Monday, March 9, 2020

3 Points About Covid-19

I began putting together this blog post upon coming across this cartoon:

I know that Covid-19 poses a health risk – but there's more to life than to be manacled to a disease that attacks the lungs. I recognize too that a significant minority of those infected have serious symptoms, sometimes leading to pneumonia and even death.

But we need to put things in perspective – lest we create a climate of fear and get everybody into a panicky frenzy that benefits nobody. And life as we know it comes to a standstill. 

The first point is Covid-19 is not to be feared. Female mosquitoes, road accidents and smoking probably give Malaysians more opportunities to meet an untimely death.

Besides, the Ministry of Health is doing an exemplary job and their contact tracing is well-executed. Really, Malaysians should be thankful. 

The second point is that there has been NO DEATHS from Covid-19 so far:

Compare this to other deaths in Malaysia. 

A Star news report published December 01, 2019 had highlighted that in that particular year, dengue fever cases in Malaysia reached an all-time high, hitting 119,198 infections recorded as of November 29, 2019:

That worked out to about 359 new cases each day. 

And 162 deaths were recorded. 

Given the grim statistics above, did you know of anybody who had wrapped themselves up so totally that mozzies wouldn’t get any chance to pierce their skin, draw their blood and at the same time, transmit the dengue virus to them? 

According to a Star news report published May 14, 2019, Malaysia has the third highest fatality rate from road traffic accidents in Asia and ASEAN, behind Thailand and Vietnam. 

To put that into numbers, the Global Status Report on Road Safety published by the World Health Organization and the World Bank in December 2018 declared that Malaysia had 7,152 deaths in 2016.

And New Straits Times on February 11, 2018 had reported that 6,740 people perished in road accidents in 2017.

According to The Rakyat Post published July 17, 2019, it mentioned that Bukit Aman Investigation and Traffic Enforcement Director Azisman Alias having said that between January to June 2019, 281,527 accidents had been reported all over the country. 

It didn’t give a nationwide count of those who died from road accidents – although it did draw attention to the fact that both Selangor and Johor recorded the most number of fatalities at 482, followed by Perak with 302 fatalities.

Again, given the grim numbers above, did you know of anybody who gave up driving or riding a motorbike because they fear there is a real possibility of dying as a result of a road accident? 

New Straits Times on October 31, 2018 carried a Bernama report stating that the WHO had estimated that more than 20,000 male adults in Malaysia die every year from complications due to the smoking habit. 

Yet again, given the grim fatality rate, I ask you, did the government ban smoking outright? 

Sure, Covid-19 can potentially kill you – but so can many other things. 

That brings me to my third point. By all means, exercise caution – but as I have repeatedly said, DON’T OVERREACT. 

Life is for living. Let's live, Covid-19 or not.

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