Aug 11, 2020 Letters Comments Off on We must learn to live with COVID-19
We must learn to live with COVID-19. On August 9, 2020 there was 20, 024, 263 cases of COVID-19 worldwide and 773, 995 deaths.
University of Alberta virologist, David Marchant, who has spent his research life looking for a treatment for the dangerous respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), has said that vaccines aren’t a certainty. “I’m not optimistic that we’ll find a vaccine in the next few years because we have so little data on the coronavirus,” said Marchant, who holds the Canada Research Chair in Viral Pathogenesis. “In fact, I propose that this virus will become endemic. Viruses aren’t things we can fight; they’re things you learn to live with, treat and mitigate.”
I am convinced that COVID-19 will be with us for many years to come and we must continue to live. We test, contact trace and quarantine infected persons, not uninfected persons. Thinking lockdown, wearing mask and social distancing will stop the spread is utopian; it might slow it down but that is still not conclusive. The fight against COVID-19 is a marathon not a sprint. We must do actions we can sustain. Lockdown has a detrimental effect on the economy and must be use surgically if at all. Strategic testing and quarantine an infected person is more effective than locking down an entire country or section of a country. Because testing is expensive and time consuming is no reason not to do it. It cost far more in economic loss than to spend the time and resources on testing and quarantining infected persons. Thousands have lost their jobs because of lockdown and other COVID-19 practices. This practice of rampant lockdown is penny wise and pound foolish. Life must go on. Although I do not like wearing mask because of the long term health risk due to breathing in too much carbon dioxide and viral load, it is better than this lockdown. Social distancing in open air is uncertain because the breeze blows the droplets far and one cannot calculate the optimal distance. I have done several mathematical models and there are too many variables. The processing power of my laptop is too small. Practicing good hygiene always contributes to good health. Billionaires in the US have increased their wealth by US$637 billion since March, 2020. It is not the pandemic but government actions that cause unnecessary hardship on the most vulnerable. It can be handled differently. The lockdown hurt the poor the most and government aid is usually politically bias and inadequate. Eventually government will have to increase taxes and make spending cut and the poor will be disproportionally affected. Protect lives by quarantining the infected not the healthy.
We must protect the vulnerable such as the elderly and people with other illness such as hypertension and diabetes. “Wealth is not about having a lot of money; it’s about having a lot of options.” — Chris Rock
Brian Ellis Plummer
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