Life is the most precious thing that is given to people. In the context of the global crisis that humanity is currently facing, perhaps the greatest crisis of our generation, these words have a special meaning.
We must act quickly now, but keep in mind that today's actions will have long-term consequences, and the choices and decisions we make now could change our lives in the years to come. They will influence not only the medical systems, but also the economy, politics, culture.
In just three months, economies are on the ground, millions of people isolated and quarantined, sports competitions and events canceled, borders closed and human tragedies boundless. Humanity has not been prepared to deal with a rapidly moving respiratory pandemic, although in the fall of 2019 there were threats from independent international experts that would have proposed a global pandemic prevention plan for all countries.
Here are just a few of the necessary measures of such a preventive plan:
- Development of the public health system;
- Development of national alert capacity so that every country is ready to deal with the pandemic;
- Development of equipment for diagnostics (testing), as well as the provision and distribution of special protective equipment for the population and medical professionals;
- Evaluation of health systems and their compliance with the recommendations of the World Health Organization;
- Development of a system of rapid communication, of the specific plans for cooperation between countries, as well as with the World Health Organization, in the face of a pandemic;
- A priority would be to strengthen and consult the scientific communities by the health authorities of each country in order to rapidly develop specific vaccines and treatments and to manufacture them.
These measures were not taken into account.
Until yesterday, we were all following the normal course of life, our activities not being restricted in any way. Today we are facing a worldwide challenge, that of COVID-19 disease, generated by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2).
Now we wonder when we will return to the normal life we had before.
The specialists refrain from giving a definite answer.
The pandemic arose due to the fact that this is a new strain of coronaviruses, for which people do not have immunity (so they cannot initially defend themselves). In the meantime, the scientific community is concerned about finding a rescue vaccine that could protect us, or even treat us.
In this regard, we already have optimistic announcements in the USA and China, where the tests for an experimental vaccine have already begun, and for the first time they are being tested right away on a person, not on an animal.
We have also good news from Timisoara, Romania. Professor Virgil Paunescu, the Director of the OncoGen Center, within the County Emergency Clinical Hospital in Timisoara, announced on March 25: "A very important day for OncoGen: we have the vaccine, the equivalent of 1000 doses. The vaccine is currently for laboratory testing. "
But for such a vaccine to be compatible with everyone, without side effects and complications, it takes time; it could be produced in just over a year, maybe even longer. And time is limited, with a view to increasing the number of infected people.
Waiting for a vaccine is not the only right strategy.
What can each of us start with?
1. To evaluate our personal and family risks:
- Where and in what situation can we get sick?
- To whom can we spread the disease?
- Do we apply the prevention measures as correctly as possible?
- Do we fall into one of the risk categories?
- Where can we ask for help?
- Who can we help?
2. Let's see how we can get involved both individually and collectively.
3. Strictly follow the rules and recommendations.
In this context, based on a combination of three vital fundamentals - the balance between the physical, mental and financial conditions, we see it appropriate and reasonable to choose the following strategy of behavior during and after the pandemic.
We must all protect ourselves as best we can, especially older people, in order to make time for the vaccine to appear and for a treatment dedicated to this disease. Therefore, at the moment, we should focus on the preventive measures we must take, even if some of them now seem exaggerated. If we develop a calm and rational preventive habit during this period, this can save us.
Here we propose a complex of the most effective measures and tips from specialists to avoid contamination:
• Quarantine, isolation and social distance. The virus has a very high contagiousness, which is why it is essential first of all to avoid contact with different people during this period. The disease develops especially in people at risk: elderly people over 65-70 years, people with chronic diseases that are not under control, such as diabetes, obesity, chronic lung disease (asthma, COPD), chronic heart disease (HT, ischemic heart disease, etc.), chronic liver disease (liver cirrhosis), autoimmune diseases, neoplasm. The percentage of death in these people can be high. We must focus on protecting them with concrete actions.
• Respect for personal hygiene measures.
