COVID-19 – Some thoughts and (hopefully) useful sources.

This article does not provide medical advice. Do not take advice from the internet! It is not a health practitioner and neither am I!

By now most of us have gone through the ‘Why’ stage.

We are self isolated but naturally anxious.

What we are confronted with directly challenges the usual reaction which is to work to build a sense of control.   In short, “I know what to do.”

Today with so many unknown, unknowns it is easy to be fatalistic.

However we know that avoiding a black view is important for our mental health.

So how do we stay on TASK.

Rotarian’s are famous for acronyms so why not another - TASK.

T = Treatment – until COVID-19 the first question might have been is “is there a pill, an injection?”

A = Avoidance – until  COVID-19 the second question might have been “how can I avoid catching that?”

S = Strengthen – until  COVID-19 the third question might have been “can I strengthen my immune system?”

K = Knowledge – until  COVID-19 the fourth question might have been “do I already know about this?”

TASK Issues

TASK 1 : T = Treatment - “is there a pill, an injection?” NOT YET

There are 2 answers required:

1. prevention – this needs either an injection of a vaccine or anti-bodies. Vaccines provide years of immunity. Antibodies protect from infection for a short period - weeks.

2. therapy once infected – this requires ‘medicine’ or bodily systems patient support. Drugs to relieve paid or deal with side effects are available. Drugs that reduce the severity or secondary complications or are being trialled. Patient support with oxygen ventilators through to direct surgically supported interventions are available. The patient support appears to be concentrated on hospital admitted patients that have immune system compromises or are elderly, particularly 70 and over. 


1. Drug therapies are focusing on using existing, approved drugs.   To date there has been little success other than use a a drug during ventllation.

2. Ventilators and oxygen – the lack of ventilators has been well publicised. Many factories are rushing into production.An interesting development has been the MIT “build locally” Ventilator Project based on public specifications and simplified mechanics.

3. Antibody injections – this technology is already in use for other diseases and provides the patient with immediate protection by injecting antibodies extracted from people that have had COVID-19 and have developed protective antibodies. The trials are underway and mass production of the antibodies could mean availability later this year.

4. Vaccines – there a several
vaccines under development
and at least 1 trial underway. Vaccines appear, on current information to be unlikely to be available this year.  Wikipedia has a page on vaccine trials.

TASK 2 : A = Avoidance - “how can I avoid catching that?”   Physical and social distancing.

1. Establish your bubble

2. Stay in your bubble

3. Do not break your bubble

4. If you have to go out then only do so for the permitted reasons and take all precautions. Some suggestions from various sources are:

  • a facemask helps keeping your hands away from your nose and eyes and accidentally being a silent spreader

  • plastic gloves can help while you are out

  • keep antibacterial wipes and wipe as you go

  • wipe down door handles

  • wipe down packages – it appears that string bag handles and paper may ‘hold’ the virus for longer

  • FINALLY - WASH your hands on returning after disposing of the facemask and any gloves.

TASK 3 : S = Strengthen - “can I strengthen my immune system?”  - This is an active issue.

Watch this video is you want more background but the short story is YES it APPEARS that you can improve your immune system by simply having a very hot bath and then a very cold shower.

The video provides you with the detail as to why and why, in particular, this immune therapy may be vital for the immune compromised and elderly.

TASK 4 : K = Knowledge “do I already know about this?” 

The news is frankly overwhelming

If you want the numbers only, the John Hopkins University COVID-19 dashboard can provide you with that.
Click here and choose whether you want the desktop or mobile version

For the New Zealand Government COVID-19 page click here.

For the RotaryOceania COVID-19 page click here.

For our RED Fund (Rotarians Experiencing Distress) click here.