisories and strict quarantine counter measures have been mounted to check transmission and prevent the spread.
However, due to the labile nature of media reporting and outlets that compete with them for bringing us – news or information, may become clouded with opinions and observations as prevalent truth. While media agencies try to follow a strict reporting process themselves – social media is liable to misuse or simply fall prey to lack of fact-checking (with authorities).
Misinformation or overzealous responses are a headache too, especially for parents with young kids, or elderly who are on their own – serious diseases such as COVID-19 can grip and overwhelm the public with information that may not be of use or as suggested earlier, is labile.
What we know and understand
WHO has done a tremendous job of updating situation reports, circulating myth-busters and countering claims with evidence that should be used as yardstick of prevention against the newly emerged COVID-19 threat.
Similarly, government agencies across the nation states have their own action plan – authenticated sources and actual intelligence is key to prevention and mitigates panic that can spread and cause problems. Of the scale that all of us are reading about such as hoarding of essential items (hand sanitizers, food surplus and even toilet paper in some countries).
Begin with the bare minimum essential needs and prescribed medication as the priority – while constant alert for authenticated information should be our reference. Avoid opinions and ‘passing the information’ problem by knowing this one distinct fact and believing it – COVID-19 is an emerging and evolving biological disease; the cohort of healthcare professionals and medical staff and scientists are the primary barrier in our fight supported by the governmental agencies that help us with civic functions
There response, advice and precautions should and must be observed with diligence.
Practical aspects and preventive care
Contact transmission is a hugely worrying concern for us, therefore, travel suspension and avoiding crowded areas has been advised. While face masks and hand sanitizers are potential preventive measures, do not neglect the overall hygiene, handling of waste and social distancing.
A detailed FAQ can be accessed here for the best answers, courtesy WHO.
Exercise caution and at the same time understand that elderly people due to age related illnesses and other groups of people who are immunocompromised or on medication which makes the susceptible to such diseases (or having known conditions that has weakened their immunity) are the most vulnerable.
Your concern implemented as precautions and preventive care based on proper advice will make a huge difference to not only our own lives but to the lives of others as well.
Help those who may not understand the full extent of this serious disease, such as socially and economically marginalised strata of society with whom you are in contact. This would in turn strengthen the overall disease fighting resilience towards which all the nations are striving to progress towards.
Fact-check, observe precautions as advised by authenticated government sources and be kind.