CORONA VIRUS !
I have tried to write about Coronavirus a lot of times before but somehow ditch the idea at the last minute every other time .
Truth is , I have become more and more disinterested in making arguments or maybe I have just become a tad lazier .
But I am really worried about COVID-19.
Make no mistake , this is not a case of panic . No one seems to be panicking and that is the source of my fear.
I have seen orientations and reorientations on COVID-19 and then totally bewildering campaign against panic .
Now , there has been an argument by a section on Social Media users and analysts downplaying the seriousness of Corona Virus . Their argument is , the western media is blowing the impact of the virus out of proportion and it is creating unnecessary panic.
Now I want to ask a question.
Between panic and downplaying the dangers of COVID-19 , which poses more danger to Nigerians ?
Panic is a terrible thing and it could be fatal , yes . I also know you would throw in the overused example of salt bathing during the Ebola virus outbreak as your classic example of the stupidity in panic .
But let me offer you a perspective , there were a total of 20 suspected cases of Ebola in Nigeria then, 19 were confirmed , 8 died . Here is the thing , of the 8 people that died of Ebola , none was due to panic or overdose of salt !
Granted , there exists cases of unverified deaths from excessive salt intake due to Ebola panic but what is the solution to this ?
Telling people that COVID-19 isn’t that dangerous after-all and backing it up with nonplus statistics.
Statistics are really mundane things but it is unfortunately my forte so let’s deal with your argument for instance .
The mortality rate of COVID-19 is low , very low , as low as 3% for younger people . This is nothing to fear about right ?
But here is a thing you probably don’t know or consider about figures in statistic .
This figure is a death rate in relation to the number of infected people . Still confused ?
You probably hear one percent death rate and you think to yourself , 99 percent of people with COVID -19 actually recover, and whew! you can now relax .
Know this , percentage is a number in relation to another number , so what is the number ?
The big question is , how many people is 3 %?.
Let’s look at 3% death rate in a proper perspective .
3% of 35 people is 1.03 deaths .
3% of 1000 people is 30 deaths .
The same 3% percent !
You see the dangerous thing about statistical figures and those who really have no interest in it but are however at the mercy of those who peddle it .
When you have a high rate of infection , isolated statistics downplays the dangers because it shows a very low mortality rate and you think all is fine.
COVID-19 is doing staggering numbers in Europe and this will always give a low mortality rate due to it’s high rate of spread .
COVID-19 has already killed more people than SARS but that 3% mortality rate will never allow you notice that.
COVID-19 has killed over a thousand people in Italy alone but the number of those that have recovered will not allow you see the impact .
This is because if the figure friendly folks do a ratio of death and recovery , it shows that probably about 1 percent have died .
But ask yourself , how many is 1%?
If 10,000 people recovers, does this extinguish the need to worry about 1000 deaths in a very short time ?
You would argue that older adults are more vulnerable to Corona Virus deaths but let me ask you . How many of you here have parents below 60 years or 70 years ?
So if our parents are more vulnerable than us , is that something not to worry about ? Are they good to die?
Since we like statistics , let me give you one for the shivers . According to data from COVID-19 cases, only 15% of victims showed serious and classic COVID-19 symptoms .A scary 80 percent showed “very mild symptoms”.
Now , very civilized people from the west consider slight alterations from normal health condition as serious , the kind of things we overlook here or simply take paracetamol . Imagine what they actually admit to be “very mild symptoms”.
Those symptoms they consider “very mild” will not be worth a tablet of paracetamol in a typical 3rd world country like ours .
Now, did you know that only 3 hospitals in Nigeria can diagnose Lassa Fever ? Now ask yourself how mild symptoms of flu-like, cold-esque COVD-19 can be spotted in your Iyana Ipaja home if people are not scared and thoroughly jumpy about cold symptoms or any symptoms at all.
If Corona Virus hits Nigeria hard like Italy and China with the same number of infected people , then you will see a different figure of recovery .
Don’t kid yourself , there is not biological proof that the black man is immune . Neither does one exist to back up the claim that our temperature makes it inhabitable for the virus.
Stop downplaying the dangers of this virus, we can’t handle Malaria.
Allow people to fear , it is worth fearing .
It is only fear that will force the the level of hygiene that will prevent the spread of COVID-19 .
Your government will fail you, your health system will fail you .
Don’t get Corona Virus