July 25, 2024

Pathfinder News

redefining news

The Coro Conundrum: If You Ask Me, Who I Go Ask?

Ik Muo

Oga-Coro is getting out of hand;  its trajectory, management and containment, are all getting complicated. Around the globe, people are confused, bemused,  bewildered and confounded  about the coro-affair. My closest relationship with medicine is that I am ‘hospital-friendly’ and willingly submit myself to medical detention( modified house-arrest) whenever the need arises (not because I want to be!). However, the spirit has directed and encouraged me to watch Oga-Coro and its antics. Even health reporters have not written more about Coro than I have done in the past two years, during which I have written about 50 full-length articles on this amoebic virus.  Subsequently, people have started ‘consulting’ me on Coro affairs (NMA and NCDC must not hear this!). But today, I want to admit that this matter is getting K-leg.  Omicron had taken over from Delta and led to the politics of  negative profiling and uncoordinated flight-bans until those who banned others were also banned. 

As Lagos was dropping testing costs and  announcing the end of the 4th Wave (meaning that Omicron, which was spreading like wild fire and which we underrated at our own peril, was on retreat or that there were fewer tests), which started officially on 7/12/21, WHO was also announcing that restrictions would no longer do while Boris Johnson, in a surprise and shocking move,  cancelled almost all Coro-related restrictions and  mandates( face masks, working from home, vaccine passports). Other countries also followed the Johnson model. The UN was warning us to prepare for another pandemic as  Coro wont be the last while our own NCDC announced that 2000 travelers tested positive in just one week ( making it 18000 of inbound passengers since the resumption of international flights) and we learnt that some states have started reopening their isolation centers, with 12547 people on admission nationwide .   

That was after we experienced 500% hike in new cases in the week ending 18/12/21 and clocked 4035 new cases on 22/12/21, the highest since the invasion of Coro. Many activities had been cancelled locally and globally out of ‘respect’ for Coro (including 2021 Calabar Carnival, 2022 World Economic Forum & Grammy Awards) while oil prices dropped by3% in deference to Oga-Coro! As this is happening, the anti-vaxs  are getting bolder in their antics while merchants of conspiracy theories are having a field day. Many thought that Coro is getting tired and that we we are getting to the end of this nightmarish  scourge.  However, the state of affairs in Israel is getting rather worrisome.

Israel has almost vaccinated everybody; it was the first country to achieve herd immunity, with about 98.7% of its people FULLY vaccinated (17868377doses) and it has just approved the 4th dose of vaccine for the most vulnerable group. However, infections, hospital and ICU occupancy and Coro-induced deaths are rising with alarming alacrity. When one Montana-Native celebrated this development as evidencing the uselessness and failure of vaccines, I did not give him or her any serious attention. However, when I consulted Reuters (1/2/22), I got the shocking information that Israel was reporting 68000 fresh infections on the average, (83% of its peak figures); that the highest ever daily infection was reported on 25/1/22 and that 100 deaths on 30/1/22 was the highest since Oga-Coro  came calling, without passport, evidence of visa yellow-fever vaccine or any other immigration  formalities. And worse still, it is being projected that 40% will be ‘coronised’  in the current ‘nth’  wave .

Meanwhile, 378396979 have been afflicted across the globe with 5692527 deaths (2%). As at 31/1/22, the daily infections in India were 238614 (61% of its peak figure); Turkey: 86533 (at peak and rising;) Japan,74133 (peak and rising) Vietnam: 85% of peak.  So, wither the war against Coro?  Is Coro on retreat? Has it overwhelmed us or have we surrendered? Is it time to fall on our knees and negotiate with this scourge (just as Nigeria and Nigerians are negotiating with bandits)?  Is Coro waning or does it just pretend to retreat so as to return with intimidating vengeance?  Is it time to throw our hands up in despair say Oga-Coro, biko (Coro we implore thee)?  Or do we adopt the theory of  Mahfud,M.D, Indonesian Political, Legal and Security affairs Minister who opined that  ‘Corona is like your wife; initially you try to control it and then you realise that you cannot and you learn to live with it’ ( the feminists are still at WAR with him). Do we live with it like any other ailment and move on with life?

The real cause of my  obvious  exasperation is that even the medical and allied scientists are so confused and are speaking in discordant tones, building conflicting models and in a place like US,  the issue is more political than medical as Democrats overestimate the casualities while Republicans underestimate it. About 4 months ago, Marc Fisher reported that ‘ for scientists, the path to covid endgame remains uncertain’( https://curio.io/stories/ 10/9/21). After interfacing with several people who should know, experts in Covidology, he reported the uncertainty and confusion as to the future of coro as follows ‘It’s basically over already. It will end this October. Or maybe it won’t be over till next spring, or late next year, or two or three years down the road. And how did these egg-heads justify their projections? The pandemic will end because deaths finally drop to about the same level, we’re accustomed to seeing from the flu each year … or when most kids are vaccinated… or because Americans are finally exhausted by all the restrictions on daily life’. And as Professor Uchenna Nwosu of Apex Specialists would say, all these are evidence based!

