Dealing with coronavirus – a perspective

According to the World Health Organization, the total number of coronavirus deaths, worldwide, as at 0100 on 28 April 2020, is 202,733. At this point, Covid-19 is the 23rd highest cause of death worldwide. While I know that Covid-19 deaths will continue increasing, the reality is that the world has learned to cope with 22 other – much more serious – causes of death and done so without trashing the global economy.

It is time for us to recognise that being alive is a risky business, and that coronavirus is a risk with which we have to learn to live. Our current obsession with containing the spread of coronavirus is undermining schooling, increasing mental ill-health, postponing medical interventions that deal with other, more significant, causes of death, and plunging millions into the misery of poverty and unemployment.

Yes, personal hygiene, social distancing, remote working and contact management have to become standard parts of everyone’s routines at least until the world has a reliable and widely applied vaccine. But we need to get on with it – we need to release people and businesses from lockdown and encourage the economy back to health as quickly as possible – or it, too, will die. And then where will we be?

no. of deaths 2017