Coronavirus & the Panic Pandemic

The coronavirus is causing quite a scare worldwide. Reactions to the news of it spreading have ranged from relative nonchalance to absolute terror, with the media, unsurprisingly, favoring the latter. 


Coronavirus or COVID-19

There are two things to keep in mind when considering the possible implications of any virus. One is the damage the virus itself can cause to a bodily system. The other is the secondary reaction, or the way the body responds in trying to destroy or eject the virus. Such symptoms may include coughing, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, and the like. Often, this immune response may be more disruptive than the disease itself, causing pain and discomfort as the body tries to rid itself of illness. In rare and unlikely cases, the body’s reaction may be so severe that death occurs. 

Social Immune Response

When we look at coronavirus and the media coverage that coincides with it, we are again looking at the possible damage caused by the virus itself, and, by extension, the secondary “social immune response” to try to eliminate the pandemic. It can be helpful to keep the two separate in our minds. Closed schools, travel restrictions, falling stocks, fear of becoming ill and homebound, or lack of food and resources may be just as disruptive, if not more so, than the disease itself for most people, and especially children. 

It may sound simple, but washing your hands frequently, as well as avoiding touching your face with contaminated hands, can go a long way in keeping viruses out of your system. While wearing a mask can be beneficial in some specific cases, in reality, they are better at keeping a sick person’s illness contained, rather than preventing a healthy person from acquiring the disease. Furthermore, stress management, adequate rest and nutrition all work together to keep the immune system in fighting shape, so if there is a chance of infection of any kind, your body will be in optimum shape to keep you healthy and strong.

Last medical review on: March 08, 2020
About the Author
Photo of Alan Greene MD
Dr. Greene is a practicing physician, author, national and international TEDx speaker, and global health advocate. He is a graduate of Princeton University and University of California San Francisco.
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