Muscat, Dec 14 - It appears within much of the community that the threat of COVID-19 is a thing of the past, given the clear lack of respect for social distancing and masking precautions evidenced during recent days.
Perhaps swayed towards laxity by the production of COVID-19 vaccines around the world, and the beginning of vaccine distribution and vaccination programmes in Russia, the UK, the US, local compliance has very much fallen to levels which can only be dangerous. A short informal survey, nevertheless, accurate has revealed that most of the population considers the danger has passed, yet that is far from true.
The concerned authorities must indeed be concerned. They should roll out an action plan for the inoculation of the population sufficient to achieve an acceptable level of herd immunity.
The issue with herd immunity however is that it, in theory according to the World Health Organization (WHO), requires a total 95 per cent inoculation before the whole society is considered sufficiently protected. Global seroprevalence surveys indicate that, give or take, 10 per cent of the population has been exposed to COVID-19 to date and has developed the antibodies and an immune response, therefore the shortfall of 85 per cent must be vaccinated.
The WHO’s Chief Scientist, Dr Soumya Swaminathan, cautions however that COVID-19 is so new, and we are still learning about it, that we don’t yet know “how strong or lasting is the immune response.” We do know, for instance, that resistance to the related SARS and MERS immunities decline over time. In the realm of COVID-19 future predictions, given we know so little about it, are a dangerous game
It is about recognising the expertise of those who have all the data and placing our trust in them.
For now, though please Oman, continue to wash or glove those hands, social distance because there is safety in space, and wear those masks. Playing chance with your own health may well be your choice, but playing with others, is not!