Here is a dose of an unwelcome fact: there is no cure for the COVID-19 pandemic. Viruses are not curable just preventable. I know that hopes are high because I have talked with many of you, and many feel that the next test or vaccine will flip a switch and we will all be able to get back to what used to be normal. Society wants to enjoy sporting events, cruises, and hell, just going out to eat regularly, as well as visiting our families and not wearing masks like we are in some bad sci-fi movie. COVID-19 is a paradigm shift in our awareness of health and safety protocols, and society must understand there is no cure for a virus, only ways to mitigate its spread.
Recently, Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel weighed in.
“I believe SARS-Cov-2 is going to stay with humans forever,” Bancel said in an interview with Yahoo Finance Live. “We’re going to have to have boosts adapted to a virus, like we have for flu. It’s the same thing, they are both mRNA viruses, and we’re going to have to live with it forever.”
Vaccine development was and is critical. Attacking this virus early is always better, but it is also challenging. Kudos to Moderna, Johnson and Johnson, and others who have made incredible leaps and bounds toward safe and effective vaccines. But viruses mutate and that means vaccines will have to be modified and advanced over time and we, the population will need boosters to keep up. Bancel refers to those developments of boosters in the same article, but the point is clear–this is not going away any time soon, and we are all a part of the fight to claw back to aspects of our normal lives for each other.
“I don’t believe we should start setting elimination or eradication of this virus as the bar for success,” Bancel told Yahoo Finance. “The bar for success is reducing the capacity of this virus to kill, to put people in hospital, to destroy our economic (and) social lives.”
Simple and low-cost steps can be taken and should be implemented as new normal. The parent in me shudders to think this, but I know, having two kids, hygiene is more a struggle than one would admit. Hand washing, covering your face and basic steps around contact are the first steps. We in the US, are woefully behind. As we discussed in the USA Today article, Lessons Learned About Keeping the Workplace Clean and Healthy – Business and Tech, getting those basic “blocking and tackling” pieces handled seemed straight-forward but they have not been.
Once you are past the basics, including mask-wearing (which, while annoying, has proven amazingly effective), you are ready to add layers of further protection based on your needs. These layers are not dissimilar to the discussion years ago during the AIDS epidemic. Sadly, we used similar binary words like “safe” then. Hell, we have fallen into that trap now.
Safe is not reality. Safer is reality. Safer grows with layers like warmth in the winter does.
So, as you look to make your workplace or experience safer, please talk to us about multiple methods to provide safer screening, from advanced health questionnaires to patented, fast and accurate thermal imaging for fever detection that can be seamlessly integrated into your access control and scheduling. These steps work independent of COVID-19 and represent measures forward in edge mitigation against various challenges, including the seasonal flu.
As Benjamin Franklin said, “By Failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
This is not something we can continue to fail at.