With a new wave of the Coronavirus attempting to take hold of many countries, I thought it might be a good idea to re-publish with some updates, the series of articles I wrote on the subject a few months ago. These will appear on my Blog at https://johnpullenwriter.com/ each day this week. But first, I’d like to give a personal view and analogy on where we are in this pandemic. These are my personal views but the science on this subject comes from research into what some of our leading scientists think and report.
Back in the early 1990s I was researching for a possible TV documentary into Level 4 viruses. These are the most deadly on the planet and included Ebola for example. It is an interest I’ve maintained over the years and part of my research included finding a Global Threat List which is published each year. It lists in order of danger what threats the human race might have to face. It includes nuclear war, famine, natural disasters and even asteroid strikes. But the one that was at the top of the list over all the years was a global viral pandemic. And now we have one.
So how should we consider the position we all find ourselves in? I personally look on this as a war; a war just as deadly as any in the past. But our enemy is not another country; it is an invisible enemy which only wishes to reproduce at any cost including ending the life of its host, in other words, you and me.
It appears to have come from the Far East in late 2019 and soon spread throughout most of the planet. In the UK, the English Channel was not able to keep the enemy at bay as it did in 1940. It is here among us, and this time the new Battle of Britain, 80 years on, is now being fought not in the air, but in our schools, workplaces, bars and most importantly, in our own homes. It doesn’t differentiate between friend and foe; we are all under attack and there is virtually nowhere which is 100% safe.
As in any war, the first casualty is truth. And it is no different this time except that I believe no one is openly lying to us. However, the governments and many scientists do not have a clear strategy to get us out of it. That is why we see the “rules” change so often. The attacks by the virus are fast moving and it is hard for the governing authorities to mount a credible defence without “friendly-fire” casualties like jobs and the economy of countries bearing the brunt of lockdowns of varying degrees.
But each one of us is tasked as a soldier fighting this enemy. And we have weapons and tactics to slow the enemy’s advance. Each of us can make a difference by washing hands (the virus is killed when it comes into contact with soap or sanitiser), wearing a mask whenever we are close to people not in our household (most masks protect others, so if everyone wears one, we are all further protected) and keeping a space of 2 metres apart (as much of the virus exists as droplets which are relatively heavy and therefore cannot travel far in the air). These sound simple tactics but they work.
This virus is likely to be around for some time to come. But do not lose hope. We may not have all our “troops” home by Christmas but there is light at the end of the tunnel and it is getting brighter. The production of safe and effective vaccines is moving rapidly. At present, there are about 10 in their final trials and over 100 in earlier stage trials. The scientists who really know about these things are quietly confident that we are getting there. Many vaccines appear to produce the antibodies against the virus and also the T-killer cells, one of our immune system’s most powerful weapons against viral invasion.
So when all about us feels like it is in chaos, take a step back and look at the battlefield objectively. We are under threat but we have strategies which will help to keep us all safe. And besides the vaccines, we have “treatments” being developed all the time. In just the past few weeks there is new research into Vitamin D which might help to ward off the effects of the virus. And there is further research into whether the BCG vaccine against TB might be beneficial if administered as a booster to adults.
Things can appear to be difficult at the present time, but we will get through this. My personal belief is that the cavalry is on its way and it will not be too long before it arrives.