The ever-changing game called COVID-19

With the advent of second wave of COVID-19 (in some places third/ fourth), every single position/theory about its spread has collapsed and rules are reversed. This has taken long to happen and hundreds of people have lost their lives.

Even during first wave we ignored COVID protocols, not worn masks, gathered in crowded places, etc. The irresponsibility of the public hasn’t changed yet and numbers have gone up. One view is about a new variant, which is responsible for this spread.

Coping with COVID mutants

Quick action is required; when UK discovered a highly transmissible variant (‘Kent’) it    locked down the country and speeded vaccinations. Now UK is slowly returning to normal.  However, all countries aren’t doing that is because they are unsure if a variant is responsible and the crucial research is still incomplete.

The next logical thing is to step up vaccination for all. Recent experience shows us that even if you have had both your jabs you might still get COVID, but doctors still say vaccines make the impact of the disease less serious.

Changing views

The old view was that COVID spreads through surfaces and big droplets and if you used sanitizers  and maintained social distancing, you were fine. The sanitizers would disinfect the surfaces and the droplets would fall to the ground before they could reach anyone who maintained social distancing.    

The new view is that it is actually very difficult to get infections from surfaces making sanitizers of limited use and one just has to wash hands thoroughly with regular soap and water.

Now we are back to the basic rule – wear masks. Ideally N 95 masks or two regular masks at the same time. We now know that COVID-19 does not spread through large droplets that fall to the floor. Primarily the   cause of infection is through the breath which comes out in a spray, full of micro-particles that may linger in the air. However, if the affected person is wearing a mask, he does not spray as many micro-particles and if you are wearing a mask would not inhale them.

If you have to take off your mask, make sure the other person is wearing one. Even if the person who you are exposed to has been vaccinated, work on the assumption that he or she could be COVID positive. Also, a person may have COVID and be totally asymptomatic and still be infectious.

It was also noted that during the first wave, children did not seem to get COVID . Older people were at much more risk of infection. But in this wave, all ages are at risk.

Things should improve once many more people are vaccinated. But even if all goes well, we will not get to a stage where it makes much difference till September-October.

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