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Health Against the Economy

By Nimfa Estrellado
Straight Talk
April 11, 2020

Will Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) end soon?

In an interview with Belgian virologist Guido Vanham, the former head of virology at the Institute for Tropical Medicine in Antwerp, Belgium, said that this certainly never stops, in the sense that, unless we kill this, this virus is here to live. And the only way that such a virus can be eradicated will be with a very powerful vaccine administered to every human being. We did it with smallpox, but this is the only example and it took years.

Vanham said and it'll most definitely live. This belongs to a family of viruses we know, coronaviruses. Questions now are that it is going to behave like those other viruses?

He also said seasonally it will reappear, more in winter, spring and autumn and less in early summer. So we'll see if that affects.

The following are excerpts from the interview:

“There is also an unresolved question about what determines an individual's susceptibility to this disease. Of course, there is age, but that’s not so surprising. People’s immune systems weaken with age. But then there is this concept of co-morbidities, which means that some people, even younger people, get ill because they have other diseases. It's logical that when you have cancer or diabetes, you are more susceptible to infections. But what is remarkable - what we do not understand - is that people with simple hypertension are also very vulnerable to developing this disease. So that's one of the unresolved questions. And it will be interesting to see what the profile is of people who are infected but do not get ill. We will know in a few months - that question is already being addressed in China. Then you can go back and test for antibodies because it looks as though everyone who has gone through the infection will develop antibodies - and that those will remain for a while. Some people have antibodies and have not presented to the medical services and claim that they have been healthy all the time. What's the genetic profile of those people as compared with the people who went to the medical wards? That is an interesting question. One hint has already been discovered in China; your blood group could be important. It’s very preliminary data, but in a year or so from now we will have a lot of data on that as well.”

As eager as we are to restart social and economic life, to do so, we will concentrate primarily on public health more than social and economic life. It comes at a big expense but it's better than the alternative.

Do not weigh health against the economy.

Governments must respect rights in the COVID-19 response by protecting; low-wage workers, people with disabilities, detainees & people behind bars, asylum seekers, especially health workers.

Governments must use their powers to procure masks and other personal protective equipment where it is most needed.

For me, a frontline worker is those health workers who come into contact with confirmed patients, from the point where their condition is confirmed to being released when they are stabilized or buried if they die, unfortunately.

If a health care worker dies because they do not have workplace safety equipment, the hospital should take away a license to operate.

Worker health and safety should be a priority. It is not fair for them to work so hard in a country that does not take the right measures to protect them. Their lives should be a priority!

There were "alarming" reports of health care workers of large numbers of infections.

It should be a top priority to protect them from COVID-19 because else many people would die because the health worker who might have saved their lives is sick.

When are we finally going to challenge the government with concerns about transparency due to the lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) in their actions?

Governments and irresponsible media should be kept legally accountable for misinformation and failure to act in due time. Someone defending the lack of preparation and intervention on the part of the government right now is wrong. A plain mistake.

Let's just pray for the world leaders and Medical doctors to find a vaccine for this great evil pandemic COVID-19.

May Easter season bring us everlasting solutions to COVID-19.


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