Despite the awful dark clouds of despair cloaking Gauteng as the Covid-19 horror continues to choke hospital wards and mortuaries, there was at least a glimmer of hope in the past few days. And that hope is that vaccines.
Or at least just the first dose of the Pfizer two-shot course – do actually significantly reduce not only the chance of infection, but also the possibility of hospitalisation and, in turn, death.
Benefit of vaccines
The benefits, however, only seem to kick in about two weeks after you have had the first jab, so reducing risk is still a top priority if you want to avoid becoming a victim.
Discovery Health’s chief executive, Dr Ryan Noach, was optimistic about the result of extensive analysis by the group on members who had already had the vaccination.
It works, he said – and, just as important, it is safe, judging by the tiny number of adverse reactions to the jab (just one person out of more than 90 000 had to be hospitalised afterwards).
The positive signs from the Pfizer analysis may be cause for renewed hope.
Vaccine rollout a marathon, not sprint
But it also means that had government got its act together quicker on the vaccination programme, the current emerging disaster in Gauteng may have been lessened or avoided.
That slow rate of administering the jabs also means that, for the vast majority of our population, rescue is still a long way off.
We are going to have to take this virus seriously – and, as President Cyril Ramaphosa indicated, we may be tired of the virus but it is far from being tired with us.
This race to beat Covid-19 is not going to be a sprint – it is a marathon in which there will be very few pauses for rest. We have to protect ourselves and those around us by social distancing, hand-sanitising and wearing masks.