Thursday, 21 October, 2021

COVID-19 Risks Of Second Wave


Sampada Tandan

Globally, new COVID-19 cases rose sharply with over 4.5 million cases reported in a week's time. The number of new deaths increased by 7 per cent as compared to two weeks ago, with over 76,000 new deaths as per the report of WHO.
Over the past few months, we've explored how this pandemic came to happen, but the experience of the pandemic has been around the world for a while. And the world is struggling to vaccinate the population and carry out treatments to reduce the risk.

What Lies Ahead? ​
Now we're going to look at what comes next as the second wave of the virus is on its way.
The world has reported millions of cases of the virus and the WHO has recorded the largest single-day count of cases. There are fewer places that can say they are past the peak and some localities that believe they are already experiencing a bounce-back of fresh cases. Yet we've been in this pandemic long enough to have developed a bit of familiarity with the virus and a bit of rhythm to our daily livelihood.
The worst pandemic in recorded history is the Spanish Flu that gripped the world in 1918. The AIDS haunted us. The world also confronted the Zika virus and n Ebola . The COVID-19 outbreak is not the first time we are facing any pandemic.
As we have overcome these deadly infections, we will overcome COVID-19 as well. The greatest risk of the global catastrophe is right on our way. The virus spreads rapidly in crowded places where proper ventilation does not exist. The crowded areas are the place where the virus is easily transmitted via droplet.
During the first phase of the pandemic, people were scared and confused as everything was new and the lockdown was the only solution. Online education came into practice and the trend of work from home rose. But as time passed by we got used to this virus and new normal is being practised. Schools/colleges started to reopen, offices reopened and people got back to their normal lives.
The fear had reduced which is a good point but this is not enough. The change in weather has also spiked the second wave of outbreak. Businesses and schools need to have much more than just physical distancing or hand washing in place, not just within their confines but the surrounding community as well.However, this has not been happening across the country. Re-opening with too many holes can leave with a whole lot of trouble. As the virus is minute and devious we need to be very careful and follow all the healthy health guidance else, it can kill and cause suffering along with allowing enough people to escape with mild or no symptoms so that it can continue to spread like wildfire.
The virus spreads mostly from the people who are infected but have no symptoms. Hence, we need to be cautious about ourselves on our own. As this outbreak has been happening for months, people appeared to be tired and fed up with listening and talking about this noble virus. However, it is very important to talk about it and its increasing effects with added symptoms. Previously coughing, sneezing, headache and body pain, fever, loss of appetite and sleep were major symptoms. Nowadays skin rashes, and conjunctivitis are also said to be its symptoms.
COVID-19 is a pandemic so we need to buck up as the virus is not going to respect the national, state or municipal boundaries. Changing habits is indeed difficult but we need to change our unhealthy habits and start to perform proper hand hygiene, wear masks properly, have a healthy diet and avoid crowded places as much as possible.

Vaccine Shortage
As we all know that vaccines are available but our country can't vaccinate every citizen with full dozes soon. Vaccines are limited and the population is huge. We need to work individually to fight this pandemic.
To reduce the risk, we need to find out if people are sick, or show antibody evidence of recovery; trace their contacts if they are sick; and persuade them to be confined safely, at home or in recovering housing, until they are no longer a danger to others. Recovering housing is especially important because so much COVID transmission seems to take place in close quarters, in households or spaces shared by several generations of a family.
We all know that lockdown implication has led to an increase in crime and various mental illnesses. As much as it is possible we need to find an alternative to lock down and try to make practical decisions that have fewer drawbacks.
Learning from the first phase of the outbreak, the government should make wise decisions so that it benefits everyone and doesn’t worsen the condition. Lockdown should never be made the first and easiest option as was done previously. Many people had died from hunger. This had also reduced the economic growth rate drastically. Industries remittance companies had a great loss.
The decision-making process of the government should be quick. Many children and young people had experienced loneliness during the lockdown and in particular, been affected by lack of physical contact with their friends, families and peers, and the boredom and frustration associated with a loss of all the activities were seen. Crime rates spiked up. Rape cases, suicide rates, murder and robbery cases increased drastically.
The UK variant of the coronavirus infects children much quicker than anyone. After nine months of online education, it had been a while that schools /colleges had started the physical classes but the increase in new cases led to the closure of schools. Again they have resumed the online education system. If the rate of infection among the children and youth goes on unhindered, then this may pose a great challenge to handle in terms of resources and workforce.

Coping With New Variant
The novel virus has changed the rhythm of the country. Learning from the experiences of other nations, our country should make proper moves to cope with the pattern of this outbreak. The coronavirus disease continues to spread across the world following a trajectory that is difficult to predict.
The country now will have a unique opportunity to adopt policies aimed at achieving social justice. The health, humanitarian and socio-economic policies adopted by the state will determine the speed and strength of the recovery. Without long-term structural changes, it will be very difficult for us to fight against this pandemic and get back to our normal lives. The deep-rooted problems exposed by the crisis will merely intensify the course of tackling the effects of the crisis.

(Tandan is a computer engineering student)