Think about living with the virus, not after: several experts reported this weekend NRC Handelsblad. Epidemiologist Alma Tostman explains what we can do now to live with the virus.
“If the virus is somewhat under control again after vaccination, you don’t want to wait for you to have another wave like this and all the integrated circuits are full again, then you are too late. That’s why you have to think about prevention. And you have to intervene earlier. Tostman says.
Live with the virus
According to Radboudumc’s epidemiologist, we are entering new periods of restrictive measures. “That would be necessary every now and then. But I don’t see such major general measures as going back now. After the vaccination, we will really get a better view of the virus. Then we will be in a different stage, we are no longer in the acute phase that we are still in now.”
Tostman thinks we need to change healthcare to continue living with the virus. We have to remain focused on reviving the virus for years to come. “With source research and contact, you have to be on top of that. Also with people who visit their GP with complaints, you can use random samples to check the extent of the virus.” Tostman doesn’t see the solution yet in more ice beds. “Because you’re already late anyway. You have to step in early in the chain, especially gaining insight about the virus. You have to prepare health care for that. More and better testing.”
Society accepts more deaths
Yet Tostman at some point predicts that years later, and if the severity of the virus remains the same, society will accept more deaths. “I think it is a misunderstanding that virologists and epidemiologists do not want anyone to get sick or we do not accept death. I think it is in our field that we mainly advise the current situation. But I am totally in favor of expanding the scope as possible. Look at the measures and look carefully at what we have to do Done then. I just welcome the expansion. “
One method of prevention is vaccination. This is why not only does health care have to change, but we may also have to vaccinate against Coronavirus every year. It will mainly concern the weak.
“But it is also doubtful whether this is really necessary, because with the flu vaccine you get a new injection every year because a new type of virus is prevalent. The question with the Coronavirus is whether there is a new variant every year. It becomes dominant,” he explains Toastman.
What we must do in any case is watch things closely. “With all mutants, you will likely get a moment when someone enters our country with a virus that infects others. You want to get a good picture of exactly what kind of virus is walking around in its place, through random sampling and continuous testing. So you can intervene quickly.”