"To the wise, life is a problem; to the fool, life is a solution" -Marcus Aurelius
Covid-19 has been a dangerous and notoriously unwelcome guest. Yet, very reluctantly, humanity is making room for another life form in its daily cycle.
The virus is being stopped by our immune responses, while it is being slowed down by our behavior and our intelligence.
Humans have told the virus- you may be deadly, but we did not acquire the reputation of being the apex predators on this planet just like that. We are wounded and frightened, but we come back roaring into the fight with the will to live.
We have made compromises with our lifestyles that we would not have imagined a few months ago.
As we enter the fourteenth day, what can we plan for?
Protection for the future.
As of writing this, we start to see recommendations for healthy people to start using face masks, to protect ourselves, and to protect others from us.
Cover your face in public.
However, and this is a big however, the use of masks follows good science. Masks work with good hand hygiene, and there are some recommendations made by the World health organization on the use of face masks. (See references). The office of the principal scientific advisor to the Government of India has made recommendations for home- made masks, available in different Indian languages (see References).
One of the origins of the word mask, comes from Arabic, Maskharah, which means “buffoon”- or to play the buffoon or a fool.
Many of the things we do to survive shall not be from actively researched evidence-based medicine. We stumble and fall as a young species, while we share the wisdom of the fool and the limitations that our ignorance sets upon us. Let us don the metaphorical mask of the buffoon and enter this challenge with this resolve to practice good public health measures for our safety and the safety of others.
1. Video on masks: https://www.facebook.com/mahesh.r.menon.73/videos/10158135772438245/
2. Website of the Principal scientific advisor to the Government of India about making home made face covers, available in different Indian languages: