Cornered in the COVID-19 pandemic. Is there any way out?
I have a feeling of despair about the future. We are at a critical juncture in the COVID-19 pandemic and it appears that we are cornered.
There is no way to prevent increased mortality, but it is possible for it to be mitigated by having a better understanding of the disease - only possible by focusing on the science through autopsies and ongoing studies. Additionally, it is important to promote and use early treatment.
Omicron continues to circulate. The number of pandemic deaths to date may be a small fraction of the deaths that are likely to occur when a future severe variant hits the general population in a continuous cycle of reinfection.
Continue reading to see my expected morbidity and mortality outcomes by population segment. These are extremely concerning, especially in highly-vaccinated regions where the population is no longer able to achieve herd immunity.
The pandemic has to be faced at some time
We still haven’t achieved herd immunity so the pandemic will continue to evolve and potentially worsen through more dangerous variants. It was a mistake to think that it can be controlled through extensive lockdowns (like what is happening in China with its zero Covid policy). The Omicron variant is just too transmissible to keep in check. Facing the pandemic means that even in a surge of cases and rising deaths, we don’t lock down, but remain open.
The question is when do we face the pandemic? If not now, then when?
There have been 12 billion doses of vaccines delivered across the world. Will they work to mitigate mortality or have we actually compounded the problem?
Lockdowns - the only solution?
Based on the current trajectory of infections and rising deaths in the summer period of the northern hemisphere, there is a strong chance that health systems could become overwhelmed. This situation puts non-Covid admissions at higher risk for adverse outcomes as there are less resources and time available to manage generally unwell patients.