The European continent has faced a new wave of Covid cases, particularly in the Netherlands, towards the end of 2021 and this time, it is big. A new variant is on the rise called omicron. It has started to roam and infect the global audience,e which made people’s lives more miserable. Governmental bodies proposed tighter health and Covid protocols to minimize this new variant. The estimated rise of Covid cases has been proven by scientists on this latest incident. Hence, the Kingdom of the Netherlands immediately took action by issuing another national lockdown to prevent new Covid cases. Furthermore, the strategy emphasizes non-pharmacology intervention (NPI) which tends to limit the spread of Covid, such as using masks in public areas, working from home, and maintaining a solid distance of 1.5 meters between one another. On the other hand, vaccinations and booster shots act as one of the many ways to prevent the spread of Covid. The Dutch healthcare workers (HCP) have been briefed recently that they will receive and give patients from ages 18 to 80 years and over with booster shots. It is important to note that these booster vaccines are significant in the fight against Covid as it lowers the probability of getting infected, especially with the new variant on the rise. This can be seen at the end of 2020, when vaccination and boosters decreased Covid cases and occupancy rates in hospitals globally.
However, with careful steps being taken and learned from and to some extent, restricted our movements in engaging with our daily lives, why is there another wave of Covid? Is it inevitable? Were previous interventions, protocols, rules and policies less effective? Certainly complex questions require complex answers. According to Nature.com, the vaccination distribution at the beginning of the pandemic was proven to reduce the mortality and hospitalization of infected patients. At the same time, the implementation of NPI was deemed to be successful in preventing the spread of Covid and allowed us to some degree to live normal again, at least for a while. This sudden spike was followed due to the lack of health protocols in European countries like the Netherlands and due to the nature of the disease itself, the mutation is possible when vaccinations are not taken seriously by the majority of the population, which increases the chance that the mutation of the virus penetrates our immune system. Therefore, it is imperative that, with the development of the virus, in particular the omicron, we must be aware of the importance of taking preventive measures as this new variant can be transmitted and spread very quickly, 3-6 times faster than the previous delta variant.
Nevertheless, in conclusion, the NPI method and getting vaccinated are one of the strongest fortresses to protect humanity at this time. The NPI is widely applied to all aspects of life, such as in schools, places of amusement, worship places and so forth. However, even though vaccinations do not guarantee immunity from Covid 100%, at the least it could act as a preventive measure and reduce the severity of getting infected and to diminish mass hysteria at a global level.Though, there are still opposing arguments in responding to a government’s policy such as the wave of mass protests carried out in several big cities in the Netherlands. But, it is imperative that we should shift our attitudes and become optimistic towards policies being decided and implemented by governmental bodies as this will contribute to the overall well being of society which may bring benefits and perhaps, return to how things were before, before Covid happened.
What do you think about the current rise in Covid cases? Have the policies implemented by the government insofar been effective?
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