We run the risk of thinking things are going back to relative normalcyish here in the high-income countries. But, I want to remind everyone that we are not out of this pandemic until everyone is out. The more virus spreading globally, the more variants can emerge, the higher the risk of one of those variants being more lethal+contagious. The way out of this is vaccines – NOT ‘let-it-rip’. 𝐁𝐞𝐜𝐚𝐮𝐬𝐞 𝐰𝐡𝐞𝐧 𝐰𝐞 ‘𝐥𝐞𝐭-𝐢𝐭-𝐫𝐢𝐩’, 𝐢𝐭 𝐫𝐢𝐩𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐫𝐨𝐮𝐠𝐡 𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐦𝐮𝐧𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐞𝐬/𝐜𝐨𝐮𝐧𝐭𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝐩𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐭𝐲 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐚 𝐫𝐨𝐚𝐫. We might all be susceptible to COVID-19 – it’s what happens AFTER that matters. That’s where poverty comes in.
Look at the pictures on this post. We all know India is being hit hard. Look also at the curves for Peru, Nepal, and Ecuador. (I included the curves for cases and deaths for these countries, per million population).
Look also at the picture for test positivity rate. Those rates are huge and indicate we are not catching infections.
The infections and deaths we see on these maps are a fraction of what is happening in real-life. We are not seeing the reality.
I have friends and colleagues in these countries. They have heartbreaking stories of running of oxygen, not being able to find a hospital bed, and friends dying trying to get to a hospital. I heard stories yesterday of families in the jungles of Peru getting Dengue fever AND COVID-19 at the same time. If you are already poor, malnourished, hours away from a hospital – how can you fight those diseases? How do you pay for a funeral if you can’t even afford food for your family?
I know we are all weary. But, some have the feeling of weariness coupled with desperation of trying to find oxygen for their dad and food for their children. This is not equal.
Let’s continue to get and give vaccines. I included a picture of the vast inequities regarding vaccine distribution for the hardest-hit countries.
✅ Sign the declaration for equal access to vaccines here: https://www.who.int/campaigns/annual-theme/year-of-health-and-care-workers-2021/vaccine-equity-declaration
✅ If you want to donate, here are two trusted organizations with on-the-ground work in these countries:
Partners In Health
Love your global neighbors,