The first time ever we heard about the current corona virus pandemic was at the end of January 2020 when the World Health Organisation has declared the outbreak a public health emergency on international concern.
Going back trying to trace the routes of this infection would probably lead us to Hubei province in central China where the real first person was infected. It was a person aged 55 years who was one of Wuhan city residents, and that was the first known victim of COVID-19 viral infection, and that was on 17 November 2019. The first official announcement by China was on 31 December 2019, when health authorities in China reported to the WHO a cluster of viral pneumonia of unknown cause in Wuhan in Hubei region. The WHO then declared the outbreak a public health emergency of international concern on 30 January 2020. At that very time 7,818 cases were identified world wide affecting 19 countries in five WHO regions.
Let us try to go back a bit to understand where we are now. It is probably fair to say that within the corona category of RNA viruses, there are 4 subgroups named alpha, beta, gamma, and delta based on their genomic structure. Alpha & beta coronaviruses infect only mammals causing usually respiratory symptoms in humans and gastroenteritis in the other animals. Until December 2019, only 6 coronaviruses were known to infect humans, four of them they caused mild common cold type of symptoms in immunocompromised people, and the other two have caused pandemics in the past two decades (SARS CoV in 2002-3, with 10% mortality; and MERS CoV in 2012, with 37% mortality).
That was not just a piece of history in our life, but it could be the key towards knowing more and more about how that mysterious viral pneumonia has happened and where from. Obviously that “mysterious” strange kind of pneumonia would never come from nowhere, and it can only tell us openly and frankly that, the “zero” case is still on the run !. The first source of COVID-19 clearly needs to be found, and if we manage to get that very piece of information honestly and sincerely, we may learn much more about the current COVID-19 pandemic.
Since December last year, life has gone forward, events have changed, and people in the whole world have learned, adapted, accustomed and moved on. That is the nature of us humans, we were born with adaptable, progressive, and self-upgrading software. We are flexible, though few may not be, and those who always resist any changes. At the end of the day, even those who resist changes will eventually submit when they find themselves standing at the end of the queue and find nothing to grab.
Every country has developed its own system of accommodating to live with the new unexpected comer. Every country has managed to keep life going with a lot of success. On the other hand, COVID-19 as well has proved to all of us that it was not just an ordinary virus. It has managed to reshape itself, to resist every trial to contain it, and proved to be a very clever and strong contender. COVID-19 managed to stay with us – against all our previous expectations – until today, and will probably force itself for longer. We have learned to live together as long as it’ll take us.
On Friday, 19 June 2020 we observed the highest ever number of COVID-19 infections totalling 180,874 persons, but luckily this was not accompanied by the highest death rate, which was so far on 17 April 2020 when a total of 8,435 people died in 24 hours from COVID-19 infection complications.
Few related matters might be looked at here to make things clear and updated for my dear readers. A question about, are we witnessing a second peak?. My best reply to that is “no”. I don’t think we are witnessing a second peak of Covid-19, but probably a nicer and more thorough look around us and back. I am very much aware that countries in East Europe, South-East Asia, and south America did probably with some surprise find themselves becoming late victims of this pandemic, why?. I don’t know, but obviously it is an area for epidemiologists to have a deep look at trying to find an explanation.
My second interesting point for this month is Dexamethasone, is it really a breakthrough?. My sincere answer to that is very simple: No, it is not a breakthrough at all. It is not a breakthrough because we know dexamethasone for decades, it was and still is around us and available for anywhere in the world to be used. We knew very well that steroids are used in acute respiratory distresses from acute bronchitis, to exacerbation of bronchial asthma to other respiratory acute conditions. We knew that steroids do work in these conditions, and they can be life saving if we use them rightly. Dexamethasone has nothing to do with Covid-19, but they were used for the respiratory inflammatory changes cause by the infection. They are anti-inflammatory but obviously not anti-viral treatment. Hence, I quiet honestly did not see any breakthrough, but on the contrary, I might blame the researchers for not considering dexamethasone to alleviate respiratory distresses from the beginning. On the early days of seeing victims of Covid-19 in ITU or on the media and the terrible status there were in, I thought at that very early time that intravenous methyl Prednisolone could be used to safe life.
In connection to us people or humans, we need always to remember and acknowledge that, we can never ever be ideal, and we can never be the best at all times. We do behave through our instinct sometimes, and listening to our desires other times. We are human, and we can never be ideal. We must not think that we are ideal. We can only do what we think is right, and sometimes what our inner-senses desire without much thinking, and without much consideration.
We can be the best at our time, but we need to know that someone will come and that one will be better than us. That is very natural and must be expected, as we are for sure much better than our ancestors and life is just like that.
Life will go ahead, and we will survive despite what faces us and what might stand in our ways. We are humans and we are able to progress. That was the way we were created with. It is in our software, and we are able to develop and upgrade our human software every time we are faced with a challenge.
Tens of attempts to contain the virus so far, but none has proved to be fruitful. A team of researchers in China lead by prof. Li Lanjuan at the Zhejiang University has found that COVID-19 has mutated into at least 30 different genetic variants, affecting different parts of the world, some of them are clearly more variant than the others. The Chinese researchers have found that within a small pool of patients many mutations not previously reported. These mutations include rare changes that scientists had never imagined could happen. That nature of virus modulating itself to resist elimination has already made anti-viral treatment very difficult to ascertain, and vaccination against this virus became realistically more difficult to obtain.
Much more to follow later !!