We are now 10 months into this year, with full blooms of the coronavirus everywhere. As I reflect about all that has transpired and revisit the vast amounts of knowledge that we have on this situation, I have come to realize that we may never be out of the woods on this one. Our population is not willing to make the effort, proving over and over again, that short-term desires undermine long-term necessities.
We all must come to the realization that the current leadership in the United States and several other countries lacks the ability to make the difficult decisions which would significantly reduce the economic and biological hardships that all are living with everyday.
Jacinda Ardern made the difficult decisions back in March 2019. It was not an easy decision for her, but was the right one. There was some opposition by citizens of New Zealand. The oppositions were handled peacefully and the lockdown implemented.
THE PEOPLE WAITED.
THE NUMBERS LINGERED.
THE CORONAVIRUS HAD NO WHERE TO GO.
New Zealand is now open internally and the citizens have regained their freedoms. The international borders are still strictly monitored with entry protocols and mandatory quarantines.
Similar 14 day quarantines have been implemented within the United States and are currently the best defense to slowing the spread into our own states.
Within our own states, we must still continue to adhere to the tried and true practices (social distancing, wearing masks, washing our hands, not touching our faces) to slow the spread. Even still, there will continue to be a slow burn, unless we can remove the virus from the population.
SARS versus COVID-19
The resulting SARS-CoV-2 symptoms and disease are very similar if not identical to SARS-CoV with the main difference being the mortality rate. SARS is twice as deadly as COVID-19.
The major portion of the SARS pandemic first identified in November 2002 was stopped in about eight months. It was declared contained in July 2003 but a few cases were identified up until July 2004. This publication, written by the very public health experts and scientists who battled with SARS during the 2003 outbreak speaks of all that was involved during the outbreak and ultimately what was done to stop the spread.
The PDF is available for reading below. A great review on the publication can be found here.
The SARS pandemic ended. There is no end to the COVID-19 pandemic unless we can remove it from the streets and the vectors (those who have it and are spreading it).
The most differentiating and difficult issue we face today, is that the SARS-CoV-2 virus is unlike the more than 200 rhinoviruses that cause the common cold. SARS-CoV-2 enters our respiratory system and sets up base camp without any symptoms for several days. This fact alone allows those who are infected to spread it to others during the first few days of the incubation period. It is then too late for those of us who have come in contact with those infected and we become vectors and the pandemic continues.
The means to fight back against SARS-CoV-2 is similar to the novel virus H1N1 that caused the 1918 pandemic, even still, H1N1 has mutated into the flu we have today. It never fully went away. SARS-CoV-2 may never go away either.
In 1918, it took decades after the two plus year wave of infections to get a handle on the virus. The vaccine was not available until 1945. Unless we want to experience the same journey as the 1918 pandemic, the only way to stop this one is to follow the same path that was used for SARS. Unless we do this, the COVID-19 pandemic will forever ebb and flow through all the world, as do other deadly viruses we live with today.
I continue to come back to this realization.
I have the ability to end the pandemic.
You have the ability to end it.
It is the only way and each of us have the super power to end this thing.
I wish life would return to normal and that we could enjoy our freedoms of being with loved ones, being able to travel and most of all be able to breath fresh air among others in a public place. Until that day, may all of us find way through this time and work together as one people on one earth to survive.
Featured Image from Our World In Data