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Get real; we are between a rock and a hard place

We are currently at a time of global uncertainty, a time when we look towards our Government for leadership. Unfortunately, they too are facing uncertain times and can only give advice to its people based on medical guidance. The coronavirus, better described as the “silent killer”, is puzzling many of our best scientists. We are losing our loved ones or watching them suffer with no idea of the outcome. It is time that we review our thinking and rather than accept the comforting message that Covid-19 is comparable to the Common Flu, the harsh reality is that this is much more serious.

We are all aware of the number of deaths worldwide and hope that Gibraltar we will remain untouched. However, we need to be mindful that given the uncertainty of this virus, those contracting Covid-19 may become seriously ill without knowing whether they will make a full recovery.

The UK Prime Minister was hospitalised after he contracted the virus and this highlights the fact that no one can escape this virus, nor should this virus be underestimated.

Gibraltar is a shining example of a Government which is transparent and keeps its people informed and updated on how the virus is progressing within our community. It is also giving guidance on what measures are to be taken in order not to contract the virus and how to avoid its spread. Daily text messages are being sent to all Gibraltar residents updating them on statistics relevant to testing, confirmed, recovered and active cases as well as those in self-isolation and in hospital. This information will assist Government and Gibraltar residents on how they should handle social distancing by keeping everyone aware of the severity of the outbreak in Gibraltar. The introduction of antibody tests will help demonstrate the actual spread of the infection within the community.

The long-term impact of Covid-19 should not be underestimated and we should not become complacent or dismissive.

Professor Tim Spector of King’s College heads the team which has developed the UK’s biggest symptom tracking app and believes the long-term impact of the virus is being underestimated. “The Government is telling people that this is just like the flu and only checking on a few symptoms, but it’s not at all like the flu,” he told the Telegraph. “For many people it can linger on; many people are saying they’ve had it for over three months now.” Describing Covid-19 as one of the “strangest diseases I’ve ever come across”, Prof Spector is concerned that we are “underestimating” the virus by failing to collect comprehensive data on long-term, milder symptoms

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