February has been a challenging month for most of us. It’s been over 1 month since the Coronavirus (COVID -19) first hit Hong Kong. Being highly contagious, the mortality rate of the virus is estimated at 2% in the epicenter of the outbreak, Hubei province, but thankfully this figure is much less elsewhere. Putting this into context, SARS had a death rate of more than 10%, so although the COVID-19 might be highly contagious, it is definitely less deadly.
However, as there is no vaccine to date and with the uncertainty of when the virus will subside, or indeed where it will spread to next- it’s not surprising that many people will feel anxious about the current situation. Added to the fact that Hong Kong has seen some pretty turbulent times with the protests last year and now with the disruption caused by the virus from our daily routines, home schooling and fears over employment- it’s no wonder that some people feel emotionally distressed and drained.
However, apart from the standard government advice of good hand and personal hygiene and avoiding crowded areas, there is only so much a person can do to avoid exposure to the virus.
The best thing anyone can do in these situations is to take a step back, take a deep breath and try to look at ways to safe guard your own mental health and outlook on life to face the uncertain challenges that lie ahead. Here’s a couple of pointers that you might find useful.
On a side note, we will continue to implement the following preventive measures in the clinic to protect the health and safety of our patients and staff by:
Novel Coronavirus testing has just been made available to private clinics. This can be either by blood or nose and throat swab. The likelihood is that it will only be appropriate for testing of low risk patients. We will be providing our patients with more information once it becomes available.
In the meantime, stay calm, take sensible preventive measures and keep your self-updated with the latest information and advice via https://www.chp.gov.hk/en/index.html
Yours in Good health
Dr Lily Wong