Prepare for the Coronavirus epidemic worse than last year’s
It was reported that nearly seven in 10 Filipinos believe the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic is over.
I really hope so too. However, as one of scenario, I believe it is better to prepare for the worse status of Coronavirus than last year’s, especially if you are located in emerging countries like Philippines.
If you’re in the Philippines, you may wonder why.
“The number of newly confirmed cases is much lower than last year’s peak”
“We will have vaccines soon.”
Yes, both are right. However, you may firstly have to think of the schedule.
According to the recent news, 22% of population in the Philippines, will be vaccinated at the end of the year while 62% at the end of next year. It is said 60%-70% required herd immunity. Simply, we still have large risk of exponential growth of coronavirus newly confirmed cases. Almost all of the emerging countries would have vaccine schedule similar to the one of Philaiippines.
While the impact of vaccine is still limited, there would be two possible trigger for this year’s worst epidemic than 2020
The first one is rainy season.
Ventilation is important to avoid the transmission. As developed countries, mostly located in colder places, had to lock down again this winter. In Japan, Hokkaido island (most north) started to have increase of the patient around one month ahead of the other regions. Many knows ventilation is important while the colder, the harder to keep windows open.
This may explain why the peak was over in last August in the Philippines or India. Rainy season.
The government has eased the restriction since then. So why did things get better? That’d be the end of rainy season.
At the ordinary household in developing countries, air-con use is limited. During heat season, people has to open their window. But during rainy season, they have to shut their windows, to avoid rain from falling into your rooms.
Same trend can be observed below countries.
India with rainy season for June-September
Indonesia with rainy season for Nov-Mar
Please take note that this may not be causation but correlation, especially spurious ones. But here, better to prepare for worse epidemic as one of scenarios.
Aside from rainy seasons, there is one other bad news: Variants.
As Tomas Pueyo, the author of “Hammer and Dance” described in his latest work “Variants v. Vaccines (The Race between the Tortoise and the Hare)”,
Emerging countries are in an even worse position: Not only will they have the 3 variants. They will also receive vaccines much later.
For example, in Central Visayas of Philippines, where Cebu city is located at, the number of newly confirmed cases are rapidly increased.
According to the news report,
The UK variant is said to be more contagious than other original variants of the coronavirus disease that originated from China,
“While the Covid-19 situation in Cebu City is still at a manageable level, the data indicates a continuing increase in new Covid-19 cases since the start of the year. This continues to be a serious cause of concern given that the new and more contagious UK B.1.1.7 variant has been identified in the area,”
The # of newly confirmed cases in most of the other regions in the Philippines are stable or decline, except for in northern Luzon island like Cagayan valley, Ilocos and CAR.
As experienced in UK, the penetration of variants may largely vary between regions.
Since the genome sequence to identify variant is more scarce than PCR test itself, nobody knows the actual trend of penetration in most of emerging countries. Better to prepare for the worst, below roughly estimated formula.
Original Reproduction rate 1 * Variants 1.4–1.7 times * 1.x times if rainy season effects * 0.8 times due to vaccines
I’m concerned especially when observing these two weeks’ increase of newly confirmed cases in Manila, where I am located at.
This possible worst status may happen in emerging countries while people in developed countries enjoy post-Coronavirus by herd immunity by Coronavirus. Emerging country government may not be able to spend this year as much as last year. Once USA stop printing money, weaken home currency may cause inflation.
Strict lockdown and healthcare collapse with inflation and more limited support by government may cause riot. This is the one possible worst scenario. Again, I really hope the worst status was over. However, as quoted by Stockdale,
“You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end — which you can never afford to lose — with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.”
Let’s survive this war, no matter what scenario realized. Be proactive. Be prepared.