#StayHome and protect your family and community

So follow the health advice from the UAE. #StayHome. This too shall pass.

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Published: Sat 21 Mar 2020, 10:03 PM

Last updated: Sun 22 Mar 2020, 12:15 AM

Wondered how little we know about the coronavirus causing Covid-19 more than three months after it emerged in China, though it is clear that containing the spread of the disease is possible through social distancing? The hand-washing routine for 20 seconds is something we are now exposed to, to keep the virus away. Quarantines and self-imposed isolation have also slipped into discussions, but that's an (unlikely) scenario, only for those who have been confirmed with the virus. For, the majority have nothing to fear, if they follow safety precautions. Those who have had no known contact with infected persons need not worry but should maintain a heightened sense of preparedness. This is a massive global battle against the disease caused by a modern, novel germ. It remains mystery to virologists, epidemiologists, and other specialists on the frontlines of containment efforts. Has it mutated? Specialists in China say there may be two strains. These have not been confirmed independently by international researchers. We are unsure if mutations are still taking place and if the disease is becoming more deadly or benign. The numbers are troubling though as Italy, France, Germany, and Spain become the new epicentres. Iran is another concern and the figures from there could be misleading. The UAE, however, has been very mature in its response to the crisis, and has taken firm steps to deal with the virus spread in phases, the main reason for the low number of cases in the country. This calm approach to the rapidly changing situation is in contrast to other countries that are in a state of panic or denial. #StayHome is the advice and travel only if necessary. Residents are paying heed to the advisories and have great resolve in dealing with a crisis despite the uncertainty all around. The leadership is on top of the situation and is prepared to deal with any eventuality with their patient and watchful approach.

The world received scarce data about the disease when it first broke out in Wuhan, China. They called it viral pneumonia early on before it mutated into a pandemic that did not spare any country. Many regions of the world are going into partial or full lockdown - the best response to the rapid spread of the strain that has caught humanity unawares. The global economy is staring at a recession if tough measures are not taken, now. This is worse than we thought. Lockdown may sound like an extreme measure to those who believe in freedom of movement, but it is necessary in such grim circumstances when lives are at stake. China tried it in Wuhan and Hubei province, shutting them off for more than two months. What was then seen as a draconian measure worked to a large extent and the region is now slowly getting back to work as the world slumps with cases peaking in Europe and the United States. China's counter-measure is the positive takeaway from this health and economic nightmare that the world is now coming to grips with. Wuhan's recovery is a bright spark in the 'war against the disease'. What we know is this, and let's start with the good news: in most cases, the disease is mild; fatality rates are low, though still higher than the common flu. Many won't even show symptoms, but could be carriers of the strain and could pass it on less healthier individuals with lower immunity levels, those already dealing with ailments, and the elderly. So follow the health advice from the UAE. #StayHome. This too shall pass.

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