It wasn’t until earlier this month when the world health organization announced corona as a pandemic that we started to realize how anxiously stressed we really are about this whole thing. Between words like "Breaking News", pandemic, lockdown, no flights, social distancing, global disease, death, corona or COVID-19 we have been lost and confused. Everyone is affected by this called “VIRUS” and just like everyone else it’s a shut down. Being in the events industry it drastically hit hard. From cancellations to postponing events and shoots... things all became cramped up to such frustration, disappointments and anxiety.
It’s a financial disaster by all means for everyone in this field or any kind of small business/startup. So what’s really happening? Is it worth all this attention and panic? Ever since the news started coming out about this virus and I have been paying close attention to everything the World Health Organization (WHO) has been reporting for some reason. I have been analyzing the numbers and using everything I’ve learnt to understand what’s really going on and here is a walk through my personal thoughts/opinion, analysis and some advice for the coming days.
What’s really happening?
Last December China announced a new virus has developed and this virus has been spreading rapidly. This virus might have developed earlier in November or even October. Considering the rate of increase in numbers I would say this virus has been spreading worldwide a lot earlier than we think. For a while I’ve been tracing all the data, facts and relating things to build my analysis. In the modern world that’s kind of similar to the idea of “Big Data” if you’re any familiar with it. I strongly believe that the virus has taken its toll on most people globally. Here in Egypt, I would say we have been suffering from it since January for many reasons. We have the highest numbers when it comes to tourism, specifically Chinese tourists. Our trade depends on Chinese products mostly and that means there’s traffic going back and forth between Egypt and China. Not to mention the terrible hygiene standards we have. Since January almost everyone I know or met, even myself, suffered from almost all or some of the symptoms of the COVID-19. Between hospitals, clinics or even home medication we have all been hearing common phrases like “unexplained fever”, “there’s a strong virus going on and very common this season” or “I don’t know what’s happening to me, but I have never been this sick before”. Almost all the doctors were unable to explain why medications wouldn’t help or take longer than supposed. Some of the medications worked well and some made it even worse. Looking into the types of medications consumed by myself, my family or even my friends I started relating things we have been hearing or reading in the news. WHO announced that Ibuprofen does not help and in some cases it actually made it worse. Now wait a minute! That sounds familiar because looking back at the medicines me, my family or even my friends took I can relate to this announcement made by WHO about Ibuprofen. The recovery time varied among all of us but one thing was very obviously common, and that was bed rest! Actually that’s what all the doctors recommended, a minimum of 3 days and for some it was 2 weeks of bed rest for this “strong virus” we all had. Our immunity systems never fully recovered from this virus and most of us have been sick on and off since then with flu or common cold. The good news is, however, that immunity can fight this. So putting all the facts together did we get the virus?
Maybe! However, that does not mean that we should not care and not apply all necessary safety precautions. But why is the whole world suffering an increased number of cases or deaths? In the US some of my friends who live there and a number of the photographers or people I follow on social media reported being really sick during the period of Jan and Feb. At some point they all also reported the same symptoms. In Europe things are bad and the numbers are scary. Unlike here in Egypt, in order to buy strong medications in Europe you need prescriptions. Prescriptions need visits and visits eventually mean health insurances or lots of money. In Egypt that’s not the case. The last thing we all would do is go for a visit unless it’s extremely helpless the case we’re dealing with. We walk in or call the nearest pharmacy to get the strongest medicines they have that would make us feel better because we simply can’t afford and have no will to stay in. In my humble opinion that played a huge role in the increased numbers in Europe.
What do we need to do?
I won't repeat what every health organization or news outlet says about what can be done, we should be all doing that already by now. Watching after our own health has always been our responsibility and now more than ever. Staying home is the best thing you can do now, but if you don't do it right it can have a drastically negative effect on your health. Even if you think you're sick please stay home and isolate yourself. Unless your fever is higher than 38° and you haven't been able to lower it down or having serious respiratory problems and require medical attention, you don't need to visit a hospital. Recovering from corona is all about your immune system. If immunity can beat the virus then we better make use of this secret weapon we all have. Pay more attention to our immunity and health in general. There are so many ways we can boost our immunity. Here’s a list of things that you wouldn’t normally think can help
- Water. Drink lots of water. It helps your body stay hydrated and regulates your body temperature. It flushes all body waste and pretty much all they systems in our body depend on it.
- Sleeping. A good sleep increases our bodies’ ability to recover and fight illness. Make sure you get enough moderate hours of sleep that’s between 7 to 9 hours. No wonder why bed rest is always recommended by doctors.
- Sunlight. It’s the best natural source for vitamin D you will find. So make sure you spend some time in your balcony, window or even outdoors as long as you maintain social distancing.
- Exercise. Not only will working out help your body stay healthy, but it will also uplift your mood and make you feel better. Nothing is more harmful to your body than a negative mindset or mood.
- Stress Management. Again try not to panic and control your stress/anxiety. Keep away from social stress. Minimize or try to avoid the time spent on social media it’s full of bad news and won’t benefit in any way.
What happens next?
That is the one thing I’m actually worried about the most and I believe we all should start thinking about. Economic fallout is happening and that might lead to a global recession. Many industries have been on hold for a while now, some went out of business and some are struggling to maintain operations like airline companies. Many products and services will be disappearing from the markets soon and the demand will pike. Now that’s something to start working on and thinking about. We need to watch our spending. We should care more about each other and quit emptying the shelves and stacking on products. We should probably start looking into options of how to maintain our financial stability in the near future. Now is the time to make ourselves better in what we do. Invest more time in education and intellectual growth. For a while now we have been living in a world of individualism and selfishness and now we have an opportunity to change this. I strongly believe that together and only together we will be able to get through this crisis.