Covid 19: Palpable Fear!

Palpable fear is a term most of us would have read, and heard, but never experienced; we are all experiencing it now in the air.

As all of you are aware, more and more cases are being reported, the numbers going up by the hour, causing more and more fear and panic!

No one is looking at the fact that India has a very low death rate compared to the world, and that is due to our fantastic immunity. Our immunity is good enough to take care of 98% of the Covid affected people.It is only the 2 % that are succumbing to the Covid.

What is our fear all about?

Isn't it death? How many of you will be afraid of Covid, if it didn't have the death associated with it. We are not using our logic to understand that .

170 lakh people die of Heart ailments every year, 100 lakh people die of Cancer each year, 15 lakh people die of a simple Diarrhoea, 13 lakh die due to Diabetes, and 6 lakh people die due to Malaria! Covid has so far in the past 6 months taken only 5 lakh lives, which means only 2% of people affected with Covid are dying; that to people whose immunity is low and those having major underlying illness.

Once we understand this statistic let's look at what can we do!

Why are people dying?

1.Due to lack of medical care.

It is only the 15% Covid positive patients who need medical care, and only few among them need critical care. Our medical infrastructure is completely capable to handle this 15 % with ease. If we do that, the death rate will come down further as the hospitals and staff will be able to attend to them. The problem now is that instead of 15% seeking hospitalisation, everyone who is Covid positive, asymptomatic, those with mild symptoms and those who think have Covid are getting admitted and over loading the medical system. Inspite of repeated announcements by the hospitals, that those who are asymptomatic and with mild symptoms need not come to hospital people are still rushing to hospitals and unfortunately the hospitals are admitting them too. When it comes to the real people in need of hospitalisation there is no room for them, ironic isn't it!

2.Fear and panic

When you are Covid positive but asymptomatic or have mild symptoms, and you want to get admitted; you go from hospital to hospital. Due to lack of rooms they shunt you from one hospital to another, and you start to panic! When you panic, you take shallow breaths, the Carbon-dioxide builds up in the lungs and you feel breathless, that takes your panic to another level and your immune system crashes and the virus takes over! You hear of someone dying and you don't use your logic to understand why he died, and that starts panic. Before you even get Covid, you breathe shallow and the rest follows. This fear and panic adds on to the mortality rate.

Look at the tweet by Abhishek Bachchan; Mr. Amitabh Bachchan being admitted to hospital even for mild symptoms, is understandable due to his numerous underlying conditions, but why Abhishek Bachchan, unless he too has any underlying conditions that we aren't aware of, as their lives are so public and even the smallest ailment of theirs is known to people through media. In my opinion there are millions like him who are blocking the beds in hospitals and denying treatment to those who really need it.

This has to stop! it's time we take the fight back to the virus. We need to believe that 85% of us are safe, and the virus can only cause flu like symptoms, but it cannot and is not capable of killing us. We need to trust our immune system which has taken care of us for so many centuries of our existence. We, the 85% need to take a resolve that we will not give in to this fear, that we will surely be scared, but we will not panic! We need to take a resolve that we will not get admitted, unless our doctor feels that it is time for admission, that we will not block a room just because we are Covid positive or a suspect! Let us resolve that we will leave the hospitals and the medical staff to those 15% who need it, and once we do this the mortality rate will fall below 2% as India has one of the best doctors and paramedical staff in the world, who are more than capable of dealing with any medical emergency.

I will sign off with small story There was a Sage who was meditating outside a village. One day the Plague decided to attack the village. The Sage objected, and after a long argument between the Sage and the Plague, they both finally came to an understanding that the Plague will kill only 3 people from the village. First week one died, after three days another, the day after that another and there after three more, and so on till some 300 people died. The Sage was angry and wanted to destroy the Plague. The Plague stopped him and said to hear him out- 'I have only killed 3 people with plague, the rest of them died due to fear.'

Take care all of you!

-Dr.Manoj Kuriakose