Global Extended Coronavirus Pandemic Timeline: A Distinct Possibility?
SubTitle: Fueled By Ideological Posturing in Some Developed Nations and Very Low Vaccination Rate In Africa, Global Anxiety Mounts, Uncertainty Looms Ahead.
“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”, so goes the old saying.
Sadly, this saying may have found a new, albeit ugly, unhealthy and deadly twin in humankind’s common enemy, the novel Coronavirus and its variants.
Today, for some groups, COVID-19 is in the eye of the beholder.
Many parts of the world now find their knees buckling under the weight of denial of this enemy.
Grown men and women parading myopic affirmation of total self-control over their bodies and those of their children, cheered on by egoistic, power-mongering leaders.
Some people see COVID-19 as a mere transient nuisance like the common cold. Sadly, a few of the chief conductors of these orchestras are men and women with authority and power; news anchors, governors and other political leaders including heads of nations.
The denial by some constituencies in several nations, of the “Absolute” lethality of a novel invisible global enemy, SARS-CoV-2 — Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2, is indeed bewildering.
The Anti-vaxxers even include healthcare workers as few hospitals find an Unlikely Group Opposing Vaccination.
What will it take for the “Truth” in this war — the lethality of this invisible enemy — to be an “Absolute” for the Anti-vaxxers?
More deaths that hit home?
A complete meltdown of the healthcare systems in both developed and developing nations?
We should all be at least humbled by this pandemic, if not anxious and reflective.
We should all be very concerned about the Anti-vaxxers, Anti-social distance and Anti-mask crowd, no matter in what clothing they adorn themselves.
Global COVID-19 data reported to WHO as of August 24, 2021. ( WHO Coronavirus (COVID-19) Dashboard).
Total Confirmed cases: 211,730,035.
New cases: 441,677
Vaccine doses administered: 4,619,976,274
According to the Center for Disease Control, CDC, the USA has 37,768,911 total cases and 626,833 deaths, more than any nation in the world.
Total vaccine doses given: 363,267,789.
People fully vaccinated: 171.1Million
Percentage of population fully vaccinated: 51.5%
Here in America, the highly contagious Delta Variant which is more than twice as contagious as previous variants has now been reported in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.
COVID-19 Peaks in several states have already been surpassed.
Prolonged Morbidity In Survivors
They are COVID ‘Long Haulers’. Survivors of mild, moderate or severe infections with ongoing symptoms of varying intensity and duration.
Older people especially those with chronic and serious medical conditions are the most likely to experience lingering symptoms.
Young people who are otherwise healthy can also feel unwell for weeks to months after infection.
Even children are not spared Long COVID and pediatricians and scientists are searching for answers.
Symptoms can occur in different combinations and they can linger over time with varying degrees of severity. The symptoms include:
- Severe Fatigue
- Joint and Muscle pain
- Cognitive impairment
- Dizziness especially when you stand
- Loss of smell or taste
- Difficulty breathing
- Pounding or fast heartbeat
Therefore, I hope all of us; pro-vaxxers, anti-vaxxers and covidiots can all agree that COVID-19 and its variants are not in the same ballpark as the regular flu or common cold.
Please Get The Vaccine; Slow Down The COVIDIOT Expresstrain
Vaccination is the bedrock of the layered prevention strategy in this pandemic war.
Full vaccination, wearing masks in vulnerable settings, frequent hand washing and social distancing must be employed to win this war.
No ifs, ands or buts!!!
Yes, as an adult you are free to decide what is best for your body and what is best for your children.
So, you are free to “fear” the coronavirus, get the vaccine and follow the advise of infectious disease experts.
You are also free to thumb your nose at the virus, risk its lethality, infect family members, neighbors, co-workers and friends or become a long hauler.
The caption in uppercase on the banner in the photo at the top of this page reads: COVIDIOT? Sadly, this cohort is louder and larger in number than would have deserved dismissal as irrelevant.
Unfortunately, they are not irrelevant. They require immediate and serious attention.
Although the COVIDIOT band is not a monolith, they drink the same Kool-Aid.
Allegiance anchored on vaccine misinformation, and total resistance to available facts of established science and evolving clinical data.
They are profoundly influenced by Vaccine Conspiracy Theories. These include fabricated and totally false statements like: the vaccines contain microchips; the vaccines are producing new variants of the virus and the vaccines would alter your DNA.
If you live in USA and you are waiting for full approval of the vaccine by the FDA, well, no more excuse.
