Seeing through the mist of myths of Coronavirus

coronavirus 2020_

(Credit: Unsplash

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Mr. DongGyun Ko, a second year medical student from Hallym University College of Medicine, Republic of Korea. He is affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.


From SARS to the 2019-nCoV, Coronavirus (CoV) has arisen as a new vanguard to human safety. It seems like we have returned to the time of comforting plague in Europe 700 years ago. Many are afraid and thus blindly believing uncertain information about the crisis. So, will we perish from these miniatures?

Main fear towards the virus stays with the misperception that there is no direct “cure”, as if we are facing the deadliest super virus that can kill a person with just a droplet. This originates from confusing bacteria and virus, and how our body overcomes them. The former is a living organism, and the latter is only alive within its host cell. Both require our immune system to eradicate the intruder, but the difference lays on how to do so. Wiping out the former demands to kill the organism, and antibiotics are effective, for it enacts by detecting non-human metabolism. Because the latter disguises its life inside the host cell, the medication to directly killing it does not exist; autophaging the infected host cell is the sole way. Though vaccines may temporally be effective, mutation of viral RNA escapes the treatment. Our approach instead focused on limiting its spread along with symptomatic therapy. It’s a race between our immune system and the virus: normally healthy person will probably win the race.

The real bottom line is first protecting the immunosuppressants such as elders, overly exhausted workers or children. The emphasis should be put to decreasing the virus concentration among the population. For the goal, personal level actions are recommended to include lessening virus transmission by wearing a mask or protection glasses and washing hands than following unevidenced instructions as eating garlic. Masks not only avoid direct contact with the virus but also reduce the spread of virus from the wearer. Washing hands also lowers virus transfers between humans. Avoiding crowded spaces and voluntarily taking a screening examination with detailed epidemiological records would also help for lowering the possibility of accidental massive virus transmission to many as a social level measure.

What is not to be neglected is to stop valuing people related to the situation. To be infected does not allow indignity. Being a same race with main infectants also does not grant to be called as human virus. The despair of the virus can easily mislead to individual, social and racial hatred. Facts are morally neutral, and human survival weighs heavier than empty contentions. Clear information about the situation and the disease must be shared quickly as possible, and necessary actions from personal to international levels should be achieved decisively. Social unity and cooperation must be maintained politically and economically. Constant supports for researchers and clinicians are also significant.

Cold mists of fear and anxiety engulfed the countries. Envisaging the core and doing what we can will only lead to the least bad. With promises to keep the addressed points, answer to the beginning question is: We will find a way. We always have.

References

  1. Medical Microbiology 8th edition, Murray, Rosenthal, Pfaller
  2. Novel coronavirus(2019-nCoV), WHO, https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019
  3. Emerging respiratory viruses, including nCoV: methods for detection, prevention, response and control, OpenWHO, https://openwho.org/courses/introduction-to-ncov
  4. Coronavirus : Bill Gates ciblé par des rumeurs et infox complotistes, Le Monde, https://www.lemonde.fr/les-decodeurs/article/2020/02/05/coronavirus-bill-gates-cible-par-des-rumeurs-et-infox-complotistes_6028482_4355770.html
  5. The First Randomized, Controlled Clinical Trial of Mask Use in Households to Prevent Respiratory Virus Transmission, C.R. Macintyre et al, 2008
  6. 신종 코로나바이러스 치료에 ‘마늘’이 좋다? 거짓 정보 난무, Doctor’s News, http://www.doctorsnews.co.kr/news/articleView.html?idxno=133146
  7. 의협, “정부 코로나바이러스 방역 골든타임 놓치고 있다.”, Doctor’s News, http://www.doctorsnews.co.kr/news/articleView.html?idxno=133160&fbclid=IwAR0XYwf_oC-o_UM59qztND4BwWTkpamtAqu5BC2rmsvUY7kkzXFdGvRfaqQ
  8. Coronavirus: French Asians hit back at racism with ‘I’m not a virus’, BBC, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-51294305

About the author

DongGyun Ko is a second year medical student from Hallym University College of Medicine, Republic of Korea. He has been working in KMSA (Korean Medical Student Association) as a member of the department of international affairs, department of capacity building, and now National Exchange Officer. Full of love to public health issues, he has been a part of student-centered global health project MIGHTy, and participated in innovate4AMR 2019. Also has been an active IFMSA member to represent Korea in two of General Assemblies and attended TNT session in Morocamp 2.

