We are starting to see the light

By Alex P. Vidal

“Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. Comes into us at midnight very clean. It’s perfect when it arrives and it puts itself in our hands. It hopes we’ve learned something from yesterday.”—John Wayne

WE have actually tried to think positively even before the new year came, wishing that hopefully the pandemic won’t last long in 2022 after we spent the last two years grimacing and trying to remain mentally and emotionally intact.

But when Omicron entered the picture before 2021 bade goodbye, our worries and frustrations even grew higher.

Wherever we went and whatever we did, all we could hear and read in the news was still about Covid-19, the hike in number of cases and hospitalization. And even death.

For a while, it looked like it was a never-ending misery, the same old horrible story being retold and experienced repeatedly.

But instead of losing hope, we must insist to continue to think positively and believe that there is still a ray of hope and good developments amid all these depressing news.

Here’s one positive story: While case numbers, hospitalizations and deaths are still climbing rapidly in many parts of the United States, they are reportedly dropping fast in New York City, one of the first places in the country to be hit hard by Omicron.


As the data trajectory in the Big Apple closely resembles that seen in South Africa and Britain, hope is reportedly rising that the good news from Johannesburg will prove to be a harbinger of better news, at least, for the United States.

Also, only eight weeks after the world first heard about the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, when researchers in South Africa who discovered the strain notified global authorities, that country’s wave of infections has fallen as sharply as it climbed, reported the CBS News.

Not only that, but South Africa has reportedly weathered its fourth wave of COVID-19 with very little interruption to people’s lives.

In a recent report by CBS News foreign correspondent Debora Patta, “in the suburbs of Johannesburg, restaurants are busy again, traffic is jammed, and the city is bustling.”

“Omicron quickly became the focus of global anxiety as infections spread across South Africa with ferocious speed. Within days, the country was at the epicenter of the pandemic. And then… well, not much happened at all,” it was reported.

It’s too early to lower our guards down, but let’s continue to brace for more good news.


Here are some of the important questions about the coronavirus in the light of Omicron’s onslaught from Dr. Liza Maragakis of the Johns Hopkins Medicine:

If I have COVID-19, when will I feel better? Those with a mild case of COVID-19 usually recover within one to two weeks. For severe cases, recovery can take six weeks or more, and there may be lasting damage to the heart, kidneys, lungs and brain.

Is there medicine I can take to feel better if I have COVID-19?

For most people, rest and drinking plenty of fluids are the best treatments. Your doctor may also suggest you take over-the-counter medication for fever.

More severe cases require hospitalization. Hospital care may include breathing support, such as a ventilator, or other treatments.

—Does a coronavirus diagnosis mean I’ll get pneumonia? Some patients with COVID-19 develop pneumonia. Viral pneumonia, such as from COVID-19, cannot be treated with antibiotics. In severe cases, ventilator support may be needed to ensure the body is getting enough oxygen.

People over age 65 and those with certain health conditions are at a higher risk of developing pneumonia and may experience more severe cases of COVID-19. Studies show that in patients with COVID-19, pneumonia may progress into acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), which can be fatal in some patients.

—Can I get COVID-19 more than once? Researchers are eager to learn more about a person’s immunity after having COVID-19. For some viruses, a person can have lasting immunity; for others, the immunity lasts only a limited time. More research will reveal how the body responds to SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus causing the COVID-19 pandemic.

—After COVID-19, when is it safe for me to go out in public?

Talk to your doctor. In general, you can resume contact with other people after: You have had one day without fever (without any fever-reducing medications during that time), AND It has been at least 10 days since you first experienced symptoms, AND Your symptoms are improving.

If you have a severe case of COVID-19, a suppressed immune system or other special circumstances, your doctor may recommend a longer period of isolation or further testing. If you test negative for the coronavirus twice in a row, with tests at least 24 hours apart, you can resume contact with others.

(The author, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of two local dailies in Iloilo.—Ed)