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COVID-19: Navigating the asymmetric character of a deadly plague

By Abuchi Obiora

COVID-19 coronavirus may be likened to what the Holy Bible calls ‘wasting fever’ which attracted the sympathy of Jesus Christ for the patient He healed. It is an initial mild condition of unwellness which gradually progresses, destroys the vital organs of the body and causes death.

True to its ‘royal’ name, the molecular presentation of COVID-19 coronavirus is a complex chain of uneven hydra-headed crowns asymmetrically arranged in most unusual globules that portray the image from their originating sources of shadowy but expanding rays of globules which ironically describe the speed with which the virus spreads.

In her killing spree and visitations across the countries of the world, COVID-19 coronavirus has shown that it is as fatal to human beings as all the other pandemics which has ravaged the human community every one hundred years, starting from 1720. COVID-19 coronavirus spreads fast through droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes and the droplets of the cough or sneezes settle in the mouth or noses of people nearby. 

Such droplets can also fall on surfaces and contaminate the surfaces from where people can lift the virus with their hands and transfer to the high contact areas as the eyes, mouth, nose, etc. It reaches the breathing track from these high contact areas and the incubation period starts.

One dangerous thing about COVID-19 coronavirus is its asymmetric nature. This means that it manifests with different symptoms in different patients. Report says that people who have history of certain ailments and those with low immunity are vulnerable to trip down to the critical stage once they contact the virus. 

However, some people who have contacted this virus are asymptomatic, that is, they do not show the symptoms of the virus. When not detected quickly through tests, such people are more likely to trip down to the critical stage. Besides this, they are very potent vehicles for the spread of the virus to other people.

In a telephone conversation with a Medical Personnel based in Manchester, England, who is privileged to have first-hand knowledge of the different stages of incubation and development of COVID-19 coronavirus, I was told that the dreaded virus starts simply as a common flu and fever. Between two to fourteen days after a positive contract with the virus, the virus travels down from the infected respiratory tract to the lungs of the carrier.

The person infected specifically exhibit, amongst other symptoms, the symptoms of the following illnesses:

  1. Cold
  2. Fever
  3. Dry cough 
  4. Difficulty in breathing 
  5. Headache
  6. Nasal congestion
  7. Chest camps

The next stage after the incubation of the virus is a condition called Alveolitis. Alveolitis is the inflammation of the alveoli. The alveoli are the tiny air-sacs of the lungs. If this inflammation is not quickly checked for the regeneration power of nature imbued in the body to repair the air-sacs, the condition will degenerate and the alveoli will burst and they will eventually get destroyed. This is the critical stage and it is to avoid the descent to this stage that early detection and treatment is necessary.

Destruction of the tiny air-sacs of the lungs makes breathing difficult, and this in turn inhibits the intake and supply of oxygenated blood to important organs of the body such as the heart, the kidney and the liver.

This is how multiple organ failure happens as a result of lack of oxygenated blood to those organs in patients who eventually die of the sickness. This happens very fast if the condition is allowed to reach the critical stage. For this reason, health authorities advice people to report cases as soon as early symptoms resembling those of common flu begin to manifest in persons.

I understand the stage before the bursting of the alveoli as the stage when the virus may be isolated and the viral load reduced to a level that is possible to be overwhelmed by the body immune system. This is why it is important to stress on boosting the immune system of the patient during the quarantine period. This Honorable Minister of Health of Nigeria, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, most probably admitted this trend in a press briefing when he announced that all positive patients of the virus who were taken into the quarantine centers who later tested negative to the virus needed minimal application of drugs to secure their healing.

The aged people and others who have a history of certain ailments such as high pertension, diabetes, weak heart condition, cancer, etc, together with those with low body immunity are vulnerable to trip down to the critical stage once they contact the virus. Surprisingly, there have been few cases of reported death of infants, toddlers, and children younger than ten years from the disease around the world. This is unlike what may be the case in common flu.

