Familiarity Breeds Immunity—If I Know You, You Can’t Have the Virus By Dr. Kimberly Burke*

Familiarity Breeds Immunity—If I Know You, You Can’t Have the Virus By Dr. Kimberly Burke*

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The idea of social distancing during this time of crisis makes perfect sense and needs no research – based explanation though we are privy to scientific advancements and technological development. This method of control was used in the past and proved to be effective where there was compliance. In light of the increasing number of persons affected by the Corona virus due to inter-community spread, one might question whether or not we are abiding by this principle. Could it be that there is lack of adherence that is being influenced by our cultural diversity and our different perceptions of socialization? Or maybe we have such confidence in those with whom we are closely associated that we do not take the necessary precautions while we distance ourselves from those with whom we are already unfamiliar. The assumption can also be made that we are choosing to adopt good hygienic practices or social distancing not realizing that one is futile without the other.

It is our innate nature to feel the need to belong and to socialize. Though we are still in the initial phase of this pandemic, there is much uncertainty as to when the restrictions will be lifted. I believe that each of us is responsible for determining when normalcy will be restored within our borders.

Life will continue after COVID-19 as it has numerous times in the past after different pandemics. Despite the present state of concern that is much warranted, we need not be short sighted. It is important for us to also think about the intermediate and long – term socioeconomic effects that we will face. Some of the questions that we need to start asking are: How will many people be able to ensure their survival and that of their dependents after a few weeks of being at home? How will basic needs be fulfilled? In light of the scarcity of many sanitary products, will personal hygiene be maintained? Should we then worry about the implementation of measures to curtail the potential spread of other infectious diseases?

Many lessons were learned from the Spanish flu outbreak of 1918. One that stood out that is applicable to us today is the fact that the provision of social support mitigated fear and encouraged cooperation. Decisions have been made by different levels of government to offer assistance. Let us acquire as much information as to who will benefit and when this will commence.

* Dr. Kimberly Burke, MD; Post Graduate diploma in Environmental Public Health (Pending).
She is the newest board member of Sickle Cell Foundation of Alberta

I would like to commend the relevant authorities for the work that has been done and the decisions that have been made in the best interest of the community.

Despite our many concerns let us not become fearful and as we try to protect ourselves from becoming infected may our actions not be seen as discriminatory

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