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article imageOp-Ed: Getting starry-eyed about a 'post-COVID world' is just wrong

By Paul Wallis     Jan 10, 2021 in World
Sydney - People are talking about a "post-COVID world", but for many people, “post-COVID” means a rough ride. Reports have been emerging for quite a while about complications, and the news is grim enough.
Post-COVID symptoms are a virtual shopping list of problems. Many survivors report multiple issues. This is unknown territory to some degree. If you have the flu, you usually get over the flu, however gruesome it is. With COVID, the post-infection issues are often complex, debilitating in some cases, and even life-threatening.
One particular case was of a young Irish lady who had the virus, recovered, and got hit with a multiple whammy of serious issues including blood clots on the lungs. Her symptoms would give any professional pause for thought. This woman is 28, not really in the known high risk demographic, either. It’s worth reading her story to really see how godawful these symptoms and risks can be.
Post-COVID macro strategy? Is there one?
The starry eyes are shining again regarding the post-COVID world. Just search “post COVID” for a fountain of news, important and otherwise. The hype is on. The vaccine is reviving some optimism, not before time, but let’s hope it’s not misplaced.
On the ground, there’s less sparkling and a lot more hard information to be pondered. These post-COVID cases aren’t exactly spiking, but they’re becoming more noticeable. Add to this the fact that Johns Hopkins reports 90 million infections worldwide and 50 million recoveries. 40 million people haven’t recovered, on that basis.
Allowing for reporting issues with recoveries even at 50% of that 40 million people gap in information, that’s 20 million people. Add to this the risks to people with pre-existing conditions, and it could be many more, unreported or undiagnosed.
Key facts on main authorised Covid-19 vaccines
Key facts on main authorised Covid-19 vaccines
Jonathan WALTER, AFP
This vagueness isn’t a conspiracy or a beat-up. It’s the result of trying to report an unprecedented statistical base for a previously unknown disease worldwide. Inaccuracy is inevitable. The problem is the big statistical cracks large numbers of people could fall through, sabotaging proper cleanup and pandemic management.
So what’s the strategy? Allowing for our deregulation-addled governments and a mysteriously inept level of demands for reporting stringency:
1. Enforce and support reporting requirements. People are too much in the habit of avoiding regulatory requirements. This is not a situation where “Duhh…Hyuck, we gots some numbers fer yer, Goober,” can be tolerated. Also note these reports need clear channels and reporting standards. That means whatever support necessary at regulatory level.
2. Post-COVID complications should be predictable. Not everyone gets these issues, but that’s no use to people who do. Some research is showing genetic markers could be useful in prediction and possibly treatment, down the track.
3. Continuous pandemic monitoring. It’s not over until it’s over. Thanks to the unbelievably sloppy response of governments, the United States and the United Kingdom will be at risk of further outbreaks for years.
4. Hyper-responsive travel restrictions and tracing. If COVID has proven anything, it’s that spread is inevitable. If it can spread, it will. The new strains emerging are spreading globally. That has to stop. Nobody should travel without proper onsite screening.
5. Major effort to manage post-COVID complications. This is not a raffle. There should be a coordinated response, identifying high incidences of these cases, locations, common factors and in short basic epidemiology. Cases popping up in the new is hardly good enough for analytical purposes or any other effective responses.
The bottom line here is that this pandemic doesn’t want to go away. It’s evolving and it’s still spreading. It’s hitting huge numbers of people. I suggest that before anyone gets too blasé about the expression post-COVID, we need to define exactly what that’s supposed to mean, and make it happen.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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