Medical Journal of Dr. D.Y. Patil Vidyapeeth

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

The Covid-19 Marathon

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

Correspondence Address:
Amitav Banerjee
Department of Community Medicine, Dr. D. Y. Patil Medical College, Hospital and Research Centre, Dr. D. Y. PatilVidyapeeth, Pune, Maharashtra

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

How to cite this URL:
Banerjee A. The Covid-19 Marathon. Med J DY Patil Vidyapeeth [serial online] 2022 [cited 2022 Sep 28 ];15:1-2
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Full Text

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}{Figure 2}

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


1Available from: /#countries. [Last accessed on 2022 Jul 08].
2Available from: [Last accessed on 2022 Jul 08].
3Subramanian 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.