One year has passed since the new crown epidemic, and the worrying epidemic is still spreading in Europe. There, for reasons that are not yet clear, the new crown epidemic seems to be in the earliest stages of a resurgence. On March 4, the World Health Organization announced that after a six-week decline in Europe, the number of new cases in the European continent has increased by 9% from the previous week, bringing the number of new confirmed cases in the European continent once again to exceed 1 million per week.
For the sake of clarity, the "Europe" for the purpose of public health reporting is not EU member states or other structural organizations, but 53 European countries of the World Health Organization including Russia, with a total population of more than 700 million. According to a report from the WHO European Division (WHO-Europe), not only in Eastern and Central Europe in the Czech Republic (the Czech Republic has a current and former leader trying to ignore the existence of the new crown virus), Hungary and Poland have been diagnosed The number of new crown cases is increasing rapidly, and so is Western Europe. In Italy, France, and other countries that have experienced the catastrophic month of last spring, this erroneous epidemic curve is reappearing.
As we prepare for what may happen in the future, understanding the reasons for the rise is crucial for the United States and the world. So far, the potential explanations for the increase in the number of new coronaviruses in Europe are divided into two basic views: one believes that this is due to bad human behavior, and the other is concerned with the reversal of the mutation of the new coronavirus.
Social psychologists, especially fans of the classic book "Extraordinary Delusions and the Madness of Crowds" by the Scottish writer Charles Mackay, must have foreseen this. The bizarre COVID-19 denier (and COVID-19 mitigation measures) movement started from the beginning of the outbreak. Although it may have reached a climax in the United States, people who did not wear masks, did not maintain social distancing, and crowded roads have been active in Europe throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Of course, those who happily burn masks are contributing to the continued spread of the new crown epidemic, but it is uncertain whether their number is increasing. In addition, the timing of the European epidemic's recovery-during the vaccine promotion period-raises the question: As more and more people receive vaccination, epidemic prevention measures seem to be coming to an end, whether some moderates wearing masks have begun to lose enthusiasm. It is too early for a large number of people to relax their vigilance. This is a common public health error and will definitely lead to a surge in infectious cases.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported last week that between March and December last year, counties in the United States that required masks had fewer cases of the new coronavirus than counties that did not require masks. Clear and convincing evidence shows that the effectiveness of masks may not shake the stubborn rejecters. This group of people seems not interested in facts and data, but hopes to inspire those who are under the current guidance of the stressful environment. Hold on for a while, until the threat is finally controlled.
Those extremely pessimistic virologists are depressed. They have discovered so many virus variants that account for more than half of the current cases in New York City. In order to increase the mystery of the virus, these variant viruses do not have names, but use digital numbers: B117, B1351, P1, CAL20C and all other digital codes, as if they were created by a comic series composed of evil alien masters. . According to the hints, every virus mutation report is more frightening than the previous report, because it is highly spread, lethal, or threats to the effectiveness of the vaccine may worsen.
There is no doubt that the most contagious mutant virus like B117 has accounted for a certain percentage of the increase in virus cases in Europe and the United States. However, our understanding of the exact proportion of U.S. cases caused by certain mutant viruses has been hindered because we made a hasty decision last year that we did not initially determine the genetic composition of the recovered isolates as in many other countries. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) only began systematic genetic testing of isolated strains of the new coronavirus in November last year. At that time, the threat of mutant viruses had already appeared in other countries.
Although people tend to attribute the virus's comeback to constantly evolving mutant viruses, such attention completely misses the point. Yes, we are subject to an unpredictable pathogen-but remember, this virus has no direction, no five-year plan, no career strategy, neither malice nor altruism in the genetic code, no favorite Habit-in fact, it knows nothing.
On the contrary, the other part of the host-pathogen equation-humans-have the ability to make choices. The news from Europe last week, and perhaps some voices from some parts of the United States (Nebraska and South Dakota) told us that it is simple: the virus will always find a way-it becomes easier to spread, and vaccines are more difficult to control. and many more.
Like everything else in the real world, controlling the pandemic requires people to make the right decisions. We are already overly dependent on hard science and cannot pull us out of artificial chaos. Although vaccines are essential for us to move quickly to a normal life, the only way to establish lasting virus protection is to let people make wise decisions and leave people’s illusions to the next century.
All in all, this is not a promising blueprint.