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COVID: Won't be locked down forever but…, UN official on 2 critical steps to deal with next phase of pandemic

The surging, highly contagious Omicron subvariant, BA.2 was seeking out people like me — the cautious so-far uninfected, UN official said (HT)Premium
The surging, highly contagious Omicron subvariant, BA.2 was seeking out people like me — the cautious so-far uninfected, UN official said (HT)

  • Noting that one of her biggest worries was to get others infected, my UN colleagues — all the way up to the Secretary General, with whom I always mask up — are thankfully all negative.

We all want to move on, but COVID isn’t done with us, Melissa Fleming, the head communicator for United Nations wrote as she caught the virus for the first time after dodging it for over two years. Fleming mentioned that she already had three vaccines and a course of anti-viral drugs that had kept her protected and even then, she couldn't escape the virus. 

I was shocked at how powerfully it hit me. My symptoms, which first developed the weekend before Easter, have ranged from crippling fatigue to a severe headache, muscle aches, and a cough that wouldn’t let me sleep. And that’s not to mention the psychological hit.

I’ll admit it’s been a scary experience. All the old fears from the early pandemic have reared their ugly heads. Apart from death, it’s always been long COVID that scares me most. Hearing accounts from a colleague who suffers brain fog and has only half his previous energy levels, my daughter’s friend with high blood pressure and smokers lungs, and countless other accounts of people suffering from lasting debilitating after effects fills me with dread.

Noting that one of her biggest worries was to get others infected, “My UN colleagues — all the way up to the Secretary General, with whom I always mask up — are thankfully all negative." 

I wore a mask at home once I tested positive but passed it on to my husband before I knew I had it. I also gave it to my son. Both developed hefty symptoms too, she mentioned. 

COVID isn't over. 

Making an observation that most countries have started opening up, the official added, “…COVID hadn’t gone away. It was always there, stalking the periphery, waiting to pounce. In recent days the city’s (New York) rising caseload had me worrying. The surging, highly contagious Omicron subvariant, BA.2 was seeking out people like me — the cautious so-far uninfected. More and more of my contacts were positive. I’d work out when I last saw them, wonder when my turn would come. Then, at last, it did."

Let me be clear, I don’t think the answer is to stay locked down forever. The presence of the vaccines and the anti-viral drugs for the at-risk have taken the sting out of COVID for most. But it is still dangerous for the many unvaccinated — by choice or not — and for those with existing conditions, she further said. 

The pandemic isn’t over. How can it be when so many are dying every single day? I see some of their faces on my Twitter feed. Many of the victims are young, their whole lives ahead of them.

We’re all desperate to start a more hopeful chapter. But getting COVID at this moment brought home just how much pain and loss the pandemic has caused, she said explaining her personal experience and futher advised, “So, stay vigilant, if not for yourself, then for the vulnerable. Every death is a tragedy. Many can be prevented."

 

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