Let’s do our bit to fight the virus - GulfToday

Let’s do our bit to fight the virus

Sneezing

Image for illustrative purpose only.

Until a few months back, if we heard someone sneeze, the normal tendency was to respond with a ‘God bless’. Not any more. There is a paradigm shift in how the otherwise harmless sneeze is being interpreted today. With COVID-19 doing the round, the sneezer is more likely to be looked at with suspicion than a ‘god bless’ worthy recipient (“Don’t panic, other viruses also give flu symptoms, says doctor”, Mar.6, Gulf Today).

Guess this is no time to take the deadly novel coronavirus strain lightly, but unfounded panic is also no way of dealing with a mutated virus. It is a good thing that for once the world has a common enemy in the form of a virus. And world leaders are forced into shunning their border plans into fighting a miniscule enemy, which is far from visible to the naked eye.

Guess some will say that it is easier for me to look at COVID-19 in a lighter vein because I am far removed from the victims of the virus. But, no, that is not true. How many of us take notice of the thousands who die annually due a flu attack. And like the narrative points out, there are other viruses which also have symptoms similar to that of flu and a sneeze may not necessarily blow out COVID-19 mutants in the air. So a ‘flight’ response is unwarranted, even if ten people were to sneeze in unison. Of course covering the face while sneezing is something we all should do, irrespective.

The other fallout is that, a great deal of misinformation is being dispensed on the social network on potential cures. I received a Whatsapp message which advocated boiling some garlic cloves in water and drinking the solution regularly so as to keep the virus at bay. Ironically the cure is a recommendation by an old Chinese doctor. I seriously wish it was the cure, because we would have saved thousands of lives.

The administrations in affected countries have taken necessary precautions like shutting down of schools, cancelling public events etc. All we are asked to do is to be hygienically sound and report to the health authorities should we experience something unusual. Let’s do our bit and leave the rest to the experts.

Carmen R
By email

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