The covid virus never really went away. It waxed and waned, mutated, took the world population unawares, showed the doors of death to hundreds of thousands, left children orphans, women widows, took away earning members of families. It spared neither rich nor poor….It was a great equaliser which brought misery unparalleled. People lost jobs, businesses broke, shook powerful nations and just when we thought we had overcome the virus …….Here comes OMICRON or B .1.1.529.
Its a new, heavily mutated, horrible, fast spreading and perhaps lethal. It is said to present as a mild disease with symptoms being sore muscles and tiredness for a day or two not feeling well. Some might have a slight cough. There are no prominent symptom as per reports from South Africa. Already this is getting governments into frenzy of action to stop it. The medical fraternity , already exhausted has to gear up to face this mutant.
The receptor binding domain (the part of the virus that makes first contact with our body’s cells), is said to have @ 10 mutations compared to just two for the Delta variant that swept the world,supposedly more than 30 mutations of the spike protein, which is the target of most vaccines. The vaccines, which were designed using the original strain, may not be as effective. It is labelled as a variant of concern. How do we face this Omicron?
India too faced the wrath of the virus, yet unlike Europe or America we had lesser mortalities. Our health infrastructure though found lacking initially really moved and upgraded very quickly. The health staff was fantastic, they got the house in order, vaccination too worked at a rapid pace, the citizens, politicians, buisnessmen and medical fraternity heaved half a sigh of relief and then….This.
What should we do??? First, back to basics. Washing hands regularly, use a mask regularly, keep safe distance, take your vaccine shots, vaccinate the aged and vulnerable, avoid crowds, have good ventillation, avoid travel to unwanted or likely infected destinations. Get your plans ready on how to prevent this mutant from penetrating our states. Ensure covid appropriate behaviour is implemented strictly. Ensure all get vaccinated for both the doses and booster too if recommended. Restrict interstate travel to only those who have had both doses of the vaccine. Allow only the vaccinated into public areas like parks and gardens. Auditoriums, malls, cinema halls too should admit only fully vaccinated people and ensure all follow covid appropriate behaviour. Stop spreading rumours, do not panic, stop the whats app factory of unwanted , foolish and unscientific knowledge. Take an oath that we shall not try to make this possible new wave into an opportunity to fill our pockets, taking advantage of the situation .
Over a thousand travellers have reached india from South Africa where this mutant has been tested positive in numerous patients . We will have to ensure that they are quarantined. They should be tested and so should all their contacts, they should not be harrassed . Already two persons who arrived at Bangalore from South Africa have tested positive . Let’s be very vigilant in helping prevent spread else that could spell disaster for us.
Coming to the moot question, if the administration fails in containing it on time, due to their misguided fancy decisions , we are in for trouble. Let the doctors take charge, let them decide what is to be done. Give doctors the full powers, their decision on what and how it should be done should be final…… Please keep the politician and the bureaucrat away from it, they can only add to the confusion.
Looking forwards to the government taking a decision to hand over all decisions and actions to doctors and medical fraternity so that we fight this wave better and help save lives. Let’s accept it, this is a doctor’s domain, they know best. Let’s not allow the doctors to take the backseat.