My recent battle with a seasonal sickness, and the uncomfortable realization of my chances against Coronavirus
As luck would have it, I live in a country not completely fudged by the Covid-19 pandemic. I mean yeah the cases are increasing day by day but the overall situation is still under control.
Reading the stats about other countries in the region — South-East Asia to be specific — I, like many others in my country, had fallen into a sense of security. Maybe we really are more resilient to the disease compared to Europe and the US.
Besides, I have youth on my side (31 is still considered youth, right?). I thought if I ever got the virus, my immune system is probably strong enough to take care of it. Well, that all changed when I recently fell ill.
No, it was nothing serious, thanks for caring by the way. The doctor says it was due to the recent heat-wave and something I drank over something I ate. I don’t know, the point is that it wasn’t the virus. So how did I fare against it?
Well I took some generic fever pills, took a day off from work — something they were happy to allow in the current situation — and spent my time switching between lying on a sofa and lying on a bed.
A day passed, two days passed, three days passed, my fever didn’t come down despite gulping pills and taking rest.
Usually, when I get feverish, I try my best to avoid taking antibiotics until absolutely necessary. Basically, I wait for the virus to complete its cycle and leave.
However, this strategy has failed me more times than I’m proud to admit. Sooner rather than later, I have to tell the doctor that I’m willing to take antibiotics.
Like every other time, those antibiotics worked, as I got healthy in a day.
That got me thinking. On its own, my body wasn’t strong enough to ward off a viral attack . Despite me giving it ample time and nutrition , I ultimately fell back to the nuclear options of taking antibiotics.
And I’m sure I’m not the only one with such a strong dependence on antibiotics.
Most of us have jobs that we cannot skip for more than a day or two. If any of us wanted to let our natural immune systems take care of such a fever, it’d take days.
But pop a few antibiotics, and you are fit to go to work the very next day. The bosses are happy that you took little time to recover. But your body never learns to defeat an illness on its own.
Are antibiotics bad for us in the long run? I asked an industrial pharmacist — who also happens to be my wife — on the matter.
According to her, antibiotics work by targeting and eliminating the organism responsible for the sickness. Normally that’s the job of our antibodies.
What I understood is: by not letting our antibodies fight the illness, they never learn how to defeat it. Hence furthering our dependence on such drastic measures.
Despite being associated with the pharmaceutical industry, my wife avoids all kinds of medicine — not only antibiotics — and allows her body to take care of most ailments on its own.
While her stance might be a bit extreme, I have to admit, I have hardly seen her sick for as long as we’ve been together.
Now I would have had no worries if there was an antibiotic that killed the coronavirus. But sadly, at the time of writing, COVID-19 is incurable.
This means there is no pill, no vaccine, no possible remedy for you once you get hit with it. All a doctor can do is keep you breathing and hope the virus gets beaten by your immune system. An immune system that’s already dependent on hard medication to take care of ailments.
And unless you have a low reliance on medication, chances are you might need hospitalization to get through coronavirus.
No matter what country or state you belong to, there is a shortage of hospital beds, staff, and ventilators everywhere.
If you do get sick, what do you think your chances are to get proper treatment? I know mine are very slim.
With a healthcare system that was hardly passable before the global crisis, I’d be lucky to score a proper hospital bed if I do get the virus . A ventilator would be out of the question.
Just last week we had a well-reputed doctor die from the virus after five big hospitals refused him a ventilator. Think about that! a big-time doctor who was possibly well connected in the medical circle, died searching for a ventilator. What chances do we common people have?
In my country, like many other countries, people want lockdowns to be over. But even after the lockdown is lifted, I will still keep my distance. I will not shake your hand, I will not go to crowded places, and I will still cut my own hair.
There is no cure for the coronavirus yet. And with my pathetic immune system, my best chances of survival lie in prevention. Unless you’re sure that you’d get appropriate medical treatment if worse comes to worst, I’d suggest all of you do the same.