Skip to main content

Featured post

Is true democracy exist around the world?

SOCIAL DISTANCING & COVID-19


The global spread of Coronavirus and the drastic emergency measures that governments around the world have been taking. Governments in Europe, have closed their borders. They have suspended airlines. They have closed down schools and colleges, and have even banned public gatherings and sporting events. Governments in Latin America are doing the same as well and the United States has already declared a national emergency by invoking the Stafford Act. Then within India, various state governments have decided to close down schools and colleges, shopping malls, movie theaters, etc. The government has made it clear that all mass gatherings including marriages and functions, and even sporting events such as IPL have to be canceled or postponed for the time being So this raises the question, do we really need such drastic measures to contain the spread of Coronavirus. So, yesterday, we spoke about the three stages of transmission during an epidemic or pandemic. It includes imported transmission, local transmission, and finally, we have community transmission. In the case of India, we have already seen imported transmission, where travelers from abroad have brought the infection to India and these imported cases have already transmitted the virus to their primary contacts, which constitutes local transmission. Luckily for India, we are still in the second stage of transmission, and we still haven't entered community transmission. At least as of today, community transmission has not been recorded in India. So this gives India at the maximum a 30-day window of opportunity to avoid the fate of other countries such as China, Italy. Iran, Spain, and even the United States. The reason why these three countries suffer the most and the reason why these two countries are about to witness a major outbreak is that they all fail to prevent community transmission.
So this brings us to the topic of social distancing as a containment strategy. See, the term social distancing has been gaining a lot of popularity around the world over the last few days. And experts have been advocating the implementation of this concept as an effective containment strategy against the coronavirus outbreak. So what is social distancing? See, social distancing is all about maintaining a three feet distance from other human beings to avoid the spread of a respiratory illness? Basically, if you have to prevent the spreading of a highly contagious infection, then maintaining social distance should become the norm. That's the reason why in hospitals hospital beds are separated by a three feet distance and the same goes for Business Class seat aircraft. And the same applies to greet etiquettes as well. See generally in Asian culture, we generally greet each other with either a number stay or other, or by bowing down to each other. But in Western culture, greeting etiquettes include handshakes, hugging, kissing on the cheeks, etc. These greeting etiquettes do not allow for social distancing, and hence, an infection can spread much faster. Whereas these greeting etiquettes inherently provide for social distancing and it can help in containing the spread of the infection. But maintaining social distance can only be insured under such special conditions and it is nearly impossible under regular conditions. That's the reason why it becomes necessary to implement emergency drastic measures. This includes the closing down of schools and colleges, locking down of entire cities, suspension of mass transportation, closure of shopping malls, movie theaters, cancellation of mass gathering events, such as concerts, sporting events, etc. We have also seen the cancellation of various diplomatic conferences and summits and this is also the reason why companies are encouraging their employees
to work remotely or to work from home.

