Waking up in the morning and checking the number of coronavirus cases in Korea and other countries has become part of one’s daily routine since the outbreak. Awaiting the regular 11 o’clock and 2 o’clock announcements by the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, hoping for new measures or studies to control the spread is the smallest joy everyone is waiting for. However, in reality, there is still a long way to go to get the virus under control.
As of Sept. 7, according to World Health Organization’s (WHO) reports, there are 26,994,442 confirmed cases of the virus worldwide with 880,994 confirmed deaths. With this pandemic, countries went on lockdown and for Korea, Level 2.5 social distancing restrictions were implemented for the past few weeks. These restrictions have not only caused economic crisis, but it has also changed the way of living.
The corona-era has its pros and cons; but it definitely brought darkness in people’s lives. Traveling is impossible due to travel bans, not only that but even going out for a nice meal elsewhere is not easy due to social distancing protocols. Although the virus brought sorrows, in the science industry, it created a great opportunity for a major hit.
Scientists have been researching viruses and superbacteria for a long time. Likewise, COVID-19 could be one of them. Earlier in the pandemic, fake news on how the virus was intentionally spread from a research lab in Wuhan, China, was in the spotlight. Thought it was fake, it is not an impossible thing. We are living in a world where everything is an experiment and we are waiting for a science miracle.
As COVID-19 is still an unsolved puzzle, all medicine and injections people are given today are a trial. In other words, we can view these people as guineapigs of drug research. According to WHO, there are currently no drugs that are licensed for treatment or prevention of COVID-19. This means that the 26 million infected people worldwide are lying in bed without any reassurance on when and how they will be able to get back to their daily lives, clean of the virus.
While these patients are sitting on hot potatoes, scientists are on a race for a vaccine, awaiting a miracle. There are number of research labs right now joining on this race as it will bring major change in the world and in the country the drug is found. As we wait for a science miracle, how about the patients? They are being injected with antibiotics and all sorts of medicine, hoping something will cure them.
It was reported by WHO that hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, a treatment for malaria, does not have any benefits in treating the novel coronavirus. But, how was this research proven? It is never put into spotlight the scary reality that everything we do is an experiment. We are investing our lives in a science not knowing when it is going to happen. The corona-era is a tragic time for the world, but these golden times are chances for scientists to build on their research.
On Sept. 2, WHO updated their clinical care guidance recommending the use of systemic corticosteroids for the treatment of severe and critical COVID-19 patients only. As we talk today, scientists are researching cures for this virus, running in the race, hoping to be the ones to find the missing piece.
This is just the start for the science world as once this puzzle is solved, the next coming virus and bacteria will be in question.
Today, many scientists are expecting another outbreak of a more contagious, stronger coronavirus mutation. COVID-19 is just the preview of the 21st century’s scientific realm.