COVID-19 and the uncertainties of tomorrow

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This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Mr. Jhonatan Guilherme Fernandes and Ms. Daniela Lorenset, two medical students from the Ingá University Center, Maringá – PR, Brazil. They are affiliated with the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writers and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.


After a year of pandemic by COVID – 19, we continually question ourselves about what we have been able to learn and how to behave in the face of this threat. When the second wave started in 2021, panic set in since all the pre-transformed patterns during the year 2020 no longer corresponded, since the virus mutated and became more virulent.

At the beginning of 2020, we were exposed to a new and unexpected situation, which we had no financial, emotional or health care preparation for. We have learned to identify the disease cycle and its patterns, so that we can identify better forms of treatment and recurrent patterns. Unfortunately, Covid-19 is a virus whose genetic material is composed of RNA, as it does not have adequate points for verifying the fidelity of the genetic material, when carrying out the duplication it is susceptible to genetic variations that can result in increased virulence and resistance to Treatments.

Although we faced the corona virus for a year, an acquired experience was not enough to face a new strain observed in 2021 that caused the third wave during the pandemic. A mutation suffered by the virus resulted in an increase in its virulence and a lack of standard behavior. The third wave brought new challenges to a population and health professionals who were already experiencing physical and emotional exhaustion.

The emergence of the vaccine and the start of application brought a positive outlook so that a population and health systems have reduced their levels of precaution. A population relaxed its protection mechanisms and carried out large agglomerations, since the health system has reduced as drug reserves and the number of beds reserved for COVID-19. The third wave was born amid the hope generated by vaccination, presenting a higher rate of contamination and virulence, breaking patterns. It brought new challenges, as if it were a new disease since the contagious ones presented a fast and aggressive evolution, in a short period after the appearance of the first symptoms, they progressed to a critical situation, often requiring intubation. Own behavior pattern observed in different age groups, so that it compromises young patients without comorbidity quickly and, often, fatal.

In the face of the desperate experience that he obtained with a 3rd wave with the scarcity of beds and medicines, it would be essential that the health system remains on guard and with adequate supply reserves that a threat is neutralized. In this way, we will be less susceptible to the next rise in cases.

References:

  1. MEDEIROS, Eduardo Alexandrino Servolo. DESAFIOS PARA O ENFRENTAMENTO DA PANDEMIA COVID-19 EM HOSPITAIS UNIVERSITÁRIOS. Rev. paul. pediatr.,  São Paulo ,  v. 38,  e2020086,    2020 .
  2. MADY, Charles. As lições da pandemia: o que é possível aprender com esta catástrofe. Jornal da USP [Internet]; 14 dec 2020. [cited 2021April22]. Available from: <https://jornal.usp.br/artigos/as-licoes-da-pandemia-o-que-e-possivel-aprender-com-esta-catastrofe/&gt;.

About the author

Jhonatan Guilherme Fernandes, 21, is a 3rd-year Medical Student from the Ingá University Center, Maringá – PR, Brazil and Local Officer on Medical Education Director (LOME-D) in the local committee Uningá of IFMSA Brazil.

Daniela Lorenset, 27, is a 3rd-year Medical Student from the Ingá University Center, Maringá – PR, Brazil.

These students are academics from Ingá University Center (Uningá) and articulated themselves with the objective of reporting a current problem that has occurred in their country and in the world.

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