I was particularly excited this morning to find out on Twitter that Mauritania is now 100% free from the novel Corona Virus also known as COVID-19, or for the sake of political correctness “The Chinese Virus”. I hope you didn’t misread that has “Marijuana”? It’s Mau-Ri-Ta-Nia, a whole country in sub-saharan Africa with an estimated population of 4,649,658 as at today according to UN data, so this means there is yet hope for humanity to survive this drama even if things go south (and that is very impossible), let’s just hope science will find a cure that is not Marijuana at the end of the day.
It is no longer news that the whole world is navigating through a pandemic, but it is important for us all to understand the true situation of things in order for us to live actively during this times and weather the storm together successfully as a people. While I was still in the happiest mood of the week regarding the victory of Mauritania over COVID-19 and celebrating the gain of Mauritania and the world against the virus, I came across the story of Fatima Senam Amouzou, a lady that had just won a two years battle with her health, only to become a collateral death to the virus at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) because of the fear of COVID-19 spread and infection; an avoidable death caused by uninformed reaction at a government medical facility, a situation that has caused her family and support group untold anguish and pain. You can read her story published on The Cable by Goke Akinrogunde on the link below. https://www.thecable.ng/fatima-senam-amouzou-the-covid-19-collateral-death-at-luth/amp
It is very safe to say the greatest pandemic the world is facing right now is not COVID-19, but rather the FEAR of COVID-19 and the big question is, “is there really a reason to be afraid”? The answer to this is capital “NO”. I sound unrealistic right, but I can show you why the world should not be afraid.
According to UN data, the world records an estimated minimum of 57 million deaths every year since 2015, and an approximate of 84 million people are born resulting in a minimum of 1.14% increase in world population. According to health.com and the UN Data, an average of 59,000 died from influenza illness in 2019 from the estimated 57 million deaths, other causes used in categorizing the statistics that are responsible for the remaining 56,941,000 are:
- Infectious and parasitic diseases
- Diseases of blood and disorders of immune mechanism
- Endocrine, nutritional and metabolic diseases
- Mental and behavioural disorders and diseases of the nervous system
- Diseases of the circulatory system
- Diseases of the digestive system
- Diseases of the genitourinary system
- Pregnancy, childbirth and the puerperium
- External causes
Now lets fast forward to 2020. We are already in April, and as today, the statistics for global death as at 21/04/2020 from data pulled in real-time on worldometer.info at 2:00pm GMT+1 indicates a total of 25,215,048 total deaths in 2020. These numbers include death from COVID-19 that is currently being controlled and we are almost half way in the year. The breakdown of this numbers can be seen below:
- 3,968,173 – Communicable disease deaths in 2020
- 148,701 – Seasonal flu deaths in 2020
- 2,323,445 – Deaths of children under 5 in 2020
- 12,994,270 – Abortions in 2020
- 94,480 – Deaths of mothers during birth in 2020
- 513,857 – Deaths caused by HIV/AIDS in 2020
- 2,510,477 – Deaths caused by cancer in 2020
- 299,830 – Deaths caused by malaria in 2020
- 1,528,075 – Deaths caused by smoking in 2020
- 764,519 – Deaths caused by alcohol in 2020
- 327,789 – Suicides in 2020
- 412,628 – Road traffic accident fatalities in 2020
Even with the world on lock down in so many parts, the roads alone have claimed more life than the virus we all dread, and from the way things are, the virus will perhaps never claim as much as the road had claimed already in 2020 only if we stick with the program and stay safe as required. It will surprise you to know that of all the 1,672,088 COVID-19 cases in the world today, 97% are in mild and with or without symptoms, only 3% are flagged serious and there is high probability of 50% of the critical cases recovering based on existing statistics and management history of the virus. The world has officially recorded 2,503,072 cases since it was first confirmed in in Wuhan, and since then, the world has had no real clue about what to do in cure or vaccine and still 659,193 people have recovered, and about 171,791 are dead. The beauty of the process of recovery is that it is the human body that heals itself and nothing more. The immune system of an averagely healthy human body is proven to be strong enough to defeat the virus and keep it defeated, making it obvious that the only thing deadly about the virus is the rate of infection and the fear of it and nothing more. Between 25% to 50% of those who tested positive to the virus according to the latest estimates — have no symptoms at all. Everyone else falls somewhere in between. Now the game is not to get infected at all, and majorly not to be afraid of it because it’s not the demon it is being bandied as all over the news.
THE DAMAGE FEAR CAN CAUSE
Fear is the ultimate underlying condition that can open up the body for all forms of disease because it destroys the body immune system by causing the secretion of hormones that weakens the body, and make it vulnerable to anything at all. Physically, Fear weakens the immune system causing cardiovascular damages, gastrointestinal problems such as ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome, and decreased fertility. It usually also leads to accelerated ageing and even premature death; this is why some of you are aging like Egyptian mummies in the lockdown instead of getting fresh like today’s bread from eating good food and exercising.
