Salud & Nutrición

Tips Femeninos | Pandemic lessons

Last week this coun­try crossed a dread­ed mile­stone in the on­go­ing COVID-19 pan­dem­ic when the 1000th death from the dis­ease was record­ed.

It was a fig­ure that was im­pos­si­ble to fath­om just over a year ago, when T&T’s first death from the pan­dem­ic was record­ed­—77-year-old Hansel Leon, a Car­ni­val lov­ing na­tion­al res­i­dent in the Unit­ed States.

At the time of Leon’s death at the Cou­va Hos­pi­tal in March 2020, there were 59 ac­tive COVID-19 cas­es in the coun­try. Com­pare that to the 5,893 re­port­ed by the Min­istry of Health as of 4 pm yes­ter­day and a pic­ture be­gins to emerge of how the coro­n­avirus has been stealth­ily spread­ing across the pop­u­la­tion, rav­aging com­mu­ni­ties and fam­i­lies.

But oth­er num­bers must be con­sid­ered to get a clear­er pic­ture of the COVID-19 sit­u­a­tion in this coun­try.

While the num­ber of deaths climbed to 1,032 as of yes­ter­day, out of a to­tal of 37,365 peo­ple in­fect­ed since the dis­ease en­tered our bor­ders, 30,440 have ful­ly re­cov­ered.

An­oth­er fig­ure worth not­ing is that 181,299 cit­i­zens are now ful­ly im­mu­nised against COVID-19 and have more than a fight­ing chance of get­ting past the coro­n­avirus with lit­tle or no ill ef­fects.

So far, it seems, an­ti-vac­cine sen­ti­ments have not swayed many peo­ple here from ac­cess­ing the best weapon against a high­ly in­fec­tious virus that has been rapid­ly evolv­ing and be­com­ing more dead­ly the more it spreads around the world.

Still, it is im­por­tant that lessons learned from past pan­demics be kept at the fore­front, if on­ly to avoid mis­takes made that have cost many lives and in­flict­ed se­vere so­cial and eco­nom­ic per­il in coun­tries much more de­vel­oped than ours.

Since the emer­gence of COVID-19, com­par­isons have been made with a pan­dem­ic that oc­curred ear­ly in the 20th cen­tu­ry, the un­fair­ly named Span­ish Flu of 1918 which killed more than 50 mil­lion peo­ple, ap­prox­i­mate­ly 2.1 per cent of the world’s pop­u­la­tion at the time. That is much more than the 4,167,663 fa­tal­i­ties from COVID-19 so far.

That pan­dem­ic arose in three waves, with the sec­ond be­ing the dead­liest and there were re­ports of a fourth wave in some coun­tries two years af­ter the first out­break.

There have been oth­er pan­demics since, but none have been as dead­ly. How­ev­er, look­ing back in his­to­ry, there was an out­break of lep­rosy which grew in­to a pan­dem­ic in Eu­rope in the Mid­dle Ages; the bubon­ic plague that killed an es­ti­mat­ed 25 mil­lion peo­ple in Eu­rope; and sev­en cholera pan­demics that have oc­curred since the 17th cen­tu­ry.

In mod­ern his­to­ry, the HIV (Hu­man Im­mun­od­e­fi­cien­cy Virus) that emerged in 1981 and has in­fect­ed 65 mil­lion peo­ple world­wide, is yet to be erad­i­cat­ed.

How­ev­er, the more im­mi­nent threat comes from two oc­cur­ring con­cur­rent­ly with COVID-19—the pan­dem­ic of the un­vac­ci­nat­ed and the pan­dem­ic of mis­in­for­ma­tion.

One is ac­tive­ly be­ing tack­led with sup­port from pri­vate sec­tor groups and their armies of vol­un­teers at mass vac­ci­na­tion sites across the coun­try. The oth­er, un­for­tu­nate­ly, con­tin­ues to thrive on so­cial me­dia and has the po­ten­tial to de­rail much of the progress made in the fight against COVID-19.

It must be ad­dressed ur­gent­ly and force­ful­ly.

Más de tips Femeninos