Prevention, Precaution, Vaccination and the Peltzman Effect

26-04-2021


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Most of us have heard the terms of prevention, precaution and vaccination a ton more in the past year than that in the whole century. Ever since the first reported novel coronavirus case in late 2019, even the strongest countries have failed to contain and control the virus spread within as well as outside their jurisdictions.

India, as of today is facing a said second wave of the pandemic with the much stronger double and triple mutant strains of the virus. However, it is to be noted that the previous virus which had managed to stop the world was not much effective in temperate countries like India. But as the virus has adapted to our lifestyle and environment it has changed its entire genomic sequence and thus has become more lethal than ever before.

Unfortunately, we have successfully been played in the hands of the 20-nanometer virus. Thus, comes the role of the Peltzman effect. The recent studies aiming to investigate the cause the this viral spread and why it is getting stronger are finding their answers in the behavioural automobile theory of Peltzeman. This behavioural phenomena of the Peltzman effect implies that after the perception of safety increases, risk-taking behaviour also increases, leading to adverse outcomes.

In March 2020, when India went into Covid-19 lockdown in March 2020 which forced people to take the threat of the illness and virus seriously. But almost a year later, pandemic fatigue had seemingly settled in masses. With markets opening up and the impatient attitude of the ‘men in power’ to get things in ‘routine’ and overcome the financial losses, precautions had seemingly taken the back seat as people slackened with its implementation.

Therefore, it has now become important to change some of our perceptions like, “Ignorance is Bliss”, “Don't think much”, “It’s all the political agenda”, “Once immuned always immuned”, etc.

It might be true in some scenarios, but not in this case. It is time that you be incredibly aware and conscious of your surroundings. Avoiding thinking about a problem never really helps in defeating it. Surely don’t over-exert yourself with pessimism but do worry about your health. Always remember you have a duty towards yourself as well, fulfill it with full sincerity.

At present, India has 2 vaccines available at a mass level: Covaxin by Bharat Biotech, with an efficacy of about 80 percent, and Covishield by the Serum Institute of India, effective at approximately 60 percent.

It has to be duly noted that a vaccine or the presence of antibodies in your body does not guarantee that you will never be infected with the virus but instead is just one more tool of protection for the body against the virus.

Also, the vaccinated person may have reduced chances of getting the virus but can be the carrier of the virus to the un-vaccinated person, which can worsen the situation even more.

Therefore, while the vaccines do help in regulating the spread of the disease, three golden measures are assuredly effective in decreasing the risk of contracting Covid-19 — wearing a mask, frequent hand-washing, and social distancing, need to be followed at all times.

Lastly, don’t be disheartened or stressed if you or any of your known has been tested positive. Do remember, the fight is against the disease not the diseased, people have recovered from this deadly virus with optimism and care from others.

In conclusion, the team of Rus Education prays for all its ardent supporters, students, readers, parents and colleagues to be safe, blessed and overcome their troubles with positivity and optimism.