Tackling Corona Virus Long Term

By | March 21, 2020

At this point it seems Corona and its impact is here for the long term. As the days go by I see even more people taking extreme measures often out of fear or a lack of understanding the problem. Social media and Whatsapp has played its share too. The spread of Corona can happen through two ways. You catch it from someone else via direct contact like sneezing, cough etc. Or you catch it via a contaminated surface. In both cases the transfer of bodily fluids is required to spread the virus. In the last few days I have seen people restricting delivery boys from entering the apartment, maid sent on leave, people hoarding antiseptics and disinfectants all of which don’t address the root cause of bodily fluids.

For example you can order food via delivery, however just because you didn’t go out doesn’t mean the food/ groceries hasn’t been exposed to the Virus. Often massive out breaks such as this happen from concentrated locations such as fish markets, warehouses, and contaminated water sources (wells etc.). Rather than everyone order from the same Grocer we are better off ordering from as many different minor sources as possible to contain the probability of spread from a single source with extensive market penetration. Simply put if you buy from the local green grocer tracking your exposure is much easier than if you ordered from BigBasket. For all you know the Bigbasket delivery boy catches it from a house he delivered it to and ended up spreading it to all his colleagues. Now imagine how likely it is your local delivery boy has contracted it the same way.

Note this still doesn’t address the problem of bodily fluids. In order to contain this the current approach is social distancing which is aimed at bringing down the transmission rate. However bringing down the transmission rate doesn’t eliminate the number of infected people still out there. The fundamental assumption behind flatten the curve is that the same number of people still get infected just that they don’t get infected all at once. Unfortunately in today’s world we are far more interconnected than ever before and Covid -19 is looking like it’s going to be around for a while. Social distancing can work for a duration of a 2-3 weeks before people start to neglect basic preventive measures as they are overcome by larger pressing social needs ( lest we risk sending the entire population into depression). Even the most antisocial person needs his human contact (study done on prisoners in solitary have confirmed this) and being cooped up can work only to some extent.

It takes two weeks for symptoms to show up so unless we are self-quarantined for at least a month it won’t be effective enough.

So we have two weeks to not just contain Corona but hopefully stop it dead in its tracks.

The first line of defense is naturally Social Distancing, it buys us time the two weeks we need so badly.

The second line of defense is washing our hands regularly to prevent us transmitting the virus (which stops your bodily fluids).

The third and probably most important is “how to make sure we don’t catch it from someone else” In this regard keeping them away from you isn’t going to be enough (a prison in US has Covid 19 cases now) If people as isolated as them can get it we are doing something wrong. So how to make sure you don’t catch it from someone else without impacting your safety?

Other common sense measures include:-

  • Don’t believe everything you read on social media without doing your own analysis.
  • You’re a smart person the rest of the time, be one now!
  • Try not to let fear get the better of you, before reporting your neighbor to the police as yourself if you were in their position how would like the matter to be handled and be courteous.
  • Be patient with the elderly they are most likely to suffer the worst consequences of this disease and its important they feel listened to.

Stopping CORONA doesn’t require a miracle it just needs basic common sense measures being done diligently by everyone.