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Posts Tagged ‘Pandemic’

New Pandemic and Community

06 Dec

Even in the case of the same virus, it is a new pandemic, the new variant called omega by the WHO has to circumvent vaccines, we knew this already from other infectious diseases, if not eradicated the disease can return and in this case the variants manifest increasingly complex a new of infection spreads.

Many activists, scientists and also the WHO defended that a more equitable distribution of vaccines around the world would help combat covid 19, so the third dose (necessary, but in another step) was taken from vaccines that could be donated to poorer countries , like most African countries, the sociologist Mbembe’s Necropolitics from Cameroon reminds us of this, choosing who should die, but in this case it implies a global Necropolitics, as without a coimmunity the Pandemic returns.

The word coimmunity coined by Sloterdijk was thought in a broader sense, long before the pandemic, it makes sense now that we look at a global problem.

The good news is that even though it can infect people who have already been vaccinated, the infection is less serious if already vaccinated, according to Brazilian geneticist Salmo Raskin, director of the Genetika Laboratory in Paraná, it was already clear that the variant was not subject to initial infection, both infected. as vaccinated they are not immune to this omega strain.

The number of infections grows in Europe, according to data from Reuters, every three days there is a million new cases being registered, which in total since the beginning of the pandemic has surpassed 75 million infected, the number of deaths is also growing: Italy registered 43 deaths, the numerous countries that continue to fall are Russia and Ukraine, but it is noteworthy that they were the first to grow in infections and the numbers are still high.

Even so, there are protests against new restrictions measures due to the new wave, Germany had a demonstration this weekend.

The problem in Europe is not yet the omega variant, but the low rate of vaccination, called vaccine hesitation, and they still say it is a global phenomenon, however in many countries vaccination is progressing, in Brazil we are already close to 80% vaccinated although it does not give immunity to the omega variant, it reduces its lethality.

In Brazil, several year-end festivities have been canceled, and protective measures must be taken urgently.

 

 

New variant and concern in Europe

29 Nov

The new variant of the covid-19 virus, called omicron by the WHO, is already present on three continents and the trend is to reach everyone in Brazil, both the director-president of the National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa, Brazil), Antonio Barra Torres, and the director of the Butantan Institute state that it is inevitable that it will arrive in the country.

The variant is the B.1.1.529 strain and was identified for the first time in South Africa on November 9, according to WHO information, where 100 cases of the variant were identified, especially in the populous province of Gauteng, but it has already spread. by Botswana, eSwatini (former Swaziland), Lesotho, Namibia and Zimbabwe, countries that Brazil closed the border.

In Brazil, a passenger on a flight that passed through South Africa tested positive last Saturday 11/27 and disembarked in Guarulhos (SP), the other passengers are also being monitored, it is still not possible to identify whether the contagion was due to the new strain.

What is known for now is that the variant can affect contagion and lethality rates, but the genetic sequencing may still take a few more days to complete, director Tulio de Oliveira of the Center for Epidemic Responses and Innovations at the University of KwaZulu -Natal, stated that this variant is “an unusual constellation of mutations”, while the delta variant had only two mutations, for example, in relation to the original coronavirus strain.

Meanwhile, the number of deaths is growing again in Europe (see graph), the average of deaths reached the highest level since February 2021, when the continent started to recover, for every million inhabitants the rate is 5.2 daily deaths on average from the new coronavirus in the last 7 days.

With the new strain and variants it is necessary to resume care, wait for studies on the strain and the effectiveness of vaccines, Pfizer has already announced that it must have changes to ensure immunity.

We reached 70% of the complete vaccination in Brazil, but with the new strain it is not possible to assert total immunity.

Note: Today (29/11) Australia has suspended the reopening and Japan has closed its borders.

 

 

Covid alert and Christmas parties

22 Nov

Europe is once again concerned about Covid’s infection rates, when everything seemed to be moving towards a happy end-of-the-year outcome, the arrival of winter, little vaccination and doubts about vaccines even by health professionals, made the indexes grow again.

Last Thursday, Germany registered a daily record of 50,000 new infections in 24 hours, in Russia 40,000 cases, Eastern European nations: Slovenia, Croatia, Georgia, Slovakia and Lithuania have the highest rates of new cases of the disease, too in France and the United Kingdom the number of cases is growing (picture).

Portugal, which has the highest vaccination rate, close to 90%, will resume preventive measures such as the use of masks, in Austria and the Netherlands there are lockdown measures, the protests against this new restriction measure provoked a confrontation with the police in the weekend.

In an interview given to the BBC, Hans Kluge, WHO regional director said there could be 500,000 new deaths in Europe by March if measures are not taken.

