Friday 4 September 2020

Get ready for a second Corona wave!

Will there be a second wave? 

In the UK and probably many other countries, the schools, colleges and universities are starting to open again. Also we are being asked to go back into our offices and shops. However, if we are not careful, this could lead to the start of a second wave of the epidemic.

It has been estimated that over 40% of grandparents are 'carers' for their grandchildren. Since Corona has a more severe effect on older people and those with health problems, it makes sense to continue to avoid contact and close proximity to ALL other people (even those in the same household). The grandparents should try to keep their distance from the kids (somehow!).

The larger the 'dose' - the more severe the symptoms? 

There is growing evidence that the higher the initial 'infection load' you first receive, the worse will be your symptoms. This means that although you may still become infected, the symptoms (if any) should be mild as long as you didn't receive a large viral load. Hopefully, it will be no worse than a cold or a mild dose of the flu.

I avoid crowded shops and use online delivery instead for this reason (as do many others). 

It makes sense for everyone to wear masks in all situations where social distancing cannot be maintained and in confined spaces such as public transport, theatres, cinemas, shops, crowded pubs, etc. I suggest you carry spare masks with you and offer them to anyone who is too close to you and say to them 'for the sake of my family and yours, please could you wear this mask'. Eventually they will get the message and always wear a mask in crowded places. Buy your masks in bulk now before the infection numbers start to rise and there is a shortage again. Cheap and basic disposable ones are much better than nothing at all.

If you suspect that your partner is ill, then it may be wise to not sleep in the same bed or come into close contact with them until they have been tested and given the all clear. This may prevent you from becoming seriously ill. You probably will still become infected sooner or later, but the 'lighter' the initial infection load, the less severe your symptoms should be.

If a member of your household has tested positive, then all members should go into quarantine/lockdown (if you haven't already), wear masks, hand wash and socially distance - the idea is to reduce that air-borne and contact-borne 'initial load' of viruses that you are bound to be dishing out.

We should regard any other human as a 'bag of germs' - would you hug a 'germ bag'? It makes sense to regularly wash your hands after handling anything that has been touched by others. Make a habit of washing your hands whenever you walk past a washroom/bathroom and always keep a bottle of hand sanitiser nearby on your desk. Don't forget to sanitise the house phone after use too!

Public Transport 

As I see it, the most difficult threat to tackle is the problems we face when using public transport. As well as wearing a mask, it might help to also wear gloves. This threat is probably why people who work in offices in large cities still prefer not to commute and to continue to work from home. Hence the empty train and tube stations that we see today. It wouldn't hurt to try cycling that last mile instead of using public transport anyway!

I wonder if the HS2 train carriages have been designed with social distancing in mind? This won't be the last time we have to deal with an infectious disease. It would be a shame for the UK people to spend £100 billion but then be too scared to use them...

Take a pill? 

There is a theory that Vitamin D can help to reduce Covid-19 symptoms. So we should all take Vitamin D supplements (especially now the daylight hours are getting shorter) - after all, it can't hurt, can it? I use a spray for convenience (Amazon affiliate link here) but there are many different products available.

Aside: I know a few people who swear that taking turmeric tablets makes them feel better too, though I prefer a good curry instead!

Wait for a vaccine

Treatment of Covid-19 is improving all the time. The use of ventilators now appears to be declining, in favour of other alternatives. There are about a dozen existing drugs which may prove to be more effective. 

Of course, these precautions won't be necessary when an effective vaccine has been fully rolled out (probably around 2021 Q2). After that the service industries, public transport, flights and cruise ship holidays should all return back to normal. Next year should be a bumper year for the holiday business - so book now for your next summer break!

Remember that in the USA (2014-2019 annually), cancer, heart disease, dementia/Alzheimer's, exposure to lead, drowning, obesity, medical errors and poisoning each kill more people every year in the USA than Corona has (so far). Corona has about twice the annual mortality rate of flu - and many of us don't even bother to take the flu vaccine or wear masks in public during the flu season!

Even though we are back at school and at the office/factory, we still need to protect the old and vulnerable and ensure there is no 'second wave'. All these precautions are extremely inconvenient, but the lockdown order that would surely follow a second wave will be even more of a nuisance and who is going to pay your mortgage and bills if you are not working?

Best wishes and stay safe!

No comments:

Post a Comment