Make no mistake, this is a war, and the enemy is COVID-19

Trevor feels its now or never to get COVID-19 until control

(File photo)

Vladimir Lenin once famously said “there are decades where nothing happens, and there are weeks where decades happen.”

I’ll leave it up to you to deduce which of these scenarios we are in now.

Over the last two weeks we’ve seen Western governments across the globe pull a complete 180 with regard to how they are dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Leaders which once shrugged off the virus as a “low risk” to the masses are now admitting that, yes, perhaps the previously-unknown zoonotic virus with an R0 (the number of people each infected person infects on average during the course of their illness) of over 3 (by comparison, the regular flu averages around 1.3) is, in fact, a big issue.

If I sound a little bitter at much of the world’s response to this virus, it’s because I am. Anyone who was paying attention to the spread of COVID-19 in early February could see the writing on the wall. For me, it was when I saw the videos of CPC members literally welding Wuhan residents into their own apartments with steel bars.

An authoritarian regime with millions of bodies to spare doesn’t tank its own economy and start the largest quarantine in the history of humanity just for kicks.

READ MORE TREV THOUGHTS: We have to do better than the last decade if we are to survive

But I digress. We are now seeing governments of the world respond. Trudeau has shut down all domestic travel to non-Canadians (with the exception of immediate family members of Canadian citizens, diplomats and U.S. citizens). In Ontario Premier Ford has declared a state of emergency, requiring things like libraries, child centres, restaurants and movie theatres to close immediately.

B.C. has done the same and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry is asking people to limit gatherings to under 50 people “for the foreseeable future”.

In Smithers, a number of essential services such as the pool and library have shut down. Many restaurants are focussing on takeout, upping their sanitation game and giving staff refreshers on cleanliness.

Does this feel like overreacting? Good, it should.

That’s exactly what we are going to have to do if we are to protect the most vulnerable members (the elderly, immunosuppressed, or otherwise ill) of our community.

It’s easy for us 20-something-year-olds to complain about the pool being closed or the Canucks season getting cut short early. But as someone whose 93-year-old grandma living in Northern Ontario is not taking this seriously, I’m beyond relieved to hear that others are.

When our grandparents stormed the beaches of Normandy they didn’t do so because they wanted to. It was a necessary sacrifice made to ensure the longevity of future generations.

And make no mistake, while we are not being shipped off to battle, this will be a war. And it’s just beginning.

Even if we can “flatten the curve”, we don’t know if COVID-19 has reached the saturation point to spread enough through mutations to resist a hypothetical vaccine and potentially become a yearly virus like the flu.

Perhaps even scarier is that while viruses tend to evolve to become more virulent and less deadly, the selective pressures on a virus that already has an extremely virulent transmission period to do so is less.

This is because, unlike a virus with an extremely low transmission period and high lethality that becomes more virulent out of biological necessity, COVID-19 does not have the textbook problem of killing off too many of its hosts too quickly without sustained spread (think Ebola).

If anything, the virus is spreading extremely efficiently and a more lethal variant would be a logical mutation to beat out the others.

Again, this is a war. If we stumble now, it’s possible we will never recover.

One last relevant nugget of knowledge to illustrate this: remember the Spanish Flu? Remember how many people it killed and how it’s become imprinted in history as our last modern pandemic?

I’ll wager you didn’t know it went from being a slightly-worse-than-average flu when it first appeared in March 1918 to the killer we know it as after a mutation first observed around August 1918 began to cause a “cytokine storm” effect in otherwise healthy 25 to 35-year-olds, causing them to drown in their own fluid-filled lungs.

If COVID-19 began in early January, we’re about 2 months out of that above five-month mutation period we saw with the Spanish Flu. Let’s use that time to prepare.
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

VIA Rail lays off 1,000 unionized workers across the country

Northern B.C. route Jasper to Prince George to Prince Rupert is not affected by VIA Rail layoffs

Overall house sales drop in the northwest

COVID-19 pandemic slowed market activity

B.C. orders Coastal GasLink to stop pipeline construction near protected wetlands

The 670-kilometre pipeline is planned to transport natural gas from northeast B.C. to Kitimat

Smithers Community Radio buys Lions railcar

The Lions are liquidating assets following dissolution announcement

Northwest Indigenous governments form new alliance

Alliance intended as way to share resources, maximize opportunities

Canadian policing organization calls for decriminalization of simple illicit drug possession

Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police want policing focus of opioid crisis to be replaced with a health one

B.C. premier applauds call to decriminalize drug possession

Police shouldn’t struggle with health issues, Horgan says

VIA Rail lays off 1,000 unionized workers across the country

Northern B.C. route Jasper to Prince George to Prince Rupert is not affected by VIA Rail layoffs

Indigenous leader Ed John pleads not guilty to historical sex charges

Ed John’s lawyer entered the plea by telephone on behalf of his client

Woman who talked to unconscious husband for 30 years gets solace from B.C. study

Ian Jordan suffered a head injury when he and another officer were on their way to a call in Victoria in September 1987

RCMP investigate threat against Indigenous totem poles on B.C.’s Sunshine Coast

Police describe the nature of the threat as ‘sensitive’

Ex-Okanagan Mountie forfeits 20 days’ pay after sexual misconduct review

A former Vernon RCMP constable made sexual comments, grabbed genitals of male officer in two incidents 10 years ago

Man found dead on Okanagan trail identified as Hollywood actor

GoFundMe campaign launched for man found dead at summit of Spion Kop

3 people dead in Prince George motel fire

Fire personnel believe the blaze was suspicious although investigation in early stages

Most Read