An evidence based article by a Coronavirologist
Baby 1 is 14 months old and I get this insane idea that maybe I should have another baby ?. As a bull headed person, it’s not like I was going to listen to anyone about waiting and spacing out. I discovered in January, during our first holiday as a family (baby carrier included! ) that I was pregnant again. All is well and peachy and I plan (obsessively) about how I am going to juggle work and 2 babies and what kinds of help I am going to get.
COVID makes a grand entry
BOOM, it’s February and everyone is talking about one thing only, COVID! So here I am, when I should be happy and rosy rejoicing about my pregnancy, all I am doing is thinking about how COVID could impact my pregnancy. At that point in time, most of the world had only heard vaguely of coronaviruses in general and almost no one was certain about this particular coronavirus. We didn’t even know if it was going to be seasonal or annual, global or local.
As I spent the next two months educating people about the virus, I was reading up (and continue to read up) a lot about how this virus may affect my pregnancy. I was at a point where I was even worried about going for my antenatal check ups (we all know how crowded they can get) and scans.
Don’t get carried away by the information overload
Fear and anxiety are natural in pregnancy, especially when we are surrounded by so much information, some evidence based, some, just old wives tales. Combine that with the uncertainty of a pandemic, my mental health was in absolute mayhem. Should I even make it to my doctor’s appointments? After all, I’d had a baby before without much trouble, why expose myself and my baby to an unknown infection. How would an exposure to the virus affect my health or my baby’s? I had a toddler at home too! All the worst case scenarios played out in my head over and over again.
Trust ONLY evidence based information
Amidst all the uncertainty, the BEST piece of evidence based information I was able to ascertain was that, for some unknown reason, (and we have a lot to learn about the virus), pregnant women, statistically, do not get a very severe infection with the coronavirus! This still doesn’t mean I can take the precautions lightly- I wear my face mask securely (covering my nose and mouth at all times when I leave the house), I clean my hands frequently and I maintain distance wherever possible.
So here’s what science has to say about COVID-19
1. How does COVID-19 spread?
Droplets from your breath and saliva! However, there is little good evidence to suggest that it is airborne. This means that you can protect yourself to a great extent by just wearing mask and avoiding the droplets.
2. How do you avoid COVID-19?
✓By wearing a mask– A simple cloth mask is sufficient if you are not working in places with high crowds or in healthcare. As uncomfortable as a mask may be, it is your best chance of saving your own life or that of your loved one.
✓By maintaining distance- The droplets in our breath and saliva do not travel a long distance. So you can simply reduce your chances of getting the infection by maintaining a distance of 1-2 metres from others. Make sure to use a baby carrier to keep them close to you, when you are out and about, it helps by keeping them from touching surfaces.
✓By avoiding crowds- COVID-19 is not spread by fairy dust! You actually need to be in the presence of someone that is infected. Best bet is to assume that everyone is potentially infected and avoid gatherings of any kind.
3. How severe is COVID-19?
For most people, COVID-19 is like a simple cold. Some people may have it for 2 days, some for 5 days. Although symptoms vary widely, it is more typically characterised by a fever, dry cough and fatigue. About one third of people lose their sense of smell and taste. For some, it affects the lungs severely enough to need medical intervention. In a small group of vulnerable people, it can and does cause death.
4. What is the treatment for COVID-19?
If you have very mild symptoms, a simple Crocin type medicine under the advice of your primary doctor is sufficient. For more severe cases, hospitalization is required. As of today, there is no magic drug that works against the virus.
5. Can you boost your immunity in any way?
NO. There is no known way to magically boost your immune system. If you have a healthy lifestyle that is stress free, consume a balanced diet, exercise and sleep well, you generally have better immunity. There is NO powder, pill, soup, drink in any form of medicine (traditional or western) to improve your immunity. Do NOT waste your money.
6. When can we return to normal?
When we have a safe and effective vaccine!
7. When will we get a safe and effective vaccine?
We are looking at the end of 2021! Sorry folks, it will take that long! Hang in there. Take all the mental health support you need!
Now that you know all about the coronavirus and COVID-19, stay home, stay safe as much as you can! And don’t forget to enjoy your pregnancy every second, doesn’t matter whether it’s your first or second ❤️.