Are we pressing panic buttons on Coronavirus pandemic?

By Kersi Meher-Homji  

Readers think that I am a cricket nut specializing in statistics and figures. True. But I am also a research Virologist, retired now.

It seems panic has spread the pandemic faster than Coronavirus. That word is on everyone’s lips. Well, not literally, as kissing is forbidden these days!

I heard a story about a dedicated scientist who did research on bacteria and viruses for more than ten hours a day and dreamt about them at night. Once he dreamt that he heard Vibrio Cholera, the bacterium causing cholera, whispering to him that it will kill 1000 humans in a few months. He wakes up relieved that it was a bad dream. But right enough there was a cholera epidemic next month and four months later 10,000 humans were killed. He dreams of Vibrio Cholera again and asks it why he killed 10,000 and not 1000 as it had proclaimed? The bacterium replies, “I killed only 1000, the remaining 9000 died of panic.”

This allegorical story looks so real in view of the headlines we read in newspapers and the television coverage we see every day, every hour.

The reporting is mostly factual but exaggerated. In the past I have worked with many viruses: poliomyelitis in Mumbai; smallpox, hepatitis, HIV AIDS and herpes viruses in Sydney. But like many, I know nothing about Coronavirus.

All I know is that the figures like up to 150,000 dying of Coronavirus in Australia seem exaggerated.

The fear and panic is spreading much faster than the pandemic and has led to many complications. Already the stocks and shares have plunged.

Rather than add to the fears and psychosis, let me introduce some humour:

  • In the past we had Ice Age, Stone Age, Bronze Age and Iron Age. This millennium will be known as Toilet Paper Age!
  • With the limit of meetings and get-togethers reducing daily from 500 to 50 to 15, will a married couple be allowed to sleep together? Won’t population rate drop to nearly zero in the next few decades? Also the pharmacists will complain that no one is purchasing birth control pills!
  • Employees will threaten their bosses writing, “I’m sneezing and coughing now and want two weeks leave with pay. If you do not agree, I’ll come to the office!”
  • Did you know that the anagram of Coronavirus is carnivorous?

Enough of jokes. Hope springs eternal in the human breast. A Vedic astrologer has predicted that the Coronavirus pandemic will go down in infectivity, starting on March 29 this year.

Also vaccine against Coronaviruses is on the way. Not as soon as March 29 but soon enough. So please do not panic.

I end this article with this amazing prophesy and optimism. In 2008, best-selling authoress Sylvia Browne had predicted. Please see below:



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