But the epidemic is not over yet.
In many countries, cases are rising – again. By some measures, it’s more bad than ever. Globally, the number of new cases It approaches the peaks I arrived in January. In Europe, the United States and Latin America there is talk of another wave, perhaps a misnomer – how could a new wave start if the previous one did not completely collapse?
In the United States, despite one of the most successful vaccine deployments of any country, there are cases one more time. During a virtual health briefing at the White House on Monday, Rochelle Wallinski, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said: She admitted she was “scared.” Where are things going. Walinsky said she had to talk about “the recurring feeling that I have of impending death.”
Many European countries are struggling with their own sudden increases, in part due to the slow introduction of vaccines and the spread of variants. “We will lose control if we do not act now,” French President Emmanuel Macron said when announcing nationwide restrictions on Wednesday.
In India, where cases have fallen sharply for months, there is a new upsurge that is putting the virus in the face of the vaccine. “You can see the tidal wave is coming,” said Bahramar Mukherjee, a biostatistician at the University of Michigan who is modeling the outbreak in India. The Washington Post last week.
Then there is Latin America, where many countries are lagging behind in vaccinations. In Brazil, where President Jair Bolsonaro rejected the virus from the early days of the pandemic, the wave is out of control It coincided with a political crisisSenior cabinet officials and military commanders staged a chaotic exit from government this week.
Ricardo Ricupero, a veteran Brazilian diplomat, said: “Now, Brazil is in the dark hour” Watchman.
The virus has a habit of infiltrating us. There was a lot of good news to distract us. Almost all information about the efficacy of vaccines has been positive. In Britain, which was once one of the countries hardest hit by the virus, punches seem to do the trick: Sunday, No COVID-19 deaths have been recorded In London for the first time in six months.
But in some ways, this good news is part of the problem. After a year of restrictions, frustration, and misery, the light at the end of the tunnel can be overwhelming and the temptation to return to normal is irresistible. In countries where vaccination is progressing well, dosing alone has not eliminated the disease.
In Chile, the star of a rare vaccine in Latin America, more than 6 million of the country’s 18 million people have been vaccinated. But at the same time, there has been an increase in infections threatening to overwhelm the healthcare system, with a record 7,626 new cases. Corona Virus Cases in one day last week. The most contagious variants were first found in Britain and Brazil in the country.
Healthcare experts say government moves to ease restrictions, including creating a summer vacation permit system in January and opening gyms, churches and schools weeks later, have contributed to the increase. The nation declared a new lockdown Measures the end of this week.
“Nobody doubts that the vaccination campaign is a success story,” said Francesca Crespi, regional president of the Medical Association of Chile. New York times. “But it conveyed a false sense of security to the people, who felt that because we were all vaccinating, the epidemic was over.”
The epidemic is not over yet, but if we are lucky we may see the beginning of the end. The overwhelming unknown for March 2020 is over, but the proliferation of variants means a race against time with the introduction of vaccines in most countries – a race that many nations are risking.
“We now have an unparalleled supply of amazingly effective vaccines that are administered with an amazing clip”, Zainab Tufikji I wrote it for the Atlantic this week. “If we move quickly, that’s an increase maybe It is just a passing picture of the United States. But if we move too slowly, more people will be infected with this terrible new species, which is very dangerous for those who have not yet been vaccinated. “
Historically, epidemics have often not ended well. Even now, medical historians debate how and when the 1918 flu pandemic ended.
“Some would argue that it infected enough people to create a barrier of natural immunity,” Anna Gross wrote in an article. The Financial Times Advance in this month. Others say it has mutated to become less lethal over time. Either way, severe attacks continued around the world until 1922. ‘
In general, diseases tend to fade rather than burn. Gross notes that smallpox, one of the only epidemics defeated by human efforts, was wiped out after a grueling 13-year global vaccination campaign that sometimes included coercive and violent efforts.
The most likely scenario is that the worst of the coronavirus pandemic is over, but the virus remains in our lives. As James Hamblin, a physician and writer for The Atlantic, said, Covid-19 may already be over, but it has now been replaced by a successor that we may describe as Covid-21. “It’s the disease as it will happen in the months and years to come,” Hamblin said Wrote last week.
Much discussion focused on Controversial laboratory leak theories. But in some ways, this may be the most satisfying scenario. If the virus had spread from animals to humans in nature, it was likely due to Rapid urbanization in ChinaSo the biggest concern is that a similar, related coronavirus could spread to humans in the same way in the coming years.
As WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus noted this week, More work is needed. “This report is a very important beginning, but it is not the end.”