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A virus among us

The WHO has warned that coronavirus may never go away. The global health agency and experts around the world are unable to predict when the virus will disappear and life will return to normal.
The only way to end the uncertainty is to wait for a vaccine or effective treatment, but even if a vaccine is found, controlling the virus will require massive effort. The coronavirus may become another endemic virus in our communities and we have to come to terms with it.
There is no cure for many viruses and we continue to live with them. HIV/AIDS is also considered a global pandemic since 1980 that has infected 38 million people in the last two years. Many illnesses such as measles have vaccines but have not been eliminated either. The only way is to control the coronavirus which requires immense efforts.
The UN has warned the ongoing pandemic was causing widespread distress and mental ill health, particularly in countries where there is lack of investment in mental healthcare. Governments are been urged to make mental health part of its overall virus response.
In the United States, a leading vaccine expert has warned that country risks its ‘darkest winter’ over the lack of a vaccine control programme. All these stark reminders and warnings come as several countries, including Pakistan, began to gradually ease lockdown measures and reopen their economies.
Prime Minister Imran Khan echoed similar concerns and said that we have to learn to live with the coronavirus as a cure is not coming anytime soon. He said the government has to consider the impact of the disease on the wider society.
The prime minister claimed the situation in Pakistan is much different hen other countries as the death toll was less than projections. The cases, however, can increase in the coming days as a second wave of infections is eminent and will burden the limited medical resources.
According to the prime minister, over 150 million people in the country have been directly or indirectly affected by the lockdown. There are over 25 daily wagers who are the most vulnerable and risk starvation. The only solution is to resume our normal lives while taking safety precautions.
This coronavirus has placed world leaders in a dilemma as there is no way of easing restrictions without triggering new infections. We need to change our mindset and eventually learn to live with the virus and also be prepared for the worst.
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