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Monday, May 27, 2024

The War on COVID-19

HealthThe War on COVID-19

The world is battling a pandemic that is sly, evasive, deadly, and lethal.  Over 2 million people have died thus far.  Yesterday saw +126,315        new cases in India, an all-time high, and +684 new deaths. Even with rising cases, people are gathering in herds fueled by the discovery that building that immunity will strengthen their systems.

The concept of herd immunity completely defeated the original theory of distancing.  We still weakly utter, stay home, stay safe, but somehow, that phrase has begun to shrink.  Suddenly, everyone is out on the in herds, and yes, the pandemic is surging wildly. Right now, in the middle of election campaigns, it seems political leaders like the idea of herd immunity more than anyone with thousands bombarding their rallies.

The WHO defines ‘herd immunity, as ‘population immunity’ as the indirect protection from an infectious disease that happens when a population is immune either through vaccination or immunity developed through the previous infection. WHO supports achieving ‘herd immunity’ through vaccination, not by allowing disease to spread through any segment of the population, as this would result in unnecessary cases and deaths.

WHO says, “Herd immunity against COVID-19 should be achieved by protecting people through vaccination, not by exposing them to the pathogen that causes the disease.

Scientists in the meantime are still laboriously working in labs to develop novel therapeutic options through genomic approaches.  They are deeply studying the genomics of the virus to address its origins, transmission, and pathogenesis, which will help medical researchers unfound breakthrough therapies to defeat COVID-19.  As they discover more about the virus, it keeps undergoing duplications and adding mutations to its parental strain and new variants are emerging from it while time is running out.

Researchers say that Sars-CoV-2 that causes Covid-19 may not yet have been fully adapted to the human host.  It is speculated that the virus may be evolving continuously towards higher transmissibility confined to different regions of the globe but is rapidly spreading.

All said and done, in India, though cases are rising, recovery rates are strong and faster.  Either the virus is weakening or our immunity systems are getting stronger.  Whereat one point, most people who got COVID were on a ventilator and died, now, it seems people just isolate, quarantine themselves at home and recover peacefully.

However, we cannot ignore the fact that the second wave is fast and furious.  The Indian vaccine is said to be 80% effective, there have been cases of people still getting COVID-19 after the second vaccine.  It could be more dozens of reasons which still need to be discovered.

On the better end, as individuals, we need to wage our own personal wars on this stalking menacing virus.  It seems we are slackening on this war because of course, we lost work, businesses, money, school, and so much more, plus caged into homes for months was exhausting and stressful sinking us into depression waves.  Thus the former precautions we took for coronavirus prevention were thrown to the winds.

Here, I would like to encapsulate the precautions we need to take for coronavirus in a nutshell for we have forgotten.

PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE:

 Guidelines from WHO to prevent the spread of COVID-19:

 It seems the guidelines have been forgotten by most!

Clean your hands often. Use soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand rub.

Maintain a safe distance from anyone who is coughing or sneezing.

Wear a mask when physical distancing is not possible.

Don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth.

Cover your nose and mouth with your bent elbow or a tissue when you cough or sneeze.

Stay home if you feel unwell.

If you have a fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention.

Build immunity through vitamins and minerals etc:

While during this pandemic, medical researchers discourage the use of supplements to cure or prevent disease, natural remedies can help.  Things like turmeric, tulsi, garlic, etc are age-old remedies known to bring relief in viruses such as influenza.  While they may not completely cure, they aid in bringing relief and also work as preventives to a degree and let us not forget using natural remedies along with our other preventions and medicines.

Vitamin D:  A recent study revealed that patients hospitalized with COVID-19 who had sufficient levels of vitamin D had a decreased risk for adverse outcomes and death.  Healthy levels of vitamin D can help keep your immune system healthy and may protect against respiratory illnesses in general.

Vitamin C:  Vitamin C affects your immune health in many ways. Its antioxidant activity can decrease inflammation and builds up immune function.  It boosts collagen production, helping the skin serve as a functional barrier to keep harmful compounds from entering your body. It also boosts the activity of phagocytes, immune cells that can “swallow” harmful bacteria and other particles.

Zinc:  Zinc is important to a healthy immune system. Over centuries, it is known to help fight colds and upper respiratory infections. If one takes zinc within 24 hours of the first signs of a cold, it can shorten the duration of a cold. It can also help make symptoms less severe. Zinc helps fight infections by boosting the production of antibodies against infections.

Any other natural means will aid in the war against the pandemic.

Vaccinate:  In our war against COVID-19, taking the vaccine is a weapon.  WHO says “the COVID-19 vaccines produce protection against the disease, as a result of developing an immune response to the SARS-Cov-2 virus.  Developing immunity through vaccination means there is a reduced risk of developing the illness and its consequences. This immunity helps you fight the virus if exposed. Getting vaccinated may also protect people around you because if you are protected from getting infected and from disease, you are less likely to infect someone else. This is particularly important to protect people at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19, such as healthcare providers, older or elderly adults, and people with other medical conditions.”

However, medical experts still are unsure how long this protection lasts, and the risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19 far outweighs any benefits of natural immunity. It is agreed upon that COVID-19 vaccination will help protect you by creating an antibody (immune system) response without having to experience sickness.

Healthcare experts are positive that the surge will settle soon—but for that, a mix of scientific, administrative, and natural aids, and behavioral changes are strategic to win the war against COVID-19.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author.

Also Read: State Dept. : US ready to lift Iran sanctions inconsistent with JCPOA

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