It became known this morning that out of a little more than five hundred passengers who flew to Amsterdam from South Africa that night, over 60 are infected with a new strain, which the WHO called “omicron” on Friday evening.
This mutation of the coronavirus was isolated a few days ago, virologists believe that by the number of changes in the RNA structure of the pathogen COVID-19, the omicron will become not only more infectious than the delta strain, but the body’s immune defense may also be powerless.
True, although the WHO asked at the same emergency meeting to evaluate the incoming scientific information “with a calm head”, in Brussels this time they decided to act swiftly, exactly what “hot head”, without waiting for a new catastrophe.
The European Commission immediately called for the closure of the EU borders for all types of flights with countries in the southern part of the African continent.
And it was done right there.
Yes, with the caveat that for the time being for “a few days”, but Paris and Rome immediately closed the airports with a lock.
In Germany, where the first infected with the new strain was identified on Saturday morning (it turned out to be a resident of the state of Hesse ), Berlin allowed only its own citizens to be taken out of the countries of southern Africa, subjecting them to immediate virus testing directly in the air harbors upon arrival.
And the federal government is taking these actions at a time when more than 67,000 new infections have been identified – still with the “delta” strain.
Those who managed to arrive are checked for virus carriers without any exceptions, references to privacy and personal data, and if they suspect the presence of a new strain, they are put in isolation for two weeks, as happened in Amsterdam.
The infected are deprived or will be deprived of any freedom of movement, they are not allowed to leave the hotel room, the hotel staff dressed in PPE will bring them food.
The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control has already announced that EU member states are obliged (the verb is used in this particular modality) to take the most stringent measures to prevent the “omicron” from creeping over the territory of the community.
And if this warning has not yet reached the ears of those who still believe that his health is his personal problem, and that his body is his business and nobody else’s, the French government has added a sparkle and posted a video on social media about what is happening in the intensive care unit of the Parisian hospital Bichat (Bichat).
The head of the department, Professor Jean-Francois Thimzit, leads a tour of the wards and very casually comments that among those who lie in the so-called pr-position (on their stomach) and whose care and treatment (for each patient) requires at least four doctors around the clock, there is not a single vaccinated person, and the mortality rate among those who get here is about 30 percent.
Let’s put it another way – every third person who believed that his health was his concern, and who was watched day and night and who was treated day and night, went to the next world.
The point of view of Monsieur Timzit is obviously not shared by those who have already taken to the streets of European cities to shout again about the violation of rights and freedoms, but at the same time, there are guarantees that these protesters will not end up on the bed in the same pr-position, there are none.
What should also be noted here – they will be looked after by four, or even five of them, in order not to replenish the macabre statistics: the WHO, which proposed “not to make quick and harsh decisions”, predicted the same Europe even before the discovery of the “omicron” from half a million to seven hundred thousand new deaths from COVID-19 during this winter.
With all the alarming prospects for a new, already sixth wave of infections, which may bring a new strain, while it is still absolutely unknown whether the four vaccines approved in the EU will be effective against infection with omicron, one circumstance is clearer: a pandemic, like a war, has also manifested itself in humans., and in governments, and in societies, and in professional communities, both the worst and the best.
We have seen (and still see) the aplomb and arrogance of some and selflessness and a desire to come to the aid of others. We have seen and see how bureaucratic procedures and manipulation deliberately (and this formulation could not be more precise) inhibit the possibility of joining forces to fight the pandemic. We have seen and see the dedication and sense of duty of some and the terrifying selfishness and hype-gluttony (and this word pharmaceutically accurately denotes the behavior of anti-inoculants at the Sabbath) of others.
We all – without exception, withdrawal, without geographical and other boundaries – are witnessing a real battle, the price of victory in which is the saved lives.
The fact that a new stage of the war is beginning is obvious to specialists – up to fifty mutations have been found in the strain itself, more than half of which – thirty – are in the same spike protein that allows the virus to enter the nasopharynx and gain a foothold there.
Who will win in this new battle – science or obscurantism, selfishness or solidarity, political conjuncture or the understanding that it is better to unite before the enemy is still impossible to predict.
Historical experience, the only one that can now be relied on, suggests that reason wins, but it sets the price for this in lives.
It will be better for everyone if those who make decisions on both sides of the Atlantic understand this before they have to pay off these terrible bills.
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