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GEOPOLITICS & COVID-19: The new normal if Coronavirus is here to stay ...?

GEOPOLITICS & COVID-19: What will be the new normal if Coronavirus is here to stay ...?
By Iain Fraser - Consultant Editor, GEOPoliticalMatters.com
Malaga Technology Centre

The World Health Organisation [WHO] has issued a grave warning that the coronavirus "may never go away" in yesterdays [Wednesday, 13 May 2020] online briefing.

WHO executive director Dr Mike Ryan warned against trying to predict when the virus would disappear, adding that even if a vaccine is found, controlling the virus will require a "massive effort" globally.

In the most stark warning to date from the WHO, Dr Ryan said “It is important to put this on the table: this virus may become just another endemic virus in our communities, and this virus may never go away,” "HIV has not gone away - but we have come to terms with the virus." he told the online audience.

He went on to say “I think it is important we are realistic and I don’t think anyone can predict when this disease will disappear,” “I think there are no promises in this and there are no dates. This disease may settle into a long problem, or it may not be.”

Ryan said “very significant control” of the virus was required in order to lower the assessment of risk, which he said remained high at “national, regional and global levels”.

To date, almost 300,000 people worldwide are reported to have died with coronavirus, and more than 4.3m cases recorded.

Meanwhile, the UN has warned that the pandemic is causing widespread mental health issues. Mental well-being is suffering particularly in, but not restricted to, countries where there's a lack of investment in mental healthcare. A point highlighted even before the outbreak in the UK with various multi-channel broadcasts.

The UK broadcaster, ITV is using its reach and scale to support mental well-being during the coronavirus pandemic, with another film due set to encourage people to reach out to elderly or vulnerable neighbours.

The UN statement urged governments worldwide to make mental health consideration a vital part of their overall response to the pandemic.

It is general consensus that the virus is not just going to go away. It will not abate until a proven vaccine is developed. But it doesn't just need to be developed, it obviously must be subject to rigorous trials and thereafter, if the the trials prove successful, it needs to be manufactured and rolled out in unprecedented numbers. With the world´s population standing at 7.8 billion in 2020, the task is monumental and the very logistics could take years for the entire population to be vaccinated, even if the "military machine" is mobilised to spearhead the vaccination program.

There are currently more than 100 potential Covid-19 vaccines in development, however, the successful "rollout" wont, like other vaccines be a total panacea, in the same was as vaccines for other viruses such as measles, haven't eradicated it.

Only this morning, [Thursday, 14 May 2020] a test to find out whether people have been infected with coronavirus in the past has been approved by Public Health England.  The antibody test, developed by Swiss pharma company Roche, has been described as a "very positive development".

The blood test looks for antibodies to see if a person has already had the virus and might now have some immunity. However, until now, officials have said such tests are not reliable enough. The UK government has already spent a reported £16m buying antibody tests which later proved to be totally ineffective.

Antibodies are made by our immune system as it learns to fight an infection. While finding antibodies that attack the coronavirus show that a person has been infected by the virus in the past, they are no guarantee that the individual is protected against catching coronavirus in the future.

The Roche breakthrough has been rigorously tested by the UK Governments Defence Science and Technology Laboratory [DSTL] at Porton Down. It found that if someone had been infected, it gave the correct result 100% of the time. The developer, Roche has said if someone had not caught coronavirus then it gave the correct result more than 99.8% of the time.

The So-called New Normal
Reading between the lines it looks like we all may have to go to the doctor once a year to have the Covid-19 vaccine for the foreseeable future, in the same way as "risk-groups" have to have an influenza jab every year. Alluding back to my article at the beginning of the outbreak that "Coronavirus is the 9/11 for the 2020´s" There will be no going back to normal and by the time the world is ready to revert to our old life there will be a "new normal" which must include some form social distancing.

If social distancing does indeed become the new normal, then the already fractured global economy will struggle for maybe a decade, or more, with industries like, aviation and hospitality never truly recovering from the global pandemic. After all, budget airlines rely on "bums on seats" and quick turnaround to be able offer cheap flights.

As usual, I and the Newsteam at GEOPoliticalMatters.com will aim to keep readers updated with the latest "fact Checked" News, Information & Data. To receive our breaking news alerts direct to your inbox to Register Free Here.

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