• Wear a mask, which prevents transmission. Now we don’t know which of us can be the carrier of the virus, and the asymptomatic carrier is the most dangerous for the people around him. The mask needs to be changed every 2-3 hours. Insist that people you know wear a mask to protect them and you.
• Do not stand face to face with anyone less than 2 m away and do not stay longer than 15 minutes.
• Ventilate the room where you live or work as often as possible. This reduces the virus concentration in the air.
• Cough or sneeze at the elbow.
• Gloves protect you, if you wear it in potentially contaminated areas, lifts and supermarkets, and when you leave these areas, remove them (turn back), throw and wash your hands well.
• The main precaution is not to touch the face with your hands (with or without gloves) and wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water as often as possible, for 20-30 seconds, covering the area between fingers.
• Frequently disinfect the door handle at the entrance to the house or the rooms where you work.
• How to avoid contamination by clothes, when you get home, after washing your hands, get rid of street clothes, put them directly in the wash or put them on the balcony (exposed to the sun) or in a preset place for 24 -48 hours, if you cannot disinfect or tread at high temperatures. After this, you need to take a shower, wash your hair, and change into home clothes.
• How to avoid infection through the sole of the shoe. It has recently been discovered that this virus is very resistant to soil. A large number of viruses have been found in places where infected people gather, which, moreover, spit on the ground. This is one of the reasons for the occurrence of new and new cases, since the sole of the shoe is infected. For this reason, it is recommended that there are two rugs at the entrance to the house - one outside, which should be soaked in a solution of chlorine, and the other inside. Take off your shoes and put them in the same place every day, somewhere near the entrance, on a surface that can be disinfected with chlorine.
So, the recommended steps when returning home:
• Before entering, if we have gloves and a mask, remove them and put them in a bag, which we seal and throw in the trash outside.
• Wipe the sole of the shoe on a chlorine-soaked rug.
• Enter the house, take off our shoes and put our street shoes in the same place, but not where we keep the house shoes.
• Thoroughly wash your hands.
• Remove street clothes, put them in a designated place, or wash them immediately, wash your hands, change into home clothes.
• Disinfect the door handle and switches, keys, telephone, glasses, or other used items.
• Wash your hands again.
What to do before going shopping and how to behave in a supermarket?
• Prepare a shopping list in advance to minimize time spent in the supermarket.
• Avoid rush hours (morning / evening) and travel by public transport.
• Make sure you have: disposable wipes, disinfectant gel, gloves, mask.
• When you are near the store or inside, keep a distance of two meters from other customers, store employees, cashiers.
• Do not think that everyone uses a disinfectant gel. In front of you, several hands touched the fruit of the avocado to see if it is ripe or not. Therefore, carry the gel with you and treat your hands as often as possible, especially if you have touched the money. Ideally, use bank cards rather than banknotes.
• If you are sick or suspect that you have come into contact with an infected person, it is best to stay indoors, ask relatives or friends to help you, so that they bring you groceries by leaving them near the doors, or use delivery services through online stores.
What to do when returning from the supermarket?
• Place bags near the door and not directly on other surfaces. Wash your hands.
• To limit contamination, all unnecessary plastic or cardboard packaging materials must be disposed of in the trash. If you use cloth bags, we recommend that you wash them.
• Disinfect products that you cannot immediately throw away packaging (cans, bottles of yogurt, milk, etc.).
• Wash hands immediately with soap and water. Then store the food.
• The most commonly felt foods are fruits and vegetables. Fruits should be thoroughly washed with hot water, even kept for some time in water, and then peeled before eating.
• As for vegetables: thermal processing of food eliminates any risk of infection, this virus is sensitive to the cooking temperature (minimum treatment at 63o C for 4 minutes).
We need to form these protective reflexes to limit losses. This applies and depends only on us, and not on governments, countries, WHO.
It is important, however, to take the necessary measures to enable our health care system to not be overcrowded and to function normally, so that everyone who truly needs qualified medical care can benefit from it.
