The transition from universal mandates to a focus on individual decisions in combating Covid-19 to minimize disruption to daily life was welcomed.
Even if we try to banish thoughts of the pandemic from our minds – especially in the summer – it certainly hasn’t gone away.
Robert Louis Stevenson once said, “I have a great memory for forgetting.”
But the risk has not gone away. The rollout of the second booster campaign for pregnant women and those over 60 has begun.
The HSE has understandably urged all claimants to receive their injection.
Vaccinations may not have stopped the virus, but they have shown beyond a doubt that they have prevented large numbers of people from becoming seriously ill. Yes, there are still skeptics, but the good thing about science, as has been said, is that whether you believe it or not, it’s true.
dr HSE Chief Clinical Officer Colm Henry has warned of a waning immunity to infection from the virus over time.
He noted that the booster shot would provide recipients with lasting protection against serious diseases and boost their immunity.
During the summer wave of infections, the European office of the World Health Organization warned of a “challenging” autumn and winter.
Gaps in pandemic surveillance and response would need to be closed to prevent new waves. Regional Director for Europe, Hans Kluge, said: “It is now fully clear that we are in a similar situation to last summer – only this time the ongoing Covid-19 wave is being driven by sub-lines of the Omicron variant,” he added .
The rapid increase in cases combined with “reduced virus surveillance” could create problems if people don’t take the necessary steps.
By now we know the exercise all too well. The strategy includes increased vaccination uptake in the general population and the use of face masks indoors and on public transport. Adequate ventilation is also crucial in work and classroom environments.
Today’s dominant variant, BA.5, is the most contagious strain to date. This means that, despite precautionary measures, it is becoming increasingly difficult to avoid contagion.
So we have no reason to be blase.
It’s worth emphasizing again that prevention is so much better than cure, especially given what we now know about the impact and magnitude of Long-Covid.
The uncomfortable truth is that we will be grappling with these threats for years to come. The latest guidance suggests that people should act based on their own level of risk.
Personal autonomy has been restored and we must exercise it responsibly.
Particular consideration must be given to immunocompromised people. Our past mistakes can empower, not burden, us in tackling the future provided we learn from them.
We must therefore renew our efforts towards autumn to protect not only ourselves but also others as much as possible.
https://www.independent.ie/opinion/editorial/complacency-must-be-given-the-boot-in-our-battle-with-covid-41914155.html In our struggle with Covid, complacency must prevail