After three long and difficult years, the nationwide health emergency COVID-19 has broken out ends Thursday. The World Health Organization explained the coronavirus The state of emergency was over worldwide the week before and in California earlier this year ended its pandemic state of emergency.
But make no mistake: although the emergency response has ended, COVID-19 is still with us. The virus that officially exists killed about 7 million people worldwide (and most likely a lot more unofficially) and more than 1.1 million people In the United States, thousands still get sick every day. People are still dying. Millions still suffer from the loss of loved ones, opportunities and finances. A new, more contagious Omicron subvariant, Arcturus, is circulating in Los Angelesalong with a brand new symptom: conjunctivitis.
Now let’s switch to the The next phase is to manage the waves of infection that are likely to continue for the foreseeable future, while seeking new medicines and therapies to reduce transmission, treat infections and help the many people still suffering from infections ailments contracted months or even years earlier.
It is not certain how many people have the so-called long-COVID illness, although health experts estimate it could be millions. That’s according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last year almost a fifth of Americans who had contracted COVID in the past two years still had symptoms such as fever, dizziness, cognitive dysfunction and palpitations.
most worrying, Research from the National Institutes of Health has identified differences in the diagnosis of Long-COVID. Hispanic and Black people are more likely to develop long-term symptoms after initial infection, but are less likely to be properly diagnosed. These are communities that have already experienced high rates of COVID-related deaths and economic fallout from the pandemic response and continue to lack adequate access to medical treatment. It is unacceptable that they continue to suffer disproportionately.
It is frustrating that policymakers have not taken the necessary steps to prepare for the next public health emergency. It also includes taking stock of how the country has stumbled (early testing failures, lack of coverage, and poor coordination of resources between federal and state governments just to… (name a few) so we put in better systems can.
Yes, pharmaceutical companies were able to develop vaccines in less than a year from the start of the pandemic, but we cannot expect this to happen with every new infectious disease. But it seems as if the legislature wants to forget the terrible times. A bipartisan bill that would have created a 9/11-style commission to review state and federal responses stands still in Congress.
That’s a shame, because scientists are telling us that humanity could face another deadly pandemic much sooner than the century between the 1918 flu pandemic and COVID. With the end of the emergency, the country’s health and political leaders must not neglect the urgency to build a stronger public health response to the next public health crisis.