Updates on COVID-19 (Part 13)

By Engr. Edgar Mana-ay


According to the report released by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, ANXIETY is the cause of adverse reactions from those vaccinated and not the vaccine itself. It reported that in five mass vaccinations sites they have monitored, 64 anxiety-related events were recorded, including 17 events of syncope (fainting) after receipt of COVID-19 vaccine. Experts then deduced that anxiety-inducing physical reactions are nothing new and have known for decades.

Researchers further state that these types of reactions can occur after any vaccination. Reports of these types of adverse reactions also came from clinics in California, Colorado. Georgia, Iowa and North Carolina. “We knew we were going to see this,” said Dr. N. Mac Donald, a Canadian researcher, according to NBC News.

Some of the adverse reactions reported after vaccination are symptoms of dizziness, experiencing spells of fainting, nausea, vomiting, racing hearts or chest pain BUT NONE GOT SERIOUSLY ILL. These are natural and actual physical responses to psychological stress and therefore an admonition to the 10 to 15% of adults out there who are AFRAID of vaccination.

In another development, there are reports of long-lasting COVID-19 symptoms, the so-called “long COVID”, a lingering range of symptoms that persists in some people after they have initially recovered from COVID-19. So far little is known about its prevalence risk factors, or whether it is possible to predict a protracted course early in the disease. Amid the vaccine challenges and the widespread efforts to counter the alarming increase in infections of COVID-19, doctors and scientists are also working to understand “long COVID” – a lingering range of symptoms that persists in some people after they have initially recovered from COVID-19 illness.

Andrew Cham, Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School and Chief of the Clinical and Translational Epidemiology unit of Massachusetts General Hospital is conducting a research on this new related malady known as “long covid”. The research indicates that even those with asymptomatic covid infections could still have long-lasting changes in generic expression. Patients who were not hospitalized with severe disease could still have health implications months later. Ailments could include respiratory conditions, disease of the nervous system, mental health diagnoses, metabolic disorder, cardiovascular and gastrointestinal conditions, and poor general well-being.

According to the founders of BioNTech, the German biotechnology company that developed a prominent coronavirus vaccine with Pfizer, COVID-19 pandemic will continue to spread until the middle of the year 2022. UNLESS countries will do more to increase vaccine distribution in countries like India which on the first week of May became the 2nd country to record 20 million coronavirus infections. High vaccination rates worldwide is required, otherwise, no one will be safe. Next year, the world will see “an increasing” number of industrial, developing and low-income countries reaching herd immunity just by increasing the manufacturing capacity of the currently existing players and adding new manufacturing sites.

BioNTech also said that mixing and matching shots from different manufacturers could be necessary to more quickly reach herd immunity, a practice which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said earlier this year should only be done with the Pfizer and Moderna shots in “exceptional situations.” But BioNTech said the more vaccine available, the better, so in principle, we can mix and match different brands of vaccines. BioNTech has also committed itself to add more manufacturing sites to better supply shots to low-income countries, and has teamed up with Pfizer for global distribution, except in Germany, China, and Turkey. In those countries, BioNTech is operating its own or working with other manufacturing partners.

Financially, almost all people in the world are affected by this pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic has hit across the world, that about 1.7 billion adults globally said they temporarily stopped working at their job or business due to the pandemic. One in two people worldwide saw their earnings dropped down. People in low-income countries are particularly hard hit by job losses or cuts to their working hours (a friend of mine as a Collector of a big company works for three days a week, and of course that’s better than no work at all!). There are no words to describe how horrible this calamity is for the Filipinos and all humanity. Its evil is ruthless. It poisons and defile the world. As we experience this horror, it is our own spirituality, faith and prayer that count most at these difficult times.

People in general and Christians in particular, should consider this time of calamity as a test of our faith. We should give witness that faith is loving, supporting and serving those who are in dire need during these tempestuous times. Faith is a living phenomenon. It brings us closer to God. It also brings out the love of God in us. This pandemic will finally pass away, like all things in life. But for now, we need faith to guide us and make us stronger during these difficult times. In times of peril, faith is indispensable for both believers and unbelievers because it gives us hope. Admittedly, a pandemic scares us closer to God.

We are also made more aware of how dependent we are on divine help and our trust during the crisis. Yet, it is never easy to talk about faith, either in times of plague or without it. Faith is the gift of God. It is our personal meeting with Him. It is the moment when the pressure of the Holy Spirit becomes palpable because reasons alone cannot fully explain the turmoil we are presently undergoing. It is something personal and unique that remains solely the secrets of our hearts.

For according to Blaise Pascal (1623-1662): “It is the heart which experiences God, and not the reason. This, then, is faith: God felt by the heart, not by the reason”.