Covid-19: a short summary

If you don’t want to read the full article about Covid-19 (the illness caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2), here is a digest (but you’re missing all the jokes!).

Disclaimer: I am NOT a medical doctor. I am only a computer doctor. A summary has less shades of grey than a full article so it may also be less objective.

Is Covid-19 dangerous?

Yes it is. Although 80% of infected people seem to deal with it as they would with a strong flu, a non negligible portion of sick people develop complications. In those cases, it can be fatal if not treated in a hospital. Unfortunately, the mortality rate is not yet clear. However, it is widely accepted that it is deadlier and much heavier than a common flu. We just don’t know how much more yet.

What are the symptoms?

Fever and dry cough are the most common symptoms. However, there are a range of other symptoms that can also be experienced: fatigue, muscle pain, sore throat, shortness of breath. Losing the sense of smell and/or taste as well as a loss of appetite are also very strong warning signs. However, symptoms alone cannot make a clear diagnosis. If you have a doubt, get tested if possible. The earlier you get diagnosed and treated, the better.

We still know very little from this totally new virus, but here are a couple of interesting facts:

  • the sequencing of its genome lead to interesting discoveries:
    • it attacks hemoglobin, thus preventing the circulation of oxygen in the blood, and it is this lack of blood which causes problems,
    • it can probably enter the cells using two different mechanisms,
  • it is probably infecting both human cells and a bacteria, Prevotella, known to cause septic shocks, and it is the combination of both the virus and the bacteria which causes lethal symptoms (more in the long article).

Should I rush to my doctor/hospital if I think I am sick?

NO. Don’t physically go there. We have a marvelous technology called “phones” and the virus cannot be transmitted with them. Call your doctor/hospital/healthcare hotline to avoid contaminating everyone or catching it if you actually have something else.

Is Covid-19 contagious?

It is EXTREMELY contagious, although we don’t know exactly how much. Even doctors with full gears catch it sometimes. It spreads mostly from droplets coming out of a patient’s mouth, but the virus can also survive for some time on common surfaces. It is not yet clear how long, though. This probably depends on the atmospheric conditions: cold and dry atmosphere probably results in much longer times.

The common flu generally shows its first symptoms within a day or two in infected people. In contrast, SARS-CoV-2 can “sleep” undetected in an infected person for up to 2 weeks. An infected person can actually be contagious for a period of up to 5 or 6 weeks, whereas the flu is generally contagious for a week.

If I catch it, will I be immune?

We are not 100% sure yet. In any case, you will certainly not be immune to other mutations of the virus. SARS-CoV-2 mutates, just like a flu, and natural immunity works mostly against one strain.

What should countries do?

Test your population massively. Test, test, test, test. Spot infectious clusters as soon as possible to avoid mass contagion. Systematically test anyone stepping into your country.

Healthcare systems worldwide should trial chloroquine (an anti-malarial drug that has shown very promising results against Covid-19) and azithromycin (an antibiotic which also has antiviral properties) as soon as possible. There is no time to lose. This is why testing the population for the virus is so important: these medicines are only effective if used at early stages of the illness. DO NOT TAKE ANY MEDICINE WITHOUT THE ADVICE OF A MEDICAL DOCTOR!

If the situation is getting out of control, confine the populations to avoid healthcare systems from being overrun. Get your hospitals ready for a big wave of people in critical conditions. As an Italian doctor was describing it, the uncontrolled spread is a “time bomb”.

To avoid massive economical damage in locked down areas, subsidize companies, especially small businesses and entrepreneurs who don’t have much cash flow. Take measures to help the poor who will be in even more distress than usual, if you don’t want to see an angry crowd at your door tomorrow.

What can/should you do as an individual?

If your country is not extensively testing the population, isolate and protect yourself as much as you can. If the place where you live is “at risk”, use protection gear if you can whenever you need to go out.

However, if your country has adopted the logical and sound attitude of massively testing and treating, you should be fine. Follow the directives of your local authorities.

Apply simple physical distancing measures. Avoid gathering in crowds. WASH YOUR HANDS. If you are a smoker, stop smoking. Do NOT shake hands and avoid touching your face. If at all possible, try working from home.

If you have masks, wear them (and give the extra ones to the healthcare providers if they lack masks in your area):

Protect your elders by not visiting them in person if you can to avoid contaminating them. This does not mean you should abandon them. Call them more often, they need it even more in those difficult times.

Reduce your stress levels. Use vitamins and supplements and anything that can strengthen your immune system (more important details on this in the full article).

If you are a company owner, there are many things you can do to ensure the safety of your company. Act fast.

What should I do if my country goes into lockdown?

If you live with a violent spouse, leave NOW and protect yourself by calling your local help line. Confinement will make things MUCH WORSE.

Confinement is certainly not fun. Accept the fact that you can’t do anything about it, so it is all about how you react to it. Use EFT to deal with the anxiety. 

Drink hot drinks. Exercise at home.

Who is at risk?

Everyone is at risk. Young people end up in hospitals as well. However, here are the top risk factors: old age, chronic respiratory problems, heart problems, diabetes, obesity, SMOKING.

Where did this thing come from?

Who cares for now? It is out there and we have to deal with it.

What will be the impact on economies?

Our current economic and financial models are extremely non resilient. They are built on “growth”. Without growth, it is very likely that the whole system will crumble. We will have to revisit our economic and social models. This is a crisis that will probably be remembered in the history books.

It is too early, however, to predict what will happen, even in the near future. Central Banks try to extinguish the fire. Yet, the damage is already visible and “classic” measures such as massive QEs will certainly not be enough. We will also have to rethink our whole social system. It becomes obvious that, when using pure free market strategies, the healthcare system becomes too weak to handle an emergency situation. This also goes for supply chains, which already suffer from the effects of the pandemic worldwide.

Should I stock toilet paper? Pasta? Alcohol? Is it doomsday?

It is extremely unlikely that this is doomsday. However, you should ALWAYS (even when there is no pandemic or some extreme events happening) have some non perishable food at home. Supply chains these days don’t have much stock, so any single hiccup in the system can cause shortages for short periods of time. Whenever you can, try to buy local goods rather than imported ones, you will be less likely to experience shortages.

Final note

Watch out for Governments trying to manipulate the crisis to take away some of your freedoms. Do not forget their actions when the pandemic is over. Populations under high stress are much easier to manipulate.

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