Dr Debra Bartholomew
What does that mean, exactly? I’ve often heard people say that Covid-19 has a mere percentage point of deaths worldwide, but is it mere? Granted, the mortality rate today stands at 2 percent, but that in itself is a reflection of measures put in place to curb the mortality and serious morbidity from the virus, measures which include, above all else, the vaccine. So why all the uproar over one or two mere percentage points?
Well, let’s put this into perspective. There are 38.5 million people who are blind globally. That isn’t even a percentage point, and yet, visual impairment and blindness have a drastic effect on the global economy, so much so that the United Nations and countries worldwide have agreed to work together to reduce the risk of blindness. But did you know that the reduction of blindness may have begun with none other than a vaccine? Two hundred years ago, smallpox was the major cause of blindness, affecting young adults and leaving scarred, blind eyes. The use of cowpox to “vaccinate” led to a dramatic reduction of smallpox and the consequent decrease in related blindness. But more importantly, although vaccination started in 1798, it was only within the last century that smallpox was finally eradicated globally, only 40 years ago.
The percentage points of mortality of Covid-19 have meant that 4.55 million people have died worldwide.
Two percentage points.
A mere two, right?
And yet, there are now 1.5 million children without parents.
A two-year-old…left alone.
An 11-year-old, no mom, no dad…..a percentage point.
A mother who has lost all her children.
Twins, now separated by a crossless sea.
Siblings, together since childhood, now ripped apart.
Doctors and nurses, Emergency Medical Technicians literally dying to save the lives of others.
My friend whose happiness was snatched away from her in mere days.
Covid-19’s deaths are no mere percentage points.
They are lives. Lives that were well-lived.
Lives filled with laughter. Families.
Faces of emotion. Joy, sadness, hope…. despair….
They were humans…..humans like you, like me.
Not percentage points.
Every single one, now silent….
If we keep thinking that we are somehow invincible, that somehow, the scourge of Covid-19 is a percentage point that will never land at our feet…..
Then look into the eyes of someone who has had Covid.
Speak to someone whose life has now been irreversibly affected by its unrelenting path.
Then go do the civil thing and get vaccinated.
I got vaccinated so that I wouldn’t become a percentage point.
Don’t let yourself be the next one.