To be free from contacting COVID-19 coronavirus, the health authorities ask people to take personal responsibility in saving their lives by doing the following:

  1. Washing hands frequently with soap under running water for not less than twenty seconds.
  2. Avoid touching their faces, nay, the high contact surfaces as the eye, the nose, the mouth, etc.
  3. Maintaining ‘social distance’, a minimum distance of two meters in any gathering of people.

Meanwhile, in Europe, Professor Raoult in Marseille, France, was reported to have discovered a cure of the deadly plague with a combination of Hydroxychloroquine (plaquenil) and azithromycine. Professor Raoult claimed that this combination can bring about a cure with proper and systematic administration to a patient.

Meanwhile, it is speculated that COVID 19 coronavirus attack, like malaria, is less fatal to people of African origin. All these, though, are very dangerous speculations especially when Africa loses her guards in anticipating the possibility of the disease wiping out the people of African continent. 

It is said to have been reported by an American health authority that people living in the malaria belt are less prone to die of COVID-19 coronavirus. Some people believe that the virus does not exist while others believe that the hot African weather does actually inhibit the spread of the virus and its potency to kill.

Like I said before, these are all very dangerous speculations. Be that as it may, I personally believe that apart from adhering to the professional advice of our health officials, we can actually help ourselves through generally improving on our personal and collective hygiene.

Additionally, the following information on precautionary measures to be taken with some herbal formulae ingested as food have been scooped from experts in herbal medicine. Apart from spicing up and boosting the body immune system, detoxifying the body, igniting the regenerative power of the body, cleansing and dilating the blood, these herbal spices will be useful in flushing out dead cells and checking abnormal health conditions that may linger, making the body vulnerable for the easy incubation of COVID-19 coronavirus when the body has contacted it. 

  These measures are:

  1. A high daily dose of Vitamin C found in fruits and/or as in the supplement tablets.
  2. Chopped garlic and ginger with honey to be taken in the morning.
  3. Boil turmeric, ginger and garlic; add lemon and honey before drinking hot at night.
  4. Add garlic, ginger and turmeric to lots of vegetables to cook with other ingredients and make this a part of your daily diet.

    (Please choose one option between numbers two to four as a daily option). 

 5. Blend carrots. Mix the juice with blackseed oil and honey and drink a cupful


6.  Eat one piece of ‘garana kola’ (Bitter kola) every morning.

7.  This COVID-19 coronavirus is suspected not to incubate in hot environments, though it can last between nine to twelve hours in metallic and non-metallic surfaces respectively. It is also suspected to be destroyed by gastro-intestinal acidity. For this reason, people are advised to gulp hot water immediately if they feel any itching of the throat or respiratory tract.

  1. Though it does incubate in high temperatures, COVID-19 coronavirus does actually survive in hot temperatures especially in such high contact surfaces as door handles, stair case rails, etc. Apart from washing the hands, it is important to keep the respiratory track free and warm as the virus survive and incubates in the respiratory tracks before it goes down to the lung to destroy it. 
  1. There have also been reported cases of treating flu and malaria symptoms with the

 naturally-occurring quinine found in the bark of the African cinchona tree (‘awopa’ in Yoruba language). This herbal administration must be overseen by an expert.

Government must understand that people will be less attracted to the NCDC to run the tests for fear of stigmatization. The government must decentralize the control and management process of the plague by including the tertiary health sector in the local government areas. The attention presently is still at the urban centers. The government should look deep inside the rural areas to identify the possible carriers of the virus.

Finally, the central government in Nigeria must prove to Nigerians that the cash advance promised Nigerians as paliatives by the President, Mohammadu Buhari, is not one of those government rackets that Nigerians have been used to since the beginning of this administration.

The government says it has paid out a huge sum of money to people while no citizen in public view has reported receiving a kobo. As we all take personal responsibilities to stay safe and healthy, let us all pray for divine assistance for the total eradication of COVID-19 coronavirus from the world.

Mr Obiora wrote in from Abuja.               

I7th April, 2020.

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