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SARS-CoV-2 or Novel Coronavirus, the invisible enemy no one of us knew about three
months ago. Do you remember last Christmas and New Year celebration? The world
you and I lived was quite different. Some of us, had a few concerns, perhaps some of
them were serious. However, most likely none of them was a matter of life or death.
As of the moment I am writing this article (midday of March 28, 2020) the are 622,636
confirmed cases of covid-19 in the world with 28, 658 people death and 134,444
people recovered from the illness. Now, let me tell you that these numbers are valid
for only a moment. As you read these lines, this figures are no longer valid.
Today and looking through the rear-view mirror to the past, we observe that several
scientists in the area of epidemiology and many health experts did publish books and
white papers warning us about the possibility of a pandemic such as the one we are
Bill Gates has been telling anyone who would listen the story and the warning of a pandemic for years. Mr. Gates has at least 18 million viewers of his
There was no one listening, no government paid attention, no one in the political arena cared about the warning. There is nothing to do about it. Lessons
will be learned. We all hope that politicians are learning a very costly lesson. The most expensive and devastating experience in many years.
It seems like no one country was prepared for something like this experience. Not
even the leader of the world.
The health system here in the United States has no capacity to offer service to the
number of new cases as they emerge. We can see what the conditions are in the city
of New York is today. Due to the overcrowding of the population, New York City has
one of the highest virus-spreading rates than other cities in the country.
If we keep looking through the rear-view mirror to the past, imagine that in February
(2020), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention developed and distributed a
faulty test kit. Private labs came to the scene developing their own version,
unfortunately the gigantic FDA bureaucracy forces these to be at the field later in the
game. Another lesson to learn.
I could continue listing fact after fact of the many examples of lacking in
preparedness and planning and of the many mistakes committed during the last
three or even four months. I am sure all this will be the subject of analysis for years to come.
What is the end?
What I want to address is what many of us have asked: What will be the end of this nightmare?
Whatever options we could visualize, they are to be created in facts about the Novel Coronavirus, about the Covid-19 and of the economic impact the
pandemic and the fight we are mounting against the spread of the virus could have in us and in our social structure.
There are four pillars in the fight against the virus and against the illness it produces:
First, authorities have declared state of quarantine for us to remaining at home as the
only measure to stop the spread of the virus to others or for you and I not to get the
virus from other individual. What we have called social distance, instead of physical
This is of the most important because by doing this, two objectives are achieved: We
stop the spread of the virus and we give the unprepared and inadequate national
health system the opportunity of not collapsing.
President Trump, based on the recommendation of his health advisors, specially Dr.
Anthony Fauci has extended the protocol to the end of April.
Second, by stopping the spread of the virus, we may gain time to plan an adequate
cycle of re-opening the economy back and forth based on how high or how fast the
virus emerges again.
Third, the ultimate fixing of the issue is the production of a vaccine. Now this takes some time and some understanding as to what is happening today.
To begin with, a vaccine is about eighteen months from now. To arrive to the actual vaccine is a long project. The production of a vaccine is another long
Here you have a bit of data. The company Moderna and the National Institutes of Health created a potential vaccine on Monday of this week. There is an
initial trial that tells researches if the vaccine seems safe, and if it can actually mobilize the immune system. Then they will check if the vaccine actually
prevents infection from the virus and after this, a larger animal-based trial will be conducted to see if there are side effects to the vaccine.
Then, to make a long story short, the mass production of the vaccine may take some additional time due to the fact that Moderna is doing this vaccine
using a “new approach” and thus, no one else will have this ‘know-how’. Eventually other pharmaceuticals will get the knowledge, but as you guested it,
it will take some time.
Fourth. This is a conditional path to all of us. If the entire population of the nation follows the “stay-home’ and ‘social distance’ protocols as rigorous as
possible, then, the spread of the virus will be reduced, and the number of infected individuals will be also reduced.
Notice that the Chinese did this for 10 weeks, this is two and a half months and they totally stopped the spreading of the virus.
However, this does not mean the game is over. As long as the virus is present somewhere, local new infections are possible, and travelers will import the
virus to other places.
Now, if large pockets of the population do not follow the protocols, by the end of April we will see a completely different scenario. One in which the
spread of the virus and the number of infections is so large that the health system will be insufficient of providing care to a large portion of the
As we can see, what we are doing as a nation, is not exactly what others have done to stop the spreading of the virus. Second, we may be doing all we
are doing a bit late and third, we may not be enforcing the protocols strict enough.
Potential results by the end of April: Unsure.
What after April?
If the spread of the virus has practically stopped and the number of infected individuals tend to decrease significantly, several cities will reopen.
Hopefully under a very strict protocols of social gatherings across the board. This shall include, all service businesses, transportation, public areas, places
of worship and offices in general.
If by the contrary, the numbers are not the expected, then you and I will stay at home for another unknown period of time!
This is a subject all of us want to fully visualize. We want to know what the future to our local economy is, wherever is that your home is.
There are as many answers as specialists in the matter you could ask. Since the economic wheel of the nation has decreased its turning dramatically, the
impact will be very costly. This decreased of economic productivity will generate insurmountable conditions for several businesses to keep their doors
A few days ago, about one in five people in the United States have lost working hours or jobs. This may have changed this very day.
After the nightmare is over, we will perhaps witness a second wave of health issues: mental health problems as a result of the stress, social distancing,
and fear that many are experiencing.
In addition, our behavior may have changed for a long, long time of perhaps forever. Hugging, chick-kissing, handshake, embracing, seating close to each
other and other social rituals are now linked to unsafe, dangerous and unwanted practices.
The Silver Lining
What I have seen in my community is something extraordinary. Although we are distant from one another, we are now embracing a closer solidarity. I
have several times open the front door of my house to find a package of food items, alcohol, even a few rolls of toilet paper. No note, no message, no
identification, only the goods, the wonderful intention and the high spirits to do something like that!
What is moving people to do this, is the source we will employed to restart turning the wheel faster and better of what we had before the invader Novel
March 28 2020
By F. Chaparro
Covid-19 The Invisible Enemy…
What Will Be The End?
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