One argued that as Coro mutates quickly, it gets weakened; another argued that like many pandemics it would become endemic, meaning they morph into something that is no longer an emergency, but rather an annoyance, an ugly, even painful fact of life that people simply learn to cope with, like the flu  with another suggesting  that there is need to work hard  to undo the sense of emergency’, treating it as one of 200 diseases that affect people.” Another sees vaccines (which people are making a mockery of) as a miraculous development worth celebrating as it drove down deaths and hospitalisations and that with it, ‘we have really succeeded; we can’t do any better’! Another expert declares that coro is here with us; that“we’re going to get it,” but  that as immunity increases, the virus will cause less harm; people will come to terms with it as they have with the common cold. And while one argued that the Delta variant (Omicron was still in the waiting room then) would create mass immunity, another counters that it is an apocalyptic way of getting to the end since such immunity comes at high cost. A model posits that it can only end when kids are mass-vaccinated because they are the greatest spreaders while the other holds that the national divide over vaccines, masks and other such politicized public health measures could well end up being the reason the pandemic persisted.

 Just as the experts cannot agree on the situation of things, the way forward and the future, there are also conflicting and contradicting measures across the globe, with some easing off coro-related restrictions and others digging in the more. Netherlands, which has 80% vaccination rate (with 45% already boosted) is easing the measures, just like Norway and France but Germany is imposing further restrictions, just like Austria, which introduced mandatory vaccination and a covid lottery  of E500 to woo the unvaccinated.

Canada which was in the harsh end of the continuum is having a rethink following mass protests anchored by the ‘freedom convoy’(led by truckers), which arrived in the capital recently, causing unimaginable chaos and promising to occupy until all restrictions and mandates are removed. Meanwhile, their PM has just been coronised, together with his children and is on a ‘house-arrest’.

Thus, the only certainty is that there is no certainty! And the Israeli quagmire, where infection has become frightening despite 100% immunization, further deepens and widens the confusion. If the experts are so uncertain and confused about this, what of poor me, an ordinary person and an interloper in the field of medicine? If you ask me, who I go ask? So, Is Coro Over? Is it on an irreversible recrudescence? Have vaccines failed? For me, I believe that Coro is real; I believe that the vaccines are useful and are not designed by our enemies to finish us (they have more convenient means of doing that); I believe that the non-pharmaceutical anti-coro measures are good for us and I know that due to reasons yet to be fathomed, Coro has been very kind to Africa. Furthermore, I do NOT believe all these conspiracy theories, some of which are too outlandish to be conjectured in the first instance.

Meanwhile, the sense of emergency and avoidable drama that characterized the management of the virus in the early days has ebbed significantly. A relation of mine and a friend were recently coronised. They just took their medications, stayed at home for a while (self-quarantine) and got on with life. A year ago, an alarm-blaring ambulance would have arrived with weirdly-dressed medics escorted by a legion of security operatives to arrest the ‘culprit’ in a Rambo style, therefore sending panic and fear down the spines of all.

 By the way, a lot has happened while I was away (I have not written on Coro in the past 2 months). Coro continued to attack big-men and women, including the FCT minister, Ubi Franklin, the Aso-Rock crew, (leading to enforced Coro test for all Aso Rock intending guests) South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa, who visited Nigeria while Omicron was ravaging his country, and Marria of BBNaija. It also felled some high profile figures including Collin Powel, the first black US  Secretary of State (he had taken the two doses),  Ladi Williams and Olympic gymnastics champion,  Szilvester Csollany,( 51) who opposed vaccination. It also felled Ozie  of Atlanta, the world’s oldest male gorilla, who died at 61 and left 20 descendants including daughter Kuchi; sons Kekla, Stadi, and Charlie; granddaughter Lulu; great-granddaughter Andi, and great-grandson Floyd, all of whom live at Zoo in Atlanta. 

Beyond keeping a record of his large family (maybe, for inheritance purposes) the zoo has ordered a postmortem being conducted University of Georgia’s veterinary college. Perhaps they want to confirm whether its death was caused by people from the village!

A new variant, B.1.640.2 was discovered in Southern France  in December and has 46 mutations with atypical combinations  and as we lack doctor to fight the scourge, 805 Nigerian doctors migrated to UK in the second half of 2021, making it a total of 9189 Nigerian doctors in the UK. In a desperate move to checkmate the spread of Omicron, 600 passengers on 2 flights from SA  to Amsterdam were ‘detained’ for 4 hours for on the spot test.  A lot of studies have also been ongoing and new findings are emerging.  Pfizer has produced Paxlovid pill, the first authorized coro home treatment in the US; a  faster way to treat early coro; leading to 90% reduction in hospitalization and deaths amongst patients likely to be severely affected.  They have also  launched a final study for a coro drug that is similar to Ivermectin  while another pill from Merck is also on the queue for authorization

ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOUR – A Nigerian Perspective | C. Muo & IK Muo

One of the most profound recent discovery is that having money in your account gives ‘Vitamin M’, which  boosts immunity. Unfortunately, and for whatever reason, doctors have hidden this Guinness-book-of-records discovery from the public. This is only similar in importance to the study which found out that men make a lot of withdrawals from their accounts on Friday while women make a lot of deposits into their accounts on Mondays. Furthermore, following its study on the psycho-psychiatric  tendencies caused by coro, the Federal Ministry of Health has warned that those who cannot keep their  phones away from temperamental wives should hide all knives and pressing irons from her. This announcement has been endorsed by National Association of Resident Husbands in conjunction with Professional Stress Management Association. The Federal Ministry of Men Affairs has also warned that reading a spouses SMS is dangerous to health and that husbands who keep their phones with provocative messages carelessly are likely to die young. They note that provocativeness is as defined by the wife!

 Ik Muo, PhD. Department of Business Administration, OOU, Ago-Iwoye. 08033026624