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

How businesses can create an ethical culture in the age of tech

UN emergency relief fund has ‘never been more critical’: Guterres

5 key concepts for blockchain newbies

Brexit poses ‘particular risk’ to British people in poverty: UN independent expert

Banks get new capital for free and citizens pay the bill

The opportunity of studying Medicine abroad

These 4 skills can make the world better after COVID-19

A Europe that protects: EU reports on progress in fighting disinformation ahead of European Council

COVID-19: Why we must take the widescreen view of workforce uncertainty

Car emissions: MEPs set end on gap between lab and real driving emission tests

Banking on sunshine: world added far more solar than fossil fuel power generating capacity in 2017

Colombia: ‘Significant strides’ towards integrated peace, UN envoy tells Security Council

World Pride underscores that all people are born ‘free and equal’ in dignity and human rights

5 ways to fast-track the transition to a carbon neutral world

Women ‘vital’ to peace efforts and ensuring long-lasting stability in Afghanistan

Independent UN rights experts call for ‘immediate investigation’ into alleged Bezos phone hack by Saudi Arabia

Reflections on the the biggest refugee crisis since World War II

Five years down the drain

AI-powered automation will have an ethnic bias

EU budget: Commission proposes €1.26 billion to reinforce the European Solidarity Corps

How data can empower patients to personalize and improve their cancer treatment

A year on from Yemen talks breakthrough, top UN Envoy hails ‘shift’ towards peace, despite setbacks

The UK is on a record-breaking run of coal-free power

Climate change and its adverse impacts on health

Eurobarometer survey: Majority of EU citizens positive about international trade

Better transit metrics could bridge equity gaps. Here’s how

An American duel in Brussels: Salesforce against Microsoft over Linkedin deal

Why we need to start a new pro-vaccine movement

How a system value approach can help Ireland meet its climate targets

What did we learn from COP25?

What are we actually working for?

Coronavirus: the Commission approves third contract to ensure access to a potential vaccine

Happens now in Brussels: Green Week sets the EU and global climate policy agenda

How Africa and Asia are joining forces on universal healthcare

CLIMATE CHANGE FOCUS: Lake Chad trees keep deadly drought at bay

State aid: Commission approves market conform asset protection scheme for banks in Greece

Winter 2019 Economic Forecast: growth moderates amid global uncertainties

How studying genetics and lifestyle can shape a healthier MENA region

Approaching the challenges of COVID-19 vaccination

Air pollution could be responsible for 1 in 7 new cases of diabetes

World must do more to tackle ‘shadowy’ mercenary activities undermining stability in Africa, says UN chief

Larger species are more at risk of extinction than smaller ones – here’s why

COP25: MEPs push for CO2 neutrality by 2050

The ethics of the Medical Technology Civilisation era

Australia now has 25 million people. Will it choose to keep growing?

COVID-19: ‘Top priority’ must be on containment, insists WHO’s Tedros

Georgia: EU report highlights the need for political compromise to continue the reform momentum

Online marketplaces can help close Africa’s skills gap

Climate change is speeding up. Our response needs to be even faster

Eurozone: Negative statistics bring deflation and recession closer

The glimmers of hope in the latest dire climate report

General Assembly officially adopts roadmap for migrants to improve safety, ease suffering

Iraq: UN human rights report voices concern over conduct of ISIL fighter trials

UN agencies call for action to bolster rights of Europe’s stateless children

Celebrate love, strengthen partnerships to end AIDS epidemic by 2030 says UN agency

Sweden is fighting loneliness by housing older and younger generations together

A skills gap is jeopardizing efforts to end energy poverty

EU farm policy reform: Council must be more flexible – we cannot waste more time

From Shadows to Sunlight, Paraguay’s Road to Transparency

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s