How Can We Eliminate the Coronavirus (Covid-19) Pandemic?
Yes, we can eradicate Coronavirus (COVID-19) if we wanted to.
We can virtually eradicate the Coronavirus pandemic any moment we choose to. People can go back to their normal lives: travel, job growth, and schools, and other settings. All this can be accomplished within a matter of weeks if everyone decided to.
Case study, New Zealand. In this island nation, life is relatively back to normal after the country’s prime minister communicated that the country was officially Coronavirus free a few months back. Some people may say that this is not a fair representation since New Zealand is a relatively small country and does not share any land neighbors like other nations that have ten times their land size and population. Ok. What about Germany? It is not an island nation, it is large, and has a growing diversity but has managed to bring their coronavirus crisis into a manageable level. Still don’t like the comparison? What of nations that have experienced greater problems? There is Italy, Spain, and France. These nations were relatively worst hit at around the same period most nations like the United States and Brazil. In fact, take virtually any nation you want as a reference point.
But do not say that countries like the United States and Brazil that are emerging as new hotspots cannot take action if they intend to. And cannot face the relatives of more than 200,000 people who did not have to perish and explain to them that this had to happen. This is why political leaders from such countries will not go near these grieving families to condole with them.
How Long can it Take to Eliminate the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic or Bring it to Manageable Levels?
The good news is that any country is always 4-6 weeks from emulating the example of New Zealand and managing their Coronavirus number.
How can we achieve this?
i. Let’s start by the universal wearing of masks. Most nations did not do this at the beginning of the pandemic or even now, and let us chalk this up to faulty information. But we now know better. Wearing of masks can help reduce the spread of Coronavirus.
ii. Keep all hotspots like bars, restaurants, places of worship, and transit points closed. The spread of Coronavirus thrives in public gatherings within confined spaces.
iii. Ban interstate travel. General restrictions of movements lowers the rate of spread of Coronavirus.
iv. Ban international travel.
v. Let hotels allow people with signs and symptoms isolate at their facilities and let the bills be footed by the government. Most people lack places to quarantine whenever signs of infection appear choosing to wait out in their homes thereby infecting those in close contact. The availability of quarantine designated places will lower the rate of infections.
vi. Instead of a 50 percent lockdown that most nations have in place, let the governments implement a 90 percent lockdown.
The economies of various nations would take a big hit but this would be a necessary evil for a greater good.
These few weeks will be tough, but people could still engage in other activities: be outside, gather safely with family, and enjoy nature. Our grandparents who went through a decade-long economic depression and a six-year world war would tell us everything will work out at the end.
Why can’t we try creating family and friends bubbles? The American NBA has succeeded in doing this. They started with 10 percent positive cases, identified, and eliminated them.
So, if we implemented all these plans what would be the result? At first, nothing. Positive cases would still increase from the previous week’s infections that had been in an incubation period.
People would still be dying and hospitals would still be overcrowded. We would still see people die. People against these measures would have a field day.
However, after a few weeks, people would start seeing results. The infections curve would start to flatten before a decline in infection rate occurs.
After 6-8 weeks, you do not have zero cases yet, but you have small enough numbers that any government or health department could phone them in one day. In a small town, you could even feed them with two large pizzas.
What happens after we bring the Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases into a manageable level?
Then what? At the moment most nations do not have enough tests? With a manageable number of infections, we would have more than enough. More than enough to test anyone going to work, school, or even places of worship. And if there are stray cases health departments would find them within a day.
The PPEs that most nations keep running out of would be more than enough.
How does the potential discovery of a vaccine affect the implementation of these stringent measures to combat the spread of COVID-19? Well, unless it is 100 percent effective and everyone has access to it, then these stringent measures are still necessary.
We can eradicate COVID-19 if we want to, but first, we will have to adapt to the new normal. There’s no short cut. The question is when we will decide.