A significant and evolving threat to life

 

Sir, – Covid-19 is a significant and evolving threat to life, as well as the associated impact on all sectors of society.

Regarding vaccination, I hope this outbreak demonstrates unequivocally to society how essential vaccines are and how vulnerable we are when they do not exist. Many myths regarding vaccination have gained dangerous traction in recent years. People have scoffed at the re-emergence of measles, mumps, etc. Those unvaccinated people are protected by the many who are vaccinated and do not contract or spread such diseases as a result. We do not have a Covid-19 vaccine yet, hence the real and frightening threat. This virus will only be defeated once a vaccine is developed. Vaccines save lives. Their absence threatens humanity.

As we agonise over coronavirus, the nightmare of the Syrian war and the international disgrace of the displaced people confront us at the Greek border. Our collective response is tear-gas and border guards. A problem we were happy to ignore, until Turkey refused to continue to perpetuate our ignorance. Covid-19, if not already rampant in this group, will be. Many refugees will die of preventable and easily treatable illnesses, as well as dying from Covid-19. People like you and me, with the main difference being their incredible misfortune.

An evolving international pandemic is cause for great concern. Our collective apathy as global citizens for our fellow human beings remains, in my view, our greatest existential threat. – Yours, etc,

Dr ANN-MARIE HAYES,

Listowel,

Co Kerry.