Covid-19, sneaky sniper

Published in Notices

The novel coronavirus named Covid-19 has ravaged the world. Being new, its spread has been swift and fierce, in the absence of a vaccine or known effective treatment measures.

Covid-19 situation, 2nd April 2020. Covid-19 situation, 2nd April 2020. Source: Croatian Government Webpage: www.koronavirus.hr

The illness was first reported to the World Health Organisation (WHO) Country Office in China on 31st December 2019, as an epidemic of unexplained respiratory infections affecting Wuhan in the Hubei region of China. By the end of March 2020, the newly named Covid-19 coronavirus had spread all round the world.

In Croatia, the situation since the first cases were diagnosed towards the end of February 2020 has been well controlled by public measures designed to limit the virus' spread. The Croatian strategies, ably led by Health Minister Dr. Vili Beroš and his team of experts, have been classified amongst the most stringent in the world in a study 'Oxford Covid-19 Government Response Tracker' by the University of Oxford, England. The leadership provided in halting the spread of the disease has been widely praised in Croatia, especially by those who are aware of contrasting situations in other countries, including their own.

There is an enormous amount of information available about Covid-19 on the internet. Not all of it is to be trusted. For official information, news and advice about the crisis at a global level, the World Health Organisation has a dedicated section on its website, while in Croatia the official Government website www.koronavirus.hr provides daily updates on the situation around the country, with the main information translated into English. A scientific, referenced overview of the origins and spread of Covid-19 is provided in 'Features, evaluation and Treatment Coronavirus (Covid-19)' by M. Cascella, M. Rajnik, A. Cuomo, S.C. Dulebohn, R. Di Napoli.

The spread of Covid-19 in Croatia has been relatively slow compared to some other countries. Yet there has been an inexorable upward trend in the figures since the end of February. As at April 2nd 2020, there were 1,011 people diagnosed as infected; 7 people had died; and 88 had recovered. While these figures are relatively reassuring, there is no room for complacency. There's no need to panic: the measures introduced by the Croatian Government's expert team are certainly working.

But it's worrying to see that there are some citizens who don't observe the restrictions, some who feel that the measures are an over-reaction. Until there are no more cases in Croatia and the rest of the world, and until there is a vaccine and a recognizable effective treatment protocol, the problem will not be over. Covid-19 is like a sniper lurking undetected, ready to strike at any time - especially if we fail to take all reasonable precautions. The reasonable precautions are straightforward:

1. Observe social distancing

2. Stay at home, go out only for vital duties or chores; do not go visiting without due cause, do not receive unnecessary visitors

3. Respect the rules of self-isolation and quarantine

4. Take care of your immune system: smokers in particular should stop, especially if they are holed up with children and non-smokers; avoid drinking excessive alcohol; eat a healthy diet, avoid convenience foods; drink plain water regularly

5. Keep clean, good hygiene is our best friend: wash your hands frequently, and don't neglect the rest of your body, your clothing and your personal environment

6. Don't go out at all if you develop symptoms: self-isolate, preferably rest in bed, and seek medical advice by telephone; avoid all mental and physical activities, they'll most likely be too exhausting. The first symptoms can be deceptively mild, such as a sore throat or a slight cough, but if you ignore them, you probably risk making the illness worse, and you certainly risk infecting others.

7. Keep up to date with the latest guidelines from the local and national authorities.

8. Behave with due care and consideration towards others. If you can't help them, at least don't jeopardize their health!

Covid-19 is a 'hidden enemy' which should be respected, but not feared. The crisis will certainly pass, all the more quickly if we all do our best to follow the guidelines. The precautions may seem strict in a society used to high levels of freedom of action, but they are for our own good! Remember that any or even all of us might be infected to some degree with this all-pervasive virus, carriers without knowing it. The more interpersonal contacts we have, the greater the risk of the infection spreading. So please don't look for the restrictions to be relaxed until the sneaky sniper has been eliminated and we are well out of the woods.

April 2nd 2020

 

 

You are here: Home notices Covid-19, sneaky sniper

Eco Environment News feeds

  • Holkham, Norfolk: It occurs to me that every shell is an exact analogue of its wider environment

    The storms in September have dredged from the sea bottom and then flung millions of razor shells across the immense space of this beach. As I kneeled to examine a cluster, half-buried in sand by continued westerlies, I noticed that every shell was an exact analogue of its wider environment. Because each blade bore wavering bands of variant colour crosswise through its length.

    The same pattern was manifest not only in the sand ribs that continued across these vast flats, it was there also at the tide edge, where a broad curve of foam, which was turned to tin by the dazzling light, was smeared inexorably eastwards in the breeze and the froth was itself banded into the same highly transient design.

    Continue reading...

  • Exposure is far higher than previously thought and also affects plastic food containers

    Bottle-fed babies are swallowing millions of microplastic particles a day, according to research described as a “milestone” in the understanding of human exposure to tiny plastics.

    Scientists found that the recommended high-temperature process for sterilising plastic bottles and preparing formula milk caused bottles to shed millions of microplastics and trillions of even smaller nanoplastics.

