Coronavirus is now the most spelled word in the world. It has frightened many of us. But it doesn’t kill everyone. For someone, it only comes like the common flu—and for someone it is fatal. Specifically, for the elderly, obese, those who are with underlying conditions, and those who have low immunity or auto-immune disorder, are affected by this disease. By observing the present facts, it is known that Covid-19 has a low mortality rate.
A research website ‘Our World in Data’ published a report about Covid-19, and it stated that – the case fatality rate (CFR) in Germany is 0.2% whereas, in Italy, it is 7.7%. The interesting fact is that both countries have a similar number of infected coronavirus cases. It means, the fatality rate differs according to the countries.
Talking about Nepal, nearly 42 thousand coronavirus cases have been discovered here. The CFR in Nepal is about 0.7%, which seems very low comparing to our neighboring countries. Counting in numbers, till now, 257 people died in Nepal due to this disease. Our neighboring country, India, has a fatality rate of 1.8%, and the total number of deaths has crossed over 68 thousand.
By showing these aforementioned data, nowadays, a movement to falsify the Covid-19 has started on social media. People are to declaring the virus, and the disease as a ‘scam’. There are many articles, posts, tweets, and videos circulating on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
Is it a Scam?
At the present time, while scrolling social media, we get invitations from many corona ‘awareness’ groups. Inside these groups, we can see delusory posts. Anti-maskers talking about the mask deceptively. In a group, there was a post revealing, “N-95 mask can only filter up to 300 nm particles, coronaviruses are 80-120 nm, so how can the non-fabric and cloth masks filter this? It is all lie by WHO.” However, it is known that – WHO said people to wear the mask by maintaining one-meter distance strictly, it is mentioned on their website.
Similarly, some people have doubts about the tests. The rumor is circulating that – RT-PCR test kit is not reliable, and it is not for medico-legal purposes. People have a misconception about this. A few days ago, there was news published about a person who needed to have an emergency operation, it cited the Hetauda lab showed positive for the coronavirus, and swab collected from Grande showed a negative result. But the ministry of health and population of Nepal recited, slight mechanical and human errors can show these types of results, that’s why collected swab samples are tested twice—not once. The misconceptions about Covid-19 have now become a headache for Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Two social media giants have deployed fact-check for the misinformation. Whereas, YouTube removes many videos daily which are related to coronavirus conspiracy theories.
People who are dedicated to proving coronavirus as a lie, are giving another misinformation i.e. the deaths are falsely counted as COVID deaths. According to the WHO guidelines, any person who is infected with coronavirus and dies—will be counted under Covid-19 death. It doesn’t matter the infected person was co-morbid, the death shall be recorded as Covid-19 death. This regulation has many criteria, which we can see in the WHO’s official website. These days, the death numbers of Covid-19 is compared with the numbers of flu, TB, and HIV-AIDS. People relate the lockdown with TB, query their questions over WHO, TB is deadlier and more infectious, so why didn’t the world see the lockdown in past days. But people don’t know—or they don’t want to know that TB has vaccines, medicine, HIV-AIDS can be treated with antiretroviral therapy, and for the flu, we have the flu-shots. But for the coronavirus, science still does not have proper researches.
The numbers of deaths shouldn’t be termed ‘few’
‘Our World in Data’ published a report stating, more than 150,000 people die daily. Likewise, 56 million people die yearly. Talking about the deaths, more than 49 thousand daily, and 17.90 million yearly dies because of Cardiovascular disease. Similarly, more than 26 thousand daily, and 9.70 million yearly die due to various Cancer. This data is now compared with the Covid-19 which sees ‘only’ 10 thousand deaths per day. And, people erroneously term it as a simple ‘flu’. We have different medications available for Cardiovascular diseases, we have radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and medicines for cancer—and these diseases are also not infectious. But what do we have for the Covid-19? A little knowledge—and what?
Popular Indian journalist and Ramon Magsaysay prize winner Ravish Kumar said in his program in NDTV India, “Deaths are deaths, we cannot term ‘only’ for deaths—nor we can convert it into percentage and show it into data to soothe ourselves, deaths cannot be few-many, low-high. For the government, a person who is dead is only a data—a number. But for the family, the person is a father, mother, sister, brother. Therefore, deaths are deaths.”
It’s true, the lockdown and the fear of coronavirus are not appropriate for the world now. People shouldn’t get afraid of this virus. They should learn to live with it. The lockdown imposed for containing coronavirus has created a huge impact on lower and middle-class people. The tactic of imposing lockdown seems unnecessary for the world. The restrictions have developed awareness—people know, and they know how to be safe from the virus. So, the world needs to move into new-normal. At first, the conception of Covid-19 was very different for us. But now, we have to learn to live with the disease. The media agencies which created fear in the people by showing the sensitive images should stop now, that is wrong. The Elderly, and those with underlying conditions, need to visit the hospital regularly, they not getting proper treatment, which is wrong. But falsifying coronavirus, and misinterpreting it as a scam is also wrong.
People have a habit of misjudging things until it happens to them. According to BBC, a man disbelieved coronavirus as a hoax, until he lost his wife. So, the next man who disbelieves it shouldn’t be you—or your loved ones. Interpreting coronavirus as a hoax—is a hoax itself. That’s why, we need to have patience, and we need to follow the guidelines from our government and the WHO.