CORONAVIRUS – COVID-19

By DILIP Chakrabarti from New Jersey

Ebangla Bureau

Light traffic is seen in the afternoon on the 118 Ronald Reagan freeway, Sunday, in Simi Valley, California. The highway is usually much busier on a Sunday afternoon.

On 31 December 2019, the Chinese authorities reported a case of pneumonia causes undetermined in Wuhan, Hubei province, to the World Health Organization (WHO). As more and more cases started emerge, national health department was able to find the virus which causing flu-like symptoms with fever and identified it as a coronavirus, now known to the WHO as 2019-nCoV or Covid-19. Coronaviruses are a group of viruses that can cause respiratory tract illnesses, including the common cold, but also can become more serious, particularly for infants, the elderly and patients with weak or compromised immune systems, according to the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The same   viral pathogen was also responsible for the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory (SARS) outbreaks caused many deaths in that region a few years back. Unfortunately, the symptoms of Covid-19 are very similar to regular flu symptoms – including fever, a cough and shortness of breath – making them hard to detect

and diagnose malady. The CDC described that symptoms may emerge between two and fourteen days after exposure to the virus. Anyone who acquires these symptoms must seek professional medical assistance from experienced infectious disease Institutions and must undergo for the diagnostic test for coronavirus. Unfortunately, this virus is spreading very rapidly all over the world including USA where we live our lives. It is very unfortunate to see that this virus is emerging in every state of USA and numbers of case are going up on a daily basis if not hourly basis. Fortunately, our CDC is monitoring the situation very closely and efficiently and guiding the nation to a correct pathway to keep the public in safe and secured. However, all the efforts of our CDC and Scientists to control the spread of the virus fell flat and suddenly we are facing the Epidemic of this virus and now WHO is upgrading it to be a Pandemic. Now, in last three months it has continued to spread everywhere in the surface of this planet. Initially it was thought that this virus spreads through human contact with animal source but now it has been determined that it can be transmitted through human contacts also. Every nation in the world is becoming very afraid of this deadly disease psychological fear of this Coronavirus is spread very widely and to the effect it has paralyzed some nations mentally. The fear of Coronavirus has shattered the financial world also, it is feeling the earthquake of its own, stock market is scared

to death and we are watching it every day by its ups and downs like roller coaster. Please do not panic, it is temporary and hope for the golden days again, your money will be safe and growing again.

Now, being attacked by this deadly virus, the question comes how do we handle this dire situation, do we have the knowledge or medicine to control its deadly force? Or do we have the vaccine to immunize people to increase the immunity against its deadly attack? So far, answer is very clear, no, we do not have. However, our medical and scientific community are very optimistic that the remedy is seen in the horizon but it will take at least four to six months to achieve this ability. What do we do these six months if we are infected with this virus? Since we do not have any effective means yet, we must depend on our commonsense. It is highly contagious, so we must try to avoid any large or small assembly of any kind whether it is social or religious because it increases the risk of contact of the virus. Going through the security of the air travel or cruise ship travel definitely

increases the risk, it is a good idea to avoid these travels for now. Self-quarantine is another way of avoiding the human contact and thereby reducing the risk factor. CDC recommends to wash hands very frequently, maintaining a very clean personal hygiene definitely decreases chances of getting this disease. All of us should give a deliberate thought if we should cuddle our grandchildren and on the other hand should grandchildren come to grandparents, looks like avoiding any kind of personal or physical contact will be a responsible behavior for both sides, if necessary temporary separation will help both sides of the loved ones. Propensity of panic buying every item a family needs, is very common in many families and has sky rocketed. Peoples are lining up in stores like BJ’s, Costco and others, just to buy large quantities of water, foods, etc. Now remember this, if you panic buy so much food and your neighbor does not, would you be able to see that your neighbor’s children are starving and you have plenty of food? Most probably not. As kind human being you will definitely share your food with the family who does not have. So, stop the frenzy of storing more than your normal need, think about your neighbors also. Take a vow to standby for others, our ideal should be live and let live. During this Epidemic we all should act with moral responsibility and restraint showing how we care about the wellbeing of fellow minor, young or adult matured citizens. Health care Officials and Government cannot do everything for us, we must help the Government during this critical time of the nation, we must act reasonably with responsibility for the benefit of our next door neighbor so that all of us can pass safely through this Coronavirus Pandemic Crisis and all of us can become a perfect citizen for our beloved country and consequently normalcy will be back in our lives. I also want to reiterate that information about Coronavirus and advice how to remain safe against this contagious virus will come from CDC and many more government agencies, please try to abide by their advice and you will be relatively safe with your family and friends. Unfortunately, as of today (March 17, 2020), in my State of New Jersey 178 persons have been infected and 3 persons have succumbed this deadly CoVID-19. In coming months this number will probably go up and more States will be affected by this Pandemic. Some of the Casinos of Atlantic City has decided to close for business until situation gets better, this is a correct decision taken by the Casinos. In fine as a fellow human being who is equally afraid and worried like you all would request you please do not lose your spirit; in the long run our spirit alone will help us to swim through this ocean of minacious Coronavirus Pandemic. By the time you read this article, the situation will change, you will know more and hopefully it will be for the better. (writer DILIP Chakrabarti  is Chairman of Cultural Association of Bengal based in United States . image courtesy to USA TODAY)

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