Survival of the Fittest: Challenges For Covid-19
So we are up to our elbows in this Coronavirus thing and of course I and started wondering about the Survival of the Fittest theory in prepping circles. Can the survival of the fittest be an answer to the dreaded Covid-19?
So is it going to come down to the Survival of the Fittest? First and foremost be aware of the symptoms. This is the first step to being prepared, it is important that you can identify the symptoms of the Coronavirus compared to the standard cold and flu that is often around at this time of year anyway.
The common symptoms to look out for are fever, shortness of breath and cough altogether. People who need to pay attention the most are those who have preexisting medical conditions, the elderly, those with heart conditions and diabetes.
It is important to bear in mind that Coronavirus has a significantly lower mortality rate than SARS and MERS, and you are more than likely to recover unless you have an underlying condition or are more vulnerable.
Coronavirus And Emergency Preparedness
The Coronavirus is a current worldwide pandemic that is sweeping many countries, and in the media we can see people doing crazy things such as panic buying and isolating when there are no confirmed cases local to them.
In this article, we will explore how you can be prepared with a common-sense approach unlike most of the population.
China has currently taken major steps to control the virus, but due to the nature of Coronavirus, there are still possibilities of it spreading further.
And it has.
Survival Of The Fittest Starts With Personal Hygiene
As simple as it sounds, this is potentially something that many people will overlook and disregard when it comes down to the survival of the fittest.
Personal Hygiene generally goes a long way in preventing the spread of viruses and kills bacteria. It is important to do the basics such as shower once or twice daily and wash your hands with soap and water regularly throughout the day. Although alcohol-based hand rubs are suggested by many, nothing will beat soap and water in terms of value for money and ease to purchase.
You may notice that the general public has been panic buying alcohol-based hand rubs and certain brands of soap, this has caused retailers (especially online) to seek a profit increase by hiking their prices.
If you cannot source any soap or hand rub in a major retailer due to it being sold out, we suggest looking in smaller independent stores that are not online or in a busy place. If you still cannot find any soap or hand wash, we would suggest using hot water or finding a cleaning product that is also safe to use on your skin – antibacterial wipes are also another suggestion.
Social Distancing For Self Defense
Survival of the fittest and self-defense means more than your preparedness for a fistfight.
A reason that many places and events are currently being closed down is that the virus is spread primarily by droplets being disbursed by infected people coughing and sneezing. Therefore you are putting yourself at a higher risk by coming into close contact and being within close proximity of people at parties, events and crowded public places.
To avoid breathing in droplets, it is advised to stay at least 3 feet away from people in public and at gatherings.
Another factor to consider is who you are around, try to be around people who you are certainly also maintaining personal hygiene and would also be likely to follow the advice in this article.
Respiratory Hygiene For Covid-19
If you have a look at various online shopping portals, you will see people have been frantically buying surgical masks and dust masks. Many of these do not actually prevent the virus droplets from being breathed in as they do not conform to particular FFP2 standards set out for masks that can actually be used to stop the spread.
Similar to the issues already mentioned with hand gels and soap, online retailers have also been raising prices of even the most basic masks. Rather than purchasing a surgical mask that is not fit for purpose, it is cheaper and easier to cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze with a tissue or with your elbow.
It is advised to cover your mouth with your elbow, as you are less likely to come into contact with other people and surfaces using your elbow. Tissues are a simple, cheap and effective option that you should carry around with you on a daily basis, make sure to only use them once, throw away and then wash your hands after each use.
As already mentioned, it is important that any friends, family or other people you may come into contact with are also practicing this simple advice.
Avoid Touching Others and Items
This is another simple survival tip precaution that can be taken, as our hands can harbor bacteria picked up from surfaces.
Common actions that are often forgotten to consider are simple things such as handshakes and fist bumps, we do these almost daily with people who may not have washed their hands or may have sneezed into them right before meeting you. In regards to coming into contact with others, it is also important to consider who is coming into contact with food items and meals that you might eat, if you are in any doubt about a restaurant’s hygiene standards we would suggest to eat from somewhere else or prepare your own meals yourself.
