The war with COVID-19 rebounds

The war with COVID-19 rebounds

MISE & Agrave; DAY

The European Union has closed its border to travelers from southern Africa. For once, the government of Justin Trudeau did not drag its feet and did the same. & nbsp;

The extreme and rapid reaction of several countries closing their borders following the discovery of a potentially dangerous variant in South Africa speaks volumes about the risks of the pandemic rebounding due to a dangerous mutation of COVID- 19. No one dares to believe that stopping travelers from southern Africa will be enough to stop the spread of the new variant. More than ever, if we are to hope for the best, we must also expect the worst.

1. How dangerous is the new variant? & nbsp;

It is not clear to what extent the new variant discovered in South Africa is really dangerous. Experts estimate that the South African variant would bypass some of the immune barriers and reduce the effectiveness of major vaccines to 40%. If so, a booster vaccine that targets the new variant could arguably be developed fairly quickly. But given the vulnerability of humans to certain mutations of COVID-19, this would confirm that we are engaged in a long war that could last for years.

2. How to fight against the pandemic? & nbsp;

If the South African variant turns out to be as dangerous as it is feared, the solution of Austria and China, which have imposed compulsory vaccination, will become universal. Vaccination should also be readily available in all countries of the world. Just like the polio vaccine that ended up eradicating this disease from almost the entire face of the earth. Strains of polio survived in Afghanistan and Pakistan, as well as, for a time, among communities that refused vaccination. In the 1960s, the polio vaccine became compulsory in industrialized countries. A mandatory vaccine is therefore nothing new or dangerous for human rights. (Technology was less advanced then than it is today, and the right vaccines were discovered after several years of trial and error).

3. What will be the effects on the economy? & nbsp;

If ever dangerous variants arise, it will be necessary to forget for years the cruises and other activities which require that large crowds be concentrated in one place. Sorry for festivals of all kinds. Problems in production chains and in supply chains will continue. And economies will play accordion, rapidly alternating periods of high growth with periods of low growth.

4. How could governments help counter new crises? & nbsp;

Governments could not repeatedly help citizens and businesses with generous grants, because their indebtedness would become monstrous. Fortunately, the first waves of COVID-19 have allowed several countries to adapt. But some sectors such as tourism and culture would still be severely affected.

5. Why prepare now? & nbsp;

Two years ago, when the pandemic began, it was hoped that it would be short-lived. Hope that the pandemic will soon end or decline remains, but it is fading. The unvaccinated and dangerous variants mean that our governments should seriously plan for the possibility of a much longer pandemic and better prepare populations accordingly.

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