Health experts all around the world keep warning people that panic induced by the exaggerated fears of the coronavirus is worse than the virus itself. While thousands of people are stockpiling crazy amounts of toilet paper and hand sanitizer, the World Health Organization reassures us that even though the scenario of a pandemic has become very realistic, this would be the first pandemic in history that could be controlled.

“We need to remember that with decisive, early action, we can slow down the virus and prevent infections,” the WHO Director-General stated in his media briefing on 9 March. “Among those who are infected, most will recover,” he emphasizes.

Nonetheless, the fear is real. For this reason, medical staff and health experts are taking to social media to inform, advise, and reassure people—no, we’re not on the brink of the end of the world. We’re just faced with a new type of disease that’s spreading fast, but is still treatable—and even with a huge success rate (more than 70% of reported cases in China have recovered.) “The rule of the game is: never give up,” WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus says.

More info: Facebook | World Health Organization

Recently, one doctor opened up about what scares him the most about the coronavirus

Image credits: abdu.sharkawy

“I’m a doctor and an Infectious Diseases Specialist. I’ve been at this for more than 20 years seeing sick patients on a daily basis,” Abdu starts off a now-viral Facebook post. “I have worked in inner city hospitals and in the poorest slums of Africa. HIV-AIDS, Hepatitis, TB, SARS, Measles, Shingles, Whooping cough, Diphtheria… there is little I haven’t been exposed to in my profession. And with the notable exception of SARS, very little has left me feeling vulnerable, overwhelmed, or downright scared.”

Image credits: abdu.sharkawy

Abdu warns readers that the panic is more dangerous than the virus itself

Image credits: abdu.sharkawy

Abdu, a doctor who has experience working with other types of viruses, says that he’s not afraid of COVID-19. However, “I am concerned about the implications of a novel infectious agent that has spread the world over and continues to find new footholds in different soil,” he says. “I am rightly concerned for the welfare of those who are elderly, in frail health or disenfranchised who stand to suffer mostly, and disproportionately, at the hands of this new scourge. But I am not scared of Covid-19,” Abdu writes.

Almost 2 million people have shared his message and over 600k have liked it. “Thank you Abdu for the constant updates!” one man comments. “Having a doctor like yourself to put things in perspective and provide facts is super important in today’s crazy climate. Keep em’ coming!”

“Thank you for putting some factual, rational light on this!” one woman thanks the doctor who shared his thoughts on the virus. “Your advice is such a breath of fresh air!” a man from Singapore writes.

“Hoarding anything and everything from Costco and Home Depot won’t help”

In another post, shared yesterday, Abdu Sharkawy writes that “being prepared does not mean you have to be scared.” But when it comes to public events and meetings, he says that people should follow the recommendations and take the safer route. Nonetheless, there are still many unknowns about the virus, and no vaccine or specific antiviral medicine exists yet.

However, according to the doctor, being concerned isn’t equal to the extreme measures some people take. “Watching the news hourly and cringing at the numbers of cases that continue to mount won’t help. Hoarding anything and everything from Costco and Home Depot won’t help,” the specialist explains. “<…>Here’s what will help. How about making a commitment to understanding that 95% of all respiratory viruses cannot be transmitted if your hands are clean? How about sanitizing that iPhone or S10 that is likely teeming with more viruses and bacteria than your toilet bowl? How about being kind to others in your family, your schools, and work environments and trying to support one another and encourage these healthy practices rather than recoiling in isolation from one another?” Abdu points out in the passionate post.

Here’s what people online thought