Cities shut down. Schools closed. People locked up in their homes. Airports closed. Hospitals overflowing with patients. Doctors and nurses walking around in protective suits. Sounds like a scene from a Hollywood movie right? Yet, it is not. This was the reality of 2019 when a newly identified coronavirus disease emerged. As it rapidly spread to many countries, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the “Coronavirus Disease 2019” (Covid-19 for short) as a global pandemic.
This real life outbreak first appeared in Wuhan, China, and quickly became a novel virus because it had never been in the human population. Therefore, no one had immunity to it. The human race was now exposed to masterful invaders who cannibalize host cells by injecting their genetic material. Still sounds like a movie? It gets better. Viruses will often make thousands of copies of themselves in a single cell to ensure their replication and survival.
While Sri Lanka has made commendable progress in controlling the spread of Covid-19 and the death rate has been relatively low, the threat is not over yet. Just recently the second wave started looking ahead when they faced their biggest spike in cases for a day, topping 300.
During the initial stages of the covid-19 outbreak, there were many speculations that the elderly and infants are at a higher risk of contracting the corona virus.However, as research continued, it was proven that anyone who is immunocompromised (challenged immunity) was at the risk of coronavirus
THE SNEAKY VIRUS
While the research is underway to develop a vaccine, we do need to keep in mind that this is a time consuming process as it needs to be run through and approved by the FDA before it is mass produced. This could take a minimum of about 8-12 months before we have positive news. Viruses, unlike bacteria, have the natural capability of changing its RNA form. Put in simple terms, they are able to mutate. This is why it is difficult to produce vaccines for viruses. For example, the common cold is a virus. It has the ability to change its genetic form hence catching us off guard when it comes to medicinal remedies.
And just when it seems the world has been able to gain some control over the mayhem that these little invaders have caused, there appears the sequel: The Second Wave.
THE SECOND WAVE
The term ‘Second Wave’ has been thrown around quite a lot over the past few months. But what exactly does it mean? To put it plainly, isolated cases become clusters which then explode into the virus being suddenly everywhere. The second wave creeps up on us due to people thinking the infection has died down. However, the virus’s ability to mutate or change means that post-pandemic, it can hit us harder and stronger with not only a second but a third and fourth wave as well. We are able to see this as Australia is going down into lock down again and also in New Zealand which had declared its country Covid-19 free and is now having cases reappear.
Regardless of your age, ethnicity or background, we all have a chance of falling prey to the coronavirus. We all know the basics of wearing a mask, regular sanitization and social distancing. Those are the main measures we can take outwardly in order to avoid contracting any such infection. But how do we set up our immune system to be strong enough to battle a stranger in our system? We will be talking more of it in our next upcoming blog. Stay tuned!
Disclaimer: we do not intend to treat, cure or prevent COVID-19. We do not own responsibility for any injury or any health related issues.