How bad will the winter be?
The Corona pandemic has snatched away the lives of nearly a million worldwide and under the current circumstances - researchers have warned about a more deadly second wave of the viral attack - in the fast approaching winter. The nature of infection might take a deadly turn in Bangladesh, since contagious and respiratory diseases are more prevalent in winter.
Generally, all viruses survive outside the body better when it is cold. At the same time when humidity is dry, viruses stay in the air for a long time. This also increases the chance of getting infected quicker and faster. Although it has not been proved, if the virus has a direct connection with the weather, but it is widely assumed that the virus can survive longer in cold weather. The UK's Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) recently said the temperature of 4 degree Celsius is a particular sweet spot for the virus to exist longer.
However, in our country, people are likely to become more vulnerable to the virus in winter because of less humidity and deficiency of vitamin D--leading to low immunity. Moreover, during winter, there is lesser ultra violet ray in the sunlight--which inactivates germs and viruses. The big fear is that we are likely to be hit with the double whammy of a flu season and a second wave of Coronavirus.
Many people in Bangladesh suffer from common seasonal diseases during the winter. Therefore, if Covid-19 patients and other flu-patients become infected in the winter, the situation might get worse. Victims of the virus will find it difficult to combat with double health woes. And that is why we must get prepared in advance.
Without mass awareness and cooperation between the health authorities and people, we will not be able to tackle the devastating effects of a possible second wave of this pandemic. Not to say, a credible and proven vaccine is least likely to make its way to Bangladesh.
Public and private media houses can play an important role for creating mass awareness, targeting winter. We expect the people to focus more on healthy living by including regular exercise and a balanced diet in their life styles.
In short we need to live a more controlled life for at least another 6 months. However, everything will depend on the uses of face masks in public gathering, maintaining social distance, washing hands on regular intervals while retain strict hygiene rules.
The pandemic is unlikely to end until an effective vaccine for the Coronavirus is available. Since a cure is missing, prevention yet remains the best method to combat the deadly virus.