On March 11th 2020 World Health Organization has designated Covid-19 as a pandemic. A pandemic is a disease which spreads around the world beyond expectations in vast majority of people. A pandemic is thus, actually a global endemic. Covid- 19 has been perhaps one of the most infective disease known with a high mortality rate. Though it’s mortality is less than other strains of Corona virus linked diseases such as SARS and MERS, but the shear spread of Covid- 19 is much more extensive and far-flung.
However there is a clear demographic distinctiveness of the disease and it is seen that children under the age of 10 years are seldom affected. In fact less than 1 % of the total affected patients were children of less than 10 years age group. On the other hand elderly people who are especially older than 80 years old have a very high infectivity and mortality rate.
Association with other diseases
Amongst the patients who have succumbed to this devastating illness, perhaps the singular most important comorbidity had been heart disease. The data from Italy and China has indicated that following subgroups have the highest chances of dying due to Covid- 19 .
1. Patients who are 80 years of age.
2. This with hypertension.
3. Patients with heart disease.
4. Diabetic patients.
5. Cancer patients.
6. Those with respiratory problems.
Researchers are analyzing the data and trying to formulate a hypothesis with the immune response to the disease. It is believed that the principal reason of death in patients with heart disease and other comorbidities has been abnormal exaggerated immune response to the infection. This has led to inflammatory damage to lungs and other organs. “Cytokine storm” has been named as a possible reason for this inflammatory response.
Elderly and Covid-19
Observation has been that the disease is far more devastating and fatal in the elderly. There are social issues with the age group in the form of social isolation and loneliness as well. Many a times elderly are already debilitated with the preexisting illnesses such as arthritis, Hypertension, Diabetes, heart disease and Cancer. A lethal superadded infection such as Covid-19 sums up for a bad combination and culmination for them.
Namaste is the way of life
It is time that we humans could learn some social etiquettes . Not spitting in public, protecting our sneeze droplets to others, washing hands more often, social distancing and general hygiene would help in combating this major malady. We Indians had some of these advocacies from time immemorial. Greetings and gratitude with folded hands have become the global norms now and may be extremely helpful in present scenario . It is also important to not touch anything unless it is absolutely essential and more importantly not to touch our faces unless we have washed our hands thoroughly. Eating healthy home cooked food would help in fighting this menacing virus.
These are testing and trying times. The rich and the poor, all are equally vulnerable and speaks of our vulnerability to a great extend. As we wait with bated breath, the future would hold our virtues which though painful but would carry more wisdom and essentials that we truly need to carry forward.