Potatoes for Peace: COVID 19, and the human body

May 30, 2020

The Potato People have been keeping themselves occupied while in lockdown at the Potatoes for Peace HQ by spending time in the garden, which they are very grateful to have access to, and learning new skills like baking.  

Despite this, they have continued on their mission to find out more information about Coronavirus – COVID 19 following on from their last interview.

In fact, some of the Potato people had even more questions and specifically wanted to understand how the virus affects the human body.

“Let’s speak to Dr Lemoh”, suggested Elina Potato.

Dr Chris Lemoh is a doctor who specialises in internal medicine and infectious diseases based in Australia; he is also a friend of Potatoes for Peace who some of the Potato People had the privilege of meeting with last year on their school pilot programme in Melbourne.

“Coronavirus is a tiny particle that attaches itself to the lining of our nose and lungs, gets inside and makes millions of copies of itself”, he explains.

“Have you seen patients with Coronavirus and what happens when a person gets the virus?”, asks Elina potato, inquisitively.

“Yes, I have seen a few people with Coronavirus”, answers Dr Lemoh.

Describing further:

“Most people are OK; they feel tired, have a sore throat and sometimes can’t smell anything because the virus interferes with the way their nose works. Other people may experience a high temperature or cough”.

“However, a few of the people who get the virus become more seriously ill; the virus stops their lungs from working well and they can’t breathe properly. People who are that ill, need to go to the hospital. If the virus makes their lungs stop working, the person needs to go to intensive care and have a machine (ventilator) do their breathing for them until they get better (usually after a couple of weeks)”.

Elina potato suddenly becomes alarmed, while Mei Ann potato looks puzzled.

“I’m confused. I thought COVID 19 was a virus like the Flu. Isn’t the flu a virus?”, asks Mei Ann potato frustratedly.   

“Yes, it is – but the virus that causes COVID-19 is very different to the virus that causes the Flu. It damages people’s lungs more than the Flu does and it makes you unwell for longer”, explains Dr Lemoh.

“Oh, now I realise how serious this virus is”, utters Mei Ann potato.

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