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COVID-19 Vaccine Updates
(With inputs from Dr Viraj Suvarna)
829: Extending Lockdown not the answer: Living with Corona 1.0 is the answer
How long can we continue lockdown? 54 days are enough to learn and get prepared. We all know that prevention with physical distancing and hand hygiene is the only vaccine.
At some point, people will have to get out. The time we get out asymptomatic cases will spread the infection to others and some of them will become symptomatic. They will be tested and if positive, isolated while their close contacts will also be tested and home quarantined. The answer is only timely and mandatory contact tracing of all symptomatic cases and act on them.
A peak will be reached and then it will decline. The earlier a state achieves the peak the better it will be for its economy. Remember most young people, unless you deploy army or strict discipline, will not observe the lockdown.
For them, getting 14 days of isolation when positive is better than 54 days of lockdown with still a chance of ending up with another 14 days of isolation when they actually get the disease.
The monsoon and then the winter, both with high humidity, will bring its own share of problems. Today we have nearly 60,000 cases. They will double over-time and so on. One can only postpone or delay the inevitable by a few days. The doubling rate of the whole world is around 11 days. You can delay it by a few days only.
Lockdown success depends on the density of the population. In an HCFI study, we found that states with an average population density of more than 1000/sq. km (1185) had 2048 average number of cases, while states with a population density of < 1000/sq. km (909) had only 56. When Chandigarh and Pondicherry with high population density were taken out from these states, the average density fell to 217/sq. km and the average numbers to only 35.
Density is linked to the migrant population. Many metros in India, including Mumbai, have so much migrant population that it is impossible for any administration or healthcare system to force physical distancing of six feet effectively. This is also evident from that in India, only 7 states with the highest density/sq. km population are the most affected.
We must follow living with “Corona 1.0” and start doing our own work and not depend so heavily on people from outside. The population density is such that physical distancing of six feet may not be possible. Maid servants from high-density areas and such slums routinely come and work in flats of high-rise buildings.
Let us reopen the country the way the US is reopening. They are not bothered even if more than a lakh Americans die. We too will have to learn to live with the virus and learn how not to die from the virus.
The young, fit and healthy will get mild infections, recover, be protected with neutralizing antibodies and they can then go to work and mingle in the community and contribute to natural herd immunity and even provide plasma for treatment of serious COVID-19 patients.
The elderly, with co-morbidity, and immunocompromised can stay at home protected by physical distancing, masks, goggles, sanitizers, disinfectants, etc. The vaccine will take time though ChadOx1 will come by September?
More the people get infected, the more will be the ones who have recovered and more will be the plasma donors available to the community. At that time, we may even think of considering early plasma therapy of high-risk cases.
Finally, according to me, we must make Corona our friend and listen to him what he wants. Why can’t we agree with his (CORONA’s) conditions and let him live!
Corona just wants a friendship with you and says just follow my following advises:
- If you do not want me to attack you, then do not allow my competitors to come and stay in your body. Wash your hands regularly and get rid of my competitors like typhoid bacteria, food poisoning, and diarrhea organisms, viral hepatitis and A and E viruses, etc. Clean your surfaces and all products with 0.1% bleach and other sanitizers. If you do not allow them, I will also not enter your body. I hate my competitors.
- Similarly, eradicate TB bacilli from entering your body. “Agar main nahi to vo bhi nahi: If I am not there, then I do not want him also to be there.” For this, just follow six feet social distancing, respiratory hygiene, cough etiquette, and proper sputum disposal.
- Respect the elderly and make them sit at a high place. Do not talk to them face to face, do not allow them to do the public meetings, instead make them advisors.
- Respect all visitors ‘athithis’. I like to come with them. Respect them by washing their feet, hands, and mouth and then give them also a place to sit higher than your sitting place.
- I also like AC places and want to rest there. Let me rest there in peace and do not disturb me and just maintain a distance of six feet from each other and keep your hands covered with gloves.
- Remember, “meri 2-3 din ki jindagi hei, mujhe bhi jine do.” I am here in this universe to live only for few hours or few days. Let me enjoy life and do not disturb me. I only like to be left alone.
- By any chance if you cannot maintain an adequate six feet distance, mask yourself and do not allow me to enter your mucus membrane of the nose, mouth, and eyes. I hate people who try to unmask their noses when they try to talk. I also hate people who cough and sneeze as they are forcing me to enter your nose. It is better to stay masked if you want me to live outside your body.
- I do not want to live longer and suffer. For me living in the body is a curse. Do not force me to stay in your infected body for weeks. Why can’t you people keep your blood pressure, blood sugar, and heart failure under control. In that situation, I will get liberated in less than 2 weeks only. Why cant you build up your immunity, practice deep breathing exercises and prone sleeping so that I do not have to suffer for weeks inside your body.
- Even if you force me (by not following my advice) to enter your body and spend two weeks in your body, just give that two weeks to me. I like isolation and do not want people to listen to our talks. During that period, just let me interact with you and silently teach you your purpose of life. I will still allow you to meet people virtually. I will teach you about a good and simple lifestyle. I will teach you how to get rid of pollution. Once you have learned that I will go away, get liberated, and will not come back again.
- So just enjoy your life, live with me, let me also enjoy my few moments of life. Be friendly with me and do not allow me to become your enemy.
Dr KK Aggarwal
President CMAAO, HCFI and Past National President IMA