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Monday, 8 February 2021

We’re going to have to learn to live with covid

We’re going to have to get used to living with covid for many, many years to come — but that doesn’t necessarily mean a lifetime of lockdown measures, the Wall Street Journal writes this morning in one of the smartest pieces about the pandemic that we’ve read in ages.

The bottom line: “The pathogen will circulate for years, or even decades, leaving society to coexist with Covid-19 much as it does with other endemic diseases like flu, measles, and HIV.”

We need to get to the acceptance stage sooner rather than later, suggests a former director of the US Centers for Disease Control: “Going through the five phases of grief, we need to come to the acceptance phase that our lives are not going to be the same. I don’t think the world has really absorbed the fact that these are long-term changes.

It’s not all doom and gloom: Vaccines and masking are key to being able to go about our daily lives in a more normal way. Look at Israel: The vaccine has proven “so effective at preventing severe disease and slashing hospitalizations and deaths [that] hospitalizations have already fallen 30% in Israel after it vaccinated a third of its population. Deaths there are expected to plummet in weeks ahead.”

You can expect to have to take an annual booster and maybe even an annual jab on top of that: A “booster in the autumn,” followed by annual vaccination could help fight new strains of the virus in the years ahead, UK’s vaccine minister Nadhim Zahawi told the BBC.

Why? We’ve already found that the Oxford / AstraZeneca jab is ineffective against the South African strain of covid, sending researchers back to the drawing board for a new shot, BBC reports.

Meanwhile: Dubai has got it right: It’s pledging to vaccinate all eligible adults against covid-19 this year, Amer Sharif, head of the emirate’s covid-19 command and control center, told Bloomberg TV. Also in the UAE: Abu Dhabi reimposed yesterday sweeping restrictions amid a resurgence of the virus. Gatherings have been banned, cinemas shut, and strict new capacity limits have been introduced on public transportation and non-essential services.

HERE AT HOME: The Health Ministry reported 534 new covid-19 infections yesterday, up from 509 the day before. The ministry also reported 47 new deaths, bringing the country’s total death toll to 9,651. Egypt has now disclosed a total of 169,640 confirmed cases of covid-19.

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