We are at a time, when everyone is talking about “COVID”, its implications and consequences on people’s health and economy of the nations. Perhaps this is one of the rare occasions where the entire world is affected and looking for solutions and methods to contain. The vaccine is at least one year away if not more, not much of discussion about the cure to the affected. Some combination drugs finding cure, though not 100% effective, giving relief to the affected. More than 30% of the people diagnosed positive for COVID successfully fought and came out of it.
Corona has become a great equalizer, it does not differentiate rich and poor, nor religion, colour and creed. Ultimately when we win our fight against this threatening virus, Does the world learn from this challenge and internalize and become a better place to live?
At the time the world is battling to cope up with the challenge, one needs to think in what way “COVID” is different from earlier epidemics the world has seen. What are the epidemics and pandemics the world has seen in the past one hundread years?
Zika, Ebola, H1N1(Swine flu), AIDS, Asian Flu, Spanish Flu, Polio, in the descending order of the timeline.
Some of them found solutions, found vaccines and got contained or almost eradicated (polio). While some of them were restricted to some regions and some yet to find solutions. In terms of fatality Spanish flu saw major number of fatalities.
Spanish Flu, by far has taken the maximum number of lives. Asian flu has the origin in China spread across the world, with large number of fatalities. H1N1 Swine Flu originated from Mexico in 2009, caused large number of fatalities. In the more recent times, outbreak of Ebola and Zika originated from Africa and South American effected large number of people. These are yet to find cure. Why are we worried about COVID?
It is a Corona Virus while most others are influenza pandemics. COVID is more lethal to the elderly with chances of fatality increasing with increasing age. More importantly, the world has seen sea change from the time periods of Spanish Flu. The more advanced we become, the more challenges nature throws at us, it flags caution but, in the hurry, to grow in the name of development, we tend to ignore the warnings. We are all more connected, and that seems to be the problem. To be safe maintain the social distance. At the time this is being written, government of India has announced 21 days of lockout with PM Modi appearing fervently to stay at home. Do not cross “Lakshman Rekha”. Hopefully all would cooperate and head to his request.
While the country is addressing and fighting against time to make the curve of increasing number of affected people to flatten, there are many economic challenges the country must face. How sensitive we are to these, time would tell.
Researchers are fighting against the time to get the vaccine and effective cure. Many telling to use the traditional wisdom to enhance the immunity. It is time to be together in fight to protect the fellow countrymen. Science found solutions and would find it now too. It is the combination of progress in science and the ability of society to respond with passion which brings success. Communicating and reaching out to the people is paramount. Let each one of us, choose a method and contribute. Sure, we would come out victorious.