Sadly, t’s easy to lose a sense of perspective on the scale of the danger in part because human beings are genetically programmed to fear and avoid people who are sick with something that might be contagious. Until relatively recent times, epidemics killed more people of all ages than war or famine and so we're hard-wired from thousands of years of such deadly infections to fear disease and those who carry it amongst us. Just look at the paranoia and wild speculation on social media and in the news to realize that it's still easy to panic about something like this.
As to face-masks, one doctor on the radio reminded us this week that the disposable ones you buy are largely useless but that he recommends wrapping your face in a scarf if the situation gets bad because it will at least remind you physically not to touch your hands to your face.
While panic buying just increases corporate profits and empties store shelves of essentials, you should also consider getting in some emergency food supplies in case there are enforced quarantines as they are doing in parts of the world, including Europe.
Please remember the best practices to reduce the spread of viruses in our day-to-day lives are:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water and be sure to scrub for at least 20 seconds each time you do so.
- Do not touch your eyes, nose, and mouth unless you have just washed your hands with soap.
- Cover your cough and sneeze into a tissue or your arm, not your hand.
- Stay home if you are sick.
- In terms of martial arts training… stay home if you are in any doubt that you might have something communicable. Training is important; but so is keeping your viruses to yourself!
There has been a lot of traditional news media as well as social media mis-information in recent weeks so please ensure you get your information from trusted sources. [In Canada, for example, Ottawa Public Health or the Government of Canada websites].
Remember that most people recover from this virus even though the death rate seems scary, compared to a typical seasonal flu, if you only look at the raw figures. However, it is even more important to not panic over something that we can't affect by losing our cool. The British war-time advice from World War II still is good today "Keep Calm and Carry on".
Copyright Michael A. Babin©2020