The Australian Academy of Science has released a video explaining how symptoms of COVID-19 first present and progress.
It’s largely a good news video, as it makes clear that most people who become infected will survive after experiencing what they’ll think of as a cold.
In the video, Professor Robert Booy, head of clinical research at the National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance, at the University of Sydney, explains that many people will experience nothing more than “a runny nose and a cough and maybe a mild fever”.
This doesn’t give licence to be careless because, as Professor Booy points out, “maybe five, maybe 10 per cent of people” will suffer severe symptoms, including pneumonia.
Previously, Professor Booy has said that 3000 people could die in Australia – similar to that from seasonal flu – as a ”best case” estimate.
As of Friday morning, 128 people have contracted the coronavirus in Australia, with most of the cases occurring in NSW. Two elderly NSW resident had died, along with one man from Western Australia.
Professor Booy also asks if Covid-19 can be prevented by the flu vaccine – short answer, no. But it’s important that every Australian gets vaccinated, as this will help lighten the burden on the hospital system as the coronavirus spreads.
Saving the best for last, Professor Booy tackles the most vexing question of what is now a pandemic: Do we need to stock up on toilet paper? His reply is given with the same earnest face that he brings to questions of suffering and death.