The UK and the rest of the world are struggling with this virus. We have been woefully unprepared for this pandemic despite constant warnings from the World Health Organization.
The new strain appears to be more infectious, some say by 57% How would we have coped if the virus had been 10 times as infectious, and/or if the mortality rate were not 2% but 20%?
If a worse strain appears in the future we may have the procedures to deal with it;
- the hospitals will have suitable and in-date PPE in store on site
- an automated track and trace is primed and ready to trigger into action
- a system to securely isolate and test incoming travellers is in place.
- facemasks and disinfectant will be rapidly distributed to all household in the UK
- the law is such that people violating the rules will be put into enforced isolation.
But this all depends on the present government not saying “Phew we’re glad that’s over – now back to work as usual. Where can we cut costs?“
It also depends on the government at that time taking a firm hand and not dithering like Johnson and his crew have done.
We will probably, sadly, end up with around 100,000 covid deaths in the UK by the time this virus is beaten. If the more infectious strain had hit us first it would have been a lot worse.
If the next pandemic to hit us is more infectious and/or with a higher mortality than this one, then what we have learned may mean we can manage it far better.
The scientists have come up with amazing new techniques for the rapid development of vaccines, and it will be bytheir efforts that we can get out of this mess. But they cannot work miracles. There will be a minimum time in which a virus can be isolated, identified and a vaccine developed, tested, and distributed.
We have seen how deaths from the less infectious variant went from 24 per day to almost 1000 per day in three weeks thanks to government dithering.
Hopefully, when the next one hits us we will be prepared and we will have methods to constrain the virus until a vaccine is ready.
The lessons learned and the 100,000 deaths this time may save us millions of deaths next time.