A request to FURTHER Scholars regarding COVID-19

As educated people, anywhere in the world but particularly in the context of Pakistan, you are responsible for everyone’s safety around you. Please use your best judgment – acquired through your education in science and your difficult experiences in life – to make good decisions for yourselves and for those who rely on you.

COVID-19 is probably here to stay for longer than most of us expect. Waiting for a vaccine may not be the best strategy. So far, the science isn’t even certain that immunity to this virus is permanent. Evidence suggests that it only lasts 3 months or so. This means that even after a vaccine is developed, we may have to administer it globally every few months. That sounds impractical both physically and financially. Hence COVID-19 might just become endemic to the human population like influenza. However, it is far deadlier than the flu virus. Perhaps two or three orders of magnitude deadlier. If so, we can’t just act as if it’s not a big deal to get it, carry it, or give it to someone. As soon as we give it to someone who is not in perfect health or older, we could kill them. This is a fact of science, a statistical probability derived from millions of bits of evidence.

For the foreseeable future, therefore, you can protect yourself and your loved ones only through vigilence. Please do 5 simple things to do your duty to humanity:

  • Wash or sanitise hands frequently
  • Disinfect all surfaces before and after each use
  • Keep a distance of 2 meteres from ALL those who don’t live with you
  • Wear a mask in public
  • Do not travel or stay overnight away from home unnecessarily

Please also understand that essential is only that which is required to sustain life in a household. It includes only three purposes: work, healthcare, groceries. Do not fool yourself that you can go about unnecessarily among crowds of people and take care of yourself. If you’re healthy and acquire the virus, you may not even know it. But you could pass it on to someone you love – an elderly parent or grandparent may not survive it. Think about that.