COVID continues to bother us in more ways than one. Besides its severe impact on the health of patients, it has economic repercussions as well that cannot be ignored by governments that are struggling to come to grips with this deadly pandemic. There are many aspects to this and we shall look into what were some of the key stories for it this week.
Firstly, COVID 19 is continuing to be the root cause of the cancellation of a lot of flights to and from the UK where according to new rule, masks were no longer mandatory. Interestingly some “leaders” in the US are also lobbying for the same rule, which if it comes into effect will no doubt lead to a rise in COVID cases yet again. Is this good for “Corporate America”? We think not.
This Friday, there were a lot of cancellations of Easter flights from two of the biggest airlines in the UK, easyJet and British Airways to the tune of more than 100 flights. What was the reason for these cancellations? It turns out that these airlines had a shortage of staff due to COVID-related illnesses. If the staff themselves is sick, it is hardly surprising that a good number of the general people are down with COVID as well, in the absence of social distancing, sanitizing, and wearing masks as protective measures.
The US President Is Safe
Meanwhile, in the US, the White House representative admitted that President Joe Biden himself could fall victim to COVID-19 because there was an increase of the viral disease in his immediate staff. However, the representative also announced that the president has taken the requisite steps to protect himself, including vaccination and booster doses so that he is immune to the more virulent strains of the virus. The last COVID-19 test on Biden was on Wednesday evening when he tested negative.
The White House had also been asked about an event on Friday that will celebrate the confirmation of Ketanji Brown Jackson to the annals of the Supreme Court. This celebration might have its consequences in the form of many people congregating in the same place without suitable protective measures which signals their lack of awareness about the COVID disease and also seem to point out the fact that they believe the virus is yesterday’s news. Or perhaps, the manipulation of the numbers holds true?
The CDC (Center for Diseases Control) was quoted on Friday as saying that as of April 7th, 2022, in excess of 99% of the population of the US is living in a location that has either a low or a medium COVID19 community level. Cut to a case of a 10-year-old child who reported to the doctors with many symptoms like POTS, gastroparesis, pericarditis, and encephalopathy, and all that was done was that a psychiatrist visited her without her going through a COVID test. This is indeed a horrible precedent.
In spite of the piling evidence, the CDC is still in the process of promoting a very dangerous practice of asking for 5-day isolation without a COVID test. This essentially means that if you have symptoms of COVID, however significant, you are required to self-isolate yourself for 5 days before going in for a COVID test. And God help you if you have severe symptoms, you are left on your own, or you have to visit the local hospital wherein all probability the beds are full so they cannot admit you. This is very counterintuitive move when over 70% of people who have had the booster shot are still very infectious even after a period of 5 days.
Aerosols Are….Finally the Main Cause of COVID Transmission
In the last few days, official acknowledgment finally came from the government that aerosols are the main cause of transmission. When you deem that COVID is transmitted through aerosols, it also puts a huge economic burden on business places as well as schools and colleges along with other indoor venues. People have to be careful to have proper masking in place, as well as revamping air systems along with the addition of well-administered ventilation and filtration systems.
The head of the OSTP (Office of Science and Technology) and a deputy assistant to the President of the USA in a recent statement said that the commonest way of COVID-19 transmission is through tiny aerosols that remain in the room that hang around for minutes, and even hours after the infected person has left the room. Her admission comes on the back of what scientists and researchers have discovered back in 2020 but this information was not sent out to the public for several months after that. Again, a highly irresponsible move, one that likely has costed the lives of thousands of people who would have been safe had they known the right measures of protection through wearing masks.
Will Shanghai be China’s Tipping Point?
China reported 27,509 new coronavirus cases today, the biggest one-day increase on record. Shanghai accounted for 95% of new cases and reported 26,087 new coronavirus cases, the biggest one-day increase on record, with 26 million people on lockdown. Authorities in Shanghai will conduct a new round of mass COVID-19 testing, the results of which will help to determine new zoning classifications in the city. The city’s residential compounds, villages and business locations will be classified into three types of zones: lockdown, control and precaution.
Under the city’s new zoning strategy, residents living in locked-down areas will remain barred from leaving their homes, while those in control zones will be allowed to move around within their compounds. People in the precautionary zones will be able to move around these areas. But, whether that comes to reality, is yet to be seen, as the cases have only escalated to date. The Chinese government has maintained a strict “zero-COVID” policy which has also led to a whole new set of issues caused by this lockdown like food shortages, And, now every day seems to become Shanghai’s new tipping point.
Two years into the pandemic and the US public is still largely at sea because there is no public health warning about the different side effects as well as adverse effects of COVID transmission and infection. It is known that these adverse effects happen in around 10-30% of cases of those down with COVID, and for 85% of the people with COVID, it has symptoms that last for at least one year. So when you say “personal choice” when it comes to you wearing a mask and taking adequate protection outdoors, weigh it carefully for the consequences can be heavy.
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