At the beginning of the pandemic I thought a lot (like everyone else) about how the pandemic could have been handled in everyday life. In addition to providing news on technological research (use of sanitizing robots, searches on vaccines and other genre) I also tried to make predictions based on the data at the moment (Coronavirus, Four scenarios of the return to (new) normalcy) and the potential outcome of the pandemic (Covid-19 is likely to become endemic - here's what it means). Find it all, anyway, in the dedicated section.
It goes without saying that, even if it is contradictory because of the very particular situation, I have always tried to push you to read the researchers' studies, not to stop at the televised declarations or the alarmist launches of politicians and sometimes even virologists. It is even more valid this year that there is no identification of the enemy, but in this "new life" a liquid war, of positions, changeable by definition, must be fought against him.
Anyway, my "queen" question this year is whether Covid-19 will ever end. If and how much our life in the next few years will resemble the one we lived until December 2019. Will future generations refer to these years as we refer to the times of the Spanish flu today? Will we all be immunized in a global effort like it was against polio and overcome the virus, or will it live with us forever?
Someone said “it is not a question of predicting the future, but of minimizing the surprise”. Here, this is the feeling that always animates me. This is my new point in the situation to try to reduce further surprises.
New life: what we already know and what could remain
- Thorough hand washing and greater emphasis on basic hygiene
This should have been the right practice for a long time, but now it's here to stay. This is not a joke, because it will bring about a cultural change in many countries: it seems like a small thing, but remember the butterfly effect.
- Handshakes are a thing of the past
After trying the fist salute, the elbow salute or even with your feet, maybe it's time we all learn the Japanese greeting. Yes, we Italians too. Although I would prefer the Vulcan one.
- La telemedicine as a new norm
There will be many remote medical touchpoints from now on. Part of the relationship we have with doctors will take place digitally, and online medical assistance and counseling services will grow a lot.
- Digital contact tracking is not working
It won't work yet due to privacy concerns, platform differences between big tech companies, and… the wrong and partial use made of it by users. Different speech that on the "digital passport", on which I do not yet express myself due to insufficient elements.
- Vaccinations work, for now
And their possible side effects are relatively small. Doubts arise on the medium-term effects, especially on the stability of the immunization. In the meantime, those who have been vaccinated should not be too anxious, and those who have not yet done so think about it. Seriously.
That what is going to happen, or will be decided soon
- Vaccination of children
With the US and other countries already vaccinating those over 16, we are one step away from vaccinating kids and children in other countries as well. Authorizations are at the gates (and studies are in the pipeline) for the age group And 12 15 years and also younger . The head of BioNTech, Uğur Şahin, Has announced "Positive (but preliminary) results of the study at the end of March, for children between the ages of 12 and 15".
- Vaccination of pregnant and lactating women
Expecting mothers are at a higher risk of developing severe symptoms from Covid-19, so it's even more important that they get vaccinated. At the same time, nursing mothers pass on antibodies to their newborns after receiving the dose.
- Herd immunity (unless dangerous and currently unexploded variants)
Herd immunity it is reached when the spread of the disease becomes unlikely due to the large number of people vaccinated. There are already many good examples of countries that seem to have gotten there, primarily Israel. Almost 60% of its 9,3 million inhabitants have already been vaccinated there. The Seychelles islands are aiming for the big target, 100% of its 100.000 inhabitants, a bit like the Italian islands, when we get there. If all goes well, and I authorize the spells, the EU should achieve herd immunity by the end of summer 2021 (autumn, I remember, arrives on 21 October).
Life from today: what we still don't know.
- Annual re-vaccinations and vaccinations
It is currently unclear whether we will need a third dose of vaccines. Major pharmaceutical companies (such as Pfizer and J&J) have dealt with the problem stating that in addition to the third dose for full vaccination, there may be an annual repeat of the vaccine, just like seasonal flu shots. Furthermore, due to the slowness of vaccinations, we can even expect new waves of viruses in the "new life".
- Masks and vaccines
We don't even know what the “new life” will be like in highly vaccinated regions / areas (will they all return without a mask, even indoors?). Meanwhile, outdoors they all seem to agree that sooner or later they will do without it. With a "cutting edge" position: the American CDC.
- Combined vaccines
We do not yet know if it is possible to combine or combine vaccines with each other. If there was an annual Covid-19 vaccination, could it be combined with that against seasonal flu? It's not such a strange question: combinations have been used for decades. Trivalent, even quadrivalent, vaccines are the norm. Will mRNA vaccines complicate this problem? This is a question scientists need to answer.
These are my rules of thumb for the next few months of this "new life". How the other time, no advice: just what I'll do.
RULE n ° 1. - I will never meet people without masks, except in some cases I do not know that they have received both doses of their vaccines.
RULE N ° 2. - I will keep the social distancing. If a place isn't guaranteed, I don't go there.
RULE N. 3. - Having social anxiety is okay with me. Since I've changed so many habits in a year of isolation, it will take some time before I get back to the old ones. The ones I like a lot, I mean. I will easily do without the others.
RULE n ° 4. - Ferrea: in all everyday situations, everyone around me is not vaccinated until proven otherwise.
I know, it's not much, but this is how we live for now, in the year of the Lord 2021. "Normal" will never have the same meaning as before, get it out of your head. By adopting these steps, however, I can slowly enter the future, and soon get comfortable in this "new" life.