We are in a hot climate, the moving average of cases and deaths in Brazil is decreasing, but the parties and a certain relaxation in preventive measures are worrying, there are no measures in any part of the country concerned with a possible new one, where it seems distant, but remember the 2019 carnival when there were some signs and we didn’t worry, the consequences came in March of that year.

Measures in shopping malls, supermarkets, concerts and sports squares are totally relaxed and we will only know the consequences at the beginning of 2022, even if only preventive, these measures can help prevent a new outbreak that would leave the country even more in despair, what we observe is a concern only with liberation, the election year is approaching and no one wants to take unpopular measures, but health should come first, even in relation to the economy already in crisis.

If we’re going to pay to see it, the cost could be high.

 

 

The pandemic is not over

15 Nov

It is sad and distressing, but the pandemic is not over, Europe is very concerned about covid-19 and in Brazil, where the numbers have not yet dropped from 260 deaths a day, and the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation of Brazil (Fiocruz) registered a increase in children in cases of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) with records higher than Covid 19.

While cases are on the rise in countries like Germany, Russia, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic, Russia set a new record for infection and deaths last week (It has only 34% of the population vaccinated), concern is growing over the arrival winter, and in Austria the government decreed a lockdown for unvaccinated people.

In Russia the measure taken was a national recess from October 30th to November 7, in Germany the director of virology at the Charite hospital in Berlin emphasized: “We have a real emergency now” as the country has registered almost 40,000 cases of covid , the biggest since the beginning of the pandemic, and made an alarming prediction, 100,000 people could die.

In Brazil, although moving at a slower pace than in the previous period of vaccine vaccination, the number is increasing and in many places there is a demand for people who did not come for the second dose. close to 59% of the Brazilian population is fully immunized and almost 80% have already received the first dose.

Seven Brazilian States are on the rise after a sharp fall in the previous month: Santa Catarina, Pará, Roraima, Rondônia, Bahia, Ceará and Piauí, a case that drew attention was Serrana (Brazil), where the São Paulo government carried out a mass vaccination trying to make the model city for vaccination, there were 563 cases in the last month and such a high number (the city has 45,644 inhabitants) did not have a clear explanation (see photo, official data from the municipal health Departament).

The end of the year parties are approaching and the concern is with the surveillance that does not exist in public spaces (concerts, shopping malls, supermarkets, etc.) and a flare-up of the disease would not only bring a worsening of health, but would extend the social crisis that is already affecting unbearable levels, there are no measures around this aggravation, the rise in prices is there.

Another worrying factor is now the psychological health of the population subjected to high stress and constant pressure of concern about the disease without clear policies, it is already possible to observe a large number of people with changes: anguish, tension, depression and antisocial attitudes, overcoming the crisis will require a lot of public efforts.

It is easy to observe in the markets and in daily consumption an increase in alcoholism and use of medicines, the end of the year parties could improve this aspect, but the social crisis does not help, the parties should be modest or in non-Christmas parties where the exaggeration and Drinks allow you to tap into the energies contained in the pandemic.

 

 

The meekness in times of polarization

02 Nov

Meekness is a fundamental virtue for resolving conflicts, establishing new spaces for dialogue where it ended and opening new horizons where they seem impossible.

John Calvin has a very noble phrase: “It will be useless to teach meekness unless we have started with humility”, in fact the great reason why some seem right and others unreasonable. on the sides (the opposite of humility) and within these parameters, no dialogue will be possible, or what we prefer, no “new horizon” will be drawn that establishes a future point where conflicting points may enter into a process of convergence.

Polarization is inevitable may be the arguments of some, yes if reaching a certain point of conflict this is valid, but we must know that the actual way out of a conflict will have to have the flag of peace at some point and it cannot be the The flag of submission of the vanquished, the pax Romana, after Rome conquers its territories, it is submission to an authoritarian concept that at a certain point will return to war.

Power is always asymmetrical, this is true, but meekness can lead to it being exercised with modesty and justice.

Polarization is logic may be the argument to justify it, but remember that fuzzy logic, paraconsistent logic and other logics are not binary, yes or no, and that there are never only two sides, this is an idealistic position that it induces duality, there can be multiple sides, so the really fair logic admits a third hypothesis.

These will never be winners and will always be by the wayside may be another thought, as paradoxical as the divine teaching may seem, in many religions, is that meekness and humility lead people to high, one of the biblical beatitudes says (Mt 5, 5): “Blessed are the meek, for they will possess the land” and so where is their power, the conquest through perennial values can only lead to plenitude and perenniality itself, the problem is to yield to values tricky and unfair.