From the Indian Premier League to the English Premier League, and even the Australian Grand Prix Next, we have seen the cancellation of all these high profile events over the last few days. So this brings us back to the question, are these drastic measures justified? Are they really needed? How about the long term economic impact of these emergency measures? Let us answer these questions with the help of data. based on what we know about the Coronavirus, we can say that it has a relatively high transmission rate and a relatively high fatality rate. Of course, it is not as high as Ebola or Merce. But it definitely falls under the highly contagious and high fatality rate category. And if you look at its fatality rate around the world, in most countries, it has been in the range of three to 4%. But countries such as Italy and Iran have been an exception, they have registered a very high fatality rate of close to 7% and 4.5%, respectively. This is quite alarming because based on the trends that we have seen in these four countries, we can clearly say that Spain, the United States, and a few other countries are headed towards a major outbreak. We can say this because these countries were very slow to react in the initial stages, and they were late in implementing the drastic social distancing measures. And as a result, the outbreak entered the third stage of transmission in these countries. That is Community transmission. So if community transmission has to be prevented, then the early implementation of drastic social distancing measures is very necessary. Then it has also been observed that in most of the cases, the severity of the infection has been very mild. Out of the total infected, a majority of them have reported only mild infection. Only around 13.8% and 4.7% of the people have reported severe to critical infection. Then available data from China, Italy, and Iran shows that a majority of the infected people recover within a few weeks. In comparison, the fatality rate is still very low. And this gives us hope that the outbreak can not only be contained, but it can even be rolled back provided if we take the right steps. This data again proves that the implementation of drastic social distancing measures will have a major impact on the occurrence of new cases and those who have been infected before the implementation of these measures, can be treated and a majority of them are going to recover. A case for social distancing can also be made by looking at the data which shows that the Coronavirus has been primarily affecting those who are about the age of 60 years, and those who are suffering from comorbidities. Available studies also show that those about the age of 60 years and those suffering from pre-existing conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer, etc, they are the highest risk of facing respiratory failure.
This is what is contributing to the high fatality rate amongst these two groups. So those who are facing the risk of respiratory failure, they should be provided with ventilator support in ICU. The healthcare system should be in a position to fulfill this demand available data shows that those who are in the age group of 20 to 60 years, they tend to recover within a few days without the requirement of any emergency support. But if we fail to prevent the occurrence of new cases in this age group, and if there is an exponential increase, then it would result in the overcrowding of the healthcare system. And it would no longer be in a position to provide emergency support to those who are really in need of it. So if we have to ensure that the healthcare system is not overwhelmed, and prevent it from collapsing, we need to prevent the exponential increase in cases of this age group. Since people in this age group are the most socially mobile, as compared to old age, people, and people suffering from comorbidities, it becomes necessary to implement drastic social distancing measures. These measures can help in curtailing social mobility and restricting social interactions, thereby preventing an exponential increase In cases of this age group.
it is based on this data analysis that the economist and the New York Times have been advocating the need to flatten the curve with drastic social distancing measures. This argument is based on the fact that health care systems around the world have a limited capacity. This argument is even being supported by medical experts and data analysts as well. Because data analysis from these countries shows that COVID-19 is capable of registering exponential growth after a certain number of days. That is, after the spread of the infection reaches a critical mass, we are going to witness an exponential growth in the number of new cases. The best example of this would be Italy. By mid-February, Italy had registered very few cases. But within a span of two to three weeks, the number of new infections had exploded. data analysis has shown that if social distancing measures are implemented as early as possible, this exponential growth curve can be prevented.
Without these drastic measures, the number of new cases is just going to explode. This is going to overwhelm the healthcare system and lead to its collapse. In such a scenario, the fatality rate will increase significantly, because the overwhelmed healthcare system won't be able to provide effective treatment to the patients. So if the number of outbreaks has to be kept within the capacity of our healthcare system, then the exponential growth curve needs to be flattened with the implementation of social distancing measures. at the individual level, we need to maintain personal hygiene and avoid social contact as much as possible and at the level of the government's drastic social distancing measures need to be implemented to limit public gatherings and prevent the exponential growth of the disease.



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

How lockdown having a disproportionate impact on women

A disaster or catastrophic ends to have a disproportionate impact on women. According to the writer, this is because of the traditional gender-based role of women in society. For example, during the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, it was observed that the disaster had a disproportionate impact on women, mainly because of their gender-defined roles. Since women are generally seen as the traditional caregiver in the family, they lacked the required life-saving skills, and as a result, a relatively higher number of deaths count was registered amongst women during the tsunami. Then after the disaster, women who were rendered homeless were accommodated in relief camps. And it was observed that at these relief camps, women had to face abuse and molestation, and they even had to face hygiene and sanitation issues at these relief camps. similar challenges have been faced by women in the United States as well, which is frequently hit by tornadoes. similar challenges were noted during the 2018 19 f…

Are humans responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic

Humans responsible for the pandemic According to the UNDP. The spread of a zoonotic disease such as COVID-19 can be directly attributed to the overexploitation of biodiversity and ecosystems by human beings. The UNDP has said that several zoonotic diseases have affected human beings because of increased contact of humans with animals. Especially wild animals. So these diseases with a jump from animals to human beings are referred to as zoonotic diseases or zoonosis. And it is a direct outcome of the overexploitation of biodiversity and ecosystems through human activities. The UNDP report even says that it is not just COVID-19 but even tuberculosis, rabies, malaria, toxoplasmosis h1 none SARS, burst, Ebola Zika, etc. They are all examples of zoonosis that have jumped from animals to human beings. And in each case, the source can be attributed to the destruction of the environment and biodiversity through human activities
It is found that the coronavirus outbreak certainly comes from t…

Researchers found new symptoms of COVID19

Many COVID-19 cases have emerged from Europe and the United States, where many patients have reported a complete inability to smell or even to taste. So, this has given rise to questions, whether the SARS coronavirus is affecting our neurons that are responsible for smell and taste, or is it affecting other cells, which are involved in this olfactory function. A recent study conducted in India has shown that it is not the neurons that are being affected by the virus, but instead, it is a set of cells present in the upper regions of our nasal cavity that are being affected by the double Coronavirus. These cells include the sub Technicolor cells and the horizontal basal cells. But importantly, these cells are not directly involved in helping us smell. It means that these cells are not directly involved in the olfactory function. But these cells help us nourish and support the other cells, which are actually involved in the olfactory function. So this means that the novel Coronavirus is…