How to win this war against Corona Virus

As of yesterday (22/3/2020), there are in total 318,000 people who are infected by the Corona Virus, and cumulatively 13671 death with another 10,142 people in critical condition.

This is a WAR, us vs the virus.

And like going into any war, we need a plan – and we have already got a plan, social distancing.

In this post, we will be discussing about why this is a good plan and how we can make sure that the plan works.

Why is Italy’s death toll so high?

When we first heard of the Corona Virus, it was estimated that the mortality rate from the virus is about 3.4%

Source: Time

But look at Italy, 53,578 cases so far, and 4,825 death.

Why the much higher death rate?

The answer is this: the number of new cases every day far exceeded their health care capacity – number of beds in hospital, number of healthcare personnels, number of equipments such as the respirators.

Simple math:

Ques: A hospital can take in 1000 patients in total & each patient takes 10 days to recover. What would happen if every day there are two new cases?

Ans: Every patient will be able to get adequate treatment.

Ques: Now, in the same settings, what happens when there are 5000 new cases every day?

Ans: The healthcare system would collapse, treatment priority will be given to those who are more likely to recover. Patients who are more likely to die, die.

This is exactly what’s happening now with Italy. The longer this continues, the higher the death rate is going to be because health personnels will then be infected, meaning one more sick person and one less person to care for the sick.

Social distancing: the most effective measure against a virus outbreak

There are three ways to really fight against the virus outbreak:

1.) Development of a vaccine

Vaccines will provide uninfected people protection against the Corona Virus, The Corona Virus is dangerous because human have never caught a virus like this before, and therefore our bodies immune system don’t know how to get rid of it and over react – attacking our breathing system in the process.

A vaccine is normally a weakened virus that can “teach” our immune system how to handle it without causing dangerous symptoms.

But as you can imagine, a weakened virus will be hard to produce. And by the time we get a vaccine, distribution will take time.

2.) Quarantine and containment

If we know all the people who are infected by the virus, we just have to find them and quarantine them. If they can’t infect other people, then we have it under control.

The difficult part is the finding part: we need a lot of test kits and people to be honest.

South Korea was amongst the first countries outside China that was hit by the Corona Virus. But they reacted quickly and effectively, with creative ways to screen people

The result: On the 14th March 2020, South Korea had more recoveries than new cases

3.) Lock down & social distancing

Without vaccines and plenty of test kits, this is our only most effective way to fight against the Corona Virus.

In my opinion, for us Malaysians, this is by far the most effective and most reliable way to win this war. Vaccines development takes time, and time is something we don’t have at this moment. Containment is only effective when the total number of cases are still low, and it requires a lot of test kits and people to be honest (both we lacked).

The virus spreads rapidly from human-to-human contact. If there is limited contact, they run out of source to infect. People who were infected would eventually recover – and now they are immune to the virus (at least for a period of time).

As simple as that.

With less new cases reported every day, our healthcare system will have time to treat and study about the virus.

The key to winning comes down to how effective the strategy is being executed. The longer we can drag this, the more likely we are going to survive.

So stay at home guys, we still have chance to beat this.

Godspeed Malaysia.