I think I’m one of those who were well adapted to the pandemic world this year. This wasn’t because I was “smart” or “resourceful” but it was merely because my life was pretty simple. All I wanted to continue was to snuggle with my cats. Almost nothing else mattered to me. I therefore changed most parts of my life. I used to take uber at least twice a day but I haven’t even opened the app since March. I go to the town only once every two months now. I even purchased another online lesson about machine learning for my own Christmas present and I’m going to spend as much time as possible through the holiday.
When I bought the boxes of face masks, it was still January. People were thinking Coronavirus comes from China to Europe by camel (it’s actually 10 hours by plane, many times a day) so I was crazy and paranoia in their definition. When I talked about the virus at a restaurant, people around my table looked at me like observing an exortic bird. Now the restaurant is closed for good. More than half of my local friends had the virus if they are not infected right now. It’s becoming harder and harder to find people without a face mask now but it’s also getting harder and harder to find my friend who hasn’t been infected.
During Christmas, The New York Times reported now about one in every 17 Americans have had the virus and one in 1000 is dying from the infection. This sounds like terrible news. However, the university of Maryland is implementing its own survey by collaborating with Facebook. Some of us may have seen it. I have taken it too. It’s a survey based on self-declaration. The questionnaire asks if we have fever, shortness of breath, etc. to estimate how many of us might have the virus. If we answer yes or no to all of them, the algorithm judges it’s false. This is how it corrects itself. Based on the research, there are astronomical numbers of hidden cases in developing countries. Now even an academic report says Covid-19 is more severe in developed countries but this survey is clearly denying the baseless optimism. Let’s think about that. Developing countries have less medical infrastractures, poorer higiene controls, and people are less aware of the infection because of the educational standard. In some counties, people even attacked hospitals. There is no logical evidence to believe Covid-19 is selectively severe only in the developed countries.
Most probably, what we are seeing is only a tip of the iceberg. However according to The New York Times, 3.8 million people travelled by plane this Christmas season only in the US, and 81 million people travel by car through this holiday season. This is about half of 2019, but still a very Covid-19 friendly situation. Possibly some of them are not escaping from the virus but they are escaping from reality.
National top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony S. Fauci in the US commented on CNN that there will be even a bigger surge following the holiday season. I still think Dr. Fauci is the best and the only expert who can be in the position in the US. However the problem is that every prediction he made has been wrong. It has been wrong in the direction of underestimating. I can understand why. This year, a lot of local friends asked me how I see the following situation in the context of Covid-19. Actually none of them asked me. They forced me to say something positive. No realistic prediction was allowed to go out of my mouth. Once I talked about my second most optimistic forecast, the person got provoked. The situation of Dr. Fauci should be much worse than me. To an interviewer who asked him why he’s moving his goal, Dr. Fauci has said he can’t lose the trust of the decision makers so he has to offer what others can accept. The latest goal he set is that if 90% of people are somehow immunised against Covid-19, herd immunity would be achieved. I guess this means 90% of us should have the vaccine without even being informed of the long term adverse reactions, or get infected at least once. This was defined as defeat in the beginning. Now the defeat and the victory are on the same line.