After dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic as a doctor and on the front lines, I was left with some fear of being present in circumstances where there are many people, such as concerts, clubs or restaurants. Yes, it may be close to paranoia, but when a pandemic has been seen up close, it may be normal.
These days when I go to shopping centers and even airports, I am surprised to see how hardly anyone wears face masks anymore. Moreover, there are people who get angry when they are asked to put on the mask.
After passing the most critical stage of the COVID-19 pandemic and reflecting after what happened, I have come to the personal conclusion that whenever I am in contact with patients, I have to wear a mask, being consistent with what I learned with the virus SARS-Cov2. I consider that not wearing the mask today, not only in the hospital environment but also in everyday life, is like being in Pamplona (Spain) without knowing that you are in the middle of the Sanfermin festival, in any corner you could be surprised by a bull with a serious impact.
While waiting at the airport, I came across the news of the worldwide alarm over the so-called camel virus or Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) , which could affect the World Cup in Qatar. This virus can produce a serious respiratory condition and those who carry it can transmit the disease up to 4 weeks after acquiring the infection.
Can you imagine it? An event where people from all over the world converge with the risk of being infected by a respiratory virus and that also has a mortality of 35% which is much higher than COVID-19!
Humanity did not come out very well from COVID-19 and modern science did what it could, but the truth is that things got out of hand.
I don’t think that in a new pandemic we can handle things better, even taking into account that the mortality of the new viruses could be higher, meaning that the outlook can be devastating.
A pandemic due to a respiratory virus is one of the situations that can end humanity, just like others, namely a nuclear war, climate change or an asteroid.
We must not skimp on taking precautionary measures because the COVID-19 disease will certainly not be the last pandemic that we are going to have to face.
Prevention measures only have one problem, which is that sometimes they do not provide us with immediate feedback that confirms that we have effectively avoided a certain situation, if we precisely seek that such event does not occur. For example, if you are told that on 25 W 25th Street in New York, a serial killer commits homicides in the afternoon hours, you will probably avoid going through that place in that time slot, and what you will obtain is that it will not actually happen.
Just in case it happens to someone else, and only then, you will ratify a warning.
Therefore, I encourage you not to let your guard down, I am pretty sure we do not like to put on masks, but sometimes it is better to do so instead of complaining later… even though for the moment there are calm winds.