With Delta variable, it's too early to have a summer full of love

With Delta variable, it’s too early to have a summer full of love

NS summer of love Coming up, newspapers and TV shows are predicting: We can go wild again, and we will. I’ve read it several times until the question was asked if it was about informing or encouraging.

The government is also optimistic. Soon the mouth lids will be discontinued, we can go back to work (what an unspoken disdain; as if hundreds of thousands haven’t worked so hard all this time: from parcel deliveries, stock fillers, cashiers to construction workers, agents and working doctors). We can go to cafes, restaurants, cinemas and theaters again. We’ll keep our distance, wash our hands, and test just in case there’s a complaint for now – we’ll be giving up the rest soon.

But what the government lacks is a plan, just as at the end of the previous lockdown, in June 2020. Then we did something: We went from zero to ninety, in a few weeks. We let go of the reins and head straight for a stronger and longer wave than we could have ever imagined.

Dancing is good, but the hammer – forget it again. Is there a containment plan? Does GGD now have enough capacity to accurately trace all of the infections that have been identified? Does GGD already know early enough where the sources of infection are and how they develop, now that we increasingly rely on self-exams and rapid tests? There are still no appropriate rules for travelers returning from high-risk countries: they are kindly asked to go into quarantine after returning home, and that was the case.

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Cabinet puts everything on one map: vaccinations. It comes down to tie-breaking or weakening, and we do it blindfolded, as with a new, rapidly mutating virus. We have no idea how long the vaccines will protect: This is something we learn from experience, and with bad luck this can be a hard lesson.

In addition, the delta mutation is of great concern to epidemiologists and virologists. In Russia, the United Kingdom and Portugal, almost all of the new infections that were sequentially tested were of the delta type. There are new outbreaks in the UK and Israel, where many people have been vaccinated. Research in the UK shows that even people who get a second vaccine before they get delta can get seriously ill and even die from it. Worse yet: A third of people who died of deltas in the first two weeks of June had been fully vaccinated for at least a few weeks.

Now, not every vaccine “works” well on everyone, some people have a weak immune system anyway, and no vaccine offers complete protection – but those numbers are higher than we’ve seen before.

For now, it seems a bit too early to brag – unless you want to give the virus another chance to join the party.

Karin Spaink writes a column for Het Parool every week. Read all of her articles Here back.

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