This morning we reached our 2 week marker in lock down, today was the day we looked forward to as we thought it would end! The goal post has now moved and we face 2 more weeks in isolation, we do so with no such certain marker in our minds, which may avoid the frustrations of the last days as we had to re adjust our mindset to an extended isolation. On the plus side we woke this morning to the sun shining, no exercise outdoors is permitted but at least we can soak up a little vitamin D on our Balcony’s.
It was recorded that back in 1918-19 during the global Spanish Flu epidemic, between 50 and 100 million people around the world died. Adjusting that to our present population this equates to between 200 million and 425 million people! Having checked world statistics this morning at present we have 27,729 Deaths caused by COVID-19, with recorded infections of 613,174 world wide. We are at around 0.00056 % of the death rate in 1918 calculating for the lower figure of 50 million deaths! I do hope I have made these calculations correctly, like many people these figures in millions are hard to comprehend, a lot of 0.00’s but it is below the zero point.
With this being the case, I really cant see why panic amongst many of us has taken hold. Of course we want to keep our vulnerable safe and protected as the virus is in its early stages, we also want to keep it from spreading throughout our 7 billion world population. Spanish flu killed 13 to 40% of those infected, luckily we are only seeing up to a 4% death rate at the moment in reported cases, but with many of the infected going un recorded whilst having minor symptoms, this may mean in future records the % in reality may well go down. Fear and panic is our worst enemy, we are seeing a clamp down on fake cures and fake news, but our mainstream news outlets are pushing this panic and fear by saturating us with this pandemic and its consequences. To most, seeing half a million cases reported in the news is terrifying, we need more factual and comparative methods to intelligently convey the information that is available for us to digest and logically assess our situation. This way we can get through this crisis in a calmer more intelligent manner. I fear the damage news outlets are causing right now to many peoples mental health.
Most trust these outlets yet they feed us fear whilst ignoring many other statistics like how many of our population dies through pollution, hunger, accidental overdosing of pharmaceuticals etc. All of which deserve to be addressed, imagine if the same attention had been given to these situations and action took, then what a better world we would be living in. Another worry is that as we are now seeing celebrities, politicians and even royalty testing positive, most hopefully will recover with only mild symptoms and people will start to see that its not quite the mortality threat they were fear fed by the press. When the second wave of infections come as lock downs are eased, will this lead to less sensible precautions by people who then see it as less of a threat or issue. For now though I wish we were seeing less fear and panic amongst people, as we know that fear, depression and loneliness lower the immune system which we need to fight off diseases and infections.
Getting back to our sun shining this morning if we look back again to the Spanish flu epidemic medics found that severely ill patients nursed outdoors recovered better than those treated indoors. A combination of fresh air and sunlight seems to have prevented deaths among patients and infections among medical staff. There is scientific support for this. Research shows that outdoor air is a natural disinfectant and can kill some virus’s and other harmful germs, also sunlight is germicidal and there is now evidence it can kill the flu virus. If one report is correct, it reduced deaths among hospital patients from 40 per cent to about 13 per cent.
Spain has forbidden outdoor exercise unlike countries like the UK, I am not sure whether this will turn out for the best, maybe, Italy allowed outdoor exercise with distancing for its first 2 weeks of lock down but banned it this last week as cases still rose. What is important though is that we do get fresh air into our homes by opening doors and windows and taking as much time on a balcony’s or garden as we can weather permitting.
As elders worry less about themselves than their families, my hope is that we can help by projecting less fear for them, if only the press would be more rationally informative it would help their overall mood, in turn helping the immune system stay strong and less depression. Please help to reassure anybody you know that is engulfed in fear right now, catching the virus doesn’t mean certain death, there are many reports of people over 90 recovering or only having mild symptoms as well. Precaution and knowledge is necessary but adding fear isn’t, Stay safe and take precautions to protect yourself and loved ones including taking care of your mental health 💜