While the numbers of casualties and deaths keep growing every day, New Zealand has declared to be close to eliminating the Corona Virus. The 5 million citizens now live under relaxed rules, they can go to the beaches and parks, they can meet in cafés and restaurants and they may even hug, because the country’s top health official, a serious-minded man called Ashley Bloomfield, said that a careful hug given to family members or close friends would be OK.
The reason is that Jacinda Ardern, the New Zealand PM, did not forget what happened in 1918 when the Spanish flu that lasted from January 1098 to December 1920 infected 500 million people and killed more than 50 million people worldwide. A fact that has gone into oblivion leaving us unprepared to deal with a similar case.
At the very first signs of a probable pandemic the Prime Minister’s main objective was to save lives. She did not forget the Spanish Flu pandemic and she imposed harsh restrictions in order to contain the spread of the virus, a nationwide lockdown starting with a four weeks consignment then extended by 3 more weeks. New Zealanders didn’t complain or protest, they simply followed the rules.
Unfortunately most governments, particularly in Europe and the USA have been more concerned about money and the economy while adopting a complacent attitude in believing it was not as bad as it seemed. It took the shock of the rapid mounting number of casualties and deaths predicting to reach gigantic proportions for governments to start to adopt a confinement policy, mainly because of the threat otherwise of an even worse economical projection.
Had they acted sooner the world would have been in a much better and healthier position to deal with the post pandemic economy instead of living in fear of a second wave.So what happens when people try to get back to normality after the lockdowns? People will have to take stock of the damage, the businesses losses, the jobs lost. An economic crisis will need to be faced up to but then, getting rid of the pandemic is the positive achievement and encouragement to move forward and rebuild the nation’s and the individual’s’ economy.
Spain is now entering a four phases de-escalation to the lockdown, after adopting a strict isolation policy, the cases of COV-19 have been steadily reducing with the result that it is no longer the most infected country in Europe. That position has been taken over by the U.K., the country that used to point their derisory finger at Spain to compare to promote their own immunity. It would seem that the message is not really sinking in with a British government that refuses to accept the reality of the situation and adopt the right measures to protect its people.
er than the wealth and health of the nation they are supposed to protect.
The present number of global casualties is nowhere near the pandemic proportions of the 3 years Spanish Flu, but then we are only a few months into it. We still have a way to go and the severity of the pandemic depends and the amount of restraint adopted to avoid contagiousness.
It is all right for governments to say what you can and cannot do but it is down to every individual person to know what to do to avoid being infected or infecting others.
There is always the hope a vaccine, there is also the hope of a cure but how far ahead is that hope? We are told that it takes 18 months before a vaccine is actually created and used on people, there are rumours of international co-operation on the matters, there are also rumours that pharmaceutical companies and even Bill Gates may have the vaccine but are waiting for the right moment to maximise their income.
Who knows? There are even rumours that people will refuse the vaccine in fear of being used as a test for unknown future reactions.
Meanwhile the use of antibodies in plasma extracted from blood taken from patients who recovered from COV-19 seems to be used as a cure on patients by several hospital in different parts of the world including the USA, but as yet we do not seem to have a firm “yes it works!” Why the delay? What is the problem? Is it because it does not require a pharmaceutical company to provide it at some cost? Can we try and speed up the “testing period”? Surely safety is not involved here nor great costs.
The human race has survived several pandemics including the Spanish flu and no doubt it will survive COV-19, but how soon and at what cost depends on the determination and common sense of each government and each individual.
We no longer need governments run by individuals who care more about their personal wealth and power rather than the wealth and health of the nation they are supposed to protect.