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If a vaccine or treatment is years off then how will we ever feel happy again?

(44 Posts)
Mybrowneyedgal Tue 12-May-20 09:29:37

I read a thread on here last night with several
posters claiming a vaccine or effective treatment is extremely unlikely for several years.

I cannot fathom the idea of living like this for several years. I am extremely close to elderly family members, one of whom I saw everyday, who have played an integral part in my children's lives. They will miss my children's first steps, starting school and other milestones. If there's no vaccine/treatment for several years then they will have to live in isolation feeling miserable for all that time, and once we are returning to normal life (if they survive) they will be very old and potentially spent the past few years of their life separated from those they love feeling unhappy.

I miss my friends and family, seeing people, doing new things. I miss hugging my elderly relatives. I miss sharing the joy of my children growing up. I feel so sad that my children's childhood is being wasted on this awful disease.

I'm living for the return of normality, and now to hear that that is several years off feels absolutely unbearable.

I am not sure why I am posting. Does anyone feel the same?

Mummypig2020 Tue 12-May-20 10:03:14

I think imo we just have to “get on with it” and hope that people get immune to it.

There are lots of illnesses that have never found a vaccine, SARS doesn’t does it?

BirdieFriendReturns Tue 12-May-20 10:04:49

It’s not going to last for several years. No other corona like virus has stuck around that long.

There might not ever be a vaccine. That doesn’t mean we won’t get back to normal life!

sleepyhead Tue 12-May-20 10:07:05

There are chances that it'll mutate into something that isn't so serious.

Fingers crossed.

Floatyboat Tue 12-May-20 10:07:31

The original herd immunity idea is starting to seem appealing again!

TheAdventuresoftheWishingChair Tue 12-May-20 10:09:46

I know it's scary but the reality is that with all your elderly relatives, they still all have a low risk of dying unless they have certain medical conditions. Even then, they have more chance of surviving than dying. Most people survive by far.

Our knowledge of how to improve peoples' chances of surviving are going to improve a lot over the months. There are various anti-virals being trialled.

Some viruses mutate to less lethal ones, so that might happen here too. It did with the Spanish flu - it just disappeared.

With good hand washing, not everyone will catch it anyway. Some people seem to have natural immunity and equally your relatives might be the ones who get it but are asymptomatic

Ultimately, people are fragile. We all are. There are still going to be people who die over the next couple of years of completely different things. No one lives forever. We can all only appreciate those we love and make the most of them being in our lives. And for many that will mean making a decision not to worry about the virus, but to live life in the way they want to. Because it really isn't possible for humans to live long term without hugs and close physical contact.

But yes, the impact this is having on so many is dreadful.

IcedPurple Tue 12-May-20 10:09:51

There are lots of illnesses that have never found a vaccine, SARS doesn’t does it?

No, because it burned itself out and the search for a vaccine wasn't considered neccessary.

Most experts - which is not the same thing as MN doommongers - are reasonably confident that a vaccine will be found, possibly as soon as this autumn, though global distribution will obviously take considerably longer.

Dollywilde Tue 12-May-20 10:14:48

I take great solace from the fact that you can't maintain a state of fear in the long-term. People adapt to the situation, it gets normalised, you wind up just carrying on.

From a psychological view I think there's only about 2/3 months more that people can put up with this before we'll all just revert to living quite normally. The only way that would be stopped is if the UK suddenly decided to become a police state and start disciplining people and issuing fines and tbh chronic underinvestment in the police service for the last decade isn't going to allow for that.

I'm not saying the virus will be gone in a few months or that it won't leave scars, but we'll all just sort of learn to live around it.

IcedPurple Tue 12-May-20 10:20:54

Also, while a vaccine is obviously the ideal, it's not the only option. A vaccine for HIV has never been found, but effective treatment options have been. There is optimism that that will prove true in this case too.

Iwalkinmyclothing Tue 12-May-20 10:27:52

Quite a few people at my work have had this now. Thankfully, so thankfully, all have recovered, although some were far more ill than others and we take nothing for granted. If surviving the illness does give you some immunity, well, that's a path back to something like normality isn't it? The colleagues I am thinking of are a range of ages, some with underlying health conditions, some not, so whilst I am aware the virus can be lethal I am also very aware that it usually is not, even for people in vulnerable groups. That's what I hold to at the moment: for most people this will not be a death sentence. (How much comfort that can bring to the most vulnerable is limited, though, I know).

People like my mum, who have been convinced by doom mongers whose actions I regard as cruel that she will get the virus if she comes into contact with anyone, and she will die... I don't see how she is going to be happy until we do have a vaccine or effective treatment. And I believe we will have one of those at some point... not sure when, but we will. But the fear is destroying her. It's horrible. She has been far more harmed by those promoting the message of doom than the virus itself.

sleepyhead Tue 12-May-20 10:36:30

Yes, I think it's important to keep sight of the reason for the lockdown - not to prevents hundreds of thousands of deaths from Covid-19 necessarily, but to prevent hundreds of thousands of deaths from lots of different causes if the health service became overwhelmed both by staff being off sick and lack of beds for other conditions.

That still remains a concern if we had another spike, but we can hope to go back to some sort of normality if we can keep the infection rate low enough, and the vast proportion of people who do catch in those circumstances will recover, even if they're in a vulnerable group.

Mybrowneyedgal Tue 12-May-20 11:00:10

But realistically what is the chance of a 72 year old with asthma and hypertension surviving? I can't find any data on this other than articles saying they are high risk.

