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Battling through Coronavirus

Battling through Coronavirus

A rapidly evolving health story broke in late December when a novel illness originating in Wuhan, China made the news. Reports of the number of infected people swiftly rose, and isolated cases of this new coronavirus. It has appeared in several countries due to international travel. At this writing, almost 1,300 confirmed cases and over 40 deaths have occurred in China which is a devastating number.



Fortunately, public health officials in many countries, have put measures in place to help prevent further spread of the virus. These measures include health screenings at major airports worldwide for people traveling from Wuhan or any of the neighboring countries. In China, travel restrictions are in effect. Recently few cases were reported in Karachi as well, it was said a flight from Iran had a passenger inflicted with the virus. A ray of distress took over the Karachities, rightfully so. But let’s not panic and calm our nerves down! During previous international scares involving avian flu, Ebola, SARS, etc., we did not move into a bunker. Once the data is understood the data related to each of the epidemic, moving around becomes easier and life is usual. Let’s not panic this time, either. That said, curtailing unnecessary travel and group interactions for the next 2–3 weeks to see how things shake out, particularly given the asymptomatic “incubation period” of up to 14 days. Contrary to all the fear in the space, there is a chunk of people who are calling all of it out as an overreaction? Or naming it as being misinformed? Karachi can have its days of being skeptical. But then again, how many head-on car accidents does everyone have? Zero. We nonetheless put on seatbelt every time that we drive, and we have great data on traffic fatalities. Do you have a fire extinguisher in your kitchen? Would you accept $100 to get rid of it? $1,000? As unlikely as a kitchen fire may be, the extreme known consequences of an out-of-control fire easily justify a fire extinguisher, even if it gathers dust forever. It’s cheap disaster insurance, just like having emergency stores of water in the garage.
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