In the time of Covid...
As I reflect on the spectrum of people that can offer a perspective on Covid 19 I can’t help but think of it in terms of a “drunk old guy at the end of the bar with an opinion” as being a one and Dr Howard Njoo, the deputy public health officer of Canada, as a ten — so with humble consideration to this scale, I would consider myself a solid five and a half on a good day.
Why am I so bold to say this?
Well I have an undergraduate in microbiology and have spend my career in the biotechnology space where I would find myself talking to virologists and immunologists quite regularly; insight by osmosis is how the saying goes. And as a hobby, I’m quick to dig into the statistics and curves, and lament what I would be doing if only I had applied myself more. With that said, it’s worth grounding ourselves before I offer insights into my guiding principles for dealing with this pandemic.In December 2019, and possibly earlier, an animal virus jumped to a new host which had no innate immunity — the virus is from a family of viruses called coronaviruses and the new hosts are us. Because it’s a new virus it was called a novel coronavirus but soon after the WHO called the virus SARS-CoV-2, and the disease it caused, Covid 19. This particular virus infects the upper respiratory track, and more dangerously the lungs if it gets a chance, and because of it’s a novel virus there are over eight billion people that can unwittingly conspire to help it spread. We’ve had seven months to learn about this new virus and have found that it spreads easily in crowds (particularly indoors), it’s deadly (particularly to those who have underlying health conditions), people can be infectious even when they don’t show any symptoms, and the data suggests only about 1 % of the population has been infected — 1% is a long way from the herd immunity needed to bring us back to some sort of normality.
1) Be as healthy as you possibly can — physically, mentally and spiritually.
SARS-CoV-2 is a dangerous virus, more so for those with weak immune systems and underlying medical conditions (which is a very broad category). Depending on how you interpret the numbers, 2-5 % of those who are infected will die and many others may have to contend with chronic health issues. A healthy body, mind and spirit is the best defence.
Work hard to be healthy.
2) Work really hard not to get infected (FULL STOP).
As a simple reminder, a person gets infected when the virus enters the body through the nose, mouth and eyes — more often than not this happens by being too close to an infected person or transferring the the virus from surfaces to your face. Try not to let this happen.
3) Be adaptive because change is happening.
Sadly some of this change is dramatic and hard (particularly on the mind and spirit). Remember though, with change comes opportunity, innovation, and more often than not, offers something better than you had. The important thing is to embrace the change and work with it.
4) Be kind.
There is a common connection that SARS-Cov-2 has given us and a reminder that we are all very much the same. As you are (or should be) kind to yourself as you work through this situation, you should remember to be kind to others because they are working through the same situation. We will all get through this — not because of our differences but because of our similarities.
I appreciate each of my guiding principles necessitate the need for information, reflection, personal development, and stepping into the unknown — but isn’t that part of life anyway?
That’s all I got — be safe in the time of Covid.
*I’ve read that herd immunity will happen when 70 % of the population has developed an immunity to the virus. But remember I’m a 5 1/2.
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