By Subhra Adhikari, Neucrad Health News Desk March 31, 2020
Now, everyone is aware that coronavirus or COVID-19 pandemic is spreading all across the globe. Every day thousands of candidates are testing positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus in many countries of Europe and America. The number of patients is also exponentially increasing in India. Though most of them are experiencing mild symptoms, about 10 per cent of the patients have severe symptoms, and they are requiring ICU admission. The Prime Minister of India, Mr. Narendra Modi issued a 21-day lockdown on March 24, 2020. He advocated all citizens to stay indoors and practise social distancing. During this lockdown period, only essential services are available. People should only venture outside for undertaking vital needs. Have a look at the benefits of practising social distancing in limiting the spread of coronavirus.
Hammering the Curve
The coronavirus curve starts increasing geometrically after the third or fourth week of the inception of positive cases. During this period, the infection rate of every patient is the highest, and every COVID-19 positive candidate can transmit the infection to 3 to 4 other individuals. In such a condition, practising social distancing or enforcing lockdown within the country helps in ‘hammering the curve’. According to experts at the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), we can be successful in reducing the spread of COVID-19 cases by about 62 per cent following this practice. However, citizens should strictly abide by the laws, and the civil authorities can use force to employ lockdown protocols. Singapore, Japan, and China attained fruitful results after practising social distancing in their countries.
Buying Time before the Epidemic Reaches its Peak
In general, the spread of coronavirus keeps on increasing exponentially until it reaches the peak of the epidemic. After this, the number of cases slowly starts to decrease, before fading away. China, South Korea, Singapore, and Japan had already experienced the peak of the outbreak, and now there is a fewer number of new cases with every passing day. Exercising social distancing helps in delaying the peaking of the epidemic by several weeks. During this crucial time, civil and health authorities can prepare themselves by establishing new hospitals, creating new beds, dedicating quarantine units, and purchasing ventilators and safety equipment. Nurses and doctors can also undergo necessary training for dealing with severe COVID-19 patients during this time frame.
Employing the Latest Advancement in Treatment
Since the World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared the COVID-19 infection as a pandemic on March 11, 2020, there has been an unprecedented increase in the research and development of this disease. Renowned research scholars and physicians all across the globe now remain dedicated in the study of this virus and developing new techniques of controlling its spread. Countries practising social distancing can restrict the spread of the epidemic. Medical staff in these states are successfully employing the latest advancement in managing the infection. Currently, most countries are administering hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for SARS-CoV-2. However, this medicine can be cardiotoxic and detrimental to the liver. Patients should only intake this medication under a doctor’s supervision.
Maintaining Demand and Supply of Essential Equipment
Social distancing also helps in maintaining the demand and supply of vital supplies like test kits for SARS-CoV-2, n95 masks, protective uniform, ventilators, and medicines. Since less number of patients get infected at a given time so the health authorities can procure a sufficient quantity of medications and tools to manage the symptoms. Hospitals do not run out of supplies, and they can take good care of patients during challenging times.
How can you spend time productively during the lockdown phase?
Here are some suggestions which you can consider during the nation-wide lockdown phase
- Most companies have announced work from home for employees, so, you will remain busy managing your daily office schedule.
- Freelancers can use this time to upskill themselves by registering for webinars.
- You can nurture your hobbies like cooking, gardening, painting, and other crafts.
- Spend quality time with your family during this phase.
These were some of the advantages of practising social distancing during the coronavirus epidemic. Finally, we would like to point out that exercise all the precautionary measures, but, do not spread panic or fake news about the outbreak.
Upcoming Topic: How to Take Care of Mental Health during a Pandemic?