Over a month ago I reported that the media’s coverage of the new coronavirus is often based on unreliable data, creating fear and panic instead of helping us to focus on solutions. I have been posting daily updates on our FaceBook page that present a more empowering message. Here is one of my latest posts:
Dealing with COVID-19 requires an evidence based approach tailored to each country’s specific circumstances. This is why, as of March 18th, Australia has chosen to keep public primary and secondary schools open.
Australian federal and state medical health officers have advised that the virus poses minimal risk to young people, and that the closing down of schools would actually harm the efforts of dealing with the virus. Singapore has also kept schools open while succeeding in containing the virus.
According to a new research paper from Imperial College London, for social distancing measures to be effective the policy would have to be in place for at least 18 months. Some countries have figured out that stopping the world for this amount of time is a disproportionate and ineffective strategy for dealing with a virus that, for most people, is either asymptomatic or creates a mild illness.
Furthermore, according to an article by Dr. John Ioannidis, one of the most cited and highly regarded researchers, reasonable estimates for the case fatality ratio in the general U.S. population vary from 1% to as low as 0.05% (lower than seasonal influenza).
Simply put, the response may turn out to be more harmful than the virus itself.
One consequence of the often inaccurate coverage of Covid-19 has been the panic shopping that we have witnessed in stores across the world. Anyone out of toilet paper yet? Another much more harmful consequence is the increased risk of hospitals running out of beds due to people showing up to get tested and treated, even though their symptoms are not severe.
Here is a very important reminder to help us get through this: If you feel anything less than severe symptoms, one of the most important things you can do is to stay away from hospitals and remain at home where you don’t run the risk of infecting others. Being hospitalized will not help you, but it could overwhelm the hospital itself leading to more deaths from other serious diseases that could have been treated successfully. Only people with severe symptoms or pre-existing conditions should seek medical attention. So if that doesn’t describe your situation you should most definitely stay put, monitor your symptoms as you would normally do with a regular cold or flu, drink your green juices, and watch something relaxing on tv.
Please take comfort from the fact that the vast majority of people experience only mild symptoms, if any, before fully recovering from Covid-19 without complication. This has proven to be true in every single study from across the world, including China and Italy.
There is no doubt that our vulnerable members of society must be protected from all viruses, and this has always been the case. But let’s not take a sledgehammer to a situation that requires a more refined approach. Let’s not act as pawns for the pharmaceutical industry that, with the help of the media, wants us to believe that we are all doomed, and must stop living until a new vaccine saves us.
Stopping the world for everyone is simply not an effective strategy for protecting our vulnerable population. Fear is never the answer. It’s certainly not what we want to teach our children.
Markito Fitness & Nutrition
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