The COVID-19 Wuhan coronavirus has inflicted millions of illnesses and deaths, as well as untold damages in financial ruin on peoples and countries — in job losses, business closures and bankruptcies, trillions of dollars in deficit spending by governments, and the inevitable tax hikes to pay for the deficits.
Less known are the psychological damages inflicted on us, from fears and uncertainties for our and our families’ health and financial wellbeing, made even worse because so many of us must deal with them with alone because of shelter-in-place and social distancing.
According to data compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau and the National Center for Health Statistics, more than 4 in 10 adults had developed symptoms of depression or anxiety by the end of 2020 — a sharp increase in just 1½ years, from January-June 2019 to December 9-21, 2020 (source: Statista):
- Symptoms of anxiety disorder increased 28.7%, from 8.2% to 36.9%.
- Symptoms of depressive disorder increased 23.6%, from 6.6% to 30.2%.
- Altogether, symptoms of anxiety or depressive disorder increased 31.4%, from 11% to 42.4%.
The pandemic has hit young people particularly hard.
As an example, in the UK, a survey by the Prince’s Trust charity found that the pandemic has taken a “devastating toll” on teenagers and young adults (16-25), with the unemployed more likely to feel depressed. Many are losing hope for the future because of a disrupted education, a shrinking jobs market and isolation from their friends and loved ones. 40% said they felt “unable to cope with life” and 48% “can’t see an end” to their unemployment. (Telegraph)
Now comes news that according to Stephane Bancel, the CEO of Moderna, one of the leading COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers, the Wuhan virus is endemic, meaning it will be ever-present, like the flu.
LifeSiteNews reports that during a panel discussion at the JPMorgan Healthcare Conference on Jan. 13, 2021, Bancel said the coronavirus is here to stay because of its constant mutation into new strains, like the flu. He said: “We are going to live with this virus, we think, forever. Health officials will have to continuously watch for new variants of the virus, so scientists can produce vaccines to fight them.”
The UK strain of Covid-19, known as B.1.1.7, which has been identified in Los Angeles three days ago, may be vaccine resistant. Dr. Charles Chiu, a virologist and professor of laboratory medicine at UCSF, said early indications are that the new strain may be less susceptible to the currently approved vaccines,
The emergence of new strains of COVID-19 raises the question of whether public health authorities will deem lockdowns perpetually necessary, as the world continues to anticipate new strains of the virus, perhaps indefinitely.
COVID-19 would be the fifth coronavirus to become endemic. Together, the four others are responsible for an estimated one-quarter of all colds. Richard Webby, an influenza expert at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, said: “For the most part they cause common-cold-type symptoms. Maybe that is the most likely end scenario if this thing becomes entrenched,” referring to COVID-19.