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The Virus is not going away – where to from here ?

“My personal thoughts for the day…
There are some terrible harsh realities that the world must accept.
The virus is NOT going away.
The lockdown has been in place, but made us realize that new case numbers persist, and that we are delusional to think we are going to kill this virus.
The lockdown will NOT get rid of the virus.

To this end we have to accept certain realities.

It’s not about getting rid of the virus, it’s about understanding that we will NOT get rid of it for the next year, or more, as it burns it’s way across the world, until we gradually develop a resistance, or even better, some REAL treatments or vaccines against it.
Unfortunately, we will have to literally start normalizing the consequences of the virus. Some people are going to die and we can only do our best to treat them as they come. We have to accept that it’s an ongoing risk for all of us especially the elderly, and social distancing will be needed for the at risk populations.
Other diseases and conditions will also need treatment, and we will see a rebound in these as people start to bring their complaints to the hospitals again.
A country as a whole, and its people, as individuals, cannot continue to exist without income.
We have to resume life and the economy, and the politicians have to start to verbalize this TRUTH. 

This TRUTH, is that the virus is NOT going away for a long time, and that some, but in fact, relatively few people, are going to die, compared to the numbers of infections.

It is VERY important to reassure people that the overwhelming majority of people, in fact more than 95% will be fine.
The virus is much more prevalent than people realize.
Spread is already much more than realized, due to failure to count asymptomatic individuals.
The virus is therefore even LESS lethal than thought, since the true ratio of mortality is overestimated, by not including the asymptomatic, as yet, unknown numbers.
Politically…there will be blame – Who caused this literal viral Chernobyl facing the world  America, China, Italy, WHO ? …. Were countries adequately prepared ? 
The reality is however it was caused – it has happened. We need to learn from it and manage it… and limit the ramifications. 
The reality is that NO country or government could have been prepared for this.
The lockdowns have not worked to CURE the virus. 
The lockdowns did work in one respect…
It helped flatten the curve that has enabled healthcare to cope by lowering the rapid spread and mass presentation of acute illness.
It’s about EXPECTATIONS of the public. 
There is the expectation that the virus will be GONE. It will NOT go in short or medium term.
But the time of lockdowns has passed.

So what is going to happen? What will be the new normal ? 

The virus will stay in the communities, until either natural resistance increases, or less likely, a vaccine is developed.
The virus will spread and many people will get sick, but MOST will be fine.
Some people who are at risk will get the virus, and regrettably may not survive.
We have to accept that it’s an ongoing risk for all of us especially the elderly, and social distancing will be needed for these at risk populations.
  • The economies will have to open up.
  • Life will go on.
  • Humanity will survive.
  • Hopefully humanity will learn from this.
  • Humanity must henceforth look after the entire planet including wildlife, the environment and preserve it.
  • People need to learn the fundamentals of life, especially togetherness and caring and thought for the less fortunate.

There is hope, because at the end, hope is all we as a species have.

The road ahead is going to be very hard.
Keep strong. Keep safe. 
Hold on to your hope.
And for those who have faith…keep that too!
David Gotlieb.
Physician, Rheumatologist.
Cape Town.
April 19th 2020.
Posted on April 20, 2020

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