The world is on attention. No one is safe.
From peasants to Presidents, from teachers to legislators – and everyone between. We are all under siege. It is not easy not to be scared. The #coronavirus pandemic is not relenting.
Reading the situation reports on the WHO website, you feel shivers throughout the body. So many people are dying so quickly. Why now? What is the driving force behind this pandemic? How can a man who has managed to freely visit the moon and back fail to find a quick solution to this virus, #covid19?
To make it worse, there is too much noise online that we are being confused. I read a report that #covid19 is airborne? Is that true? I have tried to research credible sources like the UN website, WHO website, and other top research university websites, I don’t find a good explanation for this worry. This means we must consider the virus as “airborne” and take preventative measures.
Where do we buy face masks?
I have been looking for face masts in vain. In Uganda, the Ministry of Health is yet to provide the public with one information portal about the pandemic, and where to find what. Now is the time for the government to distribute masts for all people who can work. The information portal should specify the distribution points or gazette the picking or buying points and the price for each.
#coronavirus in figures as of 23rd March 2020; source: msc.com.
Total confirmed cases: 341,560
Active cases: 227,772
Recovered cases: 99,040
Fatal cases: 14,748
This gives a case fatality rate at 4.3% implying that in every 100 people who become sick of #coronavirus, 5 will die. This rate is not as bad as Ebola, which has a case fatality rate of 90%, implying that out of 100 people who fall sick of the Ebola, 90 will die. Whereas Ebola is easy to contain, #coronavirus is not. And people can take over 10 days spreading the virus without noticeable symptoms. And that is probably how the world now finds itself in a big health crisis.
The Spanish flu of 1918 had a reported case fatality rate of 2.5%. Deadly of all is the Rabies virus with a 100% case fatality rate. Once you get the virus, you have bought a sure ticket to the grave, if treatment is not started on the same day!
The #covid19 is not the first and sure, it will not be the last, for mankind.
Why the anxiety in the world?
Some diseases and viruses love poor people. Ebola, for example, thrives is poverty and slum settings typical in African cities. The extended family and culture settings where people live together while drawing water from the same open sources and using the same plates to eat, Ebola finds fertile grounds to wreak havoc. Though Ebola has a gestation period of about 13 days, it does in its victims quickly – within 5 days the body becomes weak depending on the host immune level.
Coronavirus is not a race, status, or country blind.
It is going for everyone. And it has tested countries with already existing developed health systems. The sheer number of reported cases has overwhelmed the existing facilities. In China, where the outbreak was first reported, the country opted for a new hospital to handle the cases. In hindsight, this was the best decision since the virus would have wreaked havoc to the other patients in the hospitals.
In Italy, Spain, Germany, and the United States, #covid19 is spreading like wildfire. Some of the top celebrities, top politicians and executives of large corporations have reported being infected with the virus. It is this unrelenting nature of the virus that has made it very lethal and of concern.
As I have continued to write on this blog, the world has been disrupted. A global recession is in sight. In many African countries, poverty levels shall rise. The growth trajectory shall be curtailed. It will take another five years of hard work to recover the loss – both indirect and direct – from this #coronavirus. Many small businesses shall fold due to accumulating costs of rent and other commitments.
You are right to worry.
This may never be the same again.
Copyright Mustapha B Mugisa, 2020. All rights reserved.