COVID-19 is having a profound impact on our lives right now. As many bowlers are aware, BCB made the difficult decision to cancel all national championships and sanctioned events for 2020. Provincial Associations and Clubs are all grappling with tough decisions as we collectively work through our next steps. To help keep bowlers informed, we have compiled some key links that show why we need to pay attention to this virus right now.
SPREADING THE VIRUS
Data from Information is Beautiful shows that you can be infected with the Coronavirus for up to 12 days and show no signs of symptoms:
This means you could be infected, and infecting others, without even realizing it. Sure, you may come out ok, but you could be infecting everyone around you and they may not be ok. The more you venture into public, the greater the risk of contracting and spreading the virus. The National Institutes of Health state that the virus can survive on cardboard for 24 hours and on plastic and stainless steel for up to two or three days.
Here’s an article from the BBC, that has an excellent visual about ¼ of the way down the page that shows how quickly cases have spread outside of China. Watch how quickly Italy soars.
Knowing that the virus can spread quickly, whether you’re infected or not, do everyone a favour: stay home and stay isolated!
THE RISK IS REAL
Data from Information Is Beautiful shows that the majority of our bowling demographic are most at risk:
Many people claim that if they’re infected by the Coronavirus, it is such a low risk of them actually dying that it doesn’t matter. If we gave you a pack of skittles and 3 out of 100 skittles could kill you, would you still eat the skittles? The same logic applies here. For those in their 60s there’s about a 3% chance it could kill you. While these numbers may not be staggering, it’s still a far greater risk than staying home and being isolated. If there is a chance at all of you dying from the Coronavirus, then don’t take the risk: stay home and stay isolated!
DO YOUR PART
Data from Information Is Beautiful suggests that if we can “flatten the curve”, we increase the odds of people surviving:
By staying home and staying isolated, we can flatten the curve and ensure that our healthcare system isn’t overburdened with new cases. We know we don’t have enough resources to treat the entire country at once, so we need to do our best to slow the infection rate. This means everyone (including YOU) needs to do their part: adhere to government regulations on social distancing, only leave your house for essential tasks (such as groceries or medicine), don’t attend large gatherings, etc.
Flattening the curve is about more than just the Coronavirus. With most hospitals already operating at full-capacity, an ICU that suddenly fills up with COVID-19 patients means less beds for those who have other critical incidents and illnesses. It ultimately means that there are more critically ill people than there are facilities, equipment and caregivers. Not only do more people with COVID-19 die, more people die of otherwise preventable health issues.
Social distancing is a powerful tool that we can use. It means staying isolated more, and only going out for essential tasks. This graphic from http://signerlab.com/ shows the impact of this tool.
Want to see just how quickly a virus can spread with and without social distancing? Read this article from the Washington Post. It’s a bit longer of a read, but the visuals are eye-opening.
The Coronavirus is just that: a virus. Most over-the-counter medicines and antibiotics will not be effective against a virus. According to health.harvard.edu:
“An antiviral drug must be able to target the specific part of a virus’s life cycle that is necessary for it to reproduce. In addition, an antiviral drug must be able to kill a virus without killing the human cell it occupies. And viruses are highly adaptive. Because they reproduce so rapidly, they have plenty of opportunity to mutate (change their genetic information) with each new generation, developing resistance to whatever drugs or vaccines we develop.”
In other words, a specific vaccine targeting the Coronavirus needs to be developed. While there is no set amount of time, most experts agree that between testing, trials, and mass production, it is unlikely for a vaccine to be available before the end of the year.
There is an overwhelming amount of information available right now. We hope that these sources will help with decision making as we all figure out together how COVID-19 is going to impact us in the short and long term. Remember, the virus can spread quickly whether you show symptoms or not, and our bowling demographic is among the most vulnerable. Don’t underestimate the impact of this. One infected person can infect hundreds of others. Together we can flatten the curve by staying home and staying safe!