From waves and tides
‘Fortunately, Macondo is not a place but a state of mind that allows you to see what you want to see, and to see it as you want to see it.’
Gabriel García Márquez.
It seems that the current pandemic is near its end. But we still surf on the third wave while looking at the horizon to see if there will come a fourth.
Waves are inseparable from tides. In addition to the sun and moon’s influence, it must consider winds and other circumstances.
The ocean can have a beautiful beach in a sore and, simultaneously, hit through a destructive temporal at the opposite side of the planet.
Infectious pandemics are like tides. Several factors concur in its genesis and evolution. And it also can have different behavior in several and distant places.
Lessons from a graphic.
I will try to explain the following graph by a slight personal view (modified from the original John Hopkins University’s data). The figure shows what happened during 2020 and warns about what could happen again in 2021. The highlighted curve in blue represents Spain, my Macondo.
- The pandemic’s first impact (February-March 2020) ended after a nationwide alert (March 14-June 21). The summer looked and was mild at the beginning.
- The second wave began in August and showed a slow increase. It reached a peak in the transition from November to December.
- December’s general joyfulness: Black Friday, four days-holidays for Constitution Day, and Christmas (Yes, we Spaniards love to party and have fun) led to the big disaster of January and February 2021.
A complex problem has not a simple solution.
We cannot alter the causes that generate the tides; however, we can avoid getting wet when they arrived. In the worst case, to prevent the drowning of the most vulnerable persons. The pandemic world means to act and descend the number of hospital admissions and deaths from infection. One can say with other words: to do prevention.
When the tide grows up, one must put the beach umbrella and the hammocks in the right place to ensure a safe distance, away from the sea’s advance. It means to quickly put many vaccines in pandemic language and use non-pharmacological protective measures with consistency.
No one must forget that the last wave may be more potent and hit more than the previous ones (in tides and pandemics, too, of course).