The definitive change of our behavior and lifestyle during the crisis period has revealed the need for awareness and responsibility of each individual, which implies a change of mentality, supported by the information support, which gives us the knowledge necessary to make decisions. We need to find our calmness and mental balance, to avoid depression, anxiety and panic attacks.
Here comes the help of mental detoxification.
Usually, we practice a physical diet rather than a mental diet, even though the latter is more important. Why? If you clean your brain of debris, you will be able to make more effective decisions, including in the area of healthy lifestyle.
In fact, your thoughts are food for the brain. Mental detoxification consists in restricting thoughts that cause negative emotions and replacing them with those that lead to a feeling of peace and tranquility.
The way our body works is based on the nutrition we provide it. The mind is no different in this regard. Everything in our lives is determined by ordinary thinking.
Negative thinking is when you live with thoughts of failure, disappointment or problems; any critical thinking or any thought of illness or accident. Put simply, this is any pessimistic restriction or thinking.
Please note: the rule is not that you cannot have negative thoughts and emotions, but that you should not live with them. Controlling the first thought that visits your head is sometimes difficult. But you can control the second, third, and so on.
When you are influenced by negative thoughts, you need to instantly shift your attention to something else. Another great way to achieve marked success is to spend up to five minutes doing the following:
- Say "STOP" to break the cycle of negative thoughts.
- Focus on something else. Being isolated, we have plenty of time and can read, exercise, draw, listen to music or sing, watch motivational videos on YouTube.
- Fill your mind with positive. We hope that the pandemic will pass, humanity will survive, most of us will stay alive, but life will not be the same again. We need to be prepared this even emotionally.
Challenge yourself. For this, no equipment and preparations are needed, desire and awareness are sufficient.
Of course, a longer-term isolation strategy has the disadvantage that it has extremely negative economic consequences for many areas and for many people.
Another important aspect during the pandemic is food security, which represents the state of the economy, in which, regardless of circumstances, the population is guaranteed a stable supply of food in reasonable quantities and in accordance with medical consumption standards.
The food security strategy should be focused on increasing agricultural production, optimizing the quantitative and qualitative parameters of resources, improving the structure of food consumption and balancing the food ration.
In a situation when imports are limited due to closed borders, we must minimize the export of products and develop domestic production to maintain the supply chain. The agricultural sector is gaining importance today and needs to be fully supported.
In conditions of quarantine and isolation, special attention must be paid to strengthening immune system, and it is welcomed a production of high-quality healthy products manufactured on the basis of environmentally friendly raw materials without the addition of flavor enhancers, flavorings and preservatives with the following advantages:
- own production;
- Ecological raw materials;
- Attractive and competitive prices;
- Wide range;
- Renewable packaging.
The product range can be very varied:
- Whole wheat flour;
- Seeds for germination;
- Cold pressed oils from different plants and seeds;
- Healthy sweets;
- Soy products;
- Food products and supplements from Jerusalem artichoke;
- Extracts from medicinal plants as an alternative to chemical disinfectants.
At the same time, the authorities must provide protective equipment and establish appropriate health protection procedures for healthcare personnel, who are increasingly exposed to the virus and can transmit it to patients. In this context, it would be a measure of re-profiling of textile companies in the direction of producing masks, suits, etc., which the medical system needs now.
The pandemic showed how vulnerable older people can be due to accumulated illnesses. We consider it appropriate to create a platform, a completely new digital ecosystem VIRTUAL HEALTH HUB, whose activities will be aimed at testing, researching and accelerating the implementation of preventive medicine and innovative technologies by creating information communities to promote anti-aging measures and selecting the most effective longevity solutions.
We need to ask ourselves not only how we will overcome the threat we are facing, but also what world we will inherit after the end of the coronavirus crisis. It will pass, but the choice that we make now depends on how it will change and what our life will be like in the coming years. #StayHome