Coronavirus situation in Romania – what you need to know

In the past days, we hear more and more news about the Coronavirus situation. I’ve been thinking a lot about how this problem will affect us all.

Last night, I was walking my dog in my neighborhood. I heard a random conversation between two men on the street: “Why are you so fearful? The media is exaggerating; this is nothing more than flu. More people are dying from normal flu every year, why is everyone making such a case out of it.” Both men were over 60 years old.

I realized that many people are unaware of the situation or maybe misinformed. Probably in the same way I didn’t think it was too serious a few weeks ago. At the same time, I realized that it is severe. Severe enough to make us think twice before going out of our homes. To make us think twice about our health, but also about the people close to us. The risks that we may expose them to, through our negligence or arrogance, are real.

A lot of information is circulating online in the past days. And a lot of spam also, fake news, media files on Whatsapp, you name it. I received a lot of audio files, pictures, articles, even X-Rays photos, and I concluded that these materials are not only useless but also spreading panic.

I cannot share with you my opinion about the virus, spreading, or consequences it will have on people, because I am no specialist. So far, I read a lot of information on the subject, and I want to share with you the sources that I find to be the most relevant and accurate.

The major trends in Romania

According to the latest news, Coronavirus infection exceeded 1000 confirmed cases in Romania. While numbers are rapidly increasing, I notice a few significant trends in people:

  1. Those who are ignoring the problem, thinking that it is “not too serious” or “it can’t happen to me.” Because of this, they are not taking proper caution measures. Most probably, they are exposing themselves as nothing is happening.
  2. Those who are in a panic, invading supermarkets and buying all they can to have reserves.
I was part of the first category until last week. Then I received a message from the volunteering association I am collaborating with. They suspended all visits to children until the end of the month. It was a serious issue. I started to look for information online. I became aware of some essential aspects of this situation that I want to share with you.

Apart from the two described above, a new category appeared. It is most present in the entrepreneurial environment, and it has a solid social character. There are a lot of Romanian people who activated their resources to help the most vulnerable citizens. They create solutions for those who are in quarantine and cannot leave their apartments. It is fantastic to see the social movement that started in Romania.

Projects for the people in Romania

Geeks for Democracy – created the project: “Groceries at your door.” It’s objective is to bring food and supplies to people who are in quarantine at their door. You can contribute by donation or by completing this form and applying as a volunteer.

XVision startup – Located in Timisoara, they offer free access to doctors to their AI platform for X-Ray lung analysis.

Code for Romania  – created the project “Code for Romania Task Force.” It is about building IT apps for better management of the situation. They have in mind objectives like stopping the misinformation, real-time visualization of cases in the territory, or creation of an Aid Management Hub. You can apply as a volunteer for this project here.

Apart from these projects, my thoughts go to all the people working in medical care. Even if the medical system in Romania has significant gaps, these people are true heroes these days.

Valid information about to Coronavirus global situation

If you want to get informed on the Coronavirus global situation and statistics, I advise you to read the articles below:

This first article is a complete analysis of the Coronavirus context around the world, made by Thomas Pueyo. He documented it incredibly well with statistics, graphs, and calculations. All these can give us an idea of how things will look like soon. It also emphasizes the importance of acting immediately from an individual point of view but also a business leader’s point of view. The slower the reaction, the higher the spread, and thus the number of victims. (Thank you Dragos Stanca for posting this material)

Translated into various languages, is worth giving a read and share, to get a realistic idea about the situation we are all facing.

What hit me is that the real number of cases is much higher than what we see today in the media. You can find below a video explanation of the material you find in the article:

The second article is written by McKinsey & Company, and it has a more economic-focused approach. Again I liked that it is presenting facts, three different scenarios that could unfold, starting from where we are today on a global scale. How will this situation affect the business environment? What will be the most affected industries in each of these scenarios? Questions that probably most of us are having right now, as we already see a significant drop in stock markets and sales.

Apart from these information sources, I regularly check out the websites of the World Health Organization and for local news Romanian Ministry of Health.

Why should we take action starting today?

I came to a conclusion I should avoid social contact and stay at home as much as possible because:

  • There is no cure or vaccine for this illness at the moment
  • The numbers of cases that we see in the media are only people tested and positive confirmed individuals. The real number is likely to be much higher. (see the first article mentioned above)
  • The major risk that we are facing is the collapse of the medical system because of the high number of sick people that will come at once to get treatment. It is our responsibility to take the necessary measures so that we don’t get infected in the first place.

I hope that these three reasons are strong enough to motivate you to practice good hygiene, to stay indoors, avoid crowded areas, and social contact. These are simple actions that any of us can do. At the same time, they could have a significant impact on the whole context in one or two months from now.

Source: https://www.who.int

What to do if we are panicking?

Here are a few suggestions if you feel a high level of anxiety linked to what is happening nowadays:

  • Practice breathing exercises or meditation.
  • Focus on the small actions that are under your control. What can you do to minimize the risk of getting infected?
  • Access and read information only from official sources. Try to watch less TV, as they tend to present information alarmingly.
  • Keep in contact with the people who are close to you on the phone or online. Staying indoors doesn’t mean complete isolation from communicating with others.
  • See if you can do something to help others through your skills or knowledge. It will help you focus on something productive and related to the situation. It is a form of confronting your anxiety and helping others at the same time.
  • Cuddle your pet, if you have any 🙂
Source: https://www.who.int

In the end, I believe we all have an essential lesson to learn from the Coronavirus situation: it is called Solidarity.

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