A Facebook post by a doctor, who claims that he is more scared of the mass panic surrounding coronavirus than the outbreak itself, is doing rounds on the internet. Abdu Sharkawy, who introduced himself as an Infectious Diseases Specialist, said that he is 'not scared of COVID-19', however, what he is really scared of is “the loss of reason and wave of fear that has induced the masses of society into a spellbinding spiral of panic, stockpiling obscene quantities of anything that could fill a bomb shelter adequately in a post-apocalyptic world”.
The Facebook post, which has been liked almost six lakh times and has been shared more than a million times, reveals what Sharkawy is really scared about. The doctor said that he has worked in the inner city hospitals and in the poorest slums of Africa with patients infected with deadly infectious diseases, however, he said that he is 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 further also revealed that he is most scared of the message that the world is sending to the younger generation.
He wrote, “I'm scared about what message we are telling our kids when faced with a threat. Instead of reason, rationality, open-mindedness and altruism, we are telling them to panic, be fearful, suspicious, reactionary and self-interested”.
At the end of the post, he wrote, “I implore you all. Temper fear with reason, panic with patience and uncertainty with education. We have an opportunity to learn a great deal about health hygiene and limiting the spread of innumerable transmissible diseases in our society. Let's meet this challenge together in the best spirit of compassion for others, patience, and above all, an unfailing effort to seek truth, facts and knowledge as opposed to conjecture, speculation and catastrophizing”.
Several users also praised the doctor for sharing 'rational' words. One user wrote, "Thank you Abdu for the constant updates! Having a doctor like yourself put things in perspective and provide facts is super important in today's crazy climate. Keep em' coming!". another said, "Thank you for putting some factual rational light on this! Well expressed!". "Thank you for this!!!
But thank you for your help/service/insights as an Infectious Disease Specialist," wrote another.
First detected in the city of Wuhan, in Hubei Province of China, the virus outbreak has now spread across more than 90 countries since December 2019. As per reports, the total number of confirmed cases within China has reportedly hit 80,783 and more than one lakh worldwide. According to reports, the death toll in China has also surpassed 3,000 and the National Health Commission also confirmed more than 29 new cases. The death toll due to the deadly virus across the world also mounted to over 4,000.
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