Corona - pandemic or panic?

We are currently living in a time of heightened emotions and a never-ending flow of news and information. This makes it more important than ever to pay attention to facts. History has revealed that we don't seem to learn from past experiences - but we now face an opportunity for us all to take responsibility and share viable solutions. Together we can learn from what is happening right now. Together we are strong. Together we can ensure that we make the best of the present situation.

Together we can learn from what is happening right now. Together we are strong. Together we can ensure that we make the best of the present situation.

6 intertwined hands.
Together we are strong.

Most of us have never lived through a genuine crisis or disaster, we have only watched from a distance. It could be said that we’re not in a full blown emergency right now because we have food, shelter, electricity and medical care, but media is constantly painting a picture of an enormous disaster, which can make people feel anxious and react in an irrational manner. This has resulted in selfish human beings feathering their own nest by stockpiling, for example, toilet rolls, leaving nothing on the supermarket shelves for others. 

How bad is it?

Facts: As of March 25, 2020, 19,945 people had died who were infected with COVID-19. Globally, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that the flu kills 290,000 – 650,000 people each year. In 2020, 66 000 women have also died giving birth, 229 000 have committed suicide, 1 600 000 children under the age of 5 have died and 2 000 000 have died of cardiovascular diseases. To get some perspective!
Update 200611: The death toll has now risen to 416,201 with COVID-19 infected. Most have been elderly with compromised immune systems and with underlying diseases that have produced symptoms such as obesity and high blood pressure. How many people died from the virus or with the virus in their bodies is difficult to know. In Sweden, where the death rate in nursing homes is high, the total death toll has nevertheless been lower in recent weeks than five previous years.
More than 7 350 000 have been infected and more than 47 % of these are healthy. In Indonesia, they have seen that 94% of those who died had vitamin D deficiency. Medical experts therefore say that the worst thing to do is to lock people up, but it is better to be outdoors and move to build up your immune system. Fears, anxiety and economic suffering also do more harm than the virus itself if you look at statistics. Another perspective is that there are about 30 million legal abortions in the world every year.

It’s obviously immensely tragic for those seriously affected by COVID-19 and we must treat the spread of this virus seriously and do what we can to stop it, but we also need to put things in perspective, consider all the facts and act wisely in order to minimise the total damage to society.

What happens if people’s finances collapse or businesses have to shut down? What happens if the economic stability of entire regions or countries fall apart and what can we do to avoid it?

We need to ask ourselves how we can act to help those in need. Is it emotional support and compassion that is required or can we help with practical matters such as shopping for a neighbour in quarantine? It’s also important to ask yourself what you can do to minimise the spread of the virus. Can I pay better attention to hand hygiene, practise social distancing, stay at home and avoid human contact if I suspect that I am at risk of contaminating others?

Woman washes her hands under kitchen faucet.
Good hand hygiene reduces the spread of infection.

How strong is the human body?

Fact: We live in a world full of microbes such as bacteria, virus, fungi, mycotoxins and parasites. Our bodies constantly react to and process these microbes, but we know surprisingly little about them. We know that we have more bacteria than cells in our bodies. In 2016, studies in Israel and Canada showed the the human body consists of 30 trillion cells and between 30-50 trillion bacteria. The human race could not survive one day without bacteria.

Viruses are different, however. One liter of sea water contains up to a million different viruses. A virus is neither alive nor dead and travels by hitchhiking from one host to the next. We pick them up via door handles, credit cards, handshakes, sneezes or just from someone’s breath. It’s widely believed that most viruses don't affect humans. Out of 100,000 different types of viruses it is thought to be less than 1,000 that do. In 2018 only 586 had been found that could affect mammals and only 286 could affect humans. Research has also indicated that adults touch their face on average 16 times an hour! A face mask may not stop the virus, but prevents us from touching the face, so are not without effect.

How can we think about the spread of viruses? In studies, researchers have shown that an adult touches their face an average of 16 times an hour. Many face protection used does not prevent viruses but they prevent us from our faces so they are not ineffective.
Tests on the spread of infection have also been carried out in offices where a door handle: in four hours, the infection has spread to the entire office and you can see traces of it on keyboards, photocopiers, door handles, desks, walls and coffee machines. In other words, it is extremely difficult to protect yourself from all viruses. What we can do is minimise the risks of become infected by building up our immune systems, which is addressed in the next blog post.

How do we go forward?

We need to start asking the right questions:

Important questions to decision-makers:

  • What is the best strategy for managing covid-19? Is it to quarantine the whole country and or is it better to just put the risk group and those who are worried that they may have been quarantined?
  • How can we build reliable statistics and facts in order to know and understand the reality and be able to make accurate comparisons between regions and countries, so that individual market forces cannot turn the facts around in order to manipulate politicians and people for their own sake?
  • Should people be advised to reduce the spread or should anyone who is worried be allowed to test themselves so that they can be calming or avoid meeting others – if they are infected?
  • How can we minimise anxiety and stress in this situation for all citizens and concerned when we know that stress negatively affects the immune system and public health?
  • How are we to prepare for worse situations and minimise the damage of what is happening now and may happen in the future? Are there simple and good solutions we can use in crisis situations to help more people?
  • Can it work to quickly develop a vaccine to calm exchanges and people or is there an increased risk of much side effects or impaired effect if you try to speed up production? Vaccines give side effects, can you do in other ways that are better? How do you avoid making decisions in panic that can have negative consequences in the long run? What regulations can be overridden in times of crisis and which should be followed in order to minimise the risk of harm to people?
  • What can we learn from others? Have any country or region performed better? If so, what do they do differently and can we do the same? And is there anything we should avoid doing that doesn't seem to work?

Important questions to ask ourselves:

  • How can I minimize the risk of being infected or infecting others?
  • How can I remain calm and spread joy to others in these challenging times?
  • What can I do to strengthen my immune system?
  • What can I do to make a positive difference to my health, finances and relationships?
  • Who needs my help the most and how can I best help them?

We are facing an unprecedented and complex situation giving rise to many, many questions in this first KILMAN HEALTH blog. And we don't yet have all the answers. During the 30 years we have worked with helping clients from all over the world to become healthier and maximise their performance we have found that it’s the quality of the questions we ask ourselves in life that determine our success.

If we ask the right questions at the right time we are bound to find the right answers either individually or collectively. Every single person would benefit from considering which fundamental question is their mantra for a successful life. Is it “How can I avoid not feeling good?” or “What can I do to feel as great as I possibly can?” that will help you to succeed best in life?

Remember, only you can determine your emotions and how you feel and think. During these times, everything is at its peak and you can have time to reflect and think about what is important and not. If you’re not where you want to be today, it’s still within your power to start developing an awareness and learn more about life and yourself, how to harness your full potential and live life to the full. You are not your thoughts and emotions. You are so much more! You can always decide to act out of love instead of fear. Now is the time to start living to discover your true inner potential and begin to experience life to its fullest.

Be your best! Do your best!

Woman up in the clouds overlooking the mountains.