Thursday, January 27, 2022

Panic soars as pandemic roars


Parvez Jamil
Parvez Jamil has four decades of intensive and extensive experience with excellence in Public Affairs, Corporate Communication and Media Management. He has an inherent will and wish to take on board the less-privileged in his personal and professional priorities.

Snags in covid information, caring and sharing loom large the world over across villages, towns, cities, countries, and continents. We in Pakistan are subject to utter confusion, chaos, and complication about covid information, treatment, and rehabilitation.

Vaccine-related misinformation hampers progress toward vaccine-induced herd immunity and could increase the number of infections related to new COVID-19 variants. Knowing vaccine hesitancy through the lens of social media is of paramount importance.

Fake news is very high misguiding. restricts the spread of fake news. It gives updates on the number of cases in the country. It has a ‘Myths about COVID-19’ section, for example, the virus stops by eating garlic and that is transmitted by mosquito bites.

Most confusing for the public in Pakistan is information on the type of accessible and acceptable covid vaccine available when and where. More puzzling is the question of the booster dose of the same vaccine taken before in two doses or a different type of vaccine may be used as a booster dose.

Doctors, experts, administrators, and authorities the world over, including Pakistan, are unable to provide simple and clear answers on public concerns and confidence-building on covid. As such the public is left in a lurch amid vociferous alarms of sheer helplessness.

Meanwhile, WHO reports as of December 12, 2021, there were 89,731,587 cases of COVID-19 across Europe. The UK is worst-affected with 10,819,515, followed by Russia with 10,046,454. Turkey and France each have about nine million and 8.2 million respectively.

Confusion on the deadly Omicron!!! Not clear Omicron is transmissible (e.g., more easily spread from person to person) than other variants, including Delta. People testing positive are in areas of South Africa affected by a variant, but not clear if it is all due to omicron.

Not clear Omicron is deadlier than other variants, including Delta. Increasing rates of hospitalization in South Africa may be due to increasing numbers infected than infection with Omicron. No clue that symptoms of Omicron are different from other variants of the deadly virus.

Omicron is more mysterious and malicious than any other form of covid humanity experience. Knowing its severity will take days to weeks even more! All variants of COVID-19, including the Delta variant, are dominant worldwide to cause severe disease or death as prevention continues to be key.

Omicron is reported in the cities of Karachi and Lahore in Pakistan. GoP clues cases of COVID-19 are expected to rise in the country. Feared is the peak of the fifth wave of COVID-19 soon for people to take precautions and get vaccinated with a booster dose, as and when recommended.

It is for leadership to manage public information, clear public doubts, remove public dreads, build public confidence, coordinate and interact with national and international agencies and organizations on treatment and rehabilitation of the covid patients.

BUT of real utmost importance is how people understand and prioritize precautions for pandemics in their fatal forms. There is a pressing need for sanitizing, wearing masks, physical distancing, hygienic conditions, affordable immunizing diet, pandemic safe and secured livelihood.

So vital is to stay happy and healthy during the horrors of Covid, even when quarantined. It is physical distancing, not social distancing. Interact, enjoy and share happiness with family, friends, colleagues, neighbors, and the world on the internet, mobile, radio, tv, telephone, cable, social media.

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