The world needs a reality check. We’re getting further away from the end than we should be. We’re in a bad place right now globally. — Maria Van Kerkhove, World Health Organization epidemiologist
The world needs a reality check. We’re getting further away from the end than we should be. We’re in a bad place right now globally. — Maria Van Kerkhove, World Health Organization epidemiologist
In this summer of covid freedom, disease experts warn: ‘The world needs a reality check’
Maria Van Kerkhove, a World Health Organization epidemiologist, was in her Geneva office last weekend preparing for a keynote address when a simple phrase came to mind. She had been pondering the dismaying rise in coronavirus infections globally during the previous three weeks, a reversal of promising trends in late spring. The surge came as people across much of the Northern Hemisphere were moving around again in a suddenly freewheeling summer — as if the pandemic were over.

She wrote in her notebook: “The world needs a reality check.”


Van Kerkhove’s subsequent comments on Twitter pointing out the lack of social distancing drew predictable flak from the social media trolls, something she has gotten used to in the past year and a half. But she is not an outlier. Around the world, scientists and public health officials fear that the world’s protracted battle against the coronavirus is at a delicate and dangerous moment.

Reality checks abound. Coronavirus infections are surging in places with low vaccination rates. SARS-CoV-2 is continuing to mutate. Researchers have confirmed the delta variant is far more transmissible than earlier strains. Although the vaccines remain remarkably effective, the virus has bountiful opportunities to find new ways to evade immunity. Most of the world remains unvaccinated.

And so the end of the pandemic remains somewhere over the horizon.

“We’re getting further away from the end than we should be. We’re in a bad place right now globally,” Van Kerkhove said.
Read the full article: https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/in-this-summer-of-covid-freedom-disease-experts-warn-the-world-needs-a-reality-check/2021/07/17/895be6e8-e58c-11eb-b722-89ea0dde7771_story.html