The fight between Covid-19 virus and mankind is a war — this time not a war between humans, and not a Star Wars. It is a war between man and the smallest, most elusive and invisible enemy on earth — Covid-19 virus which has superior intelligence that surpasses human intelligence in many ways.
Dr Victor Ti, an experienced expat specialist generalist (Family Physician) gives his views on how serious the pandemic is.
Starting in Wuhan, China, it marched on quickly, to most countries across the world. Thus, this is not just a war, it is a world-war – The Third World-War.
On June 15, 2018, I forewarned my readers in Good Times 2, Khmer Times that: “Man may not be fighting man in the next world-war. We may not be fighting aliens from outer space. However, we may be dealing with the most elusive, invisible and smallest of all creatures on earth. We may end up as the losers of this war if we are not vigilant and not doing the right things from now. If this happens, the entire human race may be wiped out like the extinct prehistoric dinosaurs.”
Most of my premonitory vision is happening right before our eyes except for the last line where I too, sincerely hope that it will turn out to be a defective part of the almost perfect futuristic vision.
The wild viruses marching on like wildfire across the world, killing increasing number of people mercilessly at an alarming rate. Death toll continues to rise exponentially with no sign of slowing down, putting the survival of mankind in an unprecedented precarious position. World leaders scurried to congregate, to gather and analyse information, to formulate policies and actions to hopefully break the rising wave of the infection and death that is progressing towards tsunamic scale.
What shall we do? Truly we are plunged into the no-man’s-realm. Thus, we need ideas – ingenious ideas from horizontal thinking or ‘out-of-the-box’ thinking. We need the ‘ah-ha’ spark to torch the way to halt the Covid-19 tsunamic march. May I humbly venture to do my little part, however insignificant my contribution may turn out to be.
As I understand from the biological characteristics of the virus, Covid-19 virus is here to stay. Thus, the war shall drag on for an unpredictable length of time. It may be for a year, 2 years, or many more years. The reality is yet to be seen.
The greatness of China is shown in her victorious approach that befits a socialist country with an economic might that is next to none. Her approach becomes exemplary and many countries frantically adopt what China did, as her approach seems like the only plausible answer to the unprecedented assault of a horrendous virus.
That seems like the easiest and safest approach to follow as it would seem silly for anyone to try out any new untested approach that may fail and lead to great loss of lives. Nonetheless, it doesn’t mean that there are no better approaches. It is at times of great challenge like this that people look up upon their leaders to formulate ingenious approaches that can lead them out of their misery. Surely there are better approaches that can produce similar success in terms of curtailing the spread of the infection and reducing the number of deaths without causing an economic downturn or total collapse of the country’s economy.
China’s unprecedented approach of a total lockdown for an extended period is unquestionably effective. However, that total lockdown is not without its side effects. Such lockdown also includes a total lockdown of the economic activities. I am reasonably worried that there are not many countries that have the economic might like China to sustain such a prolonged lockdown of economic activities
Truly, one man’s meat is another man’s poison. Many countries that are not as wealthy as China may suffer an economic collapse that may take many years to recover. Thus, it is very essential for us to attempt to win the war without hurting our economy too much. We should take the Chinese approach as a stepping-stone to formulate a better modified approach to, not only win the war against Covid-19 virus but also keeping our economy largely intact. This is the better way. It is the way to save our country and our people from prolonged misery.
Covid-19 virus strikes. The doctors and nurses wear their protective gears to soldier on as the front liners in the war against the virus. They work long hours under extreme conditions, some without adequate protection due to the system that is ill-prepared for an unprecedented epidemic of this scale. While they struggle to near exhaustion or actual exhaustion, the rest of the people who are economically productive were compelled to stop work and stay at home for an indefinite period. To me this formula can spell an economic disaster to many countries if the approach is not modified intelligently to fit individual countries that are so different from China in terms of their economic capacity. Thus, I would like to contribute my ideas with view to save many of these countries from the misery of an economic collapse:
If the doctors and nurses are considered essential workers who should work with wearing of protective gears or personal protective equipment (PPE), many other workers such as factory workers, supermarket workers and transportation vehicle drivers can also continue to work with the wearing of PPE. They are the backbone of the country’s economy. Many of them are the sole breadwinners of their family.
Textiles factories should temporarily stop manufacturing their usual common wears and help on the production of protective clothing (PPE) in response to the acute shortage of supply throughout the world.
Glove/mask factories should recruit more workers to increase their production to meet the increasing demand. If required, the factories should introduce multiple work shifts to help meet the sudden surge of demand for such essential items.
Social distancing should be implemented especially on the high-risk groups such as those age above 60 years. Housewives and jobless individuals must stay at home as far as possible. Social distancing should mean physical distancing. The elderly should be connected socially with e-facilities to keep them mentally and emotionally healthy. All unessential gatherings should be cancelled.
I see nothing wrong in getting the policemen and soldiers to help implement the Control Movement Order instead of keeping them in the army camps. Ideally, they too should wear PPE while on duty.
Lecturers, teachers and students should work and study from home. This is certainly a good alternative to conventional teaching in schools, colleges and universities. This is the time for e-learning to take a greater leap in its development. After all, e-learning is the way forward into the future.
Active case/contact tracing, quarantine of individuals exposed to contacts, isolation of infected individuals are all gold standard approaches that should continue to be implemented.
Health education to the public about the practice of regular handwashing, use of hand sanitiser, and wearing of facial masks should continue to be promoted.
Dr. Victor Ti, MD, MFAM (Malaysia), FRACGP (Australia), Dip P Dermatology (UK), Dip STDs/AIDS (Thailand), Dip. AARAM (USA), LCP of Aesthetic Med.(Malaysia) is an experienced expat specialist generalist (Family Physician) of BH Clinic, Phnom Penh. As a specialist generalist, he is skillful at diagnosing all general diseases and excluding the sinister ones. Apart from the general diseases, Dr. Victor is also known for his skill in skin diseases, sexually transmitted diseases, minor surgery and aesthetic medicine. He can be contacted via email [email protected] Tel: 023900446 or Whatsapp: +60164122977. Facebook name: Victor Ti.