How can something so small that you can only see it with a powerful microscope shake the world so hard?
Where does a killer virus come from? What does it feed on? What is its life span? How long does it stay alive in the air or on the surface of a human body? Why does it make people sick so fast once inside the body? Why is the outbreak more from developed countries with better sanitation records? Why is it that some particular strains become residents of certain countries and torment the world from there? Why does it sometimes target a particular age group. And finally, why does it use some people to play like a toy, allowing them to live with little or no trouble but come down heavily on others with a brutal death?
The questions are endless and the answers are convulated and so troubling that it is difficult to make sense of the life of a virus.
Back in 2005, the Awake Magazine in its December 22nd edition carried a feature story titled “The Next Global Epidemic- When? The article took its reference point from the 1918 Spanish Flu Outbreak. The Flu began in the US State of Kansas and was spread by US soldiers posted to France. Like a fire in the wild, the disease spread across the world.
According to Awake, ” it was the most destructive in all recorded human history….Victims died en masse, for there was no effective treatment or cure. Millions of healthy young people were suddenly cut down during their most productive time of life. Corpses piled up faster than they could be buried. In some places entire towns and villages were wiped out”.
One investigator who spoke to Awake said:
“In Rio de Janeiro, a man asked medical student Ciro Viera Da Cunha, who was waiting for a streetcar, for information in a perfectly normal voice, then fell down, dead; in Cape Town, South Africa, Charles Lewis boarded a streetcar for a three-mile trip home when the conductor collapsed, dead. In the next three miles six people aboard the streetcar died, including the driver.”
Cities shut down as more and more people went down. Nothing, including the wearing of face mask, that was made compulsory helped the situation. In the US city of Philadelphia, things were so bad that it was difficult to get a coffin for burial.
According to a historian:
“One manufacturer said he could dispose of 5,000 caskets in two hours, if he had them”.
Estimate of those that died worldwide range between 21-100 million.
How does a Virus begin it’s war.
An infected person can cast off a virus by talking, sneezing or coughing. Within the new body the virus can give birth to between hundred thousand to one million “baby viruses” Theses babies can take in different characteristics that undermine the human immune system within 10- 24 hours. And from there, things may start to spiral out of control.
The current virus named convid-19 is said to be a new variant of what is already known. And it comes with a sneaky “personality”. Normally, a virus infected person becomes noticeably sick before he begins to pass the virus on to others. A convid infected person would look perfectly normal but would reached the stage of passing on the disease. That is why, the virus is easily hopping from one continent or country to another.
According to a Washington Post article ” As with other diseases, there can be tremendous individual variation in how people respond. There will be people with known risk factors who recover as well as people who develop severe cases for reasons we don’t understand.
“It may be a very specific thing about the way your immune system interacts with a particular pathogen,” said Allison McGeer, an infectious-disease epidemiologist at the University of Toronto. “It may also be just about exactly what your exposure is.”
What should you do?
The panic show is on. And Nigerians are experts in the game. Sharing and propagating all manners of trash information. These don’t help anyone. We all need to follow advise from official sources only.
Again, according to the Washington Post article:
“The virus may be novel, but you don’t need to buy anything new or special to brace for it. Epidemiology experts said the most important aspect of preparedness costs nothing at all — calm.
“Don’t panic,” said Timothy Brewer, a professor of epidemiology and medicine at UCLA. “There’s no value in panicking or telling people to be afraid. Don’t let fear and emotion drive the response to this virus.”
There are some basic precautions you can take, which are the same as what you should be doing every day to stave off other respiratory diseases. You’ve seen the guidance before: Wash your hands regularly. Cover your nose and mouth when you sneeze. And when you’re sick, stay home from work or school and drink lots of fluids.
The CDC recommends washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds after using the bathroom, before eating and after blowing your nose or sneezing. It also advises not to touch your eyes, nose and mouth and to clean objects and surfaces you touch often.”
Nevertheless, nothing beats the Nigerian spirit of creating fun out of very serious situations. The deadly virus is now a butt of Jokes. Let’s just wish convid-19 does not get to know what Nigerians are doing to it on social media.