Corona mathematics

READER'S VIEWS - The Freeman

Suppose that one infected, non-detected and not isolated person spreads the virus to three other persons and then those three infect three others each, that makes nine new virus carriers. The nine have no symptoms, they do not know that the virus is inside their bodies, they go places and infect three fellow humans each. That makes 27. Within one week the 27 do not practice physical distance, do not observe more hygiene than usual, make lingaw-lingaw and hugyaw-hugyaw and infect three more persons each, that makes 81 new infected plus the 40 initial infectors, who in the meantime may have become sick, dead, or cured. After the 5th cycle of virus transmitting the number rises to…calculate yourself! The infections curve rises exponentially in short time.

Suppose that one infected person infects only one other person, and that person also infects one more person and so on, the virus will live on for eternity, even if the initial infectors are cured.

Only if one infected person statistically spreads the virus to less than one person we have a chance to interrupt the chain of transmission after a while.

But the ideal case is that one infected person infects zero other people. The virus will have no more base to multiply and will die out as it did in China.

The question is: Do Filipinos summon so much discipline – as long as temperature scanners, test kits, face masks, and protective gear are rare – to quarantine themselves, stay at home, keep one and a half meter physical distance from one another and follow advisory of health, police and DRRM offices? If we do we will get rid of that plague soon, if not we will experience what is happening in Italy where last March 21 more than 800 mostly COVID deaths in one day, with no curbing in sight.

Unlike the over-aged societies of Italy and Germany the Philippines is a nation of young people who are less prone to get infected than the old.  The crux is we are a nation of paupers. How can the informal settlers keep safe and healthy in their narrow huts and unsanitary surroundings?

Socialized housing is one solution. Good Manners and Right Conduct in DepEd’s K to 12 is another. Adult education to foster Bayanihan spirit in the sitios and puroks is a third way to minimize the impact of future biologic wars.

Strengthening the Philippine health system is a must. Vaccine as well as medicine research will better prepare doctors, nurses and health workers. Future viruses may be similar to the past ones and the present one. Scientists shall anticipate their possible peculiar properties and virulence and hold effective vaccines and medicines in reserve for the case of another actual war.

I have never read a comment or seen a statistic that smoking plays an aggravating role in this pandemic. But I strongly suppose that the lungs of smokers are more prone to virus attack than those of non-smokers. I appeal to politicians to intensify the fight against that widespread vice.

Erich Wannemacher

Lapu-Lapu City

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