“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” - Philippians 4:6
The latest scare for Pinoys—first recorded death outside China from the novel coronavirus is in the Philippines, Taal eruption, storms and earthquakes, drastic drop in the country’s GDP and dollar earnings, and the rising criminality on the streets. We have every reason to worry, “magpalibog ulo”. But let us reason out the roots of our anxieties.
Regarding nCoV, here’s the wisest feed I received from a Pinoy epidemiologist, a message from an ID consultant and believer, Dr. Joanne De Castro, quoted in full.
“Why 2019 nCoV will not spread in PH...
1. The virus thrives at 6 degrees centigrade outside a host but will not survive longer than 5 minutes in temperatures above 20 degrees centigrade.
Philippines’ average atmospheric temperature is way higher than 20 degrees because we are a tropical country.
2. The virus has greater survival outside a host at relative humidity lower than 30% (too dry) or higher than 80% (too humid). In the Philippines, the average relative humidity is 50% to 71%, in which the virus has a lesser rate of survival.
3. The virus has a higher rate of human to human transmission in an indoor environment.
Keep your household clean and naturally well ventilated to keep the virus from spreading.
4. Direct exposure to sunlight will naturally kill the virus (Vit. D)
5. Garlic and lemon in hot water are natural antiviral medicine (Vit. C)
6. Maintaining proper hygiene will prevent virus transmission.
7. Hospital surfaces help spread nosocomial viral infections. Avoid going to hospitals unless absolutely necessary.”
Source: American Society for Microbiology - Effects of Air Temperature and Relative Humidity on Novel Coronavirus survival on surfaces
De Castro advices public to stay calm and refrain from spreading fake news so as not to create panic.
Mass hysteria is worse than the virus. Most of the deaths are people who are immunocompromised, high risk individuals with comorbidities. Dengue is still deadlier.
Stop the fear-mongering. Stay well informed and practice proper hygiene. Please don’t discriminate. Pray for Wuhan instead, she added
The best antidote for fear or worry is thankfulness—being thankful that we are an archipelagic country (which makes our islands resistant to a pandemic), sunny and bright most days, except when super typhoons strike. We are blessed with land where nearly every seed thrown on the ground grows, and rich supply of water on and on.
When we count our many blessings and name them one by one, as one song I learned in childhood goes, “you will be surprised at what God has done” to us Filipinos. Counting my many blessings each day, especially this month of February when I was born, has been the key that brought me out of my recurrent depression in mid-life into continuing enjoyment of shalom—peace, blessedness, and richness of life in the presence of Abba God.