Six weeks after the third edition, the world has changed again.
The pandemic is raging in South America, particularly in Brazil,
Ecuador and Peru. SARS-CoV-2 is under control in China, but in
Iran it is not. And in Europe, where most countries have weathered
the first wave and open borders to save a compromised tourist season, is now wondering if and for how long this biological
drôle de guerre could last.
Science has moved ahead, too. We have seen a more complex
picture of COVID-19 and new clinical syndromes; the first data
from vaccine trials; first results from randomized controlled
drug studies; encouraging publications on monoclonal neutralizing antibodies and serological evidence about the number of people who have come into contact with SARS-CoV-2. Unfortunately, we have also seen the first science scandal with fake data published in highly ranked journals. And we face new challenges like long-term effects of COVID-19 and a Kawasaki-like inflammatory multisystem syndrome in children.
For quite some time, prevention will continue to be the primary
pillar of pandemic control. In future waves of the SARS-CoV-2
pandemic, we will focus on the conditions under which SARSCoV-
2 is best transmitted: crowded, closed (and noisy) places and
spaces. Although hospitals are not noisy, they are crowded and
closed, and the battle against the new coronavirus will be decided
at the very center of our healthcare system. Over the next
months and maybe years, one of all of our top priorities will be
to give all healthcare workers and patients perfect personal protective equipment.
In 2014 there were numerous reports of mass hysteria and mystery illnesses spreading around the small town of El Carmen De Bolivar, Colombia. According to an article published by CBS, there was a steady increase of young women being hospitalized in this small town, all of which reported the same symptoms of fainting, numbness and tingling of the hands and feet, and headaches. Speculations about the Gardasil vaccination arose, but were disregarded by the mayor of the town stating that “there is no evidence the vaccine, which has undergone extensive testing and regulation is to blame” (CBS, 2014). According to this statement, he is not necessarily wrong, because the clinical trials of this vaccine have been proven to have misleading conclusions due to errors in the study design.
In all of U.S. history, we have never seen anything like “the mass exodus of 2020”. Hundreds of thousands of people are leaving the major cities on both coasts in search of a better life. Homelessness, crime and drug use were already on the rise in many of our large cities prior to 2020, but many big-city residents were willing to put up with a certain amount of chaos in order to maintain their lifestyles. However, the #COVID19 pandemic and months of #civilunrest have finally pushed a lot of people over the edge. Moving companies on both coasts are doing a booming business as wealthy and middle-class families flee at a blistering pace, and most of those families do not plan to ever return.