27 May 2020

 

My Two Cents On Covid 19/Coronavirus

"...we should ensure that such conspiracies and hypotheses do not hamper efforts and misinform our preventive measures in ways that could lead to unnecessary suffering and exacerbation of the spread of the virus..."

By Alew Majog Alew

As South Sudan puts in place preventive measures against Covid19, it is very important, as citizens and netizens of this beautiful republic, to exercise caution and responsibility on how we partake in dealing with and sharing info on this pandemic.

Utmost care must be given to the reporting bodies and their legitimacy so as not to fall in the traps of propaganda and misinformation. At times as these, it is prudent to root for and heed information coming from health experts and professional health bodies.

Our social media reactions to our country's first confirmed case so far have been a mix of mistrust and bully over our government's fledgling capacity to contain the situation and take care of the pandemic patients. Part of the mistrust goes for the UN/UNMISS role in the matter, given that the first confirmed case is of their staff and confirmed well beyond the virus incubation period of up to 14 days.

However, at trying times as these, we should focus more on bolstering efforts and energizing those trying their best to rescue the situation rather than discourage and detract them as they overstretch their little capacity and meagre resources.

In addition, Coronavirus being a novel virus whose pathogenic nature is still under scientific studies and facts surrounding it continue to evolve as our knowledge is being informed by those studies, we should be careful about the conspiracies going around.

Precisely, we should ensure that such conspiracies and hypotheses do not hamper efforts and misinform our preventive measures in ways that could lead to unnecessary suffering and exacerbation of the spread of the virus just as it happened with Ebola in West Africa or against UN as in Congo.

An example of misunderstanding of the Coronavirus incubation period is when we assume that since the woman entered the country on 28th February and confirmed positive more than 30 days later, she must have been hidden while known to have shown the symptoms or that she must have contracted it within the country from an imported case that may have gone undetected.

While we are not privy to the facts surrounding her infection (imported or local), the truth is that the strength of our immunity is not the same. Hence, some people may show symptoms in 2 - 5 days or up to 14 days whereas others may not show symptoms at all while their immunity battles the virus possibly until full recovery.

This is why there can be symptomatic and asymptomatic Covid19 patients and both can spread the virus when contacted with. This is why avoiding physical contact, even among people looking physically well, is advised.

As such, let's give South Sudan's Unity Government, younger than Covid19 as it is, and the UN a chance and our possible support to wage their fight against the Pandemic.

Specifically let's refrain from conspiracy theories and personal reports from unreliable sources, which could spark fear and/or false beliefs of immunity and hence hazardous consequences among the populace.

Let's give support and salute to the medical work force, ill-equipped and underfunded as they are, for their life-risking, heroic interventions.

NB: I am not a health professional. Although my above writings are from my reading of reliable health sources, I stand to be corrected or fact-checked.
 

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