Mentally, fear impairs the formation of long-term memories and cause damage to certain parts of the brain, such as the hippocampus. This can make it even more difficult to regulate fear and ultimately leave a person anxious most of the time. To someone in chronic fear, the world looks scary and their dysfunctional memories confirm that leaving them paranoid and susceptible to both physical and mental breakdown at the slightest triggering. Fear interrupts brains functions that allow us to regulate emotions and read non-verbal cues plus other information presented to us, destabilises reflexes and causes the nerves to be tense at all times. This impacts our thinking and decision-making negatively, leaving us open to intense emotions and impulsive reactions. All of these effects can leave us unable to act appropriately when the body comes in contact with the COVID-19 pathogens or any other disease at all, and inhibit the production of white blood cells that are supposed to activate and defend the body against such attack.
Other consequences of continuous unnecessary fear include fatigue, clinical depression, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Imagining having PTSD even before experiencing a trauma that should lead to one because of the wrong information you’ve been consuming in the name of COVID-19?
Although there have been cases of people without confirmed underlying medical conditions dying from COVID-19, nearly all the fatality recorded are people with known underlying health conditions that deteriorated due to the effects of the virus on their respiratory system, causing a shortage of oxygen supply to their already weakened organs. A quick look at the amount of damage fear can cause already makes it one of the deadliest underlying condition that can lead to inexplicable unexpected death when anybody contacts the virus it should naturally be able to resist. It is therefore important to do everything to avoid all information that will create any form of fear, and instead consume only educative information that will help you and I feel safer during this pandemic.
STAYING POSITIVE, THE ELIXIR OF IMMUNITY
It’s amazing how Nigerians have now turned the Twitter handle of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to a live scoreboard for harvesting the new number of confirmed cases in real time every day. The word ‘Covidiot’ stands for anybody that does anything stupid wrapped around the corona virus. Some even actively follow contest the figures coming from the authorities managing the pandemic as if it is something to celebrate, while others are actively searching trends on the internet to feed their minds with destructive data. For me, the real covidiots are these lots. I have personally not watched CNN one single time because of this pandemic, neither have I actively been on the lookout for data on who or who hasn’t gotten infected, my attention has predominantly been on finding new information about staying safe, adhering to it, sticking with the positives. Focusing on the positive hasn’t been totally relieving, now imagine adding the stress and mental torture of following up on death tolls; unpleasant to say the least.
From learning on how to stay ahead of the COVID-19 curve, I had discovered the essentials of staying positive and its healthy effect, and I have therefore decided to share it with you today. I sourced all the information I shared above today, but the ones below are things I’ve been practising for weeks already.
- The most effective way to stay above and ahead of COVID-19 is to isolate yourself from having unnecessary contact with anybody, and in case you can’t totally isolate due to the need to work or buy food items or fend for yourself, ensure that you protect yourself in every way possible.
- Isolate yourself from news about the virus. You are not a virologist, so why are you tracking the strains? We already know everything we need to about everything we need to stay safe, if there are new information, you will come across the updates without actively searching for it.
- Don’t look out for death toll. It’s not EPL or UEFA Champions league, you don’t need the numbers for anything. If you stick with doing the first two things above, you are safe.
- Stop scouring the internet for information about COVID-19, it has neither any cure nor vaccine so there’s nothing you will find that will help you mentally, it would only weaken and damage you mentally instead of relieving you from mental stress, don’t develop PTSD for a trauma you’ve not experienced.
- Avoid sending any unverified, unsolicited fatalistic messages as broadcast to people or sharing it on your status. Not everybody you know is intelligent enough to confirm information before resharing or mentally stable enough to absorb such messages so don’t send people to early graves.
- Listen to good music, watch a movie or learn something new instead of worrying about what you’re missing outside. The roads, buildings, football pitches or office building you’re missing will be there waiting for you when this is all over, use this period to add new values that will be relevant later to yourself. If you have limited access to the internet, read a physical book.
- Only positive vibes will help boost your immune system, the negative thoughts will only weaken it, keep the positive vibes going. Use this season to mend broken fences, you have an excuse to call that friend and reconcile issue; do it now and remember to exercise.
- Focus on your family and friends, focus on love and believe that everything will be alright in the end
- Most importantly, take advantage of the lockdown and SLEEP! like it’s a competition. People who experience a quick, sudden decline in health from a coronavirus infection do so as a result of the immune system suddenly kicking into overdrive in a process known as a cytokine storm. The focus then turns to controlling one’s immune system as well as the infection. Cytokines can rise by a single night of bad sleep so “Na Sleep Sure Pass”.
Sleep is not a pillar of health but the bedrock foundation upon which all health, including immunity, is built.Dr. Steven Tucker
Whenever you think about going out, just remember that the death already caused by road accident this year is three times more than the number of deaths by COVID-19, and if your excuse is fun, just know that we have 600,000 more alcohol related deaths than deaths from the virus. I don’t mean to scare you but I’m almost sure COVID-19 can never catch up with alcohol so relax, there is enough time to catch up on those death causing events that you’re missing so bad.
I’m still your one and only Babaolowo–#IWriteWhatILike