Stricter measures have been put into place, and Singapore has seen a massive spike in infections with confirmed cases reaching a record high of 142 on 8th April 2020. Yet, somehow, there are still people who don’t see the degree of seriousness in this matter.
On the 3rd of April 2020, PM Lee addressed the nation with the implementation of a new set of measures described as a ‘Circuit Breaker’ to curb the spread of the virus.
What’s appalling is the amass of ignorant individuals who seem to detest this heavily. They question why the government must take away their freedom if they’re presumably healthy. It’s shocking to see such tomfoolery, but deplorably, this is our sad reality.
With the internet housing masses of information, ignorance is a choice. But unfortunately, it’s a choice that many have continued to make. If your denial still blinds you, it’s time you receive a reality check onto why this is all so much bigger than you’ve made it be.
If you’re comparing it to the common flu, whether it’s to ail your panicked mind or just severe misinformation, you’re wrong.
Firstly, let me introduce you to the term ‘basic reproduction number’ (BRN). To put it simply, it’s used to describe how contagious a disease is by estimating the expected number of people infected by a single disease carrier. The BRN for the common flu averages at 1.5 where else for COVID-19 averages at 2.5 for now.
These numbers do not seem far apart when considered on a base level. But, if you measured just 10 rounds of the disease spreading, one person with the flu infects roughly 111 people, while one COVID-19 carrier can infect 6400 people.
There also vaccinations available for the flu that reduce the spread of the virus but COVID-19 has no such immunity prevention. The divergence between these two numbers continues to increase as the rounds of infection continue rapidly.
Making a direct comparison between their mortality rates only further highlights how perilous the coronavirus is. The flu has a mortality rate of 0.1%, and that alone has taken an estimated average of 60,000 lives annually. The coronavirus is not only more contagious but has a higher mortality rate that averages at 3.4%. Out of the 1.5 million confirmed cases over 88,000 people have died.
This doesn’t even take into account the difference in the percentage across different ages. The values would be significantly higher falling into double digits if we looked into the older age groups. It’s barely been a few months, but the number of infections is rising at breakneck speed and has far surpassed the fatalities that occur as a result of the flu.
Scientists even predict that the coronavirus could infect 50% of the global population resulting in the potential loss of 234 million lives worldwide.
The tricky thing about the coronavirus is that it has an incubation period of 1-14 days. The incubation period refers to the time between you contracting the virus and when you realise you’re sick and begin to show symptoms. The big issue as to why you shouldn’t be leaving your home is because the disease is highly infectious even if there are no outward signs of sickness being shown.
Low chance isn’t the same as no chance. Just because the odds are less likely, does not mean that transmission is impossible.
Hence, if you assume you’re healthy and loiter around carelessly, you could actively spread the contagious disease and endanger the lives around you. Not being sick isn’t an excuse to leave your home because the truth is, in this case, you don’t know your body best. The safest measure for you to take is to ensure that you stay home and prevent any form of unnecessary interaction.
It is the lack of consciousness and consideration by infected individuals that enabled the virus to reach such extreme lengths here in Singapore. Now that we’ve come to understand that the symptoms are asymptomatic, it means that someone out there is walking around freely with the virus, and if you’re not wearing a mask, a mere cough could get you infected.
The complacency of Singaporeans towards the virus is what led things to go out of hand. We cannot let it worsen any further.
You may be thinking; even if you do contract the virus, you’re healthy enough to recover from it or it may show only mild symptoms. But that’s not the point. It isn’t just about you and your life. It’s about all the other lives you’re putting at stake due to your lack of empathy and consciousness for everyone else around you.
Get off your high horse because here’s the truth: you don’t have a guaranteed immunity. No human immune system has ever seen this. There is nobody in this world who can truly ensure that they won’t be detrimentally affected if they do catch the virus.
Even if it does not put your life at stake, it potentially harms the lives of everyone else around you, so stop being so egocentric. Your negligence could cost a life.
There’s no cure or vaccination available yet, and it may take a while to find one. But, you can’t just rely on the miracles of science to help you out on this one. This is why the best way you can handle this disease is by avoiding it entirely.
The only weapon and defence you have against the cruel virus is social distancing. Take yourselves and everybody else out of the chain─not with immunity—but with the responsibility to rid the possibility of infection altogether. Physically not being around anyone and staying home as much as possible will stop the extent of the spread.
It’s perfectly understandable to be afraid and shield your mind with reassuring thoughts and assumptions. But, when these suppositions are false, they help nobody. Now’s not the time to numb yourself from fear but to let it drive you. Not to the supermarket for you to start panic buying—but to be vigilant in your actions.
The smallest step can make a big difference in the number of lives that can be saved. After all, it’s a chain reaction. The virus does not spread on its own volition; it’s people who spread it. The Circuit Breaker can’t work unless everyone plays their part, so remember that the world does not revolve around you.
There is only so much the government can do if its people don’t cooperate. They’ve already done so much to stop people from leaving their homes, what more do you expect?
So please, I beg, stay safe and sound in these unprecedented times if you don’t want to end up locked up in your house for the next six months.
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