Care and compassion Courage and initiative Global Health People

Immune to fear


In a world battling with the triple threats of the coronavirus pandemic, economic recession and climate change we need hope.

The threats are difficult to cope with. People’s lives and livelihoods are at stake as we face an uncertain future.

To counter the threat of coronavirus we are adopting severe measures.

Major travel restrictions are in place globally. Conferences, sporting events and concerts are being deferred or cancelled. Schools and universities may soon be forced to close for a period of time.

We are being told not to shake hands with people. Wash our hands with soap and water regularly. Not to go to work if we have a runny nose. Avoid crowded areas if you are over 60 or have health problems.

Also, self-isolate for a 14 day period if you believe you may have come in contact with somebody who has tested positive for the coronavirus.

These restrictions are unprecedented in our generation. One needs to go back over 100 years to the Spanish flu of 1918 to find similar restrictions in place.

The turmoil and upheaval in the world can create panic but now is not the time to be fearful.

Now is the time for courage, care and compassion, wisdom and creativity.

And there is hope.

Glimmers of hope

The BBC reports that all across Italy people have made it clear they are not going to be kept down by coronavirus. A countrywide lockdown has not stopped Italians from bursting into morale-boosting song. Their outlook is summed up in one phrase, “Everything will be all right”.

The New York Times reports that National Basketball Association (NBA) stars and their owners say they will cover the lost income of everyday arena employees while the league shuts down for 30 days because of the coronavirus outbreak.

CNet reports that three major internet carriers in the United States have extended data caps or are waiving fees for people who go over their data caps for the next 60 days. This decision comes as schools suspend classes, businesses close and companies ask their employees to work from home.

The Guardian reports that as increasing numbers of people put themselves in self-isolation, kind-hearted people are stepping up and offering a helping hand to those in need. Eighty-seven groups have formed across the UK to provide practical support for those in self-isolation.

NPR reports that health experts credit South Korea’s extensive testing for coronavirus, free to the public, for curbing the coronavirus spread. Seoul has touted its approach as a model for other countries.

The Guardian reports that around 35 companies and academic institutions are racing to create a vaccine, at least four of which already have candidates they have been testing in animals.

At the University of Queensland Centre for Clinical Research, scientists have found that two different medications—both of which are registered and available in Australia—have completely wiped out traces of the disease in test tubes.

Not only that, the drugs were given to some of the nation’s first COVID-19 patients, which resulted in “disappearance of the virus and complete recovery from the infection,” researchers told

We do not need to be frightened. The Spanish flu of 1918 ended after two years.

In today’s world the effect of this virus should be mitigated in a much shorter period of time and an effective vaccine will become available.

What can you do?  

In addition to the preventative things mentioned above, good nutrition and exercise can help improve your immune system.

Here are some things you can do to help yourself and others:

  1. Boost your immune system. These are 15 foods that boost your immune system
  2. Here is an excellent fun video to explain the coronavirus to children. If they follow this they will help to prevent the spread.
  3. Help your elderly neighbour and those in need.
  4. Share what you have an abundant supply of. e.g. Soap, toilet paper, tinned food, hand sanitiser etc
  5. Find creative solutions to reduce the risk of the virus spreading. Could wiping hard services down be a game with your children?
  6. Encourage one another.

Now is the time for us to bring out the courage and resilience of the human spirit.

If you have a story about what you are doing to counter the threats of the coronavirus we would love to hear from you.

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For more information:

Latest coronavirus information NZ Ministry of Health click here


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