You can also consider wiping down the packaging of food products with antibacterial wipes and avoid purchasing from places like bakeries where many people may have picked up the food which is not packaged with their hands before you come and take it for yourself.
A Survival Of The Fittest Consideration
We are not all immune despite our emergency preparedness solutions. Seek medical advice or attention if you are worried or have developed symptoms that you believe may be the dreaded Covid-19. I would suggest seeking medical attention.
You should keep in mind that the common cold and flu are around at this time of year, so you may have simply caught that, however, if you have serious doubts then it would definitely be best to seek medical advice.
In conclusion, we can see that there are various methods you can use in order to help you achieve a survival of the fittest attitude that prevents the virus from the besting your healthy abilities and outlook.
The points mentioned above are all fairly simple and do not require mass stockpiling or panic buying, so you will probably not even need to go out to buy anything if you already have soap and tissues.
In reality, the common cold and flu create a lot more deaths on average worldwide than the Coronavirus, and it seems that both the media and the general public have become extreme and over-prepared.
Herd Immunity For Survival
Herd immunity (also called herd effect, community immunity, population immunity, or social immunity) is a form of indirect protection from infectious disease that occurs when a large percentage of a population has become immune to an infection, whether through previous infections or vaccination, thereby providing a measure of protection for individuals who are not immune. In a population in which a large proportion of individuals possess immunity, such people being unlikely to contribute to disease transmission, chains of infection are more likely to be disrupted, which either stops or slows the spread of disease. The greater the proportion of immune individuals in a community, the smaller the probability that non-immune individuals will come into contact with an infectious individual, helping to shield non-immune individuals from infection.Wikipedia
Well, that’s a rather sad or scary theory. Let’s take a look at another side of things. From John Hopkins University:
“We have listened with concern to voices erroneously suggesting that herd immunity may “soon slow the spread”1 of COVID-19. For example, Rush Limbaugh recently claimed that “herd immunity has occurred in California.” As infectious disease epidemiologists, we wish to state clearly that herd immunity against COVID-19 will not be achieved at a population level in 2020, barring a public health catastrophe.
Although more than 2.5 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been reported worldwide, studies suggest that (as of early April 2020) no more than 2-4%3–5 of any country’s population has been infected with SARS-CoV-2 (the coronavirus that causes COVID-19). Even in hotspots like New York City that have been hit hardest by the pandemic, initial studies suggest that perhaps 15-21%6,7 of people have been exposed so far. In getting to that level of exposure, more than 17,500 of the 8.4 million people in New York City (about 1 in every 500 New Yorkers) have died, with the death rate in the city suggesting deaths may be undercounted and mortality may be even higher.
Some have entertained the idea of “controlled voluntary infection, ” akin to the “chickenpox parties” of the 1980s. However, COVID-19 is 100 times more lethal than chickenpox. For example, on the Diamond Princess cruise ship, the mortality rate among those infected with SARS-CoV-2 was 1%. Someone who goes to a “coronavirus party” to get infected would not only be substantially increasing their own chance of dying in the next month, they would also be putting their families and friends at risk. COVID-19 is now the leading cause of death in the United States, killing almost 2,000 Americans every day. Chickenpox never killed more than 150 Americans in a year.
To reach herd immunity for COVID-19, likely 70% or more of the population would need to be immune. Without a vaccine, over 200 million Americans would have to get infected before we reach this threshold. Put another way, even if the current pace of the COVID-19 pandemic continues in the United States – with over 25,000 confirmed cases a day – it will be well into 2021 before we reach herd immunity. If current daily death rates continue, over half a million Americans would be dead from COVID-19 by that time.
As we discuss when and how to phase in re-opening, it is important to understand how vulnerable we remain. Increased testing will help us better understand the scope of infection, but it is clear this pandemic is still only beginning to unfold.“