Ever since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak, people around the world have been asking the same questions, how and when will the pandemic come to an end?
If only there was a clear cut answer.
Different efforts have been taken across the world to mitigate the impact of the virus.
On 23 March, a national lockdown was executed across the United Kingdom, resulting in businesses closing their doors and members of the public being urged to remain at home as much as possible.
And while the national lockdown has since eased, local lockdowns have been put in position in specific areas across England – this later morphed into the government’s three-tier coronavirus restriction system, introduced in October, in a bid to categorise different postcodes according to virus risk.
Despite the public tolerating these periods of lockdown, the evidence has demonstrated that the outcome was not a long term fix but a short term one, and once society returned to greater levels of socialisation, and schools and universities started again, the number of people hospitalised with COVID 19 returned to levels higher than when Britain first locked down in March.
As a result, it’s reasonable to wonder whether we will stay stuck on this carousel of sporadic lockdowns until a vaccine is available. A scenario which experts, including chief medical officer Chris Witty and Kate Bingham, head of the vaccine task force, estimate could be another 12 months away, and can we look to the past and other pandemics to give us an alternative answer?
The most lethal pandemic in recent history was the H1N1 Spanish flu of 1918, which was calculated to have eradicated at least 50 million people worldwide over two years till 1920.
In 1957, the H2N2 influenza pandemic began, killing about one million people – the 1968 H3N2 flu pandemic came just over a decade later, resulting in a comparable number of casualties, and 2009 marked the appearance of another flu pandemic, this time swine flu, which was calculated to have caused 284,000 deaths.
And while lessons can be taken from past pandemics, it’s crucial to mention the majority were caused by strains of influenza, while COVID 19, a coronavirus, behaves completely differently from flu, and Dr Nathalie MacDermott, NIHR (National Institute for Health Research) academic clinical lecturer at King’s College London, underlines the extraordinary personality of COVID 19.
Dr MacDermott said that this pandemic is unusual, in the sense that we have a pathogen that’s extremely capable of spreading.
It’s highly contagious and highly transferable, and it’s infectious in asymptomatic individuals, and that all these factors make it much harder to control than a lot of other epidemics that we might have encountered more recently.
And it appears to have had a tremendous upswing of support for the Conservative Party, hoorah, and God save the Queen, but with all this sarcasm that’s so thick, you could use it for tile grout, but you can’t beat a good old pandemic to show just how caring the Conservative Party are.
This virus will, of course, work its way through the population, just like all other pandemics – some will die, most will recover completely and life will go on, but what we should do, is refuse to live in fear, but if you are fearful, mask up and stay at home.
And allegedly studies are going on by agencies who are industriously looking for the best ways to coerce the general public into adhering with the COVID mainstream narrative, and if we were in an actual pandemic, would such gimmicks need to be applied?