I feel so conflicted, on the one hand life is not worth living if they have to go years without this contact and closeness, but on the other hand if I eventually allow this this contact am I condemning them to death?

Dollywilde Tue 12-May-20 11:04:56

OP I think the thing that the virus has done is put our own mortality/fragility into sharp focus. There's a myriad of infections and viruses that will be dangerous for a 72 year old with asthma and hypertension and almost all of those existed this time last year as well.

This isn't the 'well we're all going to die sometime and if you're 65+ or have a pre-existing condition it's not worth fighting it' view or anything - it's really not. Just more me saying that actually, the risk profile isn't hugely different to what it was pre-Covid. It's just that we're all having to think about it and focus on it in a way that we never have before. It's like any sort of brush with death, you come close, you have a renewed respect for how fragile life can be, and then, over time, you go back to taking life for granted. We all do it. What you're really yearning for is a desire to go back to taking life for granted a little bit, and that will happen, because that's just human nature.

Mirrorxx Tue 12-May-20 11:08:00

My mum is currently recovering after testing positive last week. She said she has never felt so tired but fortunately she hasn’t required any medical attention. For most people it will be the same, a mild illness.

PrimeroseHillAnnie Tue 12-May-20 11:17:25

Somehow, whether through mutation or other factors, these viruses seem to, "burn out". That was certainly the case with Spanish Flu in 1918-1919 altho the final instance of infection wasn't until 1921. And it was the second spike or re occurrence that caused the real damage which probably explains the Governments caution in their recent response. That said we have progressed somewhat since 1919 and there seems to be wide held confidence that an effective treatment will be found. This will pass, we will revert to a more recognisable way of life. It's just it has to be done in stages to control the rate of infection or the R number. Keep the faith and stay safe.

onemorepringle Tue 12-May-20 11:31:33

The only way that would be stopped is if the UK suddenly decided to become a police state and start disciplining people and issuing fines

Ummm they are already issuing fines

Tableclothing Tue 12-May-20 11:38:21

ourworldindata.org/mortality-risk-covid#case-fatality-rate-of-covid-19-by-age

But realistically what is the chance of a 72 year old with asthma and hypertension surviving?

Probably about 90%, may well be higher.

Tableclothing Tue 12-May-20 11:42:15

Sorry if that was a bit blunt. My own parents are in their 70s with underlying conditions and obviously I would like their chances of survival to be much higher, but it is important to remember that dying of covid is unlikely in any age group. Even those aged 80+, in Italy where the hospitals were utterly overwhelmed, had an 80% chance of survival.

TheAdventuresoftheWishingChair Tue 12-May-20 12:46:28

But realistically what is the chance of a 72 year old with asthma and hypertension surviving?

About 90-95% from what I understand.

Basically everyone has been estimated as having the same chance of dying from COVID as they have across the whole of one year. See here medium.com/wintoncentre/how-much-normal-risk-does-covid-represent-4539118e1196 So what that means is if you are someone who was likely to die in the next year anyway because of other health problems then yes you are far more at risk of dying of the virus than someone who had a very tiny chance of dying in the next year (say if they were 8 years old and had no health problems). It's a rough way of estimating things and no one can predict it with individuals but your 72 relative has a really high chance of being just fine.

I know someone with severe asthma who has come through the virus ok and other people are reporting online that they've been the same.

1forsorrow Tue 12-May-20 12:50:19

But realistically what is the chance of a 72 year old with asthma and hypertension surviving? I can't find any data on this other than articles saying they are high risk. No one can tell you but I can say my nearly 90 year old aunt with very advanced demetia who is severely underweight as it is hard to get her to eat enough sailed through it. Didn't need to go into hospital, GP prescribed antibiotics in case she got a secondary infection but she didn't need them. Care home said if anything she seemed more relaxed and happy than usual.

Joan0fSarc Tue 12-May-20 13:00:33

It’s not going to last for several years. No other corona like virus has stuck around that long

The common cold is a coronavirus. So is SARS. They've stuck around pretty well and there's no vaccine for either.

However the stakes are higher with C19 so I imagine the race to produce a vaccine will be faster and more intensive. Let's hope it yields results.

IcedPurple Tue 12-May-20 13:08:29

The common cold is a coronavirus.

The common cold is caused by about 200 different viruses, not all of them coronaviruses. It is also a mild illness in the vast majority of cases, so not worth vaccinating.

So is SARS. They've stuck around pretty well and there's no vaccine for either.

As pointed out above, SARS (and Covid 19 is a variant of SARS) burned itself out in 2003, so the search for a vaccine was cut short. It's not that they couldn't find a vaccine, it's that they didn't need to.

Blueberryham Tue 12-May-20 13:10:38

I was wondering about the oxford vaccine. Imagine they get a call one day which confirms one of the people who was given the vaccine has contracted Covid. That is basically almost confirmation that it doesn’t work. They would still need to wait for more results from other but they could have had that phone call by now. I wonder if that info is fed to government scientists. And they know then to downgrade the public’s hope for a vaccine to be found soon

B1rdbra1n Tue 12-May-20 13:16:50

SARS may have disappeared but we still have outbreaks of MERS as far as I know, and we have been seeking a cure for the common cold for decades.
I think the best hope is for more sophisticated and effective treatment protocols.

Pinktornado Tue 12-May-20 13:18:08

Forgive my cluelessness here, but does anyone know what your chances are of being elderly and/or vulnerable and being asymptomatic? Is it only young and otherwise healthy people who don’t present symptoms or have there been the same amount of cases of older people with pre-existing conditions getting covid very mildly?

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