Publish 18 July 2021
Coronavirus Won’t Go Away Soon
Within over 60 news and health articles, this site has covered the COVID-19 outbreak. From the first empty streets and nutritional impact to the early research and vaccine reactions. Many recent articles deal with the emotional toil and getting back to a new normal. Click the keyword COVID-19 at the bottom of this page to view more health articles.
Scientists first identified a human coronavirus in 1965. It was not a global threat back then. Before that decade ended, a group of similar human and animal viruses were named for their crown-like spikes. Fast forward to the 21st century and history is littered with coronavirus outbreaks.
Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 2002 quickly spread from southern China to 28 other countries. It popped up again and quickly faded in 2004. Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) begin in Saudi Arabia during 2012.
The most notable coronavirus outbreak was in the winter of 2019. COVID-19 distinguishes the year. More than a year and a half later, virulent delta variants suggest we may be battling a hybrid COVID-21 or COVID-22. Instead of a gradual decline as a result of available vaccines, the number of cases spikes and recedes like the star-shape crown of the virus.
The statistics are mind-boggling. There have been over 192 million cases with over 4 million deaths around the globe. A little less than half of the world’s population has been vaccinated. Like arm wrestling between equally matched contenders, the delta variant is striving to gain the upper hand over vaccine manufacturers. The history of coronavirus suggests it has staying power with the ability to morph into stronger variations.
Shelter in Place
One thing we have learned from modern mankind as a whole is that people do not like being confined to their homes. Prior to the 20th century, most entertainment, if available, was in your local town or traveling shows. The choice of dining options was based on the garden in your backyard.
By the latter half of that century and into the current one, the masses have become accustomed to flying around the world, dining at extravagant restaurants, attending sports events, and swimming on public beaches. Each of these behaviors contributes to the spread of a contagious virus.
Shelter in place for two weeks is inconvenient. Months-long sheltering feels intolerable. Economies suffer and people revolt. So, despite the majority not having vaccinations, political leaders relax guidelines to resume travel and open up commerce. More curious has been the decision to suppress the facial mask requirement.
Battling a Torrent
The coronavirus does not seem real until you are drowning in it. Imagine yourself as a resident of a remote village that is separated from most of society by a widening river. Expanding by several meters per day, the water will soon submerge your town. Building a dam may appear to be the best option. But it will take much time.
Another choice is to forge the river, but there are not enough boats and few know how to swim. In the interim, leaders initiate a program to teach the entire village to swim. Half with fears and phobias resist. So the village leaders make the decision to tell new swimmers to jump into the river. Everyone—including non-swimmers—run for the water. What outcome do you anticipate? You don’t need to be a mathematician to estimate massive casualties.
The entire world faces a similar situation today. COVID-19 is the expanding river. With less than half of residents vaccinated, leaders began telling people they can commingle. Shops reopen and traveling resumes. Within a month of relaxing precautions, the virus surges throughout the United States and within new countries around the world.
Backtracking on guidance, leaders are urging non-swimmers to return to shore for a lifejacket. The best defense at this point against COVID-19 is vaccination. Does it have emergency-use authorization? Yes, this is an emergency. Are there potential adverse side effects? Yes, but less than the effects of contracting COVID-19 while unvaccinated.
There are plenty of unknown answers. Can vaccinated people pass the virus? Will the vaccination wear off over time? Can vaccinated people contract a coronavirus variant? Is a booster shot necessary? Preliminary research suggests the answers might all be yes. But information at this time is inconclusive. These uncertainties defy the logic of vaccinated people wandering about unmasked. Those who oppose vaccines use the opportunity to interact without detection.
The coronavirus delta variant continues to ravage the world like an expanding torrential river after almost two years. It will take more than optimism to abate it. Here is a question for you to consider. When you are flailing in that river and someone offers a lifejacket, are you going to question whether it is the best brand? Or will you strap it on and struggle your best to shore?