The bitter reality is that Covid is here to stay. Even as Madeira has very few cases, its economy and health system are as much afflicted as mainland Portugal. If we want to resume our daily lives and restart the economy, we have to come up with ideas to manage the next few months or year until a vaccine becomes available.
- We need to segregate the high-risk groups, that is the elderly and persons with pre-existing conditions and maybe also people who already have other underlying health conditions. They will have to be in quarantine for the foreseeable future. Caregivers will have to continue to use gloves, masks and if needed, gowns etc. In the second stage, the person’s family members and other essential contact persons need to be deliberately infected so that they go through the illness in quarantine at home and develop immunity. As the whereabouts of these infected persons are known, it is easy to supervise them and if necessary, treat them under controlled conditions. Once it is proven via blood tests that they have developed antibodies, they can again resume the contact with their loved ones. Note: Their antibody tests must be repeated until the virologists can tell us know how long the body sustains this immunity.
- We need to have regular testing – with reliable tests, probably via blood, and for example, once a month – for the virus for everybody. Let’s say that each citizen is required to have a test at the local Health Centre on the day of their birthday. (I was born on April 4th so my test day would be the fourth day of every month.) Then we can see more quickly where/if the disease crops up again, and take measures with quarantines and transmission line disruption.
- People who have antibodies and are therefore immune at the time, should receive a respective certificate so that they could travel and return without having to go through quarantine.
Once a vaccine has been found and tested, it can be given to the “at-risk groups” and finally, the whole population should all be able to return to a more normal routine.
Will life be the same when this is over? Most likely not.
info at madeira-weekly.com