The construction of a perennial reality, a time of peace and justice, as we begin to emerge from a pandemic, is fundamental, even if it seems distant.

 

 

The Falling Virus as New Concerns

01 Nov

The number of cases in Russia that remained high, new cases emerging in China attributed to the Delta variant, according to data from the country’s own National Health Commission, accused 32 cases in Inner Mongolia, in the north of the country and which has already spread throughout In 11 provinces, cases have been confirmed in Guizhou in the South, Shandong in the East and in Gansu near Inner Mongolia, three cases in Beijing and two in Yinshou, in the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region.

In Brazil the moving average of deaths continues to fall, now in the range of 260 deaths, with 75% having already taken the first dose, and 55% the necessary doses, it is possible to predict a Christmas and a milder end of the year of the Pandemic in the country, many collective events are already released, games with 100% of the fans and parties and public shows.

The concern now turns to social problems arising from the pandemic, unemployment, impoverishment and rising prices. Even if some social aid does come, it will be insufficient to contain the spread of the crisis.

The closing of downtown offices, the mandatory use of masks and the restrictions imposed on restaurants have transformed landscapes into cities around the world, and are likely to continue in the long term, such as rethinking urban space, what to do with office buildings , closed stores and restaurants in the city centers, smart cities showed paths with a trend, apparently only electronic, now it seems inevitable, in Singapore even policing is done by robots (photo).

The immense empty spaces must be preserved and cared for, without robots the cost is high for a small population, so in many cities they will either remain abandoned centers or they will have to develop more computerized forms of maintenance and policing, in addition to the existing cameras.

It is likely that a reasonable number of people return to the routine of agglomerations in large centers, but there is a tendency to go to smaller cities or leave urban centers and work at home.

 

 

The divine environment and the human phenomenon

28 Oct

Chardin’s worldview on the human phenomenon ranges from cosmogenesis, the origin of the universe and of life to the complexification of nature and the place of man in it, what the pandemic shows is that this complexification grows and even science has limits to deal with it, however, this pandemic can bring new horizons, when it thinking and clarifying it needs science.
Among his various works, Teilhard Chardin makes a singular journey between The divine environment, written between November 1926 and March 1927 and the Human Phenomenon, written between July 1938 and June 1940, which form an “inseparable whole” also says edition I have of Editorial Presença de Lisboa, Portugal.
Singular because it transits from the divine to the human, as the names of the works attest, without slips or ravages, it shows us the “need for the connection between science and religion equally affirmed by Einstein”, an expression by Helmut de Terra, friend and admirer of Chardin. Chardin initiates the divine environment by realizing “the confusion of religious thought in our time” (page 41) and attests that the man of our time “lives with the explicit awareness of being an atom or a citizen of the Universe” (idem).
The timeliness of the text is because the author affirms at the beginning of his book something that has a lot to do with our days, a collective awakening that a beautiful day “makes each individual aware of the true dimensions of life, necessarily provokes in the human mass a profound religious shock, both to slaughter and to exalt ”(ibidem).
This is because the world is too “beautiful: it is to him and only to him that they should worship” (p. 42). What is then the “divine environment”, the world (in our case we explore the universe’s worldviews) will not be more and more fascinating and it would not be and it would be “eclipsing our God” (idem), and there is a connection, in the view of part of Christianity, between God and matter, the Eucharist, she and she alone can create a real sense of reconnecting us to the divine, “this is my body and my blood” said Jesus, and those who eat will have access to eternal life.
Chardin says “the slowly accumulated tension between Humanity and God will reach the limits set by the possibilities of the World, and then it will be the end” (p. 177)… that we must wait not as a catastrophe but as an“ exit ”to the world to which we must collaborate with all our Christian forces without fear of the world, because his enchantments could no longer harm those for whom he became, in addition to himself, the Body of the One who is and the One who comes ”.
Chardin, Teilhard. (no year). O meio edivino: ensaio sobre a vida interior (The divine environment: I teach about the inner life). Lisbon: Editorial Presença.

 

Falling, but the pandemic is not over

25 Oct

We mentioned last week the concern about evolving cases in some countries such as Russia and England, where a variant of the virus is being studied with concern, also the poorest countries have received fewer vaccines than promised by donation, and we already understand that Pandemic is global, that is, there is an influence of less vaccinated regions in others that maintain a high level of immunity, policies for future pandemics already take these factors into account.

Some countries continue with a high level of deaths, despite vaccination, in the US around 1700 daily deaths in the last week, in the rest of the world it is falling, but with the presence of deaths, in the graph above with deaths registered on the 23/ 10 (Saturday) in absolute number of deaths, Brazil, followed by India, Mexico and then Russia.

