What it means to “live with the virus”

What it means to live with the virus

BET & Agrave; DAY

The arrival of a new variant of COVID-19 has had the effect of a cold shower for countless Quebecers, who dream of a return to a normal life. After almost two years of pandemic, the authorities repeat that it is necessary to “live with the virus”, and according to the experts consulted by The Journal , it also means to take your illness patiently and “to learn to avoid it”.

It could fade away & nbsp;

The epidemiologist at the National Institute of Public Health of Quebec (INSPQ) Gaston De Serres explains that during a first infection, the COVID-19 can be very severe. But he adds that the risk of complications is much lower with re-infection. The same happens with winter viruses that our bodies get used to dealing with as adults, he illustrates.

On the other hand, the risks of the “long COVID” should not be minimized, he continues. & Nbsp;

The director of the Montreal Clinical Research Institute (IRCM), André Veillette, also emphasizes that drugs will eventually be added to the arsenal against the virus.

“Vaccines are important to maintain protection,” he says, adding that a third dose is inevitable. & nbsp ;

The fight against the coronavirus could also take the form of an annual booster dose. & nbsp;

The mask is here for good & nbsp;

“The mask, we will keep it in our bags for a long time […]. It is the means of protection that we will keep with us the longest, ”emphasizes epidemiologist Nimâ Machouf.

Without necessarily wearing it constantly, she believes that it will remain a tool when a no one will end up in a place that they believe is poorly ventilated or too busy.

Because the virus is transmitted mainly in the air, she recalls, and not on soiled surfaces, for example.

“Two years ago, we looked at people with masks askew . But today, they are people who are seen as responsible and want to protect those around them. It would not surprise me that it remains in the mores, adds Roxane Borgès Da Silva, of the School of Public Health of the University of Montreal. & Nbsp;

Less travel & nbsp; & nbsp;

“To travel now is to expose yourself to more risk. Risks for her health, but also financial, ”argues Ms. Borgès Da Silva.

She cites as an example the need to extend — a stay of two weeks in the event of infection for isolation, hospital costs, absences from work.

The appearance of the Omicron variant has suddenly led to the closure of certain borders, a situation that could be called to recur.

“We will not have collective immunity until 80% of the [entire] world is vaccinated,” recalls Dr. Machouf. & Nbsp;

Do not count < strong> on rapid tests & nbsp;

For Dr. Nimâ Machouf, even if the rapid test is a good way to detect COVID-19, it is still too expensive here to be deployed in large scale. She believes that at around $ 10 a test, no event will add her to her kit.

The Quebec government has announced that they will now be available in schools. A good idea, believes Dr. Machouf, who emphasizes that millions of these tests are sleeping on the shelves and that it is better to take them before they expire.

For André Veillette, if the price As in Europe, rapid tests could become more widespread. & nbsp;

Riding the waves & nbsp;

For two years, COVID-19 appears in waves and researcher André Veillette believes that it will be necessary to monitor them to dictate the behaviors to be adopted.

When the virus is poorly circulating, people could let it go, for example. And when the virus returns, the vaccine passport could resume service.

It will therefore be necessary for the public health authorities to continue to carry out epidemiological surveillance, whether through tests or in wastewater to detect the presence of the virus.

“Living with the virus is learning how to avoid it, but if you ever meet it, to be as protected as possible”, mentions he, whether wearing the mask or being vaccinated, in particular.

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