Barranquilla, where the epidemic curve due to the virus has been declining for weeks, is one of the 8 Colombian capitals in which the National Institute of Health is carrying out a complete study of Covid-19 seroprevalence. This research project seeks to understand how the virus has behaved in the country, what is the percentage of the infected population and how much immunity it managed to develop in people who overcame the disease, identifying the antibodies generated in their bodies.
Starting tomorrow and for 10 days, a sample of 1,400 volunteers will undergo blood tests and nasopharyngeal swab to measure the real impact of the virus in Barranquilla and try to know, precisely, how people were exposed to it and if they produced a immune response, whether they were asymptomatic or had mild, moderate or severe symptoms.
The results of the study, which in the coming weeks will move to Medellín, Bogotá, Cúcuta, Cali, Bucaramanga and Villavicencio, after its first stop in Leticia, will be definitive to adopt future determinations on the virus that continues to circulate throughout the national territory , expanding to regions where it had not reached a higher incidence, and in which people with underlying diseases would be exposed to its lethality.
No one should forget that Covid-19 has already killed more than one million human beings around the planet since the beginning of 2020, although The Economist magazine estimates that global deaths would exceed 2 million due to the excess of unaccounted deaths of official way.
It is hard to believe that so many months of confinement and restrictions have taught us so little. Too many unconscious continue to underestimate the extent of the virus, assuming it does not kill because most cases are asymptomatic. We walk on a tightrope in which, at the slightest oversight, the price to pay will be very high. How about having to face a new confinement like the one that Madrid and 10 of its neighboring municipalities are experiencing today, in Spain, due to a second wave?
Seeing dozens of people escaping, as if they were criminals, from a pool hall in the San Felipe neighborhood, after the arrival of the Police and the Covid Patrol, because they were violating the District’s measures, reveals that their main concern is not contagion, but the fine that may be imposed. Citizens who show infinite contempt for their own well-being and that of their loved ones, not to mention the risk to which they expose their co-workers or the citizens with whom they share transportation on a daily basis.
Without a mask, in a closed space full of people, what is the guarantee of not getting infected? Resisting believing that the virus is still with us is not only useless, but harmful and counterproductive. Out of tiredness, selfishness or pure cynicism, many decided to convince themselves that the Covid disappeared, they are deceived and in the process end up becoming a walking threat, refusing to protect the most vulnerable against the virus: the elderly, the sick and people with limited resources.
Those who consider that the virus is a Chinese tale should stop to reflect on the lightness of their actions by appealing to common sense. Just review the facts: three of the biggest coronavirus deniers, Presidents Donald Trump and Jair Bolsonaro, as well as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, tested positive, rectifying their lack of judgment, after suffering the ravages of the disease. .
Without a doubt, the research carried out in Barranquilla by the indefatigable team of the National Institute of Health, headed by its director Marta Ospina, will be of great use. This unpredictable virus still raises too many questions for the immunization phase, especially now when the risk of a second outbreak seems imminent. What do you do to avoid it?