Coronavirus: No Need for Fear– Stay Calm

hand washing

Fear is spreading centering coronavirus. In the UK, supermarkets have rationed food and other items because of panic buying. Cities in the U.S. have found shop shelves empty, as there was panic buying. News agencies including Reuters have already posted news and photos on those developments in the U.S. and UK.

But to be fearless is the first task to face the virus. Dr Abdu Sharkawy issued a Facebook warning about the overreaction to coronavirus. This message is to be spread.

Doctor’s Facebook post attacking “wave of fear” goes viral

Doctor Abdu Sharkawy’s Facebook post attacking the “wave of fear” being whipped up over the coronavirus has gone viral.

More than 500,000 people have liked the post by infectious diseases specialist Dr Abdu Sharkawy, from Toronto, Canada.

In the post, he said he is not afraid of Covid-19, the disease caused by coronavirus, but is concerned about the culture of fear and panic buying started by the spread of the virus.

Dr Sharkawy: “I’m a doctor and an infectious diseases specialist. I’ve been at this for more than 20 years seeing sick patients on a daily basis.

“I am not scared of Covid-19. I am concerned about the implications of a novel infectious agent that has spread the world over and continues to find new footholds in different soil.

“I am rightly concerned for the welfare of those who are elderly, in frail health or disenfranchised who stand to suffer mostly, and disproportionately, at the hands of this new scourge. But I am not scared of Covid-19.”

Dr Sharkawy added: “What I am scared about is the loss of reason and wave of fear that has induced the masses of society into a spellbinding spiral of panic, stockpiling obscene quantities of anything that could fill a bomb shelter adequately in a post-apocalyptic world.

“I am scared of the N95 masks that are stolen from hospitals and urgent care clinics where they are actually needed for front line healthcare providers and instead are being donned in airports, malls, and coffee lounges, perpetuating even more fear and suspicion of others.”

He said he is scared hospitals will be overwhelmed by those who think they might have the disease, taking up space needed for those with heart problems, pneumonia and other conditions.

“I’m scared about what message we are telling our kids when faced with a threat,” he wrote.

“Instead of reason, rationality, open-mindedness and altruism, we are telling them to panic, be fearful, suspicious, reactionary and self-interested.”

He warned that Covid-19 is “nowhere near over”.

He said: “It will be coming to a city, a hospital, a friend, even a family member near you at some point. Expect it. Stop waiting to be surprised further.

“The fact is the virus itself will not likely do much harm when it arrives. But our own behaviors and ‘fight for yourself above all else’ attitude could prove disastrous.”

Dr Sharkawy asked people to “temper fear with reason, panic with patience and uncertainty with education.”

Drying your hands after washing is a key part of coronavirus prevention

Washing your hands frequently and thoroughly is one of the most important ways to protect yourself and others from the coronavirus.

But drying your hands properly is just as important since wet or moist hands can breed germs.

Different drying methods have different levels of effectiveness, with paper towels being one of the best and air dryers being the worst.

People concerned about coronavirus outbreaks have heard the message loud and clear: Wash your hands, and wash them well and often.

The other half of that public-health message — to dry your hands just as well — is just as important, according to Miryam Wahrman, a biology professor at William Paterson University and the author of “The Hand Book: Surviving in a Germ-Filled World,” which dedicates seven pages to the topic.

The drying method matters, too. The most hygienic way to dry is with paper or cloth towels, Wahrman said.

“Research studies show that drying with paper towels or cloth towels removes even more germs than washing alone, as the friction of drying reduces the germ count even further,” she said.

Cloth towels come with more caveats: They should only be used at home, where each person has his or her own towel and spot to hang it, and thrown in the laundry regularly — even every few days if they are used often.

Paper towels are just as effective and can also be used to turn off the faucet and open the door, although they are less environmentally friendly than the cloth variety.

Warm air or jet air dryers, on the other hand, do not come recommended by Wahrman. “They can spew germs back on your hands, and into the air where you can breathe them in.”

Indeed, one study found that air dryers can blow around potentially pathogenic air, even prompting a Connecticut health center to trade their dryers for paper towels in order to help protect people with compromised immune systems, as Business Insider previously reported.

Plus, if you are impatient and do not wait for your hands to dry completely, you’ll again have created an environment in which germs can flourish.

What’s more, “moist hands touching a public doorknob on the way out of a public bathroom are the perfect storm of recontamination, making your clean hands germ-covered again,” said Wahrman.

She recommended using paper towels when available in public restrooms, and keeping a few clean tissues in your pocket for the times they are unavailable.



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