The major concern of WHO is with respect to promises of vaccine donations to the poorest countries that are not being fulfilled. the news is not from this blog, but from the WHO itself, as it has positioned itself against the third dose, as according to The People’s Vaccine report made on the BBC, an alliance of a charity institution reported that only one in seven doses of vaccines promised by companies and rich countries, in fact reached the poorest nations.

In the report, in the interview with Bruce Aylward he stated: “Do we really need to step up or do you know what’s going to happen? This pandemic will last another year than it needs to,” he warned, and this is due to the fact that even with isolation measures we are always connected, and any communication (not only of people, but of products and any biological material such as fruits and food) can be transmitter.

In Brazil, the number of vaccine doses is coming, a boost in the vaccination campaign against Covid 19, a batch of 1.7 million Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines arrived on Friday (10/22) and other equal amounts had already arrived, totaling almost 5 millions of vaccines.

The inputs for AstraZeneca were also received by FioCruz (Brazil), which produces the vaccine in the country, the landing of the Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) arrived for the production of 5.6 million doses with arrival scheduled for 5:50 am on Sunday morning (25/10).

Vaccination in the first dose reaches close to 153 million doses, while the second dose (or single dose) reached just over 109 million vaccinated, the moving average of deaths is just above 300 daily deaths, with a downward trend we can assume that we will be below 100 daily deaths in early December.

 

 

Covid falls and worrying cases

18 Oct

Covid 19 already shows signs of decline worldwide, but there are still worrying cases such as Russia, the first country to launch a vaccine and had on Saturday (16/09) more than a thousand deaths from Covid 19, the reasons are several, the main thing is the low rate of vaccination, Russia reached 218,362 thousand deaths for a population of 145 million inhabitants.

The whole world has almost 48% at least one dose and just over 36% fully immunized, it is possible to consider that we are not out of danger, something around 60% would be desirable, at least until the end of the year for the Christmas parties , in Brazil the number of vaccinees is 73.4% at least one dose and close to 50% fully vaccinated, but the infection curve still drops very slowly.

The consequences of Variant delta are not yet known, in a balance made of the pandemic by neuroscientist Miguel Nicolelis, he stated that in Brazil we have not yet seen the face of this variant.

Winter is approaching in the Northern Hemisphere and the WHO intends to consider the possibility of a new pandemic, so that we are not surprised as this one has not ended, in November it will hold a World Health Assembly where it will study the possibility of a “treaty for pandemic”, it is necessary to consider greater solidarity and more effective combat.

The deputy director of WHO Mariângela Simão was emphatic: “there will be a next pandemic”, and added: “This is something we already know and which is inevitable, it’s a question of when it will happen” said according to the Instituto Paulista of Medicine.

Simão alerts that there is no approved vaccine yet for children, so there cannot be a national policy using vaccines that have not been approved for children under 12 years of age, and he points out that we only have one vaccine approved for use by adolescents from 12 years of age, which is the Pfizer.

He highlighted the importance of the Covax consortium that helped vaccination in poor countries, stressing the importance of donating 500 million doses from Pfizer, which will allow the entry of 200 million doses from Pfizer this year, France also made available the make donations and more countries are expected to help because, for now, it is the only vaccine for teenagers.

 

 

Good news and caution

11 Oct

Five Brazilian states did not register death by Covid 19 in the last 24 hours, but it has already exceeded 600,000 deaths and accounts for 21,575,820 infections, the moving average is below 500 deaths and more than 60% of the adult population has already received both doses or single dose of the vaccine.

The main danger is that the stress of the period of sanitary measures causes a relaxation in the population, sanitary measures are still mandatory and this is the right time not to relax and be resilient.

The precaution is due to the worldwide problem of the pandemic, the WHO global data indicate 52,929 infections yesterday with a weekly drop of 17.64% and a total of 818 deaths (more than 42 in the week) with a weekly drop of 21.26% (see chart), both more pronounced than in previous weeks.

In many countries there is already a relaxation in sanitary measures, it is necessary to be aware that this affects the whole world, as flights and global mobility start to be relaxed, and without the precautionary measures taken by everyone, it can make the fall more slow, and it is also necessary to remember late autumn and early winter in the northern hemisphere.

Sanitary precautions such as washing your hands and continuing to wear masks and alcohol gel, avoiding crowds and distances when in collective activities (public transport remains a problem), and avoiding the usual end-of-the-year consumerism problem.

A more dignified and less sumptuous Christmas will be more worthy of the date and will avoid the desperation of traditional spending and consumption at the end of the year.

May the return to normality also be a return to serenity, empathy and solidarity.