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Opinion and Editorial

KT edit: Waves of anguish lash humanity

Filed on June 15, 2020

In just six months, the coronavirus has brought the world to its knees

A second coronavirus wave could be the worst-case scenario for a world still reeling from the first wave of destruction caused by the pandemic. Such a wave may appear distant but it's hard to perish the thought when new cases are being reported from countries that enforced lockdowns to contain the strain during the early phases of what was then considered a mere outbreak. But the signs are ominous. Science failed us in predicting when a pandemic would strike. Most countries are now straining to keep this viral pandemic at a distance. One simply has to look at China to understand what could happen next. The emergence of new clusters in Beijing may be an indication of what is to come. Experts are unsure of its impact around the world, or if this is indeed the second wave. The disease was first detected in China in late December and the World Health Organization was informed in early January. 

In just six months, the coronavirus has brought the world to its knees. It has shattered lives and made the best scientific minds numb with its rapid spread. Health systems in Europe are still recovering from the first wave and the effort is to keep the virus at bay. The Americas and South Asia, meanwhile, are still witnessing the peak of the first wave. No specialist is wagering a bet on when or how it can be controlled as the virus has a mind of its own. The US and India are the new epicentres and it could go downhill for another couple of months before cases taper off. Hence, the question on everyone's minds is this: if the ongoing first wave can be this bad, will we survive the pain and anguish caused by a likely second wave? The world is at loss for solutions and is pinning its hopes on 100 vaccine candidates, yet no one is certain of how effective they will be if wave after wave of infections arrive. More than seven million people have been sickened in the first wave; 400,000 lives have been lost. Is the world prepared for more punishment from the virus that could be mutating as it moves from host to host? The other theory that could come as some relief is the virus could weaken but still remain with us and circulate amongst the population, just like the common flu. It could visit during seasons of its choosing, vanish and return. Beijing, meanwhile, has locked down some parts of the city. Countries have learnt from the first wave and walled themselves out. Lockdowns, however, are temporary as this virus continues to play with human minds and lives. It is moulding thought and directing the course of the narrative into a tsunami of angst.


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