After Covid-19 to a normal citizen
Tons of articles litter in the media about after effects of Covid. It is no short of forms, be it news, conspiracies, data, films, graphics or simple text like mine — they all reflect one thing in common — we are moving to a new norm. The lovely moments we had in our social life, the parties, meet-ups, travels, places and markets we saw — I just ask if we could ever repeat that again ?! Sadly a majority of us lost or knew someone whom we lost in the deadly months between 1999–2021 whom we will never see again and miss in our social life. To prevent it further, the new vaccines might give a hope — but is Covid really at its end ?.
Did something like this happen before ? oh yeah, just as this blog, mentions of a great famine and of-course pandemics did transit our ancestors in the past. One that stands out for the moment is the Plague. The Black Death or the Plague was a bubonic (a bacteria Yersina Pestis that causes it) epidemic that wiped out almost 20% of World’s population between 1346–1353. The origins of this plague is still debated either in Central Asia or Southern China (which means 95% Yunnan province which is a natural reservoir). Its origin was zoonotic. Interestingly this plague was carried by fleas living on black rats that traveled on Genoese ships (Traders from East Asia who reach Genova in Italy). Its first confirmed appearance was in Crimea (North Italy) in 1347.(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Death). To prevent this, Sailors were ordered to be in their ships at the ports for 40 days — (That’s were the word Qurantine originated — 40 days = quaranta in Italian). This reduced the person-person spread of the disease.
COrona VIrus Disease -19 originated from China took 3.6 Million lives as of 30th May 2021 (https://ourworldindata.org/coronavirus-data). Yunnan province is the place where a Corona Virus was identified (https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12250-018-0012-7) in horseshoe bats which was 96% identical to that of SARS-CoV-2 (later named as Covid-19). (https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-chinas-bat-woman-hunted-down-viruses-from-sars-to-the-new-coronavirus1/). Its origin was zoonotic — pangolins trafficked from Southeast Asian rain forests being the main suspects. The first place in Europe to see the manifestation of this virus was again North Italy (Bergamo) which took a heavy toll in the initial days of Covid in Feb 2020. At its peak 4500 died in March alone. Military convoys carried the corpses as the masses increased.
A lot of parallels between the two pandemics. (Origins in China and major outbreaks in Italy although centuries apart and 1000s of miles apart)
A major natural reservoir of virus hot spots exists in the thick forests of Amazon basin in South America too. It has extensive areas of predicted Emerging infectious disease (EIDs) occurrence which are zoonotic in nature. in other words — Natural Hotspots. On the other end, in particular, areas of high population outside the tropical climate, such as cities in Europe, the United States, Asia and Latin America remain among areas at the high end of the risk — getting infected (https://www.nature.com/articles/nature09575). A vast amount of scientific documentation has been regularly published for the past 15 years on Corona Viruses (CoVs). I stumbled on this article ..published in 2017 - https://academic.oup.com/ve/article/3/1/vex012/3866407 (you can pull the PDF document and read it ) It says…. 1,200 bat species were sampled to estimate a total potential richness of 3,204 CoVs (range ¼ 1,200–6,000 CoVs), most of which have yet to be described..This means about 5000 different corona virus strains are waiting to be discovered in Bats alone globally. What we now witness in CoVid-19 is just the start.. or tip of something that can enter into a routine (Waves based on mutation) .. unless these are all identified, documented and prevented.
The places where the virus originates (passes from wild life to humans) and where the virus manifests or causes major events ( major cities with devastating consequences) might be miles or even continents apart. The most important link between the two is — economic activity. Be it travel for leisure or business — infected humans transported the virus between the places. In an Earth which is rotating fast on digitization where supply chains are rigged with huge interdependence — another major outbreak would have unbearable losses.
I try to avoid conspiracy around Covid-19 by frequently citing. I would never say do not travel to these natural hotspots such as Yunnan in China or Säo Jose do Rio Preto in Brazil ( the Atlantic Forest Biome -AFB harbours 15% of the world’s bat diversity and carries 178 distinct bats species https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7106056/ ) — but respect the natural existence of these ecosystems. Although they inhibit great diversity of wild life especially, they are indispensable resources to expand our knowledge for our future evolutionary events such as CoViD-19. One common foe in these places (be it Yunnan or AFB or anywhere) is deforestation which severely damages the biota of these regions — causing the Passover of virus to humans. Deforestation breaks the ecosystem of these naturally protected viral reservoirs and spills them on humans in addition to punching holes in the stratosphere. Something no vaccine can save — except human precaution.