A corona virus is not a completely new type of virus.
During an influenza epidemic, it is possible to get ill more than once because mutation is normal or common for a virus. If the immune system of a person has tackled one virus, this doesn’t mean that it tackles the next mutation of the same virus. But even if each mutation is principally a new virus, it does not (normally, or at any time, I don’t know) belong to a new category of viruses.
A researcher has to start from scratch in his or her work, but this does not mean that every time what is discovered is a revolutionary new thing.
When it comes to contagion, The COVID-19 is an infection which basically attacks lungs and spread through breathing. We have a lot of experience with this kind of contagion, our knowledge about it s not nil.
There are differences in how easy different viruses make us sick, but this does not necessary follow their ability to spread among us.
I haven’t seen any statistics and I don’t know whether they exist or not, but there are big differences in how seriously ill people get. The big majority doesn’t get sick at all. The most important factors which coincide with severe illness is age, obesity, diabetes, in that order.
Norway, Denmark and Finland has not been really severely hit by this epidemic. For other countries in the world I do not have an overview.
Considering contagion, Norway has some obvious advantages, relatively few people in a fairly big country, the mental and physical distance between us is…traditional? There were many jokes about this in the beginning.
When it comes to illness, I would also add that even if the tendency is less people do it now compared to a generation ago, traditionally, there is a lot of hiking going on, which in my mind ought to have some effect on the general health situation in the population.
Antibiotics are not extensively used in the Norwegian health system, we are used to not getting a prescription for it easily, whch means our immune systems are used to coping on their own with “small” things like common cold and flu.
Considering that Norway is a “Western” country where normally these days, wealth give other health issues than poverty, we are not too hard hit of obesity. Diabetes I don’t know.
I don’t know exactly what effect it has on humans, but the use of antibiotics in Norwegian husbandry is a record low, internationally, now and normally.
The number of people who has been contaminated with COVID-19 has been widely published in Norwegian media and has given us a lot of stress, but the number of sick and dead has at the same time not been high, and those numbers have not been in the news to the same extent.
It took me some time to realise that the biggest fear among doctors and health personnel were a complete lack of capacity in hospitals, which also has not happened so far. There were peaks, in certain hospitals, and certainly pressure on personnel, but I don’t think it is right to call it a real crisis for the whole system, even before vaccinating of the population.
To handle a COVID-patient takes a lot of personnel because he or she has to be turned often, when lying in a hospital bed. Working in the necessary gear must also be a hassle.
There has been fear many places, in people’s minds and in doctors’ minds. Both seem to me somewhat exaggerated.
I didn’t and won’t suggest that we do nothing in a situation like this, but I feel we probably did too much, at least in Norway, considering the above, the situation. Better safe than sorry must be good rule when dealing with one patient. I am more skeptical when we deal with a whole country. Health effects because of the measures have been here as well, like a record number of overdoses among drug addicts, partly because some of their treatment was stopped to make way for COVID patients or measures.
Sorry, edited after publishing.