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EDITORIAL
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 7  |  Page : 1-2  

The Covid-19 Marathon


Department of Community Medicine, Dr. D. Y. Patil Medical College, Hospital and Research Centre, Dr. D. Y. PatilVidyapeeth, Pune, Maharashtra, India

Date of Submission09-Jul-2022
Date of Decision09-Jul-2022
Date of Acceptance14-Jul-2022
Date of Web Publication10-Aug-2022

Correspondence Address:
Amitav Banerjee
Department of Community Medicine, Dr. D. Y. Patil Medical College, Hospital and Research Centre, Dr. D. Y. PatilVidyapeeth, Pune, Maharashtra
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/mjdrdypu.mjdrdypu_592_22

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How to cite this article:
Banerjee A. The Covid-19 Marathon. Med J DY Patil Vidyapeeth 2022;15, Suppl S1:1-2

How to cite this URL:
Banerjee A. The Covid-19 Marathon. Med J DY Patil Vidyapeeth [serial online] 2022 [cited 2022 Sep 28];15, Suppl S1:1-2. Available from: https://www.mjdrdypv.org/text.asp?2022/15/7/1/353665



The pace in the present pandemic was set assuming it would be a short sprint but it turned out to be a long cross-country marathon. Sprint is fast and furious. Marathon is long and tedious demanding endurance. The diagnostic test deciding policies, lockdowns, treatment protocols, and vaccines invented at warp speed were rolled out on emergency use authorizations in sprint mode. So many urgent interventions, all done in unholy haste, have no precedent in the history of public health.

The finishing line of the misjudged sprint was the marvel of medical technology – the vaccine. It was assumed that once mass vaccination is rolled out, Covid-19 will be eradicated – an ambitious and unrealistic goal not supported by the history of public health. Only one viral infection, smallpox could be eradicated more than a 150 years after arrival of an effective vaccine. Smallpox did not require any sophisticated test to pick up cases, even lay reporting sufficed in the final stages of its eradication, nor did it have subclinical or asymptomatic infections, and it did not have an animal origin or reservoir. All these optimum criteria are ideal for an infection to be eradicated.

However, in case of Covid-19, it is an uphill marathon not a short sprint. The origin is supposed to be from animal kingdom, the diagnostics, still on emergency authorization, is mired in controversy, the vaccines are leaky, and subclinical and asymptomatic infections outnumber clinical cases many times over. All these make Covid-19 difficult, if not impossible, to eradicate.

Countries that were leading in the sprint at the start are now trailing in the marathon in spite of high levels of mass vaccination. Two examples, Australia and Taiwan, illustrate this very well[1],[2] [Figure 1] and [Figure 2]. Similarly, at national level, Kerala that did very well at the start, trotted in the end. Also sobering is a study of data from 68 countries and 2947 American counties that did not show any correlation between population-level vaccine uptake and Covid-19 trends.[3]
Figure 1: The Australian paradox

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Figure 2: The Taiwan paradox

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This special supplement issue is dedicated to the Covid-19 marathon that is trotting along leisurely after losing its steam in the initial sprint.



 
  References Top

1.
Available from: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus /#countries. [Last accessed on 2022 Jul 08].  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Available from: https://ourworldindata.org/covid-vaccinations. [Last accessed on 2022 Jul 08].  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Subramanian SV, Kumar A. Increases in COVID-19 are unrelated to levels of vaccination across 68 countries and 2947 counties in the United States. Eur J Epidemiol 2021;36:1237-40.  Back to cited text no. 3
    


    Figures

  [Figure 1], [Figure 2]



 

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