February 3, 2023

BENGALURU EXPRESS

Truth Triumphs

Happy New Year 2023?

Fresh national COVID wave is unlikely in India

If global trends continue, it will definitely be a happy new year in 2023 as the end of the pandemic is at hand. The last three years have been Unreal. Vaccines continue to protect us against severe disease, and bivalent vaccines are on the way. A happy new year 2023 indeed!

There is so much to look forward to in 2023 as the world opens up again and Covid-19 becomes endemic. It is important to keep the lessons of the past in mind, and it is still smart to use your mask, especially in crowded gatherings. The new normal is upon us.

Twenty-twenty and Twenty twenty-one. Rhymed so well for the COVID! January 2020, we all hoped, marked the beginning of a brand new decade. The months that went by were horrible. I kept wondering if the year could get any worse! 2020 was a cursed year. Yes, 2020 tested us beyond measure. We had just finished wishing a happy new year to near and dear ones. Trump came and left. A virus unknown to the world a few months back brought the world to its knees. Millions have died contracting the disease.

In the month of January, we started hearing of a certain virus from China that was wreaking havoc. Then came March 24 when the government locked your doors! In June – July we were fighting the stigma of COVID. We had the first-hand knowledge of how bad our health infrastructure was. In October we had gone through the hysteria, denial, and intense sadness in phases. Corona numbers were decreasing to manageable levels. There was a new enthusiasm to live.

No hugs and No handshakes! Smile only behind the masks. More people are washing their hands frequently.
Beginning of 2021 has been worse than 2020. Covid-19 was deadlier and Played havoc. Overwhelmed crematoriums, people dying before they reach treatment, People were begging for air and oxygen.
India is home to some insanely wealthy families. India has the third largest group of rich people after the US and China. India is yet to inculcate a culture of philanthropy among the super-rich. The richest became super rich during COVID pandemic at $141.2 billion. Their increase in wealth was more than enough to pay for a Covid-19 vaccine for all.

COVID Warriors – more than 3 Lakh Doctors and heath workers got infected, hundreds died while fighting the virus. Clearly, the “gods in the white dresses” – and nurses, paramedical workers, ambulance drivers, police – as many social media users termed them – were the real heroes of 2020 and 2021.

The development of the COVID-19 vaccine represents one of the most astounding achievements in modern medical history. Never has a vaccine been developed so quickly. And never did anyone imagine, it could be so effective –90 to 95%. I have received my both shots. I have received my Booster dose as well! I have felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude, elation and relief. I am not alone.
Fresh national COVID wave is unlikely in India

Because of “hybrid immunity” – a combination of immunity acquired through vaccines and the ones acquired through natural infection, through the first, second and third waves.
Next 40 days will be crucial’ is inferred from the patterns of previous COVID waves. Ongoing Covid-19 wave in China has started speculations about a fourth wave in India. Understandably, this has created a bit of panic and apprehension among citizens. India is doing fine, another wave of COVID is unlikely. Remember April-May 2021 – the Delta variant played havoc. China is going through a similar surge- when their population has low levels of exposure to natural infection! This means China will have lots and lots of infections.
Most of China has received two doses of inactivated vaccines but somewhat not as good as mRNA vectored vaccines. As far as we know, there are no new variants. In India we already have XBB and BF.7 – the two being hyped as new monsters – like all Omicron sub-variants, they escape the immune response but are not causing more severe disease than Delta. They have not driven an upsurge in India.

Our population is vaccinated with the primary series. Most infections were during Omicron, and this gives us hybrid immunity. We have the herd immunity! Booster doses on any platform are likely to have an incremental benefit! Indian vaccine have proved to be Robust!
India, is just going through “precautionary and pre-emptive” preparations. Wear Masks! If you have any respiratory infection, stay home. Avoid mass gatherings. Practice Hygiene!

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