Human beings are capable of feeling emotions that help us in our daily lives. Fear, for example, alerts us for any danger present which is critical in keeping us alive. But too much is always bad; overthinking things and believing in fallacies can create more fear which leads to panic.
On Wednesday, the World Health Organization has finally declared the rapidly spreading coronavirus outbreak a pandemic, acknowledging that the virus will likely spread to all countries on the globe. With more than 130,000 confirmed cases and 4,751 deaths, people are starting to feel fear more than ever.
However, among these numbers are also recovered patients with a total of 68,672 as of writing. With the coronavirus labeled as a pandemic, it doesn't mean that they are very much deadly. Pandemic does not refer to a disease's lethality but rather to it's transmittability and geographical extension.
Here are the 10 reasons why you should not panic:
1. We know what it is
Unlike AIDS back in 1981 when it was first discovered, it took 2 years before scientists could identify the virus, we have already know what virus is causing this outbreak.
It was December 31, 2019, when severe pneumonia was first tested and by January 7, our scientists have already identified what virus it is. We already know that it is a new coronavirus under the same family of SARS, and we call that disease a COVID-19.
2. We know how to detect the virus
A test to detect the virus has already been available since 2013. Thanks to this, we can easily identify people positively with the virus and help them get better as soon as possible.
3. The situation is improving in China
As the epicenter of the virus, China's efforts in combating the virus has finally paid off with the decrease in the number of cases diagnosed every day. This means that the virus is curable and can be prevented.
4. 80% of the cases are mild
Although the number of cases is going high, the good news is that most of it is mild cases with 81%; while it also caused severe pneumonia to 14% of the cases; and 5% can become critical or fatal. Chances of dying from the virus increases if you are a person who has a prior disease or old.
5. People recover
Since most of the cases are mild, a lot has already recovered from the disease. It is 13 times greater than the death toll and that proportion is getting higher.
6. Symptoms in children are mild
Coronavirus does not often infect children. Only 3% of people under 20 were reported to be infected by COVID-19. The mortality rate for people under 40 is only 0.2%.
7. The virus can be wiped clean
Using a solution of ethanol (62-71%), hydrogen peroxide (0.5%) or sodium hypochlorite (0.1% bleach) the virus can be effectively inactivated from surfaces. But the perfect way to avoid contagion is through handwashing with soap and water.
8. Use of scientific method to fight COVID-19
Scientists all over the world are now cooperating to find a solution to stop this pandemic. There are 164 articles about the vaccines, treatments, epidemiology, genetics, and phylogeny, diagnosis, clinical aspects, etc. that can be accessed in PubMed on COVID-19 or SARSCov2.
These articles are written by 700 authors, distributed throughout the globe and it is shared and open to anyone interested in their research.
9. Vaccine prototypes are already being developed
There are already 8 projects underway seeking a vaccine against COVID-19. Prototypes may soon be tested on humans.
10. Ongoing antiviral trials
Vaccines are preventive measures. At this moment, the important thing is to find a treatment for those infected people. Over 80 clinical trials are conducted to analyze the coronavirus treatments.
One of the antiviral trials is redelivered that was once used in treating Ebola and SARS/MERS. Another one is the chloroquine, an antimalarial that is said to have antiviral properties. Others also include oseltamivir (used against influenza), interferon-lb (protein with antiviral function), antisera and among others.
So the next time you panic, make sure you have all your facts right otherwise you will be believing in fake news and might influence other people also to panic.