    Continue reading...

  • State of Nature in the EU survey finds only a quarter of species have good conservation status

    The vast majority of protected landscapes across Europe are rated as in poor or bad condition and vital species and their habitats continue to decline despite targets aimed at protecting them, according to a report.

    Only a quarter of Europe’s species are rated as having a good conservation status, while 80% of key habitats are rated as being in poor or bad condition across the continent, in the State of Nature in the EU 2013-2018 assessment by the European Environment Agency.

    Continue reading...

  • Technology is keeping patches of Alaska permafrost frozen to preserve energy infrastructure even as indigenous residents’ world is transformed by the climate crisis

    The oil company ConocoPhillips had a problem.

    Continue reading...

  • Group urges UK regulators to impose measure on premium-listed companies

    An influential group of investors is urging UK regulators to make climate risk reporting mandatory for nearly 500 FTSE-listed firms.

    The Investment Association (IA), which represents 250 members with £8.5tn in assets, has thrown its weight behind calls for compulsory environmental disclosures, amid concerns that listed companies are not being transparent about how climate risks are influencing the way they invest and spend.

    Continue reading...

  • The bulbous-nosed reptiles were in critical decline until conservationists stepped in

    As the sunlight pierces the fog, a fisherman on a boat floating along the Gandak River in Bihar, India, spots a magnificent reptile basking on a sandbar in the middle of the river. Most people would mistake it for a crocodile but its distinctive snout tipped with a bulbous mass and elongated jaw tell him it is a gharial.

    Gharials (Gavialis gangeticus) are often mistaken for crocodiles or alligators. They are the only species in the Gavialidaefamily: river-dwellers that eat only fish and some crustaceans, and which split from all other crocodilians perhaps more than 65m years ago.

    Continue reading...

  • From coral farming to 3D printing, scientists are using novel methods to save a vital part of our ecosystem

    For most of us, the colourful, otherworldly marinescapes of coral reefs are as remote as the alien landscapes of the moon. We rarely, if ever, experience these underwater wonderlands for ourselves – we are, after all, air-breathing, terrestrial creatures mostly cocooned in cities. It is easy, therefore, not to notice the perilous state they’re in: we’ve lost 50% of coral reefs in the past 20 years; more than 90% are expected to die by 2050 according to a presentation at the Ocean Sciences Meeting in San Diego, California earlier this year. As the oceans heat further and turn more acidic, owing to rising carbon dioxide emissions, coral reefs are tipped to become the world’s first ecosystems to become extinct because of us.

    Just because we don’t see them doesn’t mean we won’t miss them. For, as we are belatedly discovering, the nice, dry human world that we’ve made for ourselves is dependent on the planet’s natural systems and coral reefs are no exception. They protect our coastlands from erosion, they are the nurseries for the fish we eat and they harbour the plankton that produce the oxygen we breathe. Globally, coral reefs support a quarter of all marine life and the livelihoods of a billion people.

    Continue reading...

  • Guardian environment correspondent Fiona Harvey discusses why the last 50 years of environmental action have shown how civil society can force governments and business to change and why that should give campaigners optimism for the future

    Faced with multiplying and interlinked environmental crises in the 2020s – the climate emergency, the sixth extinction stalking the natural world, the plastic scourge in our oceans – it is easy to feel overwhelmed, Guardian environment correspondent Fiona Harvey tells Rachel Humphreys. But it’s also easy to forget that environmentalism is arguably the most successful citizens’ mass movement there has been. Working sometimes globally, at other times staying intensely local, activists have transformed the modern world in ways we now take for granted.

    Campaigner Janet Alty tells Rachel about how her local campaign to ban lead in petrol became part of a much bigger movement called CLEAR – the Campaign For Lead-Free Air. Their campaign took years. But in 1983, a damning verdict from the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution prompted the UK government to decree that both petrol stations and manufacturers must offer lead-free alternatives. Leaded fuel was finally removed from the last petrol pumps in the UK in 1999.

    Continue reading...

  • Nobody knows precisely how wildfire smoke affects birds’ health and migratory patterns. Now, citizen birdwatchers are stepping in

    The yellow Townsend Warbler lay lifeless on the gravel ground near Grant county, New Mexico, the eyes in its yellow-striped head closed, its black feathery underbelly exposed.

    Just days before, the migrating bird –weighing 10 grams, or the equivalent of two nickels – might have been as far north as Alaska. But it met an untimely demisein theAmerican south-west, with thousands of miles still to go before reaching Central America, its destination for the winter.

    Continue reading...

  • Scientists are warning of a link between rapid warming and landslides that could threaten towns and tourist attractions

    In Alaska and other high, cold places around the world, new research shows that mountains are collapsing as the permafrost that holds them together melts, threatening tsunamis if they fall into the sea.

    Scientists are warning that populated areas and major tourist attractions are at risk.

    Continue reading...

Eco Health News feeds

Eco Nature News feeds

Feed not found.