Corona virus: our reality

17 March 2020 | Columns

Octavia Tsibes

Covid-19, also known as the coronavirus, ladies and gentlemen. To be honest with you, when news broke out that Covid-19 has landed on Namibian soil, a million others including myself, went into a frenzy; we went hysterical, some more than others. I can understand their shock, fear and hysteria because this just doesn’t happen to a small country like Namibia. We are so used to international news, and it being an international problem excluding Namibia. This feels so foreign, it just isn’t Namibian, but it’s a reality that this virus is amongst us.

Schools have been shut down, public places like parks, stadiums, swimming pools, and other entertainment recreational facilities that can accommodate a large number of people. Weddings, conferences, concerts, whatever you call it, the big man has shut it down, with great, and I mean great, reason. This virus spreads like wildfire and cannot be tamed, so, it’s better if we stay in little contact with the outside just until this situation subsides.

So now that school calendars have changed due to the outbreak of Covid-19, and schools have closed with immediate effect, this gives those still at school, universities or training colleges an opportunity to study. See, I have managed to find a silver lining for academics during this pandemic. This is a golden opportunity for students to get their grades up and study for the upcoming exams that have been postponed, so this situation kind of works in their favour and also proves that they can deliver great academic results at the end of the year, trumping this virus. Not in the land of the brave, Covid-19, not in the land of the brave.

Other than that, this coronavirus has really affected the economies of many countries and international stock markets. Most countries will divert their resources to healthcare, with tourism and trade taking the backseat for the time being. It is mind-boggling that this tiny bug can cause such mass destruction in a few weeks.

Like I said, this feels so foreign, but it isn’t foreign to practise good hygiene; we all can fight this outbreak by practising outstandingly good hygiene. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, twice, because here, we take the extra preventive measures. I cannot stress this enough: refrain from touching your face. I know it sounds so simple, but our hands are always in our faces, either scratching, wiping, or just as a resting place, please refrain! The virus enters your body via your mouth, eyes, and nose. Again, wash your hands.

Avoid close contact with someone that has been exposed to Covid-19, or that you suspect has been infected with Covid-19. It is crucial that we educate ourselves about this virus and similar illnesses to prevent unnecessary hullabaloo; the last thing we want is to make a spectacle of ourselves and blaming someone for having Covid-19. We wouldn’t want that now, do we?

Stock up on your ascorbic acid, kids! That’s right, vitamin C. Vitamin C ensures that your immune system is strong to fight off Covid-19, and also aids that your immune system isn’t compromised. How do we stock up on Vitamin C? Easy: eat fruit that contains a large amount of Vitamin C, such as oranges or any other citrus fruits.

Avoid touching surfaces such as tables, chairs and door handles that may have been contaminated by an infected person. This virus can survive on surfaces for days. Although it is believed that the virus isn’t airborne like chickenpox or measles, it is still spread by droplets from infected people’s coughs or sneezes. This is good news, because if it was fully airborne the whole room could’ve been infected just by breathing. That would have been a disaster.

Researchers say that other coronaviruses degrade more quickly at high temperatures but they warn that this new coronavirus may not necessarily go away in warm weather.

If you are going to be in contact with the outside world to run errands or go to work, carry some hand sanitiser with you, and wearing a surgical mask might help as well. If we all take preventive measures to avoid being infected and spreading infection, we will be fine. If you have symptoms such as a fever above 38 degrees and cough, there is a hotline where you can consult a general practitioner to prevent potential spreading of the Covid-19 virus.

Remember to check up on your friends and neighbours; we are all in this together. Make sure to have sufficient ventilation, take care and Godspeed.

[email protected]

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