Novel Corona: A battle to win
Ever since the intrusion of novel Corona virus, our smiling planet has been turned into a mortuary; everyday people are dying in every nook and corner of the globe. The world has become as if a dystopia wherein people are living as captives to a bad utopian governance of the novel corona brigade! But it's a battle the humans have started fighting valiantly since the invasion of novel corona virus.
Every one of us is now a soldier. We need to apply our intelligence to curb spreading of corona virus. To make a clear understanding of novel corona virus and COVID-19, the disease caused by this virus, some important issues are discussed here.
Novel Coronavirus: Interestingly some posts on facebook cautioning contagion risks from corona virus COVID-19 stated that eggs of coronavirus take 5-7 days (perhaps post-invasion incubation period of the virus) get hatched. In fact, neither a virus lays eggs nor it has the capability of reproducing on their own. In a simple language, a virus invades the targeted host cell and collects genetic materials and proteins destroying the host cell to multiplying itself. It also undergoes mutation adapting to the condition. The Novel Corona Virus is new strand of virus, not seen before. It is believed to be spread by some animal/birds (suspects bat) and now human to human transmission is on.
Viruses attack plants as well. The first virus to be discovered in plants was TMV (tobacco mosaic virus). The nature and pathogenicity of viruses are yet to be fully explored. In humans, vaccine is the most effective remedy to guard against a virus attack; the vaccine for novel corona COVID-19 could not yet been made. However, the USA, China, Australia and some other countries have claimed significant progress towards production of a vaccine against corona virus but it wouldn't perhaps be available for humans before the next year. In the meantime, we are to take preventive measures as recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) of the United Nations:
1. Wash your hands frequently: Washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub kills viruses that may be on your hands.
2. Maintain physical distancing: Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
3. Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth: Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and can make you sick.
4. Practice respiratory hygiene: Droplets spread virus. By following good respiratory hygiene you protect the people around you from viruses such as cold, flu and COVID-19.
5. If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early: Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance. Follow the directions of your local health authority.
Social distancing: Person to person distancing is absolutely essential to check spreading of corona virus. However the WHO has replaced the phrases 'social distancing' by 'physical distancing'. According to Jereny Freese, professor of Sociology at Standford University in the United States-"Social distancing makes it sound like people should stop communicating with one another, while instead we should be preserving as much as community as we care even while we keep our physical distance from one another." So at this critical time, we have to keep 'physical distance' from one-another to avoid spread of corona virus but to remain close socially through using modern communication tools, like mobile phones, social media, etc.
Drugs to treat Covid-19: Till today no sure-shot drug is available but vigorous efforts are on to find out a suitable drug to treat COVID-19. The WHO has started trial testing of 4 potential COVID-19 treatment options. In a recent press-briefing, WHO Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus announced the launching of SOLIDARITY, a giant multinational trial for testing therapies that researchers have suggested may be effective against COVID-19. The options are:-
1. Remidesivir (a drug to treat Ebola virus)
2. Hydroxychloroquine (anti malarial drug)
3. Ritonavir and Lopinavir (a combo antiretroviral therapy to treat HIV infection
4. Interferon-beta (a therapy for multiple sclerosis)
--Corona virus is behaving differently at different geographical locations (may be due to environment/climate or genetic materials response)
--Those who had taken BCG (bacilli Calmette-Guerin) vaccine to prevent tuberculosis (TB) are supposedly getting some relief from novel corona virus infection.
--Passive immunization, i.e. infusion of blood plasma of those who recovered from COVID-19 to the struggling patient.
Technology may be responsible: Needs specific investigation to determine if Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) and latest 5G mobile network technologies are affecting human immune system.
Boosting immune system: Before an effective vaccine or drugs against COVID-19 is discovered, we are to depend on some conventional methods to keep our immune system strong enough to fight against corona virus intrusion. To keep our organs, cells, tissues alkaline--fruits/vegetables of higher pH values (greater than 5.5 to 8.5 of the corona virus) are to be consumed regularly, e.g. Lemon, Avocado, Orange, Pineapple, Tomato, Beat, garlic, etc. Meanwhile the corona virus dies when it reaches to our stomach through mouth. Our stomach is highly acidic and loaded with hydrochloric acid (pH 2-3.5) which is necessary to break down food for digestion which also kills the virus. To boost our immunity, smoking and drinking alcohol have to be avoided; drinking of hot tea, green tea boosts our immune system.
Humanitarian issues: No doubt, the Novel Corona Virus pandemic has brought the entire human race under a common umbrella. Every human-being is now busy protecting self and others from corona virus infection. Doctors, nurses and other supporting personnel are rendering excellent services to the suffering humanity even risking their own lives. Nearly 64, 000 people have so far died from Novel Corona Virus COVID-19 which includes so many doctors, nurses. We pay our respect to all those who have been killed by the deadliest virus. May their soul rest in peace!
Unfortunately, some people being afraid of the situation are fleeing away from their professional duties and human responsibilities. But getting afraid will not bring any good but bravely facing the reality can save us all from this corona pandemic. Even under this critical situation, some good examples of human concerns have been set up. Worth mentioning is the case of Cuba which allowed a British cruise ship 'MS Braemar" refused by a number of ports to dock in Cuba port wherein a number of passengers were sick with novel coronavirus.
A final point: According to UNHCR, there are 25.9 million refugees living in different refugee camps including Rohingya refugee camp in Bangladesh. The war-torn Syria has also camps of displaced people. All these people are living in condition much vulnerable to the deadly corona virus. The government of Bangladeshhas taken some drastic measures to prevent spread of COVID-19 in the Rohingya refugee camps. Now international intervention is needed to protect these unfortunate humanbeings!
The novel corona virus pandemic issue has become a vast subject of study. Perhaps exclusive research degree will be awarded by universities on this discipline. We firmly hope that the world will soon win the battle against corona virus and the people will take a lesson from the critical situation they passing through and move to establish a hatred-free human society teeming with peace and friendship! The corona pandemic has once again make us conscious of the dire need of spending resources in medical research plus health sector to get us fully prepared to face any such epidemic, pandemic or even endemic in the future.
The writer is a professor at the Department of Agricultural Extension & Information System , Sher-e-Bangla Agricultural University