It was a year ago when I got hospitalized for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) after I caught what I now know as the original virus, before the Alpha variant of the Sars-CoV-2.
I was in the hospital for 10 days, from July 16 to 26, 2020. I was alone, anxious about what will happen next but at the same time trusting that I was under the care of medical frontliners who have been at it for four months. I was found to have moderate pneumonia at the emergency room and, days into my confinement, I developed a blood condition where my blood started to form clots in reaction to fighting Covid-19.
Luckily, under expert medical care and with the protection of God and all the saints and dead relatives I have implored for help, I was cured and released from the hospital. Then, long Covid set in but that is a different, long story.
When the variants of the virus started popping up, it was then I realized I got the original version of the Sars-CoV-2. Original because the World Health Organization (WHO) gave the variants their names only last May.
The first variant Alpha was first documented in the United Kingdom in September last year. Then there were Beta of South Africa, Gamma of Brazil and Delta of India that had its earliest documented samples in October.
It has been a long journey from the original virus that was reported from Wuhan, China, to the variants Alpha to Delta.
One year ago, I must have thought the situation would improve and the virus would be isolated by the time I hit the anniversary of my Covid-19 infection. No, that is not the case. The number of deaths in the country was at 1,309 as of July 7, 2020, based on WHO data. That number jumped to 26,476 deaths as of Saturday, July 17, 2021. Total cases reached 47,873 just before I was hospitalized last year. That number is at 1.5 million as of yesterday, Saturday.
No one thought last year that the number of cases and deaths would rise by more than 25 times in a span of one year. We talked about how the vaccines, once developed, would stop Covid-19. We now know that the discovery of vaccines wasn’t enough. There were problems of people hesitating or refusing to get vaccinated and of vaccine supply not reaching the country.
With the Department of Health announcing that there are now 11 local cases of the Delta variant, local government units have been declaring that their cities or provinces are Delta-free. For how long will they stay without a local case of the Delta variant? It’s hard to tell.
As to the reasons for the rise in transmission, WHO’s Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove said increased social mixing and social mobility led to increases in the number of contacts that individuals have and the vaccines did not reach some countries.
The best protection against the Delta variant is still vaccination. Get vaccinated because the variants may not end with a Delta. In the Greek alphabet used by the WHO, the next is Epsilon and the end is Omega.