The headlines are all over the airwaves and print media.
If all the 30% of the unvaccinated eligible Americans get the vaccine, that will go a long way to protect our children who are not yet eligible to get any vaccine and mitigate the spread of the virus.
The Amazing Track Record of Science In The Last 100+ Years
Please do not blame the CDC — Center for Disease Control & Prevention — FDA — Food and Drug Administration or NIH — National Institute of Health.
Full disclosure: I have never worked in any of these agencies and I have no connection with any one of them. This is purely a defense of science.
Time-tested childhood immunizations, eradication of smallpox, near- eradication of polio, millions of people living normal lives with HIV, phenomenal accomplishments in several scientific disciplines. The track record of science in the past century is one that humankind should celebrate.
100% perfect? Of course not.
If science is anything close to perfect, humans would live as long as Methuselah (969 years) or at a minimum as long as Abraham (175 years).
But, imperfection is fundamentally encoded in mankind and this is reflected in the imperfection of science despite all the modern discoveries and the extraordinary brilliance of scientists.
Hence, despite the imperfection, remember that 51% — 96% guarantee is much better than 0% — 5% chance when you are comatose and motionless on a respirator in the ICU — Intensive Care Unit.
So, as the virus mutates, it dictates the path of reason, the direction of research in laboratories and “the next recommendation” by scientists. Science adjusts accordingly and as quickly as possible.
A basic fact which should be constantly conveyed to the entire population is that all viruses evolve over time and undergo changes as they spread and replicate.
The least mentioned, most under-reported and least acknowledged virtue that we all need now is a heavy dose of HUMILITY.
An admission that until we reach herd immunity, this global enemy, COVID-19 and its variants are the boss. For now they are calling the shots. That will continue until collectivelly, we turn the table against them.
If we wish to significantly reduce the timeline of this pandemic, all hands against this virus must be on deck, or at least the vast majority of hands. Sadly, that is not happening at this time.
Needed: Leadership With Spine and The Appropriate Knowledge
There are leaders at all levels of government; local, state and federal who say it is not their duty to institute mask mandate even during committee and other official meetings. They maintain that each individual is responsible for the consequences of their actions.
This line of thought is totally appropriate when you are discussing cigarette smoking, alcohol consumption or jogging outside when the temperature is 98 degrees Fahrenheit with a heat index of 110 degrees.
This thinking is an absolute dereliction of duty regarding this subject matter and it is a display of extreme naiveté about the nature of COVID-19.
This virus is not satisfied just invading one host or even all of you gathered in a board room, House of Representatives or a packed stadium.
The virus wants to feast on one and all available human hosts.
The virus is totally oblivious to ‘your’ status, age, sexual orientation, political ideology, religious beliefs, poverty or wealth.
Therefore, leadership and a populace that seek understanding of the science of this enemy and demonstrate fortitude are sorely needed at this critical moment in human history.
Continental Interdependence; Yet Significant, Troublesome Dichotomy.
In a New York Times Article, Tracking Coronavirus Vaccinations Around the World by Josh Holder, updated Aug. 23, 2021, each country’s progress is provided.
The doses administered per 100 people in each continent are as follows:
North America: 91
South America: 77
The Potential Negative Global Impact of Very Low Vaccination Rate In Africa.
From Africa CDC;
Total cases: 7,559,099
VIEW the vaccination ‘stats’ from the Africa CDC Vaccination Portal
Total Vaccine supplied: 123.4 Million
Total Vaccine Administered: 86.6 Million; (68.23% of supply)
Vaccine Administered (1 Dose) 4.44% of population.
Vaccine Administered (2 Doses) 1.82% of population.
Fully vaccinated: 1.85% of population.
The reasons for the huge gap in vaccination rate between Africa and the other continents are multifarious and very complex.
These include issues related to governance, infrastructure, leadership, knowledge, mindset, culture and belief systems among others.
The bottom line is this:
No continent can confidently claim to be free of COVID-19 and return to “normal life as usual pre- COVID” until the populations in all continents are adequately protected.
The total dependence of Africa on the largesse of other continents — regarding the vaccines — is another punch in the guts of African leaders reminding them to lift their nations from the floor mat and for the continent to ‘Develop and Rescue Itself From Within’.
Hopefully this time, the alarm bell would ring loud and clear and the transformation in Africa will commence — very much long overdue for the sake of tens of millions limping along in misery.